Call for papers – Religione(i) e contesti organizzativi. Questioni chiave e prospettive emergenti dallo scenario contemporaneo

Call for papers

Sociologia del lavoro – Sezione monografica n. 162 (1) 2022

Religione(i) e contesti organizzativi.

Questioni chiave e prospettive emergenti dallo scenario contemporaneo

a cura di

Massimiliano Monaci e Laura Zanfrini

(WWELL Research Center, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan)

Termine per la presentazione degli articoli: 31/07/2021 

Lo scopo di questa sezione monografica è raccogliere contributi originali in grado di accrescere la consapevolezza degli studiosi sull’importanza del ruolo delle religioni nelle organizzazioni di lavoro e nei loro contesti socio-istituzionali di riferimento, incoraggiando ulteriori riflessioni e ricerche su questo tema. Nel loro insieme, gli articoli selezionati potranno anche evidenziare implicazioni e suggerimenti utili ai manager di impresa e ai professionisti chiamati a gestire in modo costruttivo le questioni religiose sul posto di lavoro (ad esempio, con potenziali benefici per quanto riguarda i programmi di gestione della diversità e per l’inclusione, il contrasto alla discriminazione sul lavoro, le pratiche di coinvolgimento dei dipendenti e di welfare aziendale).


Religion(s) and work organizations:
Key issues and novel insights from the current landscape
Edited by
Massimiliano Monaci e Laura Zanfrini
(WWELL Research Center, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan)

Deadline for paper submission: 31/07/2021

1. Religion(s) and work organizations: Key issues and novel insights from the current landscape

The aim of this special section is to provide original and insightful pieces that contribute to increasing scholars’ awareness, and inspiring their reflection and research, about the role of religion(s) in present-day work organizations and their socio-institutional contexts. Furthermore, it can be expected that, as a whole, the section’s articles will also offer useful suggestions and implications for organizational practitioners to treat constructively religious issues in the workplace (e.g. with potential benefits regarding diversity management programs, inclusion and avoidance of discrimination at work, competitive strategies, employee engagement and well-being).

The relationship between, on one hand, religious values, attitudes and traditions, and, on the other hand, economic behaviour and organizational action was clearly suggested more than a century ago by Max Weber, particularly through his well-known work on “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” and his extensive comparative studies on non-Christian religions. Quite surprisingly, however, until very recently subsequent research in economic/work sociology and organization studies has not developed a significant interest in the religion-organization nexus. This appears to be even more amazing when we consider that in the last decades the contiguous field of sociology of religion, often building exactly (although not exclusively) on the Weberian legacy, has suggested that religion still plays a key role in several major spheres of social life (e.g.: family, education, politics) even in the midst of the variously depicted – and, indeed, quite controversial – process of secularization/post-secularization of Western societies. To this, we have to add the key issue of the
everyday interaction with non-Western people and societies, which is both due to the global interdependence of economy and society and to human international mobility.

While religion remains a very sensitive issue to tackle and investigate, the scant attention devoted to the religious factor in organizational research is likely to be chiefly due to some endogenous barriers. For instance, we might argue that a relevant role in deterring a focus on religion has been played by scholars’ perception of it as a phenomenon too far detached from the “rational” and instrumentally goal-oriented reality of organizations, particularly in the case of firms. Another push to avoid dwelling on this subject could be traced back to the view of religion and spirituality as a private affair, and so a potential source of dogmatism and conflict when they find space (and are investigated) in contexts of public life such as – in a broad sense – those where work organizations operate. Finally, a radical interpretation of the concept of “laicité” may have led to the expulsion of religion and religiosity from the public sphere.

This opportunely said, today we can begin to see signs of a change. By taking a look at the extant literature, some new directions of analysis emerge, which, for example, deal with areas such as: religious organizations, with an emphasis on the interdependences between their mission and strategies; religion and spirituality in the workplace and their implications for human resource management practices; life in, and management of, multi-faith organizational contexts; practices and changes triggered by religious differences in workforce and in specific organizational settings (such as schools and reception centers for asylum seekers).

What outlined above leads us to suggest that time has definitely come to identify and appreciate the opportunities implied by a more systematic inclusion of religion as a key phenomenon and category for empowering our endeavors in the study of organizations and labor in the current landscape. To this aim, we invite original theoretical and/or empirically-based contributions that may refer – but are not restricted – to the following topics:

  • the intersection between the management and performance of organizations and the religious faith of founders, entrepreneurs and managers;
  • how religious factors in organizational socio-institutional environments impact on workers’ life and organizational functioning;
  • the interconnection between the integration of religious/spiritual issues in organizations and the development of distinctive workplace cultures, leadership styles, models of cooperation and conflict management, motivation practices;
  • the influence of (internal and/or external) religious identities on organizational communication, marketing and networking practices/strategies;
  • the experience of religious/non-religious persons within organizational and professional contexts;
  • the impact of the religious components of an organization’s culture on its way of dealing with sustainability and social responsibility issues;
  • the relevance and implications of the teachings and values of religions (e.g. Catholic social thought, Islamic perspectives) in light of current changes and challenges in organizations and the workplace;
  • managing religious differences in the workplace and the recognition of religious rights in bargaining agreements and human resource management practices;
  • implications of religious pluralism for equal opportunities, human rights and citizenship practices;
  • the recognition of the spiritual dimension in organizational practices for employee welfare and wellbeing;
  • the role of religion in organizational and workers’ life, in times of economic crisis, in contexts of job insecurity and in a post-pandemic scenario.


2. Conditions and deadlines

Article proposals in Italian or English should be submitted via email to the Journal web page: no later than July 31, 2021.

Authors should follow the instructions to upload the complete articles. Articles should be no longer than 8,000 words, and must adhere to the journal’s style and editorial standards:

Any article that does not comply with the word limit or the style and editorial standards indicated in this call for papers will not be accepted. Correctly formatted articles submitted via the journal’s online platform shall be subject to a process of double blind peer review.

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