Bovbjerg K M: Personal Development under Market Conditions: NLP and the Emergence of an Ethics of Sensitivity Based on the Idea of the Hidden Potential of the Individual.
Journal of Contemporary Religion 26(2): 189-205, 2011.
Abstract: Courses in personal development have become the site of a remarkable alliance between modern working life and new religious forms over recent decades. Firms and public organisations in Denmark and other European countries have adopted personal development as part of their mission statements and added it to their human resources policies and general values. Work on the transformation of the self, one's thoughts, and ideas is not just seen as the way to a better working life, but also to economic wellbeing. This has created a market for courses in personal development, which brings consultants and human resource managers together in companies and organisations. This article is based on a study of the transpersonal method known as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). It describes this as the emergence of an ‘ethics of sensitivity’, closely connected to the changes in management and employee strategies now necessary to ensure a successful career. This article focuses on the relationship between New Age practices and modern management, and the development of a new work ethic based on sensitivity. What is the economic aspect of this new ethic? What is its rationale and in what sense is it linked to a market?