Spiritual Anchors in the Troubled Waters of Globalization: The Case of the World Social Forum

By:
Dr. Param Srikantia,
Dr. Sangeeta Parameshwar
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While business and political leaders of the global establishment meet annually as the World Economic Forum, another global agglomeration of nearly 100000 activists, peasants and radical intellectuals called the World Social Forum meets simultaneously resolving to fight the domination of the world by financial capital. Although the World Social Forum has mammoth meetings involving complex global organizing processes, it is, not surprisingly, ignored in deliberations at conferences friendly to western capitalism, such as the Academy of Management. The authors argue that the scale of grassroots resistance of the human spirit represented by the World Social Forum in mobilizing such diverse constituencies as farmers, clergy, unionists, environmentalists, feminists and radical intellectuals across the globe against an exploitative world economic order involves a collective transcendence among its adherents of the dominant economic mindset and a leveraging of socio-culturally embedded spiritual capital. The authors review the work of thirty leading Eastern and Western philosophers and elucidate a notion of spiritual capital as a core spiritual resource that global activists might invoke through the processes of (i) realizing a spiritual unity with a universal self, (ii) performing one’s duties by setting one’s heart on the work that needs to be done, not on the fruits that it might bear, (iii) history making by pursuing that which is unreasonable from the standpoint of everyday living, (iv) relating to others in a mode of consciousness that encompasses their subjectivity as a living entity, (v) authentic rebellion by declaring one’s refusal to endure absurd conditions, standing for a subjective truth that one is willing to die for.


Keywords: Spiritual Capital, Globalization, World Social Forum
Stream: Economics and Management
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: , , Spiritual Anchors in the Troubled Waters of Globalization


Dr. Param Srikantia

Professor, Division of Business Administration, Baldwin Wallace College
Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA

Dr. Param Srikantia is a Professor in the Division of Business Administration at Baldwin-Wallace College. Dr. Param Srikantia was Consultant to The World Bank Group designing workshops on Poverty Reduction Strategies for Finance Ministers of over 30 countries. Earlier, as Program Officer for a global consulting organization established by the United States Agency for International Development, he conducted strategic planning for top management teams of global non-governmental organizations from nearly 70 countries. Previously, in India, he was country Head of Human Resources for American Cyanamid Company and Personnel Manager for the Unilever Group. He has served as a consultant and researcher for the National Science Foundation, USAID, the World Bank, Catholic Relief Services, Coco Cola, Arthur Andersen & Co., Siemens, Cadbury’s, Unilever, and United Technologies Corporation. Dr. Srikantia has authored 29 papers that have been published or presented at conferences in the United States, Asia, and Africa. He holds a Ph.D. in Management and Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Iowa, an M.A. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Bombay, and an M.A. in Personnel Management & Industrial Relations from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Bombay.

Dr. Sangeeta Parameshwar

Assistant Professor, Department of Management, University of Illinois at Springfield
Springfield, Illinois, USA

Dr. Sangeeta Parameshwar Ph.D. (Case Western Reserve University) is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Management, University of Illinois at Springfield. Dr. Parameshwar’s publications and scholarly presentations encompass spiritual leadership, transformational leadership, transcendental organizing, and globalization. She teaches courses on organizational behavior, organization theory, and leadership. Dr. Parameshwar has taught at international workshops for top management teams of global non-governmental organizations organized by the Federal Government's United States Agency for International Development (USAID). She has also participated in research projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on Total Quality Management, and by USAID on international capacity building.

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