Spiritual head count - results LO13325

Trisha Shinner (p.shinner@qut.edu.au)
Mon, 21 Apr 1997 15:42:38 +1000 (EST)

Two weeks ago I requested information regarding the spiritual or religious
beliefs of the list readers. It seemed that some of the language being
used to discuss learning organizations had a spiritual bent and I was
interested to find out if there was a relationship between interest in LO
and spiritual beliefs. Thank you to all those who responded - there were
some very interesting stories to be told.

Unfortunately, as only 20 people replied (and Rick says that there's about
2,000 people subscribed to the list) the following results are hardly what
one might call 'generalisable'. I hope that you find them interesting
nevertheless. Christianity of some form was by far the most commonly held
religion by the respondents, although eastern thought was also mentioned
by a number of respondents. Most of the respondents were 'practicing'
their faith, ie. attending church, and many of them also said that they
used their spiritual beliefs to understand the workplace, linking their
faith to their ideas about learning organisations.

The most notable pattern to emmerge was that the majority of respondents
had moved away from the denomination which they were born into. Some had
'drifted' away from their original denomination before adulthood, and then
chosen to take up a 'new' faith later. Others had quite deliberately
rejected their earlier religion (sometimes continuing to reject/question
religion, or, at least, specific denominations). Some respondents had
'switched' religions on more than one occassion. Is this 'switching'
common of the general population? Or might my results be explained by
self selection - that people are more likely to want to contribute to a
discussion about spirituality if they had made a conscious decision at
some point to choose one form of religion in favour of another? If the
switch IS more common in LO supporters, then one might ask whether there's
a link between questioning the assumptions of a given religion, and the
questioning of assumptions that is encouraged in LOs. Any thoughts?

Trisha Shinner
Australian Centre in Strategic Management


Trisha Shinner <p.shinner@qut.edu.au>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>