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    Posted 01-13-2022 08:02

    Call for papers – Special issue: Spirituality at the workplace and career sustainability

    For the Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion


    Guest Editors:

    Yehuda Baruch y.baruch@soton.ac.uk

    Beatrice van der Heijden  beatrice.vanderheijden@ru.nl

    Ans De Vos Ans.DeVos@ams.ac.be


    According to Van der Heijden and De Vos (2015), sustainable careers refer to "sequences of career experiences reflected through a variety of patterns of continuity over time, thereby crossing several social spaces, characterized by individual agency, herewith providing meaning to the individual" (p. 7). The aim of this special issue is to enhance both our conceptual understanding and to add empirical evidence on the question whether spirituality and career sustainability are linked to one another. We build up our career, and our career in turn builds us. For working organizations, optimizing their human potential, implies optimizing their profit as well (Chadwick & Flinchbaugh, 2021).

                As the retirement age of employees is increasing, in most industrialized countries, because of the proportional increase of the ageing working population (Komp, 2018), careers are becoming longer and an employee 's career sustainability is analogously of growing concern. It is of vital importance to protect and further enhance workers ' career sustainability, both for economic as well as for societal reasons (De Vos et al., 2020) and we argue that spirituality might play an important role in this regard. If people can align their competences, interests and values, thereby enacting their authentic self, while in tandem supporting their workplace objectives and aspirations, it can be claimed that they approach their career with a spirituality perspective (Mertens & Van der Heijden (2018).

                Although career sustainability has become one of the most popular research topics in the field of career studies in recent years, there is still a wide scope to move the field forward. We argue that combining insights from the scholarly domains of workplace spirituality and career sustainability might be an appealing angle to take. Previous research already showed that spirituality can be measured in quantitative research, and manifests itself in one 's daily working life (Mertens & Van der Heijden, 2018). We posit that spirituality might play a role in better understanding one 's career sustainability and that both individual employees and their employers might benefit from according more attention to spiritual tenets.

    Careers in the 21st Century are characterized by significant dynamism and uncertainty. Individuals and organizations struggle to re-define careers and the mutual role each side should play in their management (Baruch, 2021). It is more challenging to gain and retain sustainable careers and career success. Career success, either internal or external may stem from, relate to, and help develop spirituality, and at the same time, spirituality could help to further develop one 's career success and sustainability. Spirituality can influence how sustainable our careers are. We distinguish career success (Spurk et al., 2019) form career sustainability (De Vos & Van der Heijden, 2015), and argue that a broader approach is necessary, combining the employee and employer perspectives (cf. the career sustainability indicators 'happy ' , 'healthy ' and 'productive ' (De Vos et al., 2020; Van der Heijden et al., 2020): For example, career calling (Wrzesniewski et al., 1997) can influence how individuals interpret psychological success (Hall & Chandler, 2005).

    The contemporary career discourse largely focuses on management of careers in terms of career strategy, career progress, the nature of careers and the interaction across career actors, and less about how careers may be guided and shaped by one's spirituality or faith. Further, different career actors have different motivation and interests, and their interactions are interdependent across different facets of life when explored from a career ecosystem perspective (Baruch, 2015). The literature about the development of psychological contract and career was widely discussed (see Baruch & Rousseau, 2019, for a review), but did not include discussion of the spiritual side of life.

    Therefore, this Special Issue aims to bridge this knowledge gap in the fields of workplace spirituality and careers. Thereby, we hope to stimulate new directions in both areas that may give rise to more evidence-based policies and practices aimed at specific groups or categories of workers and provide theoretical insights into both career sustainability and career correlates of workplace spirituality.

    Although, possible research questions are not limited to any of these, we especially invite contributions that situate, explore, and/or discuss the following:

    (1) How does spirituality contribute to or relate to career sustainability?

    (2) Does spirituality and faith more generally explain how career sustainability is developed, retained and experienced for individuals within and outside organizations and professional communities?

    (3) How does career sustainability contribute to career success in the spiritual sense?

    (4) How can spiritually-driven factors contribute to career sustainability?

    (5) Are they any differences in how spirituality and career sustainability are related between different categories of workers, depending on their gender, age, occupational category, and so on?

    We welcome both conceptual and empirical manuscripts that explore the intersection between spirituality and religion, on the one hand, and career sustainability, on the other hand, in a variety of formats. We encourage submissions that reflect on their theoretical contributions as well as on their practical implications.

    Submission process

    We initially invite authors to submit their 1,000-word abstract proposals (excluding references) by 31 December 2022 Please email your proposal as a Word document to y.baruch@soton.ac.uk and include "Special Issue JMSR Proposal" in the email subject line. Your proposal should include your name, email contact details and – if applicable – institutional affiliation.

    The deadline for abstract submissions is 31st December 2022. Important dates are:

    31 December 2022: Deadline for receiving abstract by the SI's guest editors

    15 February 2023: Feedback provided to authors inviting them to submit full papers

    15 September 2023: Full paper received by SI's guest editors

    30 November 2023: Decisions – reject or inviting revisions

    1 December 2023- May 2024: Revisions rounds

    31 May 2024: Final Versions submitted to SI guest editors

    10 July 2024: Editorial Decisions

    15 September 2024: Final Version all papers + editorial submitted to JMSR

    15 December 2024: Online publication.



    Bal, P. M., Matthews, L., Dóci, E., & McCarthy, L. P. (2020). An ideological analysis of sustainable careers: identifying the role of fantasy and a way forward. Career Development International, 26(1), 83-101.

    Baruch, Y. (2015). Organizational and labor market as career eco-system. In A. De Vos & B. Van der Heijden, (Eds.) Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers. pp. 164-180. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

    Baruch, Y. (2021). Managing Careers and Employability. London: SAGE.

    Baruch, Y., & Rousseau, D. M. (2019). Integrating psychological contracts and ecosystems in career studies and management. Academy of Management Annals13(1), 84-111.

    Chadwick, C., & Flinchbaugh, C. (2021). Searching for competitive advantage in the HRM-firm performance relationship. Academy of Management Perspectives, 35(2), 181-207.

    De Vos, A., Dujardin, J. M., Gielens, T., & Meyers, C. (2017). Developing sustainable careers across the lifespan. Springer International PU.

    De Vos, A. & Van der Heijden, B. (Eds.) (2015). Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

    De Vos, A., Van der Heijden, B. I. J. M., & Akkermans, J. (2020). Sustainable careers: towards a conceptual model. Journal of Vocational Behavior.

    Duffy, R. D., Reid, L., & Dik, B. J. (2010). Spirituality, religion, and career development: Implications for the workplace. Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion, 7(3), 209-221.

    Hall, D. T., & Chandler, D. E. (2005). Psychological success: When the career is a calling. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26(2), 155-176.

    Komp, K. (2017). Shifts in the realized retirement age: Europe in times of pension reform and economic crisis. Journal of European Social Policy, 28(2), 130-142. https://doi.org/10.1177/0958928717709174

    Lawrence, B. S., Hall, D. T., & Arthur, M. B. (2015). Sustainable careers then and now. In Handbook of research on sustainable careers. Edward Elgar Publishing.

    McDonald, K. S., & Hite, L. M. (2018). Conceptualizing and creating sustainable careers. Human Resource Development Review17(4), 349-372.

    Mertens, F., & Van der Heijden, B. I. J. M. (2018). Spirituality at work: Results from a questionnaire among 765 blue and white collar workers. Studies in Spirituality, 28, 347-360.

    Spurk, D., Hirschi, A., & Dries, N. (2019). Antecedents and outcomes of objective versus subjective career success: Competing perspectives and future directions. Journal of Management45(1), 35-69.

    Van der Heijden, B., De Vos, A., Akkermans, J., Spurk, D., Semeijn, J., Van der Velde, M., & Fugate, M. (2020). Sustainable career across the lifespan: Moving the field forward. Journal of Vocational Behavior. doi:10.1016/j.jvb. 2018.06.011.

    Wrzesniewski, A., McCauley, C., Rozin, P., & Schwartz, B. (1997). Jobs, careers, and callings: People's relations to their work. Journal of Research in Personality, 31(1), 21-33.




    Dr Yehuda Baruch, FAcSS, FBAM

    Professor of Management

    Southampton Business School

    University of Southampton

    Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK



    Affiliated Professor, Audencia Business School, France


    Recent papers:

    Baruch, Y. & Rousseau, D. M. (2019). Integrating Psychological Contracts and their Stakeholders in Career Studies and Management. The Academy of Management Annals, 13(1), 84-111.


    Hart, D. & Baruch, Y. (2022). The Dynamics of Diplomatic Careers: The Shift from Traditional to Contemporary Careers. Human Resource Management, doi: 10.1002/hrm.22092


    Guo, L. & Baruch, Y. (2020). The moderating role of a city's institutional capital and people's migration status on career success in China. Human Relations, 74(5) 678–704.


    Kindsiko, E. & Baruch, Y. (2019). Careers of PhD graduates: The role of chance events and how to manage them. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 112, 122-140.