Recycling Stories: Mantras, Communication, and Organizational Materialization

Boris H.J.M. Brummans, Jennie M. Hwang, Pauline Cheong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Religious non-governmental organizations (RNGOs) are becoming powerful organizational actors, but how are these organizations enacted through the communicative practices of their members? To address this question, this article offers a conceptual framework for investigating how the terse retelling of an inspirational organizational story, encapsulated in a mantra, contributes to materializing a Buddhist NGO’s ethos and worldview. The value of this framework is subsequently demonstrated through an in-depth naturalistic case study of a mantra’s constitutive force in the enactment of a large international Buddhist NGO that is increasingly focused on environmental protection. By showing how a mantra acts as a textualization, substantiation, and invocation device in mass, social media, and face-to-face communication, this study makes important contributions to the literature on the intersection between religion and organization as well as the communicative constitution of organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOrganization Studies
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation
  • communicative constitution of organizations
  • environmental protection
  • mantra
  • materiality
  • materialization
  • mindful organizing
  • narrative repetition
  • organizational discourse
  • religious non-governmental organizations
  • terse storytelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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