Spiritual development – a missing and powerful leverage when building learning organizations

Nataša Rupčić (Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Publication date: 11 September 2017



The purpose of this paper is to examine and discuss the role that spiritual development plays in the development of learning individuals and organizations. Spiritual development has been examined though the lens of various meditative practices (such as transcendental meditation, mindfulness and flow) and religious indoctrinations (such as Hinduism and Islam).


Possibilities of developing learning individuals and learning organizations have been examined by reviewing the benefits of meditative practices and core beliefs of several religious indoctrinations. The findings have been discussed and put into context of the desired learning organizations characteristics, especially from the perspective offered by Peter Senge.


The presented discussion points to the conclusion that spiritual development, either by practicing certain meditation practices or by implementing core values of different religious indoctrinations, can be considered as a missing and a powerful leverage when developing learning organizations. Spiritual development of individuals might be the missing link or the Holy Grail which could make the learning organizations, as defined by Senge, not only logical and desirable but also attainable.

Research limitations/implications

In this paper, other religious indoctrinations and their correspondence with the learning organization philosophy, besides Hinduism and Islam, have not been considered.

Practical implications

Implications for practitioners, especially managers, have been identified regarding recommendations for designing working environments that would enable space and time for practicing meditative practices. Implications for raising the level of consciousness have been identified for individuals striving to enliven their state of being and hence improve their creativity and motivation, as well as the inner sense of serenity and well-being. Suggestions have been provided for practitioners in the academic environment regarding the need to introduce the benefits of raising the level of consciousness to their students.

Social implications

Raising the level of consciousness and developing spirituality can have tremendous positive social implications in terms of improved health, ethical and moral conduct, social relations, creativity, productivity and general welfare.


By comparing the benefits of raising the level of consciousness by practicing meditation and reflecting on religious core values and beliefs with the desired learning organization characteristics, it becomes clear that individual spiritual development is the missing link when building learning organizations.



Rupčić, N. (2017), "Spiritual development – a missing and powerful leverage when building learning organizations", The Learning Organization, Vol. 24 No. 6, pp. 418-426. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-07-2017-0071

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