Richard Peregoy - Research Insights

Richard Peregoy, Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business

Richard Peregoy"Towards a further understanding of work as spiritual"

In the Author's Words

This research adds to the existing literature on the spirituality of work by focusing on work itself as spiritual. By recognizing work and everyday tasks as spiritual and co-creative efforts, man can find the meaning and purpose that he so adamantly desires to achieve. This striving towards something transcendent, or a unity with others and the universe, energizes and empowers man to achieve greater success in work and greater satisfaction in life. Distinguishing spirituality from religion, this research asserts that spirituality is universal and inclusive, referring to our innate capacity to relate to others and the world through a “personal experience of transcendence.” Comparing Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, Judaic, and secular teaching and thought, this article uncovers the underlying desire of man to find unity and connectedness that can ultimately be utilized for finding meaning and attaining excellence in work. Thinkers such as Viktor Frankl have stated that material means are not satisfactory for man to live by, but rather, man has a greater desire for meaning and purpose that can allow him to see the sacred in the ordinary. Similarly, John Paul II maintained: “work is ‘for man’ and not man ‘for work.’” While many religious sects believe that work can be both an act of worship and an act of service, secular thinkers also claim that work can be a “crafting” of self, which is “the finest contribution to the increase of peace and justice and beauty in this world.” Although neuroscience and scientific studies on meditation and spirituality in the workplace have provided varied results thus far, there is great hope that continued efforts to integrate the idea of work itself as spiritual can result in “higher organizational commitment and productivity, improved financial performance, greater employee life satisfaction, and an involved corporate social responsibility.” Overall, the literature shows that by giving man a greater purpose or reason to be, he can transform the workplace first and foremost through a transformation of self.

Peregoy, R., (2016). Towards a further understanding of work as spiritual. Journal of Management, Spirituality, & Religion. (in press).

Faculty Profile: Richard Peregoy

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