& marketing
Challenges for the Knowledge Society
ISSN 2069–8887
ISSN-L 1842-0206
The official journal of the
Society for Business Excellence
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Management & Marketing no. 2/2013

Examining workers’ perceptions of spirituality in the workplace: an exploratory study
Abstract. There has been growing interest in workplace spirituality theory. However, research has predominantly been focused on USA and Canada, except some recent initiatives. Taking it into account, the purpose of this study is to delve into how Brazilian workers see, perceive, and define workplace spirituality. By employing a phenomenological approach, this study found 34 core themes, 12 of which were also identified in a previous investigation conducted by Marques et al. (2007), namely: trust, openness, kindness (compassion and friendship), honesty, moral and ethics, a sense of peace and harmony, aesthetically pleasing work environment, team orientation, understanding, faith in god, respect, and truth. The remaining 22 themes - which constitute the novel contribution of this study - are as follows: fun, love, well-being, a sense of religiosity, serenity, social responsibility, tolerance, sincerity, meaning of work, higher values, human valuing, coherent attitudes, common interests and objectives, politeness, willing to offer guidance and be an example, stimulating environment, listening to and be listened, praying habit, patience, positive energies and thoughts, concerns with other’s well-being, and the spirit of solidarity. In addition, this research design enabled to make some comparisons between two distinct cultural contexts (i.e., Brazilian and American), which contributes to broaden the cross cultural management knowledge.
Keyword: spirituality, organizations, mission, values, work, God, and religion.
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