Pio, Edwina, Waddock, Sandra, Mangaliso, Mzamo, McIntosh, Malcolm, Spiller, Chellie, Takeda, Hiroshi, Gladstone, Joe, Ho, Marcus and Syed, Jawad (2012) Pipeline to the Future: Seeking Wisdom in Indigenous, Eastern, and Western Traditions. In: Handbook of Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace: Emerging Research and Practice. Springer, pp. 195-219. ISBN 978-1-4614-5233-1

In this chapter, we explore the ways in which the dominant wisdom, economic, and social traditions of the West can potentially integrate with some of the wisdom, economic, and social traditions of indigenous and Eastern cultures in the interest of creating a more complete understanding of links between wisdom, economics, and organizing. Western thinking tends to be based not only on a modality of constant growth but also on a worldview that is based on linear thinking and atomization and fragmentation of wholes into parts as paths that lead to understanding. These ways of thinking have resulted in the West’s putting economics, materialism, consumerism, and markets ahead of other types of values and issues. In contrast, many indigenous and Eastern traditions offer a more holistic, relationally based set of perspectives that might provide better balance in approaching issues of work, economics, and organization. Indigenous wisdom traditions, illustrated through African, Chinese, Indian, Islamic, Japanese, Māori, and Native American worldviews, offer insights into a worldview of relatedness where foundational values inform members of society on how to lead a wise life through serving others, including the environment. We believe that by integrating the perspective of wisdom traditions that offer these more holistic, interconnected, and nature-based views of the world, Western traditions could be more appreciative of the intrinsic worth and ontological differences of people and environment and that such perspectives can be very useful in our globally connected, interdependent, and, in many ways, currently unsustainable world. We offer this synthesis as a beginning of that conversation.

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