Recycling Stories: Mantras, Communication, and Organizational Materialization

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 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)
Pages (from-to)103-126
Number of pages24
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • 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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