Title

Is Spiritual Development Acceptable Development: A Case Study of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka

Publication Date

1-1-2003

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Kanthie Athukorala

Abstract

This paper looks at the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement and the type of development they practice. While taking into mind sustainable development, this paper shows that Sarvodaya implements a spiritual development that is not included in many development theories, and asks the question of how they practice this development and how do the employees and donor/partners understand it, and if they will fund it. Utilizing an interpretive approach and an evaluation strategy showed that the employees do not have an understanding of spiritual development when surveyed. The donor/partners, in addition, were found not to have an understanding from in-depth interviews, yet they all said they would fund and support the spiritual development activities that included meditations and Shramadana (the sharing of labor). The data of this research shows that while the donor/partners don't have a full understanding of the spiritual development concept, they do notice that the employees are not fully aware it and don't follow it correctly, which can pose a problem when projects are implemented into the villages. Sarvodaya needs to train their employees, especially the Tamils who none of them except one understands what spiritual development is and how to implement it correctly. The practical applicability of this research can be helpful to other organizations in utilizing some types of spiritual development activities to bring harmony and "spiritual awakening" to their employees and stakeholders.

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