Spiritual Anchors in the Troubled Waters of Globalization: A Philosophical Framework for Global Organizing

By Param Srikantia and Sangeeta Parameshwar.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

The workplace spirituality literature within organizational studies has been focused on the domestic business context and has neglected to address the challenges engendered by rampant corporate globalization and the concomitant economic, political, environmental, social and religious tensions. This paper draws from the reservoir of the timeless wisdom of philosophers from around the world, and offers a conceptual frame to help us navigate the troubled waters of corporate globalization. Based on an inductive study of the works of thirty eastern and western philosophers the paper proposes a concept of "spiritual anchors" comprising a constellation of spiritual aspirations, values, cognitions and emotions that can help people center themselves in their deeper spiritual selves amidst the tempestuous waves of ever changing external conditions. The conceptual space of spiritual anchors is represented through the processes of (i) realizing spiritual unity with a universal self by standing for a transcendental cause, (ii) performing one’s duty by setting one’s heart on the cause, not on the fruits that it might bear, (iii) history making through pursuing the unreasonable from the accepted standpoint of everyday living, (iv) relating to others in a way that encompasses their subjectivity as a living entity, (v) refusing to endure absurd conditions, striving for a subjective truth that one is willing to die for. This paper's elucidation of the concept of spiritual anchors is intended to serve as a fundamental, inspirational guide to all who feel marginalized by the tidal wave of corporate globalization. Within a contested globalization discourse, we believe that the concept of spiritual anchors has the potential to represent a deeper common ground for members of the various social movements that have arisen in response to the discontents of corporate globalization.

Keywords: Workplace Spirituality, Globalization

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 6, pp.223-234. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 577.694KB).

Dr. Param Srikantia

Professor, Division of Business Administration, Baldwin Wallace College, Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA

Dr. Param Srikantia is a Professor in the Division of Business Administration at Baldwin-Wallace College. Dr. Param Srikantia was Consultant to The World Bank Group designing workshops on Poverty Reduction Strategies for Finance Ministers of over 30 countries. Earlier, as Program Officer for a global consulting organization established by the United States Agency for International Development, he conducted strategic planning for top management teams of global non-governmental organizations from nearly 70 countries. Previously, in India, he was country Head of Human Resources for American Cyanamid Company and Personnel Manager for the Unilever Group. He has served as a consultant and researcher for the National Science Foundation, USAID, the World Bank, Catholic Relief Services, Coco Cola, Arthur Andersen & Co., Siemens, Cadbury’s, Unilever, and United Technologies Corporation. Dr. Srikantia has authored 29 papers that have been published or presented at conferences in the United States, Asia, and Africa. He holds a Ph.D. in Management and Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Iowa, an M.A. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Bombay, and an M.A. in Personnel Management & Industrial Relations from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Bombay.

Dr. Sangeeta Parameshwar

Assistant Professor, Department of Management, University of Illinois at Springfield, Springfield, Illinois, USA

Dr. Sangeeta Parameshwar Ph.D. (Case Western Reserve University) is an Associate Professor at the Department of Management, University of Illinois at Springfield. Dr. Parameshwar’s publications and scholarly presentations encompass spiritual leadership, transformational leadership, transcendental organizing, and globalization. She teaches courses on organizational behavior, organization theory, and leadership. Dr. Parameshwar has taught at international workshops for top management teams of global non-governmental organizations organized by the Federal Government's United States Agency for International Development (USAID). She has also participated in research projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on Total Quality Management, and by USAID on international capacity building.

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