Dear Father Clooney:
Prof. John Renard of St. Louis University recommended that I contact you. My name is Jim McGee, a faculty member at the Leavey School of Business in Santa Clara, California, with a doctorate in Christian theology and spirituality, and the Associate Director of the new Institute for Spirituality and Organizational Leadership based in our business school. I am writing to ask to speak with you about a project we are working on in spirituality and business.
I have briefly summarized our efforts below in order to give you a flavor of our efforts. I would like to speak with you to obtain your recommendation of scholars of the Hindu tradition to contact them for participation in our program. Our efforts in bridging the gap between spirituality and business may seem peculiar to you but there is a burgeoning interest in this area both in corporate America (and elsewhere in the world) and in the academy of management. We at Santa Clara have ventured into this field out of genuine interest in the topic area and with the desire that rigorous scholarship be a part of this growing movement.
The conference is part of Santa Clara's 150th Anniversary celebration and is a primary effort of our newly initiated Institute of Spirituality for Organizational Leadership at the Leavey School of Business. This project has emerged from our efforts the past two years of successful teaching in this area with executives, executive MBA students, and MBA students. Ongoing conversations with respected colleagues and formal presentations at the Academy of Management, the American Academy of Religion, the Organizational Behavior Teaching Conference and elsewhere have propelled our interest to bridge the gap between spirituality and business as you are aware. We are dedicated to overcoming the chasm that often exists between the wisdom of these two academic disciplines, as well as the chasm between theory and practice, between individual purpose and organizational mission, and between contemplation and action. In doing so we hope to overcome the fragmentation that organizational leaders feel in the isolation of their personal lives.
In order to achieve this auspicious goal we have begun to gather "opinion leaders" in management scholarship and in religion/spirituality, in close conversation with respected executive leaders, to develop educational resources for the ongoing training of faculty in this emerging new discipline of spirituality and management. In bringing together senior scholars and distinguished executives we intend to provide resources from the classic spiritual wisdom traditions that are appropriate to the contemporary organizational context.
In April (2000) six management scholars and six spirituality scholars gathered with six distinguished executives, along with myself and Andre, to begin work on the first set of collaboratively written, interdisciplinary essays. Our focus is particularly on the Christian spiritual tradition's conversation with contemporary management theory and practice. In light of the diverse culture in the contemporary global business enterprise, we would like to seek the participation of religion/spirituality scholars from other religious traditions to seek commentary on our work and to participate in a working-group conference next March 9-11, 2001. We would like a brief written reflection from each of the participating religious scholars submitted by June 1, 2001. This essay would accompany the publication of the major essays written by the teams of management scholars, Christian spirituality scholars, and executive leaders.
The session will be held at the Santa Clara University campus. Of course, Santa Clara will cover the costs of all expenses for such participation. A stipend is also offered.
I would certainly appreciate any recommendation of several religion scholars from the Hindu tradition that you think may be interested in this endeavor. They need not be scholar-practitioners already engaged in the topic of spirituality and business. A positive openness to the conversation is the key.
If I can be of further assistance in clarifying our efforts please feel free to contact by phone or email as listed below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for your assistance.
James J. McGee
Institute for Spirituality and Organizational Leadership
Leavey School of Business and Administration
Santa Clara University
Preferred Mailing Address:
365 Euclid Avenue, Suite 301
Oakland, CA 94610-3220
Created: October 16, 2000 Updated: October 16, 2000