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Making the quantum leap: Lessons from physics on studying spirituality and religion in organizations

Charles J. Fornaciari (College of Business, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida, USA)
Kathy Lund Dean (John Cook School of Business, Management Department, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 1 August 2001

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Abstract

The emerging research on spirituality, religion and work (SRW) poses concerns for all social scientists. Specifically, the paradigm currently employed for social scientific research, including measurement techniques, data analysis, and even accepted language, is inadequate for scholarship in the emerging inquiry stream. This paper discusses the current positivist model under which scholarly work derives legitimacy, and explores where the model fails to address the needs of SRW researchers from both conceptual and moral standpoints. Taking lessons from the natural sciences, we show how inquiry, modeling, and knowledge made critical leaps utilizing a post‐positivist creativity within a discipline that struggled with many of the same issues we currently face in the SRW research agenda. The paper concludes with implications for a new research methods paradigm and language that would better serve our understanding of the holistic human experience in organizations, including a discussion of the inherently moral underpinning of our work.

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Citation

Fornaciari, C.J. and Lund Dean, K. (2001), "Making the quantum leap: Lessons from physics on studying spirituality and religion in organizations", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 335-351. https://doi.org/10.1108/EUM0000000005547

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited