What does it mean to have a calling?
Why does this historic concept matter to modern organizations?
These are some of the questions that Dr. Myers answers in her book. Although the word 'calling' is casually used as shorthand for purpose or 'my ideal job,' the concept is laden with deeper meanings that have provoked varied interest among the secular and spiritual circles of both scholars and practitioners. Structured around the idea of these four conversations, Conversations about Calling aims to promote a holistic examination of calling that will advance research and practice in management, and across many disciplines.
In her academic book, Conversations about Calling, Dr. Myers begins her exploration of management perspectives of the calling construct using Max Weber’s seminal work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, as a starting point. She then draws upon aforementioned conversations to identify gaps in management theory. Through exhaustive research, she fills those gaps with insights about calling from other disciplines. Each conversation has a different focus that elucidates important dimensions of calling, and together they provide a truly comprehensive view of this enduring idea.
Part one of the book examines existing conversations about calling among contemporary management scholars. Part two explores perspectives about calling from different disciplines and eras, from the 1500s to the present. Part three unifies all conversations by weaving them into a comprehensive theory that can be applied across ideological, cultural and philosophical boundaries.
Throughout, Myers uses a strong theoretical grounding, fortified by case studies and practical examples, to explain the application of her theory and its implications for individuals, practitioners, organizations and society. Anyone interested in work ethics or management and spirituality will benefit from reading this book.
"Drawing on paradigm-changing religious thinkers such as Calvin and Luther, ground-breaking sociologists such as Max Weber and Robert Bellah, and contemporary business scholars and pop-culture icons, Myers thoughtfully challenges modern scholars and business practitioners to think afresh about callings to life in the marketplace."
- David W. Miller, Director, Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative; President, The Avodah Institute
"Here in one readable volume we are given access to this broader intellectual landscape. We are led by a wise guide who has assembled interdisciplinary wisdom providing entrée to a full understanding of a lodestone construct critical to personal fulfillment."
- Andre L. Delbecq, Santa Clara University, USA"
[Myers'] wonderful book brings together a series of academic disciplines in a way that is reminiscent of classical sociological writing; and it represents everyday working voices in a way that Chicago social historians would be proud of."
- Scott Taylor, Ph.D., University of Birmingham, UK
"Brilliant, exquisite, and seminal are just a few of the adjectives to describe Dr. Myers' latest book."
- Kent Lugrand, President and CEO, InTouch Credit Union
"Myers gives us a precious gift, a way to understand and pursue meaning in life and in work. I am grateful."
- Robert E. Quinn, Ph.D. University of Michigan, USA
"Reading this, one would think the author had dedicated a lifetime to the study of theology, another lifetime as an academic, and a third lifetime as a practitioner. Myers weaves these strands into a beautiful tapestry that will enrich any reader’s understanding of calling in a way that makes this field fresh and alive."
- Judi Neal, Ph.D., Chairman, Edgewalkers, International
"Valerie Myers’ provocative Conversations about Calling builds on emerging interest among management scholars about a special type of very deeply meaningful work. [...] Myers’ book should be on the reading list of anyone seriously interested in the role of callings at work!"
- Michael Pratt, Ph.D., Professor Boston College, USA
"Dr. Myers has done an excellent job of integrating and synthesizing disparate approaches to work as a calling across management and theological disciplines that do not usually interrelate. The book thus fills a unique niche in providing approaches to and examples of work as a calling across a variety of perspectives."
- Jerry Biberman, University of Scranton, USA