The Integration Box
Once taboo, employees are increasingly bringing their religious or spiritual identity to work. Often called the "faith at work movement," this trend is due to a variety of factors, including new immigration patterns, generational differences, and changing norms regarding work and home life boundaries. But what does this mean, what does it look like, and how does “faith at work" manifest itself? How do you measure or understand it? What are the policy ramifications? How will it impact corporate commitments to ethics, diversity and inclusion, cultural competence, and attracting and retaining the best people?
This research project will explore these and related questions, with particular attention to the development of a validated assessment tool to measure the individual and institutional manifestations of faith, religion, and spirituality at work. This instrument will be based upon Dr. David Miller's theoretical model, The Integration Box (TIB), as originally proposed in his book, God at Work: The History & Promise of the Faith at Work Movement (Oxford University Press, 2007).
This theoretical model was presented as a typology that contained four primary types of how people naturally manifested or lived out their faith at work. The four manifestations are: Ethics (ET); Experience (EX); Enrichment (EN); and Expression (ES). There is also a 5th type, the Non-Integrator (NI) who feels that faith and work should not be integrated at work. Miller developed a simple questionnaire to allow people to self-assess which manifestation they felt most accurately described themselves. While the original assessment model was largely conceptual in nature and not validated, preliminary feedback indications were very positive both in terms of the heuristics and its descriptive power as a new paradigm.
In 2009, Miller and his research assistant, Jonathan Lea, conducted a more in-depth literature review, and significantly developed The Integration Box instrument, seeking to expand the variables and sophistication of the assessment, to measure if and how people manifest their faith at work, and the natural predispositions that people have toward certain manifestations. The Integration Box instrument is designed to include people of all worldviews, be they atheist, spiritual, or adherents to a traditional organized religion.
In 2010, Miller began collaborating with Prof. Timothy Ewest, of Wartburg College. In spring 2010 Princeton appointed Ewest as Visiting Research Collaborator to work with Miller on the expansion and further development of The Integration Box. Their project is called, "The Integration Box (TIB): Toward an Individual and Institutional Faith, Religion, and Spirituality at Work Assessment Tool".
The following year, the first draft of the TIB survey was finalized. In August 2011, the first survey validation test was performed in a corporate setting. In early 2012, the survey went through a second validation test. It is anticipated that the final version of the TIB survey will be ready for more widespread dissemination summer 2012.
In October 2012, FWI will be hosting a TIB symposium with leading Chief Human Resource executives to discuss the TIB survey, its current data, and potential practical applications of the research.