Spirituality and the social enterprise: a paradox lens

Miguel Pina e Cunha*, Miguel Alves Martins, Arménio Rego, Ricardo Zózimo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter theorizes spirituality in the social enterprise through a paradox lens. It discusses how: (1) social enterprises are different but potentially incorporate a strong spiritual dimension; (2) because of organizational differences, spirituality manifests in different ways in different types of social organizations (e.g., the spiritual dimension of a B-Corp is more conceptual, an idea, whereas in a community organization, it is direct, almost palpable); (3) expressions of organizational spirituality may have a paradoxical component. We defend that, for these reasons, the management of social enterprises incorporates a consideration of the spiritual dimension as well as of the paradoxes that emerge from tackling the spiritual (mission-based) and pragmatic (commerce-based) logics that are involved. Social enterprises are possibly more affected by denser nets of competing demands – which turns them into valuable sources of learning for other companies regarding how to live with paradox.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIssues in business ethics
EditorsAntonino Vaccaro, Tommaso Ramus
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9783030965969
ISBN (Print)9783030965952
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2022

Publication series

NameIssues in Business Ethics
ISSN (Print)0925-6733
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1680


  • Paradoxes
  • Social enterprises
  • Spirituality


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