Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Management and spirituality or management and theology?

One of the pluses to having a spouse currently lost somewhere at a meeting in Trinidad is that we finally get around to discussing key philosophical questions of our time, like what is the difference between spirituality and theology and what differentiates management and spirituality from management and theology. I bet you can all hardly wait for the results!
One interesting article I've found suggests that management and spirituality can only be understood through paradox. Haven't read it in depth yet.
I have noticed there are lots of references to "management spirituality" suggesting the two concepts have become one new idea. In my rather doubting way I just think this is a new way to try and make the energy and charisma of work, leadership and management sound mysterious and sexy. No doubt I am being unfair. The other term I came across on the web was "management theology" which surprised me rather and seems often to be a new way of using the word theology to mean dogma, guiding principle, set way of doing things or maybe mission statement which was of course all the rage in organisations a few years ago. When used in a sermon then the term is used in a rather different way. And I'm desperate to know what "operational management theology" is, though I suspect it may be something for software geeks.
I'm interested in both spirituality, the faith of the heart, and in theology, the faith of the intellect. Praying, feeling, celebrating and laughing all help balance my highly rational, and often rather angry mind. When I say that I think management is a profoundly theological task I don't think I could hear myself saying the same thing about management being a deeply spirtual task. I suppose it just sounds a bit dodgey and wierd to me. But without having gone far into either area so far I think management and theology is about the essential link between what we believe and what we do. For me spirituality is how I deal in private reflection, or in public worship, with the reality that making that link between belief and action is always imperfect and open to misunderstanding.
Hope Mr Brown will be satisfied by this.