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Spirituality and business: An interdisciplinary overview

Author

Listed:
  • Luk Bouckaert

    (Catholic University of Leuven Leuven Belgium)

  • László Zsolnai

    () (Corvinus University of Budapest Business Ethics Center Budapest Hungary)

Abstract

The paper gives an interdisciplinary overview of the emerging field of spirituality and business. It uses insights from business ethics, theology, neuroscience, psychology, gender studies, and philosophy to economics, management, organizational science, and banking and refers to different religious convictions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, the Baha’i faith, and the North-American aboriginal worldview. The authors argue that the materialistic management paradigm has failed. They explore new values for post-materialistic management: frugality, deep ecology, trust, reciprocity, responsibility for future generations, and authenticity. Within this framework profit and growth are no longer ultimate aims but elements in a wider set of values. Similarly, cost-benefit calculations are no longer the essence of management but are part of a broader concept of wisdom in leadership. Spirit-driven businesses require intrinsic motivation for serving the common good and using holistic evaluation schemes for measuring success. The Palgrave Handbook of Business and Spirituality, edited by the authors, is a response to developments that simultaneously challenge the “business as usual” mindset.

Suggested Citation

  • Luk Bouckaert & László Zsolnai, 2012. "Spirituality and business: An interdisciplinary overview," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 34(3), pages 489-514, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aka:soceco:v:34:y:2012:i:3:p:489-514
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    religion and spirituality; spiritually inspired economics; spiritually-based leadership; business ethics; post-materialistic management; economic wisdom;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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