Staying Lean


The phrase, “Lean In” has been on everyone’s lips since the popular book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg came out. While emphasis is usually placed on the day-to-day grind, how can meaning and not just success be reinserted back into the workplace? Using Jungian and post-Jungian theories, Dr. John M. Dirkx of Michigan State University in this month’s issue of Advances in Developing Human Resources, explores this question and how human resource professionals, teachers, and trainers might be able to better serve their employees in whichever way they lean.

The Abstract from “Leaning in and Leaning Back at the Same Time: Toward a Spirituality of Work-Related Learning”

The Problem. The spirituality of work movement placed emphasis on the importance of meaning and purpose in work and the workplace. However, the spiritual dimensions of workrelated learning remained largely undeveloped. Given recent economic developments that threaten to undo any gains achieved by this movement, it is important that human resource development (HRD) help individuals and organizations learn to engage in the inner learning that creates deep meaning and purpose in our work.

The Solution. This article locates work-related learning within the spirituality of work context. Using Jungian and post-Jungian psychology, the article provides a theoretical perspective for thinking about meaning and purpose in work-related learning and the key features of educational and organizational environments that foster such learning and development.

TheADH cover Stakeholders. The perspective developed in this article will be helpful to teachers, trainers, and HRD practitioners involved in formal work-related learning programs, as well as coaches and developmental managers who seek to foster learning and development among their workers.

Together, Management INK and SAGE Publications have made this article free to our readers for the next month. Don’t forget to sign up for e-alerts to stay up-to-date on the latest research from Advances in Developing Human Resources!

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