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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2021

Timothy J. Vogus, Laura E. McClelland, Yuna S.H. Lee, Kathleen L. McFadden and Xinyu Hu

Health care delivery is experiencing a multi-faceted epidemic of suffering among patients and care providers. Compassion is defined as noticing, feeling and responding to…

Abstract

Purpose

Health care delivery is experiencing a multi-faceted epidemic of suffering among patients and care providers. Compassion is defined as noticing, feeling and responding to suffering. However, compassion is typically seen as an individual rather than a more systemic response to suffering and cannot match the scale of the problem as a result. The authors develop a model of a compassion system and details its antecedents (leader behaviors and a compassionate human resource (HR) bundle), its climate or the extent that the organization values, supports and rewards expression of compassion and the behaviors and practices through which it is enacted (standardization and customization) and its effects on efficiently reducing suffering and delivering high quality care.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a conceptual approach that synthesizes the literature in health services, HR management, organizational behavior and service operations to develop a new conceptual model.

Findings

The paper makes three key contributions. First, the authors theorize the central importance of compassion and a collective commitment to compassion (compassion system) to reducing pervasive patient and care provider suffering in health care. Second, the authors develop a model of an organizational compassion system that details its antecedents of leader behaviors and values as well as a compassionate HR bundle. Third, the authors theorize how compassion climate enhances collective employee well-being and increases standardization and customization behaviors that reduce suffering through more efficient and higher quality care, respectively.

Originality/value

This paper develops a novel model of how health care organizations can simultaneously achieve efficiency and quality through a compassion system. Specific leader behaviors and practices that enable compassion climate and the processes through which it achieves efficiency and quality are detailed. Future directions for how other service organizations can replicate a compassion system are discussed.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2016

Stan J. Knapp

This paper argues that the quest for meaning and the problem of suffering are in an irresolvable state of tension and that this tension remains of central importance in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper argues that the quest for meaning and the problem of suffering are in an irresolvable state of tension and that this tension remains of central importance in modernity and a prominent issue in the reconstruction of contemporary social theory and social science.

Methodology/approach

The approach focuses on an examination of the work of Max Weber and Emmanuel Levinas on issues of rationality and suffering bringing them into a productive dialogue and juxtaposition.

Findings

The work of Max Weber shows how practices of rationality in modernity are still haunted by the ethical call to responsibility that suffering incurs. The work of Emmanuel Levinas complements and reconfigures Weber’s framing of the issues involved and deepens the general point that a reconstructed social theory would incorporate the implications of suffering more deeply into its practices.

Implications

A social science and social theory oriented by an epistemological framework is inadequate to the ethical responsibility the presence of suffering invokes. A reconstructed social theory in an ethical framework calls for the best knowledge capable of being produced. As such, a nihilistic or disengaged pluralism, as well as a social science framed primarily by methodological concerns, is inadequate. What will be required is both critical examination of explicit and implicit assumptions of theory and research as well as active, engaged dialogical practices with alternative perspectives.

Originality/value

An engagement between Weber and Levinas is almost unprecedented, especially on issues rationality and suffering despite their shared perspectives. What Levinas offers the reconstruction of social theory today is explored.

Details

Reconstructing Social Theory, History and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-469-3

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Book part
Publication date: 24 July 2019

Kristina Smith

To explore what suffering is, how suffering is embedded within the sociology of sport literature, and what suffering can do to athletes in sport. In addition, to discuss…

Abstract

Purpose

To explore what suffering is, how suffering is embedded within the sociology of sport literature, and what suffering can do to athletes in sport. In addition, to discuss the value of an interdisciplinary approach and co-presence when researching athletes in suffering.

Approach

In the first part of the chapter, the concepts of pain, violence, and suffering are separated, and a justification for the study of suffering in sport is given. The second part of the chapter details sport and social problems, and the suffering body in sport is discussed, pulling from interdisciplinary theories and methodologies of suffering external to the sociology of sport.

Findings

Social inequalities and hidden forms of suffering may be reproduced in sport. Sport is questioned as a force of social mobility for vulnerable people. The context of sport can offer ‘healing’ properties for people in suffering. The impact of using an interdisciplinary approach and considering co-presence and relational suffering when researching suffering is discussed.

Implications

The difficulties understanding the complex, multi-dimensional nature of suffering are shared. New ways of engaging within the research act and specific theoretical approaches are suggested for improving the understanding of suffering within sport.

Details

The Suffering Body in Sport
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-069-7

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2007

Michaela Driver

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of suffering for meaning making and spirituality in organizational contexts.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of suffering for meaning making and spirituality in organizational contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explores how organizational spaces may be created for meaning making and how this is linked to the idea of compassion.

Findings

The paper suggests that while suffering has been explored in organizations, it has not been studied relative to existential meaning making. This is identified as a significant gap in research on organizational spirituality. The paper attempts to fill this gap and suggests that the study of suffering has to separate suffering as an objective phenomenon, which should be eliminated in organizations, from suffering as a subjective experience in which meaning may be found. It is also proposed that, for existential meaning to be uncovered in the face of suffering, organizational spaces have to be created in which such meaning making can take place.

Originality/value

The paper suggests that suffering can be a pathway to the discovery of spiritual meaning.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Book part
Publication date: 6 July 2005

Susan J. Pearson

Nineteenth-century animal protectionists endeavored to frame laws that gave animals direct legal protections, and they conducted large-scale public education campaigns to…

Abstract

Nineteenth-century animal protectionists endeavored to frame laws that gave animals direct legal protections, and they conducted large-scale public education campaigns to define the harm of cruelty to animals in terms of animals’ own suffering. However, animal suffering was only one of the many possible definitions of cruelty's harms, and when judges and other legal interpreters interpreted animal protection laws, they focused less on animal suffering and more on human morality and the dangers of cruelty to human society. Battling over the definition of human guilt for cruelty, protectionists and judges drew and redrew the boundaries of the law's reach and the moral community.

Details

Toward a Critique of Guilt: Perspectives from Law and the Humanities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-189-7

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Abstract

Details

The Philosophy of Transhumanism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-625-2

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Book part
Publication date: 4 April 2017

Helen M. Kinsella

During the four years of preliminary meetings that led to the 1977 Protocols Additional I and II governing internal armed conflict, the prohibitions against superfluous…

Abstract

During the four years of preliminary meetings that led to the 1977 Protocols Additional I and II governing internal armed conflict, the prohibitions against superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering – two concepts that gird the regulation and moderation of war and limit the use of certain means and methods of warfare – were invoked as a means of calling into account the actions of imperial states. These meetings took place in the context of the conflicts in Southeast Asia, following the wars of decolonization and national liberation in the 1950s and 1960s. The participants in these meetings were freedom fighters and liberation movements who used this forum, which was open to them for the first time, to push for a wider understanding of the concepts of superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering. Their intention was to hold imperialism and imperial states accountable for suffering and injury beyond that of physical death or wounding and to recognize the violence of colonization and the social and cultural devastation it brought. These interventions were a critical attempt to broaden and deepen the meaning of the laws of war, to make them responsive to more than established sovereign state violence, and to ensure that they reflected the experience of colonization/decolonization. This episode matters because the prohibitions against unnecessary suffering and superfluous injury are two elements that detail the general prohibition first codified in 1907 Hague Convention IV, Article 22, namely that the “the right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited.” However, the history and formulation of these two concepts has yet to be fully explored, the meaning of each is debated, and taken together the two are among “the most unclear and controversial rules of warfare.”

Details

International Origins of Social and Political Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-267-1

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2012

Suthisak Kraisornsuthasinee

This paper seeks to explore an alternative direction to break the theoretical impasse in CSR.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to explore an alternative direction to break the theoretical impasse in CSR.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs ancient insights from the core of Buddhist teaching, featuring the Four Noble Truths and the concept of “me” and “mine”, for the modern application of CSR by investigating the crux of major related theories.

Findings

The Noble Truths emphasize that suffering should be eradicated at its root. The Buddhist model of CSR suggests that beyond doing good such as supporting philanthropy and avoiding evil as mitigating the impact of corporate malpractice, which are consistent with major CSR theories, it is also crucial to purify the hearts of stakeholders from the “self” and “what belongs to self”, the genesis of suffering. Detachment is the key.

Research implications

The shift from an institutional to an individual level, more specifically the transformation from a mindset of over‐consumption to one of conscious consumption, is an alternative direction to the progress of theory and practice in CSR.

Practical implications

Defiled by greed and profitability, consumers and investors, who provide income and funding to an organization and define its business practice, are of the highest priority among all stakeholders to start the change according to the Buddhist model of CSR.

Originality/value

This paper takes Buddhism as timeless insight, rather than a religious belief, to propose an alternative model and direction to development of CSR in theory and practice.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Book part
Publication date: 13 December 2018

Fernanda Claudio and Kristen Lyons

The present effects of transnational corporations (TNCs) on social, health, and environmental aspects of local societies have a long history. The pre-conditions for the…

Abstract

The present effects of transnational corporations (TNCs) on social, health, and environmental aspects of local societies have a long history. The pre-conditions for the insertion of the types of economic initiatives now seen in the Global South, and driven by TNCs, were set through histories of colonialism and development schemes. These initiatives disrupted local economies and modified environments, delivering profound effects on livelihoods. These effects were experienced as structural violence, and have produced social suffering through the decades.

In this paper, we compare two African cases across time; the conjunction of development initiatives and structural adjustment in the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe in the early 1990s and industrial plantation forestry in present-day Uganda. Each case presents a specific constellation of political and economic forces that has produced prejudicial effects on local populations in their time period of application and are, essentially, different versions of structural violence that produce social suffering. While each case depicts a specific type of violent encounter manifest at a particular historical moment, these are comparable in the domains of environmental impacts, disruptions to societies, co-opting of local economies, disordering of systems of meaning and social reproduction, and nefarious effects on well-being. We analyze the conjunction of these effects through a theoretical lens of structural violence and social suffering. Our analysis draws particular attention to the role of TNCs in driving this structural violence and its effects.

Details

Environmental Impacts of Transnational Corporations in the Global South
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-034-5

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

The Philosophy of Transhumanism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-625-2

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