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Spring-Summer Issue, 2019
An Academy of Management Interest Group
A community engaged in interdisciplinary theoretical & applied research & pedagogy related to the relevance and relationship of spirituality and religion in management


The MSR Hall of Fame presents:

Jim Stoner, PhD.

Please introduce yourself? 

Lately I have begun to suspect that the way I “constituted myself” in the Landmark Education Advanced Course a couple of decades ago has had more impact on me then I had suspected.  If I remember correctly, John Ehrenfeld constituted himself in that course as “the possibility that all species can flourish on this planet forever,” or something pretty close to that….  one of the classic definitions of global sustainability.  In a much less profound labeling, I constituted myself as “the possibility that work could be our most joyful form of play.”  

As I try to figure out who I am, I do not know if I love work so much (I have labeled myself a workaphilic not a workaholic), because I constituted myself that way or if constituted myself that way because I like work so much.  At any rate, I am often aware of what a joy it is to sit down quietly and try to capture my thoughts on a piece of paper [being an ENTP it appears to me that I do not know what I think until I hear myself say it (or write it)], how much fun it is to work with too many excellent colleagues to name… but who would certainly include Frank Werner, Charlie Wankel, Michael Pirson, Tom Ference, Brent Martini, Joe Voci, David Gleicher, Carey Weiss, Sheldon Czapnik, Kirby Warren, Blan Godfrey, Hal Levitt, Dorothy Marcic, Don Marquis, Mary Finney, Stacie Chappell, Richard Major,  Charlie Tackney, Chris Laszlo, and on and on and on.  So who I am to a large extent is somebody who is usually pretty present to how blessed he is to have stumbled into a career that has always been a joy and work that is almost always fun–– not always, of course– there is grading to be done periodically, after all.

And, of course, I am also the husband of an amazing MIT Ph.D. in economics, with a pediatric oncologist daughter who “Gets paid to save children’s lives – it doesn’t get any better than that” (and who “walked” to pick up her own Ph. D a couple weeks ago) and another daughter who is also an amazing mother like her sister, and a superb real estate attorney at Skadden Arps….. with terrific son-in-laws who are also excellent attorneys…and four beautiful, “smart as a whip” grandchildren (how did whips get to be “smart?”).


What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment so far?

I am a bit reluctant to claim anything as a “contribution,” a bit heavy a term for me, especially as I have dabbled a bit on my journey in so many fields: international business (technically my concentration at MIT), social psychology (masters and doctoral theses), economic development (mostly Tanganyika and Brazil), career studies (career plateaus), quality management (following Ed Deming and Joseph Juran around a bit), finance and quality management, organizational change and development, process consultation/facilitation, spirituality in management, and global sustainability/ flourishing/regeneration.

Maybe the first edition of my Management textbook with my team mates and friends Charlie Wankel and Sheldon Czapnik was a contribution of sorts.  Or maybe accidentally stumbling onto the “risky shift” in my MIT master’s thesis… a phenomenon that morphed into somewhat predictable cautious shifts in Frode Nordhøy’s Master’s thesis the next year and then more firmly in my doctoral dissertation (it was fun to cite myself as the key source in my doctoral thesis).  That phenomenon is now more accurately and more broadly seen as “group polarization.”

MSR explores how spirituality and religion can influence organizational dynamics and affect management outcomes. How do you see your beliefs aligned with this focus?

Naturally I see many influences of spirituality and religion in organizational practices and outcomes, and my beliefs aligned with doing morally and spiritually “good stuff” in organizations, but the two things that come up for me most firmly in this context is – first of all – the disconnect between the dominant neoliberal narrative in business education and business practice and the teachings of the world’s great wisdom traditions – the unthinking acceptance of the purpose of the firm being shareholder wealth maximization and our ignoring how that concept is so alien to our spiritual and religious notions of how we are to serve ourselves and others in this short period of time we have on this planet. 

And, second, the great opportunity we have in MSR, the Academy, and elsewhere to build on the wisdom in our great spiritual and religious traditions to transform our broken global producing-distributing-consuming system from one that is rapidly destroying the capacity of the planet to support our own and other species into a set of systems that heal our broken world.

What do you see as the most important task of the Management, Spirituality and Religion interest group? How could we best accomplish this task?

To seize the opportunity to lead the Academy, one Division/Interest Group at a time, to deal with the greatest challenge our species has ever faced – to transform that producing-distributing-consuming system…and ourselves….very, very rapidly.

How to do it?  Well a good start might be just to make the commitment to work toward leading the Academy in that direction and then to trust the quotation by William Hutchinson Murray frequently attributed, not very accurately, to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that is often phrased as:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. 

I have earned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it! 
(Read it first, undated)

What is your message to management scholars and practitioners, especially to those just starting their career?

“Work on something worthwhile.”  Adapt for you own situation the story of a series of lunches Nobel Laureate Richard Hamming had at Bell labs where he “… started asking, ‘What are the important problems of your field?’ And after a week or so, ‘What important problems are you working on?’ And after some more time (he) came in one day and said, ‘If what you are doing is not important, and if you don't think it is going to lead to something important, why are you at Bell Labs working on it?’” (taken more or less accurately in phrasing from a forthcoming editorial in Volume 7, number 1, of the Journal of Management for Global Sustainability).
Being in a university is an exceptional opportunity to contribute to dealing with the great issues of our time.  Please don’t waste that opportunity.


MSR Most Promising
Dissertation Proposal Award Winners 2019
MSR proudly announces the three finalists for the most promising dissertation award this year (in alphabetical order):
Sang-won Byun
Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, University of Minnesota
Dissertation Title: “Ethical Leadership Development: An Examination of the Effects of Spiritual Practices and Intercultural Sensitivity”

Daehyeon Kim  
ashington University in St. Louis
Dissertation Title: “Religion and Emotional Labor: Are Religious Employees Liabilities or Assets?”

Haitao Yu
Ivey Business School, Western University
ertation Title: “Indigenous knowledge and sustainable development: A place-based perspective”
AOM Boston 2019 - MSR Research Consortium

The AOM Management, Spirituality, and Religion (MSR) interest group executive committee holds its annual Research Consortium in Boston this year.


Qualitative methodologies as inclusive approaches to develop high-quality Management, Spirituality and Religion research

Given this year’s focus on qualitative research, we bring top senior scholars and reviewers from tier 1 journals to share their views and their experience on well-established or more original qualitative methodologies and on qualitative research publication strategies.

List of panelists invited this year including yourself:
-Ian Mitroff, Crisis Management Expert, University of California Berkeley
-Joan Marques, Dean, Professor of Management, Woodbury University
-Robert Gephart, Professor, University of Alberta
-Liz Denton, Organizational Counseling Psychologist, Executive Coach, Speaker, Co-Author: "A Spiritual Audit of Corporate America"
-Julia Storberg-Walker,  Associate Professor, George Washington University

Each panelist will introduce his/her qualitative research method followed by a one-hour mini-workshop session where participating scholars can engage in practical workshops and hands-on learning.

Location: Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116 Ph: 617.859.2219
We are looking forward to seeing you this August.

MSR Research Consortium Committee
Tom Culham
Debra Dean
Richard Major
Eleftheria Egel
Sunny Jeong
Newly Elected MSR Executive Committee Members

The following MSR members were recently elected into the Executive Committee:

Nicholas Burton,
Northumbria university
Duysal Askun Celik,
Fordham University Gabelli School of Business
Jyoti Bachani,
Saint Mary's College of California
Benito Teehankee,
De La Salle University

These generous volunteers will join the existing team of MSR officers now.  They represent a wide range of experience that will add greatly to the strength and depth of the MSR officer team, all of whom are working to serve our field and our members. 

Thanks to all those who stood for nomination and election, who were not on this occasion elected into an MSR officer role. We hope you will also play important roles in MSR now and in the future.  Please, remain committed to MSR; your hard work, insights, and esprit de corps are very much appreciated.

The 2019 MSR Nomination Committee: 
Joan Marques, Stacie Chappell, Chris Laszlo, Charles Tackney, Michael Pirson and Mary Finney

Participation in MSR Dinner at AOM 2019

If interested in participating in the MSR dinner, please register by going to the
PDW registration.
The authorization code is

Fetzer Institute Awards Scholarships to MSR Recipients 

Fetzer Institute awarded $50,000 worth of scholarships to 21 recipients from around the world who would not otherwise have funding to attend MSR events at the Academy of Management. 

Fetzer Institute is a private foundation created by John E. Fetzer in 1962 with a vision of a transformed world, powered by love, in which all people can flourish. Their mission is “To help build the spiritual foundation for a loving world.” One of their strategic initiatives is to partner with higher education organizations that are in alignment with this vision and mission. The Management, Spirituality and Religion (MSR) Interest Group at the Academy of Management is such a higher education professional association that is very much in alignment with the mission of the Institute.


MSR-Europe Regional Network Update 

Two routes of development seem to be emerging for an MSR Regional network. First, monthly Zoom sessions on a fixed date seem indicated, with next topics/presenters to be decided as we move along. To date, the Europe Regional Network has had two Zoom sessions and we've settled on the 12th of the month, just for arbitrary regularity. Because so many individuals that are not AOM members have expressed an interest, I've had to take the step of a setting up an informal distribution list for now. If you would like to be invited/informed of MSR / Europe developments, send me an email

Second, while the Zoom sessions provide regional network ease in instant communication, I also took the step of contacting the Dean of the Faculty of Theology at Copenhagen University to see if something local might obtain. On May 29th 2019, we held the working lunch that was planned to explore the 'act locally' side of things. There were eleven participants from a number of schools in the area, and here the 'area' includes schools in neighboring counties, like Sweden. The session offered an orientation to the MSR Interest Group and the Academy of Management, a current research presentation by CBS Associate Professor Camilla Sløk, and featured a listing of key concepts or issues that a European regional network of MSR should consider going forward. The session's Power Point slides, with the details of this listing exercise, are archived in the AOM Connect MSR Library, link to be found by clicking here.

Charles T. Tackney 

MSR-Asia/Pacific Regional Network Update

The Asia/Pacific focused outreach has been implemented over the past months with significant intervals due to hectic schedules and major time differences. Most recently, a spearheading team consisting of Joan Marques (US), Payal Kumar (India), Benito Teehankee (Phillipines), and Radha Sharma (India), met through zoom, and discussed several possible initiatives to encourage growth of Asia/Pacific membership for MSR. Thus far, funds seem to be a common hurdle in participation in and attendance of AOM annual conferences, given that these are mainly held in the USA.

The team has been working on a proposal for a survey, which will be presented to the MSR executive team for review, and then possibly distributed to colleagues in the region, to gauge interest and detect potential areas of accommodation toward the formation of local MSR support groups and initiatives. 

Dr. Judi Neal recently published the following article:
Neal, J. (2019). Andre Delbecq: spiritual friend and mentor. Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion. DOI: 10.1080/14766086.2019.1604251

In addition, she published a book titled,
Spiritually and Developmentally Mature Leadership: Towards an Expanded Understanding of Leadership in the 21st Century
Authors: Daniel E. Harris, Lori Holyfield, Linda Jones, Rhonda Ellis, Judi Neal.

This work is based on a research retreat prior to the last IAMSR conference: 

Dr. Radha Sharma recently published a book titled, Human Resource Management for Organizational Sustainability, (2019) NY: Business  Expert Press.

She also published the following journal paper,
Sharma, R. (2019) Evolving a Model of Sustainable Leadership: An Ex-post Facto Research Vision: The Journal of Business Perspective, SAGE, 23, (2): 158-175.

Additionally, Dr. Sharma had a book chapter published:

Sharma, Radha R. & Batra, Ronak (2019). Bhagvad Gita Approach to Stress Mitigation and Holistic Well-Being. In Dhiman S. & Amar A. (eds). Managing by the Bhagavad Gītā. Management, Change, Strategy and Positive Leadership. (pp. 137-154). (Springer).
Dr. Payal Kumar recently attended a conference on mentoring at Martha’s Vineyard, Boston, in which scholars discussed how to take this domain forward. The conference was held from May 17th to 20th.
Dr. Benito Teehankee recently published a popular article titled, "Making democracy work after elections" in BusinessWorld (The View from Taft, May 22, 2019).

Dr. Joan Marques recently published a peer reviewed chapter in the Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics, a major Springer publishing project. The chapter is titled, “Awakened Leadership”. 

Dr. Marques is also serving as a section editor for this major reference work. Her section is titled, "Diversity, Change, Leadership and Ethics". 

As a service to aspiring authors, Joan conducted a workshop titled, "The Ins and Outs of Publishing Your Work" on June 8th at the annual Caribbean Literary Festival, Califest, at Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles, CA.
Dr. Tom Culham has completed and published a journal article, co-edited a book, and wrote a book chapter: 
Yang, F., Lin. J., Culham, T. (2019). From Intimidation to Love: Taoist Philosophy and Love-Based Environmental Education, Educational Philosophy and Theory, Taylor & Francis

Lin, J., Culham, T., Edwards, S. (Forthcoming, 2019) (Eds.) Contemplative Pedagogies for Transformative Teaching, Learning, and Being. In J. Lin, R. Oxford, (Eds.) Book Series: Transforming Education for the Future. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.   
Please feel free to share this news blast with associates, friends, and others who may have an interest in MSR. Consider becoming a member of the MSR Interest Group of the Academy of Management if not done so yet. Also, feel free to share your accomplishments, publications, and other noteworthy activities with the editors for possible inclusion in an upcoming issue.
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