Burning Man Values Examined: Gratitude as a Cultural Driven and Value-Based Organizational Mainstay
Hoover, J. D.
Giambatista, Robert C.
Hoover, Sheila C.
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The topic specifically addressed in this paper is the manner in which the cultural organization Burning Man has taken the general concept of gratitude, and crafted the expression of gratitude into an elevated organizational phenomenon (including a principal of unconditional gifting) and the creation of a Culture of Appreciation as a set of organizationally derived practices. The paper begins with an examination of the concept of gratitude, and the role gratitude plays in human relationships. The discussion will then move to a focus on the Burning Man organization as an exemplar in the creation of gratitude processes and dynamics, as well as the preservation of gratitude and appreciation as an organizational mainstay. The paper will describe gratitude and appreciation as aspects of the Burning Man worldview, as organizing principles of the culture of the Burning Man community, and as organizational practices and behavioral guidelines in the Burning Man organization. Qualitative data examples will be included as supportive evidence.