Workplace Spirituality

Kent Rhodes

Workplace spirituality has continued to gain acceptance as a topic of study in B-schools across the country, presumably with application to practice within organizations. Though it may have been initially viewed as a passing fad, it now seems to have reached trend status that is distinct from religious connotation. In fact, even management textbooks routinely include sections about “workplace spirituality” and professional organizations like the Academy of Management offer membership in special interest groups emphasizing spirituality.

So, while any number of families associated with successful businesses may also be associated with a strong community of faith, if one of the many emerging definitions of workplace spirituality is looked at in the context of a family business, it starts to become clear why businesses with family at their cores also tend to be naturally spiritual workplaces.

Here’s a recent list of hallmarks of spiritual workplaces. Over the next week, I’ll be writing more about the three that seem to most show up in family businesses. I welcome your comments. The hallmarks are: Emphasizes Sustainability, Values Contribution, Regards Innovation, Cultivates Inclusion, Develops People, Promotes Vocation.

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