The neuroscience of spiritual experience in organizations

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5 Citations (Scopus)


This article uses research in brain science to examine spiritual experiences and speculate on their occurrence in the workplace. Neuro scientific data suggest that spiritual experiences are likely to be correlated with specific brain activities, particularly unusual activity within the limbic system. At work these experiences may occur during episodes of powerful concentration on a singular task, and are characterized by feelings of well-being, connection, and temporal and spatial distortion. Research from psychology suggests that spiritual experiences defined in this way may be similar to those described as flow states and may be relevant to the attribution of meaning to occupational tasks. Both spiritual experiences and flow states may be precipitated by ritualized behaviors that encourage the brain conditions associated with simultaneous sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system operation. While individuals need not undergo spiritual experiences in order to appreciate organizational spirituality, spiritual experiences in the workplace are relevant to organizational transformation in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-28
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Management, Spirituality and Religion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


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