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The purpose of this paper is to present results of an exploratory cross-cultural study aiming to examine the role and meaning of inspiration in organisational settings to advance the contemporary understanding of inspiration and its manifestations.
The study utilises Gadamerian philosophical hermeneutics to cultivate an understanding of the rationalisations of inspiration at work and to explore its conceptualisations to inform future research.
The findings strongly indicate that inspiration in its numerous manifestations is not confined to the domain of personal life and that it often occurs in organisational settings. There are no indications that inspiration is affected by the cultural belongingness of employees, rather it is found that attitudes towards inspiration differ among representatives of the different levels of the organisational hierarchy. A connection between motivation and inspiration is discussed and indication found that at the level of lay accounts the concepts are perceived to be both different and complementary.
The article presents a conceptualisation of inspiration in an organisational context to guide future research towards a more instrumental approach to recognising and utilising inspiration in contemporary management practice.