SAGE Journal Articles
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Abstract: Recent years have witnessed a significant growth of interest in spirituality at work (SAW), and in particular in spirituality management and leadership development. This article argues that the literature in the area is replete with paradoxes, many of which may be irresolvable. These revolve around how spirituality is defined, with advocates variously stressing its religious dimensions, usually from a Christian perspective, and others articulating a more secular approach focusing on non-denominational humanistic values. Much of the literature assumes that the values of business leaders reflect unitarist rather than sectional interests. In exploring these contradictions, this article adopts a post-structuralist perspective to argue that SAW seeks to abolish the distinction between people’s work-based lives on the one hand, and their personal lives and value systems on the other. Influence is conceived in uni-directional terms: it flows from ‘spiritual’ and powerful leaders to more or less compliant followers, deemed to be in need of enlightenment, rather than vice versa. It enhances the influence of leaders over followers, on the assumption that stable, consistent and coherent follower identities can be manufactured, capable of facilitating the achievement of leaders’ goals. We argue that SAW therefore promotes constricting cultural and behavioural norms, and thus seeks to reinforce the power of leaders at the expense of autonomy for their followers. Rather than encourage leaders to abolish the distinction between the private and public spaces inhabited by followers, in the name of liberation, we conclude that these should be preserved and extended.
Journal Article 2: Bisel, R., & Messersmith, A. (2012). Organizational and supervisory apology effectiveness: Apology giving in work settings. Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, 75, 425–448.
Abstract: We synthesize the interdisciplinary literature into a heuristic for crafting effective organizational and supervisory apologies (the OOPS four-component apology). In the first experiment, we demonstrate how an offense committed by an organization is perceived to be more egregious than an offense committed by a friend or supervisor. Furthermore, results did not support that OOPS apologies are unequally effective if issued by a friend, supervisor, or organization. In the second experiment, we test OOPS apology-training effectiveness. Results indicated that trained participants crafted more effective apologies. Our apology heuristic is an innovation for training business communicators how to apologize effectively.