Luk Bouckaert, & Laszlo Zsolnai ‘Spirituality in economics and business.’ , in The Routledge International Handbook of Spirituality in Society and the Professions, eds. Laszlo Zsolnai, and Bernadette Flanagan, Routledge, London and New York, 2019.
Economics and business need a more spiritual foundation to solve their ethical, social and ecological problems. Spirituality as an inner experience of deep interconnectedness with all living beings opens a space of distance from the pressures of the market and the routines of business as usual. This distance seems to be a necessary condition for developing innovative ethical ideas and practices. It restores intrinsic motivation and provides a long time horizon. Unfortunately spirituality is not yet a mainstream concept in the business world. In economics and business the instrumental and utilitarian rationality is still the dominant perspective, whereas spirituality is anchored in a deeper, non-instrumental and non-utilitarian experience of life. Economics and business can be renewed and transformed into a progressive social institution if it enriches itself by taking spirituality seriously at the core of its activities.