The Spiritual Business: Breathing Life into the Body, Mind, and Spirit of Organizations
positive organizational scholarship
Business Administration, Management, and Operations
Organizational Behavior and Theory
Spirituality and business are generally thought to be in opposition. Spirituality is considered private, sacred, unbounded, and religious in nature. Business, on the other hand, is thought to be practical, contained, and at times cut-throat. However, spiritual practices like yoga and meditation have shown positive benefits for employees and organizations. In this paper, I will be defining “the spiritual business” and utilizing the definition of spirituality to give insight into how businesses may overlap management and leadership training with spiritual principles. Spirituality, coming from the Latin word spiritus, is defined as that which breathes life into living systems. In this paper, we will use this definition to explore how spiritual practices not only breathe life into individual living systems, but also, breathe life into larger living systems like organizations. Yoga and mindfulness are ancient techniques that provide frameworks for how to most effectively generate sustainable energy for individuals. We will apply these same frameworks to show how organizations can effectively breathe life into employees and the entirety of the organization. We will look closely at the benefits of yoga, the research on mindfulness, and the effectiveness of appreciative inquiry for creating a sense of life for whole system flourishing. Utilizing the analogy that a healthy human is made of a vibrant body, mind, and spirit, the spiritual business aims to breathe life into the body, mind, and spirit of an organization.