From temples to organizations: The introduction and packaging of spirituality

Nurit Zaidman, Ofra Goldstein-Gidoni, Iris Nehemya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article is based on a research of Israeli spiritual consultants and their interaction with local organizations. The incorporation of ideas of spirituality into the world of efficient management and organizations seem on the outset to be 'unnatural'. We show that while this inherent contradiction does not disappear, spiritual consultants employ various ways to overcome the anticipated resistance and to make an impact. These ways include not only attentive processes of selection and reframing of ideas before introducing them to the new setting, but often enough also methods of concealing and lack of transparency in the consultants' interactions with managers and or employees. We use domestication, as a key analytical concept. In spite all the familiarization and disguising techniques, spiritual consultants do bring new ideas into the organizational context. Unlike conventional consultants, they set an emphasis on the individual's awareness of his or her body, thoughts and feelings at the moment and by that challenge management expectation that employees would conform to their jobs and roles. Finally, we argue that consultants create 'noise' in terms of the ideas that they promote but most of them 'keep order' in terms of the way they choose to deliver these ideas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-621
Number of pages25
JournalOrganization
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

Keywords

  • Advice industry
  • Consultants
  • Domestication
  • Israel
  • Organizations
  • Spirituality
  • Translation

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