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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 2074-7705
Print version ISSN 1609-9982


KESSLER, Volker. 'Visionaries psychiatric wards are full of them': Religious terms in management literature. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2017, vol.38, n.2, pp.1-9. ISSN 2074-7705.

Contemporary management literature often makes use of strong religious vocabulary. This article will provide a critical analysis of this practice. It especially analyses the usage of three religious terms in management circles: 'vision' - a term omnipresent in leadership literature, 'metanoic organisations' - a notion found in books about change management, and 'evangelists' - a job title mentioned in job advertisements by companies such as Apple and Microsoft. This phenomenon goes hand in hand with the megatrend 'workplace spirituality', which started in the 1990s. In addition, it can be observed that religious vocabulary has found its way into ordinary current management literature, even if this literature does not show any overt link to spirituality. The article lists some negative side effects of this use, such as confusion of terms, manipulation of people and inappropriate pathos. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: It is important for both Theology and Management Theory to be critical of the use of religious terms in non-religious contexts.

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