University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

Connecting brand community building to a new yet old social imaginary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Sue Halliday
  • Phil Jackman
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Original languageEnglish
JournalOrganization Studies
Publication statusSubmitted - 2016


This paper engages with the experience of community building in ‘living the brand’ by formal leaders holding to a personal spirituality and relevant organisational values. The key question addressed is: How might we connect brand community building by leaders to a new and yet old social imaginary linked to spirituality in order to develop new organisational theory? We demonstrate how spiritual and symbolic imaginaries as expressed through storytelling and shared values in a brand community can offer alternative discourses that lead to human flourishing and sustainable organisational performance. The method employed was to listen as leaders of professional services organisations reflected on how they are living out their spirituality and how this provides values that contribute to human flourishing at work. Spirituality is emerging in life in the West in the twenty-first century; personal beliefs are not succumbing to thorough-going secularism. A new language from spiritual roots for community building and human flourishing is developing. We notice how people in formal leadership roles in professional services firms learn to engage their personal spirituality with relevant organisational values as part of their processes of becoming. By providing empirical data and analysis to underpin prior conceptualisation of spirituality at work we make a contribution by linking it to a wider discussion of roots to spirituality, symbolism, and storytelling in organisations that can lead to human flourishing.

ID: 10776348