This chapter examines the faith and spirituality at work literature to date, drawing out a number of possible juxtapositions of the two terms.It then offers six propositions to identify the underlying issues of the debate and to help guide future research in the field. (2013) Spirituality and Religion: Seeking a Juxtaposition That Supports Research in the Field of Faith and Spirituality at Work. (eds) Handbook of Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace. Gray state that distinctions among “religious beliefs, spiritual experiences, and strongly held, secular value-laden convictions are little more than semantic.”If religious beliefs and spirituality are seen as largely interchangeable, then there’s considerable evidence that spirituality is becoming more important in the workplace.

a framework for accommodating religion and spirituality in the workplace-47

Ian Mitroff, a professor at University of Southern California business school and coauthor of the book , studied the viewpoints of executives and managers.

“Religion,” he writes, “is seen as dividing people through dogma and its emphasis on formal structure....

Though religion was addressed in the original laws, the primary focus was accommodation for religious observances outside the workplace.

However, technology, global competition, downsizing, and reengineering have created a workforce of employees seeking value, support, and meaning in their lives that finds expression not only at home but also on the job.

“We see a lot of activity in companies like P&G, Hewlett-Packard, Texas Instruments, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and others,” said David Miller, executive director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. companies, where an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 corporate chaplains now minister to workers.

Other corporate programs include meditation rooms, company-sponsored classes and even faith-based employee assistance programs (EAPs). But some scholars make an important conceptual distinction between spirituality and religion.

This search for religious and spiritual meaning in the workplace is a departure from the more traditional business mentality of "power, profit, and takeovers, where religion was something saved for the Sabbath day." Greater spiritual and religious accommodation has become a source for achieving that meaning and support.

Legal interpretations have historically required that employees requesting religious accommodation meet certain tests relative to the sincerity and meaningfulness of their belief.

Growing spirituality in the workplace is “a trend that is about to become a megatrend,” futurist and author Patricia Aburdene has declared. Supreme Court and other federal courts have backed definitions that do not differentiate between formal religion and other forms of spirituality. There has been an increase in the number of products and services “aimed at people who want to integrate their religious faith and their work lives, a market segment that could not exist without a commensurate demand,” writes Theodore Kinni in magazine.

And there’s nothing simple about this trend, which could have a large impact on employee relations and performance. Is it, for example, somehow different from religious faith? He points, for example, to a proliferation of faith-based books dealing with management subjects, especially leadership.

Religion and faith are often central aspects of an individual’s self-concept, and yet they are typically avoided in the workplace.