Reflections on zero and zero-centered spirituality in organizations

Karakas, Fahri (2008). Reflections on zero and zero-centered spirituality in organizations. Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal incorporating Journal of Global Competitiveness, 18(4) pp. 367–377.



Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to invite managers and practitioners to reflect on the meaning and implications of the concept of zero for individual and organizational spiritual growth.

Design/methodology/approach – Building on spirituality and complexity literatures, this paper stimulates non-traditional thinking in organizational change and leadership. The paper uses the concept of zero as a creative metaphor for organizational development.

Findings – The paper introduces a systemic, unified, multidimensional, holistic, complex, chaotic and dynamic paradigm for organizations based on spirituality: paradigm zero. Zero represents paradox, transcendence, interconnectedness, balance, modesty, creativity, inspiration, and the essence and mystery of human existence.

Practical implications – This paper invites managers to consider a futurist perspective called zero-centered thinking that enables creativity and reflection in the middle of complexity.

Originality/value – This paper builds on cutting edge spirituality and complexity concepts to enable new thinking for twenty-first century managers and professionals. Zero philosophy provides organizations a new trans-disciplinary paradigm based on spirituality, complexity, chaos, systems sciences, quantum physics, emergence, and Sufism.

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