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New Book on Controversial Area of Religion in the Workplace

New Book Probes Controversial Area of Religion in the Workplace

AUT academic and author Professor Edwina Pio is releasing a book this week (Work & Worship) which tackles the controversial issue of how religion and its expression is managed in the workplace. In the 21st century, New Zealand is a pluri-religious society, though nearly 1.2 million people profess no religion. While diversity has always been part of the mix of New Zealand, until recently it could be discounted as it affected only a few. Now there is a blurring of boundaries between the secular and sacred, public and private, work and religion, particularly for many people of the diaspora who belong to faith traditions such as Hinduism, Islam, Indian Christianity, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.

Adherence of one’s personal faith could mean the visible expression of one’s religion in the workplace whether it is through the wearing of the veil, the growing of a beard, the carrying of a kirpan (dagger), a computer screen which shows a god with the head of an elephant, or the display of a goddess with many arms.Work & Worship is driven by robust research and facts rather than conjecture or anecdotal evidence and it encourages organisations to tap into the rich potential of the BRICS countries and halal markets.

The findings clearly indicate the need to develop a more sophisticated understanding of religious diversity in the workplace, in particular a world of cooperation, good faith and respect where organisations craft and implement policies and practices acknowledging the porosity between the sacred and secular. A business world, where we listen to the cadence of the stream, the soft song of rain and the melodious harmonies of varied voices in our organisations which can influence organisational power, politics, leadership and decision making as well as lucrative markets.


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