Spirals of Spirituality: A Qualitative Study Exploring Patterns of Spiritual Organizing

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Authors: Fahri Karakas and Emine Sarigöllü

Publication: Journal of Business Ethics, Forthcoming

Abstract:

This paper explores organizational spirituality, uncovers it as spiraling dynamics of both positive and negative potentialities, and proposes how leaders can shape these dynamics to improve the human conditions at the workplace. Based on case study of five Turkish organizations and drawing on the emerging discourse on spirituality in organizations literature, this study provides a deeper understanding of how dynamic patterns of spirituality operate in organizations. Insights from participant observation, organizational data, and semi-structured interviews yield three key themes of organizational spirituality: Reflexivity, connectivity and responsibility. 

Each of these themes has been found to be connected to upward spirals (inspiration, engagement, and calling) and downward spirals (incivility, silence, and fatigue). The study provides a detailed and holistic account of the individual and organizational processes through which spirituality is enacted both positively and negatively, exploring its dynamic and dualistic nature, as embodied in the fabric of everyday life and culture.

Read full paper in AOM Proceedings