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The fourth wave: the spiritually‐based firm

Fraya Wagner‐Marsh (College of Business, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA)
James Conley (College of Business, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 1 August 1999



Alvin Toffler foretold the technological “third wave”, in 1980. We suggest that there is an organizational fourth wave, the spiritually‐based firm. The movement toward spiritualizing the organization has apparently caught on and a number of highly diverse firms are attempting to instill a spiritual corporate culture. The intent of this paper is to explore basic attitudes and practices that appear to be essential for success in maintaining a spiritual corporate culture. Six key concepts have been selected based on our review of the literature, professional observations, and in‐depth personal interviews with leaders of spiritually‐based firms: honesty with self, articulation of the corporation’s spiritually‐based philosophy, mutual trust and honesty with others, commitment to quality and service, commitment to employees, and selection of personnel to match the corporation’s spiritually‐based philosophy. As these key concepts are discussed, specific examples of how these concepts are practiced within various firms are included.



Wagner‐Marsh, F. and Conley, J. (1999), "The fourth wave: the spiritually‐based firm", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 292-302.




Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited

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