Spirituality in organization: a dubious idea (?) Historically oriented sensemaking in spiritually imbued organizations

Michal Izak


Organizational spirituality is a widespread phenomenon and as such deserves the attention of academics. Of particular interest – and the focus of the paper are the internal dynamics which often drive spiritually imbued organizations (the term ‘spiritual organization’ will be purposefully avoided throughout the paper as burdened with troublesome implications) towards stagnated, immutable world view. I will suggest that these mechanisms may be elucidated – to a certain extent - by referring to Karl Weick’s theory of sensemaking. I will also argue that this approach contributes to the explanation of certain phenomena which can be observed in such organizations, many of which are very conservative, immutable structures. Accepting the heritage of conclusions drawn by Michael Pratt in his seminal article (Pratt, 2000), I supplement his approach by adding the results from my own empirical study. I will further use them to demonstrate the inadequacy of introducing a spiritual world view into the organizational environment from a theoretical and practical perspective. Finally, it will be argued that modern organizations are not securing conditions for the successful introduction of widely understood spiritual concepts. 

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