Satisfying the Spiritual Void in the Workplace – Nu Leadership Series

An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

In The Genesis of Values, the philosopher Joas narrates the relationship between social theory and 20th century religion. Joas found the belief in human rights and dignity. What did 9/11 demonstrate in this regard?

After the September 11th terrorist attacks, it was obvious that American organizations were vulnerable. Yet the aftermath of such tragedies have produced a spiritual void in America’s workplace. Essentially, 9/11 exposed this emerging trend of workers seeking workplace purpose.

However, today’s managers aren’t ready for changes. Why don’t managers value employees as more than physical beings? Historically, organizations have no room for any spirituality. The underpinning assumption is that well-run organizations are impersonal. Managers want an impersonal workforce, while employees want an intimate relationship. Therefore, value conflicts exist in many organizations.

Obviously, the wickedness of 9/11 events and many deaths before our eyes demonstrated the finite of our existence. The aftermath has placed corporate values at risk. Do organizations really value their employees? Does the American work ethic contradict the spiritual formation of the individual? Because these questions still remain unanswered, today’s employees must ask if it’s enough to give organizations their best while being denied their basic spiritual needs.


Joas, H. (2000). Social Theory and the Sacred: A Response to John Milbank. Ethical Perspectives, 7(4), p. 233.

Youth With A Mission (2002). Spiritual Formation in the Workplace: God’s Spirit at Work. Received on September 2, 2006, from

© 2006 by Daryl D. Green