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Straight from the heart – a clinical group intervention to research management spirituality

Lasse Lychnell (Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden)
Pär Mårtensson (Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 21 August 2017




The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the advancement of research methods in management spirituality by proposing a novel and innovative approach for generating empirical material on issues relevant for practitioners.


The approach introduced is designed as a one-year group process based on Schein’s concept of clinical inquiry, primarily aimed at helping the participating managers to address challenging issues that they face in real life. When this helping process is successful, empirical material on these issues is revealed, as the participants share information to receive help themselves.


Findings illustrate how the approach generates extensive, rich and broad data, guided by what becomes important for the participating managers as the process unfolds. A strong holding environment allows for urgent matters to be shared straight from the heart.

Research limitations/implications

As this activity is based on the belief that the managers know best the issues relevant to them, a deviation from the assumed research direction should be seen as help to focus on relevant issues, rather than an obstacle of following an original plan.

Practical implications

The proposed approach may be of particular interest to researchers who not only want to contribute to academic knowledge but also wish to work with people and facilitate transformation.


This paper advances understandings of generating empirical material in the field of management spirituality through an innovative, client-centered research approach, rooted in well-established theories.



Lychnell, L. and Mårtensson, P. (2017), "Straight from the heart – a clinical group intervention to research management spirituality", Management Research Review, Vol. 40 No. 8, pp. 870-889.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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