Proceedings of the 43rd International Academic Conference, Lisbon

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR UNIVERSITIES TO CREATE SPIRITUAL WORKPLACES?

DESERE KOKT, ESTHER PEARL PALMER

Abstract:

The globalized world of work poses significant challenges to universities – ranging from increased digitalisation and virtualization, to greater diversity in student numbers, larger student intakes and the need for universities to continuously engage with business, industry and other external stakeholders. Contemporary universities have also developed a distinct managerial nature (managerilaism) which means they are increasingly managed like private sector organisations. This is in contrast to the collegial structures that prevailed in universities in previous generations. The shift from collegiality to managerilaism has implications for academics – specifically related to autonomy, moral, motivation and commitment. Based on the Communities of Practice as theoretical framework the paper proposes an emphasis on workplace spirituality as a means to compensate for the erosion of collegiality. It further provides suggestions to university management on how to create a spiritual workplace especially for academic staff.

Keywords: workplace spirituality, universities, collegiality, managerialism, globalized world of work

DOI: 10.20472/IAC.2018.043.022

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