Spirituality and management are inseparable

Sharda Nandram Professor of Business & Spirituality at Nyenrode Business University

July 9 2021
Community

Sharda Nandram was appointed as (part-time) Professor of Business & Spirituality at Nyenrode Business University. This puts the relatively young field of Business & Spirituality back on Nyenrode's agenda. Nandram follows in the footsteps of the late Prof. Dr. Paul de Blot who was a professor in this field from 2006 to 2013.

The chair is placed within the Nyenrode Center for Entrepreneurship, Stewardship & Governance. Nandram will focus on questions such as: What is spirituality? Why is spirituality important? How can spirituality contribute to transformations in organizations? Various organizations are exploring and implementing new ways of putting themselves forth and engaging. This is accompanied by the development of new management theories, methods and techniques. Spirituality enriches the management discipline in these transformations by bridging material ambitions and spiritual needs. 

Transformation

Nandram said: "The many crises of the last year have made room for existential questions among employees, entrepreneurs, administrators and policy makers. ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Why do I exist?’ are examples of these questions. It is now time to infuse management with spirituality, not as something non-committal, not as an add-on, but as an integral part of processes, structures, human drives and actions in organizations. There is no way that after the coronavirus pandemic we will go back to how things were before. The pandemic set off a process of transformation that is still ongoing. We are currently looking at the world differently; a view fueled by openness to the unknown. That is how spirituality works, giving space to the unknown, fueled by what drives people deeply."

Integrative lens

Nandram aims to scientifically explore practical manifestations of existential questions, contributing to knowledge about transformations, while keeping in mind humanity in organizations, sustainability, social justice, and inclusiveness with the environment. For this she envisions an integrative lens to deal with contemporary and complex problems. Integrativeness is a way of perceiving the world as a coherent whole with interconnectedness between and within people, systems, and nature.

Principles

Koen Becking, Rector Magnificus at Nyenrode, is pleased with the positive advice of the appointment advisory committee: "With the appointment of Sharda, we are responding to the trend in the field of humanity and spirituality in business. The formation of our students goes beyond the beaten path. We want to instill the principles in students to enhance their awareness and ability to apply it in their own context. Our students are trained to be professionals who can enter the job market anywhere. Many of them have management ambitions. Spirituality is increasingly becoming a part of management."

About Sharda Nandram

Sharda Nandram, born in Suriname (4 May 1966), has worked at Nyenrode Business Universiteit since 1995. In addition to her professorship at Nyenrode, Nandram works as a professor of Hindu spirituality and society at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). She has earned two bachelors and two masters in the disciplines of psychology and economics and received her PhD within the department of social psychology at the VU. Through both of these academic positions, she aims to focus on the underlying central theme of the deepest human drives and its impact on our life in a broader context of society and the world.

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