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Exploring spirituality and social responsibility

Special issue call for papers from Social Responsibility Journal

Social Responsibility Journal is pleased to invite papers for a special issue on “Exploring spirituality and social responsibility”.

Overview of the Theme
Spirituality and associated themes are gaining increased acknowledgment in mainstream management literature. This growth, among other factors, is perhaps in response to the increasingly complex and dynamic manner in which organisations and activities interact in business, government and civil society domains. There is a ubiquitous need to sustain the hope for a better future - spirituality provides a bridge between this hope and the opportunity to create such a future.

Despite recognition of the importance of good governance and the social responsibility of business we still see evidence of important systems failing in our society. Compliance and ensuring good governance has not prevented many recent breeches such as the Tesco Accounting Scandal, Olympus Corporation’s 13 year Fraud, Volkswagen’s rigging scandal, the FIFA corruption case to name a few. Contemporary management has not provided the necessary answers. Can spirituality, however defined or articulated, offer direction in the pursuit of responsible business practice? There is a need to probe deeper into rethinking business values and how spirituality can help to create practical solutions to counter the deficiency of accountability and responsibilities that consequently expose a lack of wisdom.

Extant literature examining the connection between spirituality and contemporary business has been slowly evolving. The emerging integration of spirituality and business can be traced as far back as the 1950’s to the work of Max Weber who viewed the protestant work ethic as an integral force in the rise of modern day Western capitalism. Despite decades of flirting with the topic, our understanding of what spirituality is and how spirituality might be integrated into the business environment continues to be hindered by the complex landscape within which we function. There is a need to examine the similarities and differences in spiritual orientation of various cultures to arrive at sustainable delivery of social responsibility. We still struggle in defining what constitutes socially responsible business - the link between spirituality and corporate social responsibility (CSR) remains under examined.

Although the movement towards integrating spirit into contemporary business is a more current debate than the social responsibilities of business, both continue to raise significant questions. How and why are spirituality and social responsibility similar or different in purpose? How does spirituality inform social responsibility? This special issue of Social Responsibility Journal “Exploring spirituality and social responsibility” allows us to consider questions associated with the integration of spirituality into contemporary business practice and what, if any, role it has. As such this issue will be of interest to both scholars and practitioners.

Papers may address the subthemes listed below, but do not necessarily have to be limited to these. More general papers around this broad theme are also welcome.
- Defining spirituality in the context of business
- Understanding and exploring workplace spirituality and its impacts
- Contribution of spirituality to contemporary CSR
- Influence of spirituality on the internal culture of responsibility and ethics within an   organization
- Exploring the shift from ‘business ethics and responsibility’ to ‘business spirituality’
- The role of mindfulness in contemporary business
- Understanding the influence of spiritual traditions (for example, those based on Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity or Islam) on CSR
- Analysis of the impact of spirituality on uncertainties and disruptions in business.
- Case studies examining organisations demonstrating a spiritual focus

Completed papers of between 5,000-7,000 words in length should be submitted via the Social Responsibility Journal online submission site no later than May 27, 2016:
Please select the correct special issue from the dropdown menu.

 - Full paper submission: May 2016
 - Revised paper submissions: November 2016
 - Expected formal publication date (print and online): 2017

Submissions should follow Social Responsibility author guidelines at

Contact Details:
Guest Editors

Nitha Palakshappa     
Senior Lecturer – School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing 
Massey University 
Ph: +64 9 4140800 ext:9454    
[email protected]
Madhumita Chatterji
Professor – HRM, CSR and Sustainability
IFIM Business School – Bangalore
[email protected]