Workplace Spirituality and the Ethnographic Gaze

Juliette Koning*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


This chapter makes a case for the use of ethnography to come to a better under-standing of spirituality in the workplace. In this chapter, workplace spirituality orspirituality in the workplace refers to research into faith/spiritual values and beliefsystems in the workplace and includes research within the wider MSR field (Man-agement, Spirituality and Religion). It follows Fotaki, Altman & Koning (2020,p. 10) that“spiritual beliefs play a central role in the lives of religious adherents aswell as the non-religious and atheists”and thus I place no restrictions to the labelsas such. It is quite remarkable that the seemingly good fit between the two has notlead to a strong representation of ethnography in the study of workplace spiritualityto date. It is not the intention to explore why this is the case but to present thewider family of ethnographic approaches (autoethnography, organizational ethnog-raphy, organizational autoethnography) and to highlight their potential contribu-tion to the field of workplace spirituality. The chapter follows discussions in theworkplace spiritualty domain to explore alternative ways of knowing and builds onmy own ethnographic research experiences at the crossroads of religion and busi-ness as well as my writing on ethnography as a research approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorkplace Spirituality
Subtitle of host publicationMaking a Difference
EditorsYochanan Altman, Judie Neal, Wolfgang Mayrhofer
PublisherWalter de Gruyter GmbH
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783110711349
ISBN (Print)9783110711295
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2022


  • management
  • religion
  • spirituality
  • working lives
  • organizations

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