Reviews of Conversations About Calling
"In a well-researched text, Myers successfully tackles, traces, and connects the fascinating history of "calling," a concept that has distinct intellectual traditions, both sacred and secular, ancient and modern, and academic and popular. 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. Conversations about Calling is a timely and welcome contribution to studies on employee engagement, leadership, pro-social behavior, and faith at work."
David W. Miller, Director, Princeton University
Faith & Work Initiative; President, The Avodah Institute
"Conversations about Calling is the definitive and comprehensive treatise on the field of calling. This book offers an in-depth review of the historical trends of both secular and spiritual approaches to callings, multi-faith perspectives on calling, inspiring and provocative conversations on calling from the practitioner point of view and much more. 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
"The meaning of work is surely one of the most significant issues of modern life – and one of the least discussed, in business schools or in public debate. Valerie Myers’ book opens up a space for us all to talk about it through the idea of calling. Her 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. More than that, though, this book shows us how these various communities can speak to each other, and communicate across theoretical or cultural fences. Theory, history, contemporary working lives, and skillful writing are combined to show how a thoughtful academic book can take readers in new directions. This is a very useful book for anyone puzzled about the nature of work today, and I expect to use it in teaching and research for a long time to come."
Scott Taylor, Ph.D., University of Birmingham, UK
"The ability to answer the question "to what am I called?" is foundational to the search for meaning at the interface between person and work. However we might understand vocation or calling, we are unlikely to have plumbed the construct’s rich history across spiritual, psychological, sociological, and organizational perspectives. 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 entré to a full understanding of a lodestone construct critical to personal fulfillment."
Andre L. Delbecq, Santa Clara University, USA
Founder of the Management Spirituality & Religion Division
of the Academy of Management
"Masses of people, blue collar and white collar, are unengaged at work. The personal and corporate costs are staggering. Some people, on-the-other-hand live and work with a deep sense of meaning. Few topics are more important than finding a calling. 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
Those of us in the faith-based, non-profit and NGO world have spent millions of dollars in search of the right management solutions to take our work to scale and the answer was right under our noise Conversations about Calling, Advancing Management Perspectives by Dr. Valerie Myers. In her book, she advances the theory that calling produces high quality results and passion. It is that winning combination that will lead to building successful and scalable outcomes. As leaders, we spend countless hours trying to cultivate our co-workers to move from altruistic to passion when the answer lies in the CALLING. When we hire, or tap into the CALLING I’m convinced we can move our work to scale and make our world a better place to live. Thank you, Dr. Myers, for reminding us of our roots.
Dennis Talbert, Expert Youth Development Specialist
President, Empower Outreach, Inc.
"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, Ph.D. University of Scranton, USA
"Valerie Myers’ provocative Conversations about Calling builds on emerging interest among management scholars about a special type of very deeply meaningful work. Myers calls for bringing the sacred and transcendent back into management conversations about callings, arguing for an older, more focused conceptualization of callings. Surprisingly, she argues for such narrowing in order to make our understanding broader and richer; and looks to past scholarship in order to chart out new avenues for research. Myers’ book should be on the reading list of anyone seriously interested in the role of callings at work!"
Michael Pratt, Boston College, USA
"Brilliant, exquisite, and seminal are just a few of the adjectives to describe Dr. Myers's latest book. Dr. Myers generally leaves no stone unturned as she traverses the minefields of today's most acceptable definitions of "calling" across religious and social science disciplines with the goal of establishing a more encompassing construct on which to base a theory of calling. Academia and learned-managers alike will appreciate the scholarship as well as the modern references that quite remarkably make the ambiguous seem rather transparent. This smartly-written book is truly worth the read."
Kent Lugrand, President and CEO, InTouch Credit Union