Workplace Spirituality – The ‘Poor Cousin’ of the ‘Red-headed Stepchild’ now dining with ‘Adults’ in Corporate Boardrooms
Journal Title:Organization Leadership and Development Quarterly (OLDQ)
It is stated that organizational studies have undergone a fundamental shift from a mechanistic or Newtonian paradigm that values reason and scientific principles to an organistic or spiritual paradigm that values consciousness and understanding (Whitty, 1997). It seems evident that the focus of organizational studies shifted from reductive analysis and predetermined plans to more holistic analyses. The mechanistic paradigm states that individuals can be scientifically measured and categorized based on intellectual and other characteristics they possess, and that certain people are meant to be leaders whereas others are meant to be followers. This view further assumes that organizations and the world function on rational laws that dictate the only correct way of doing things. The mechanistic paradigm has a strong belief in scarcity of resources, leading to practices such as “antagonism, political manipulation, ‘padding’ of budget requests, empire building, and lack of trust and cooperation between persons and organizational units” (Whitty, 1997). This editorial article submits that the spiritual paradigm should be fully integrated into corporate boardrooms rather than be viewed as the ‘poor cousin’ of the ‘red-headed stepchild’ among adults in corporate boardrooms.