European Academy of Management 2021 Reshaping Capitalism for a Sustainable World
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As spirituality provides people meaning in life and advises their sense of values and ethics, there is an increasing interest among management scholars concerning this research field. People are characterized by an innate need to find meaning in their lives and work, consequently management theory and practice is challenged to address such topics. One key controversy is the discussion about what kind of spirituality we are debating in management theory and practice. The majority of publications emphasizes the positive consequences of spirituality thereby considering it rather as a management tool improving performance of employees and organisations. In contrast, critical approaches to spirituality focus on a serious debate about the sense of life and work, including a critical analysis of organisations and managerial practices. Research on this critical spirituality spans a range of diverse disciplines, however, an interdisciplinary systematic analysis is still missing. The aim of this interdisciplinary systematic literature review is to develop an overview of critical spirituality by integrating knowledge of diverse disciplines. Consequently, it contributes to the management discourse by providing a novel understanding of spirituality beyond traditional management perspectives with a synthesized overview of the most influential theoretical foundations and key themes of a critical spirituality as well as a framework of implications for management theory and practice. Considering that diverse spiritual and religious perspectives of employees have become a decisive issue in Europe due to increased migration and a new generation of workforce, this paper aims to shed new light on contemporary challenges of European management.