Research:
Deepening and Sharing Our Understanding of Spirituality and Work

The Centre engages academics and practitioners from a variety of sectors and organizations in fostering community-based research projects related to spirituality and work.

Within Saint Mary’s University, the Centre supports the university’s Strategic Research Plan for building clusters of research strengths. Partners and potential partners include the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs, the CN Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Centre for Leadership Excellence, and the Institute for Human Values. The Centre fits strategically with these research centres whose mandates and objectives are thematically connected to the Sobey School of Business’s Better Workplaces Initiative.

Papers

Reflective Learning: Educating Managers for a Sustainable World

- David Sable

Paper

Making Sense of Workplace Spirituality: Towards A New Methodology: Journal of Management, Spirituality, and Religion, 5(2), 190-210 – Margaret McKee, J Helms Mills and Cathy Driscoll (2008)

Abstract                  Paper

Spirituality in the Workplace: A Wake-Up Call from the American Dream

Journal of Workplace Rights, Volume 13, Issue 1, March 2008 – Connie Bygrave and Scott MacMillan (Doctoral students)

 

Technical Spirituality at Work: Jacques Ellul on Workplace Spirituality (Editor’s Choice) Journal of Management Inquiry 16(4), 333-348 – Cathy Driscoll and Eldon Wiebe (2007) 

Abstract                   Paper

 

Restorying a Culture of Ethical and Spiritual Values: A Role for Leader Storytelling Journal of Business Ethics 73(2): 205-217. DOI 10.1007/s10551-006-9191-5 – Cathy Driscoll and Margaret McKee (2007)

Abstract                   Paper

 

Soul Conflict in the Workplace: Exploring the Extension of Theoretical Models

Submitted to Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2006

Dr. Cathy Driscoll and Margaret McKee

 

Soulful Work or Soulwashing in the Workplace? The Case of Tyson Foods and ASDA Supermarkets

Submitted to Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2006, Social Issues in Management Stream

Dr. Cathy Driscoll and Dr. Emma Bell

 

Applying Transformative Learning to Ethics Education

Atlantic Universities Teaching Showcase Proceedings at Dalhousie University in 2004

David Sable, Dr. Linda Van Esch, and Dr. Cathy Driscoll

ABSTRACT
Transformative learning seems particularly well suited to the goals of the increasingly
important area of ethics education. The objectives of transformative learning and its possible
foundation in “ladders of influence” are presented. A number of transformative learning
techniques are described, and the authors’ experience with them in several years of teaching
courses in Religious Studies and in Management are discussed.

The complexity of ethical decision-making in communities and organizations is increasing rapidly
as a consequence of developments in technology, multi-cultural environments, and economic
globalization. Not surprisingly, there have been continued and increasingly strident calls for
greater, and more explicit, attention to ethical issues. We need to better prepare the next
generation of decision makers to make complex ethical decisions that sometimes have more to do
with choosing between a right and a right, or a wrong and a wrong, rather than a right and a
wrong. However, there is less agreement on how to proceed.


It is clear that students in all disciplines must have opportunities to develop greater sensitivity to
the consequences of their decisions and actions; to develop skills needed to analyze complex
situations which involve incomplete information, conflicting responsibilities, and multiple
viewpoints; to examine their own assumptions and values in light of new situations; to “try on”
different ethical decision-making rubrics; and to fully explore others’ values. But, what is the best
way to “teach” ethics?


On the one hand, traditional presentations of ethics in higher education are regarded by many
students and faculty as impractical or irrelevant in complex modern circumstances. At the other
extreme, some students and faculty maintain that the “rules” we have inherited are fixed and that
we need only to identify our leaders and follow their examples resolutely. To most, however,
ethics is not a static set of rules; instead, context, creativity, insight, and wisdom play key roles
in helping us make better decisions.


This paper proposes a middle way. It argues that, while we do not need to abandon our ethical
heritages, we do need to learn to approach complex issues in new ways.  Paper

Presentations

You Can’t Teach Spirituality in a Business School…Oh Yes You Can!

9th International Conference on Spirituality and Business

Santa Fe, New Mexico: January, 2008

Martin Rutte and David Sable

 

Applications of Contemplative Practice to Classroom Learning

11th Dalhousie Conference on University Teaching and Learning

Halifax, Nova Scotia: May 2007

David Sable

 

Transformative Learning and Taiji Qigong

Canadian Asian Studies Association Conference

Montreal, Canada: November 2006

Dr. Charles Beaupre

 

Existentialism, Spirituality and Work: Toward a Paradigm of Authenticity

Academy of Management Conference

Atlanta, Georgia: August 2006

Scott MacMillan

The Approach of Spirituality at Work Literature: A Review of the Research

Administrative Sciences Association of Canada Conference

Banff, Alberta: June 2006

Bradley S. Long and Elizabeth A. McLeod

 

Other ongoing research projects in progress at Saint Mary’s University include Integrating Transformative Learning into the Undergraduate Curriculum, Teaching Ethics using Spiritual Connectedness and Transformative Learning, and The Interplay between Leadership, Ethics and Spirituality in the Workplace.


 
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