In search of organizational cockaigne: identifying the pillars of the ideal organization

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The literature on organizations is replete with ideal-typetheories. Most of them take the whole organization as their level of analysis and study the ideal organization from an objective and macro point of view (e.g. the bureaucracy). Less is known, however, about what the ideal organization might look like from the employee’s, micro, and subjective point of view. Inspired by the medieval myth of the Land of Cockaigne, immortalised in Bruegel-the-Elder’s 1567 painting, this paper presents an empirical study of the perfect workplace, according to the subjective perspective of the individual employee. Seventy-seven subjects from a single organization were interviewed. The only question they were asked was “Please, imagine the perfect workplace. It can be different from any organization you may have known until now. Can you please describe how it looks?” Results suggest that the ideal workplace is imagined on the basis of three interrelated pillars, or sets of elements: spiritual, material and organizational.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-92
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Management, Spirituality and Religion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Authentizotic organizations
  • Cockaigne
  • Ideal organization
  • Materialit
  • Spirituality


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