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Aesthetics and spirituality in the Australian services sector

Theodora Issa (School of Management, Curtin Business School, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia)
David Pick (School of Management, Curtin Business School, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 18 June 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on the results of research focusing on the relationship between aesthetics and spirituality in the Australian services sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The research employs an interpretive mixed‐method approach. The data were collected using an online survey developed from a range of existing research tools. The population of interest is employees in the Australian services sector. The results were analysed using quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques.

Findings

The results of the analysis suggest that people who work in the Australian services sector tend to consider themselves “spiritual”, but it is a spirituality that is not necessarily religious, it might more likely be derived from aesthetics.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of this study is the small sample size, which limits the inferences that can be drawn. Despite this limitation, this study has important implications in that it illuminates and attempts to resolve some of the conceptual confusion and contradictions in the existing literature relating to aesthetics and spirituality. It is proposed that aesthetics be equated with an expressed spirituality that has no connection with religiosity and spirituality be equated with expressed religious beliefs.

Originality/value

This paper presents an investigation of the relatively neglected area of spirituality and aesthetics in the context of the Australian business environment and stimulates the debate about spirituality and aesthetics in the workplace.

Keywords

Citation

Issa, T. and Pick, D. (2010), "Aesthetics and spirituality in the Australian services sector", Management Research Review, Vol. 33 No. 7, pp. 701-714. https://doi.org/10.1108/01409171011055799

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited