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The role of spirituality in business education

Katalin Illes (Department of Leadership and Professional Development, University of Westminster, London, UK)
Laszlo Zsolnai (Business Ethics Center, Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary, AND, School of Business, École supérior de commerce de Rennes, Rennes, France)

Society and Business Review

ISSN: 1746-5680

Article publication date: 9 February 2015




This paper aims to argue that there is a strong imbalance in business education between providing abstract, rational concepts and opportunities for personal growth. Introducing spirituality in business education seems to be desirable if we want to prepare students for the complexities and challenges of the workplace today.


The paper gives an example of how techniques from voice and drama therapy can be used for enabling students to look beyond the rational and the material.


By engaging with their “true self”, students may discover dormant qualities in themselves and start to find their purpose, meaning and spirituality.


The paper shows that by introducing some new approaches in business education, we can provide opportunities for students to connect their rational thoughts with conscience and the “true self”. When students make an integrated use of our mental, emotional and spiritual resources, they are better equipped to make complex decisions and behave ethically in the workplace and in their personal lives.



Katalin Illes’ contribution is based on her presentation entitled “Connecting Rationality and Spirituality in Business Education” at The Spiritual Challenge in Management: What is to be done? Conference held at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore in January 9-11, 2013. Laszlo Zsolnai’s contribution was developed under his research affiliate contract with the Canon Chair of ESC Rennes Business School.


Illes, K. and Zsolnai, L. (2015), "The role of spirituality in business education", Society and Business Review, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 67-75.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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