Tuesday 26 May 2015 from 9:30am to 4:00pm

Venue: Exeter Business School  - Tuesday 26th May 2015  in Exeter

Registration from: 9.30 - Convened by: Jonathan Gosling and Peter Case at Exeter Business School.

This seminar will consider whether and how ‘spiritual leadership’ is commensurate with instrumental and outcome-oriented measurement; and how – if at all – it relates to the triple bottom line.

 Attempts have been made to theorize workplace spirituality in ways that make the concepts amenable to measurement and hypothetico-deductive modelling. One of the most influential approaches to have emerged is Spiritual Leadership Theory (SLT) (Fry, 2003): an approach that brings together individual spirituality and the creation of an innovative, motivated learning organization, with impact on the ‘triple bottom line’. Its critics, however, claim that it introduces attenuated definitions of spirituality and proceeds to operationalize them (Nehemya et al, 2009; Case and Gosling, 2010) in empiricist terms to produce proxy measures of spiritual leadership and corporate spirituality.

 Speakers at this seminar start from the position that spirituality of some sort is important to individual and collective experiences of work, as well as influencing how many leaders approach the challenges and responsibilities of their roles. But is this necessarily and causally related to specific, definable and measurable outcomes? Is the search for such a relationship relevant to a sincere spirituality, for which mundane outcomes and business results might be unimportant?

These questions require careful definition, and also rigorous methodological critique. The seminar will be of particular interest to those who want to clarify the relation ship between spiritual experience and worldly success (and failure); and for researchers in this field.

Speakers include business academics and leaders; the day will include opportunities for discussion and cross-sector networking. (see programme and speakers  below)

If you are interested in this seminar and would like to register, please follow the instructions in the link below. Please be aware that places are limited and are on a first come first serve basis.


 Programme of the day:

Spiritual Leadership Paradigms and Organizational Analysis - Professor Louis (Jody) Fry, Texas A&M University, USA

With reference to Gibson Burrell and Gareth Morgan's 1979 book ‘Sociological Paradigms and Organizational Analysis’ Jody will consider “What would the ontology and epistemology of spiritual leadership (i.e. its essence) look like from the perspectives of each of Burrell and Morgan's four sociological paradigms?” He will explore to what extent these perspectives, taken together, can inform the theory, research, and practice of spiritual leadership.

A Personal Voyage of Self-Discovery through Transcendental Meditation and Spiritual Leadership - Simon Mitchell, MBA, CEO of LinuxIT

In 2012 LinuxIT was in disarray. It was suffering financially, key workers were leaving in their droves and the senior management team were in conflict. Simon will talk about the journey from this place to the success of his company today and what helped him to turn it around. He will share a personal voyage of self-discovery in which he embraced spiritual practice and a leadership philosophy that have brought about remarkable transformations.

Spiritual Organisation: Variations on Means and Ends - Professor Jonathan Gosling, University of Exeter , Professor Peter Case, University of the West of England

Practices, intentions and accidents of organizing may be related to personal and collective spirituality in a number of ways. Spiritual commitments might impel us to certain types of work or ways of working; they might be instrumental in the success of our work; our spiritual disciplines may be honed by the challenges of working life. Or alternatively, there may be no causal link between the two. In this talk Jonathan and Peter discuss the underpinning assumptions, philosophical critiques and research implications for spirituality in our working lives and the concept of the Spiritual Organisation.

Living Spiritual Leadership as a CEO: Theory, Reality, Risks, Challenges and Delights -  Dr Lynne Sedgmore CBE, CEO of the 157 Group

Lynne will share her integrative journey of spirit and work and how she has fostered, co-created and led high-energy, high-spirited, high-performing organizations since 1989. She will describe the conceptual models and academic research she has drawn on, including original research carried out in her own organisations by respected academics, as well as theoretical models developed through her own reflective practice. She will present the reality, risks and significant challenges of leading from an explicit spiritual leadership paradigm and the delights, rewards and benefits for her organizations, for individual staff and for herself as a leader and a mystic.

Files available for downloading

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