Academic journal article E+M Ekonomie a Management

Mediating Effect of Psychological Capital on the Relationship between Spiritual Leadership and Performance

Academic journal article E+M Ekonomie a Management

Mediating Effect of Psychological Capital on the Relationship between Spiritual Leadership and Performance

Article excerpt


The challenging work environment of the 21st century has resulted in a great deal of global, societal and organizational change (Fry, 2003). We are experiencing a global crisis of confidence that has spread among many people and organizations (Parameshwar, 2005). Corporate fraud (Schroth & Elliot, 2002), negativity stemming from the downsizing of companies, anxieties resulting from emerging technologies (Giacalone & Jurkiewicz, 2003), and the financial crisis have affected the way employers see their organizations and leaders. Congruent with that reality, organizations have started to give more importance to positivity and developing strong characteristics of employees, rather than focusing on negativity and weaknesses (Avey, Luthans, & Jensen, 2009). Similarly, academics and organizational behaviour experts started to focus on positivity and positive sides of organizational life. This change in mentality brought about the need for a more holistic leadership style that can integrate minds and souls of people: namely, spiritual leadership.

In relation to all of these factors, major global Arms have embraced workplace spirituality in order to benefit from integrating the hearts and minds of their employees (Fry, 2003; Mitroff & Denton, 1999; O'Reilly & Pfeffer, 2000; Weinberg & Locander, 2014). This new way of thinking has brought about a new kind of leadership which is spiritual leadership, which integrates the four main components of human existence: body, mind, heart, and spirit (Moxley, 2000). Without doubt, employees have both spiritual and physical needs and these needs come to work with them. In fact, inner life integrity and wholeness of soul necessitate having an opportunity to live one's inner life at work (Duchon & Plowman, 2005). Thus, issues and trends relating to spirituality have become emerging factors for human growth and wellbeing.

1. Theoretical Framework

Spirituality is considered to be a psychological pattern that embraces a meaningful life, wholeness, and interconnectedness with other people and entities (Zinnbauer, Pargament, & Scott, 1999). In the extant literature, spirituality has been explained as the search for a vision that encompasses service to others, humility, charity and veracity. Although they are often confused, spirituality is not exactly the same as religion. According to Zinnbauer, Pargament, and Scott (1999), religion is often associated with institutional religion, whereas spirituality is often associated with inner feelings of people related to their proximity to God and their interconnectedness with other people and entities.

The term 'workplace spirituality' has evolved from the above-mentioned spirituality concept. It is a multidimensional concept, involving a special relationship with one's own self and values (Fairholm, 1996), meaning and purpose obtained through a transcendental practice of work (Giacalone & Jurkiewicz, 2003), and a need for connectedness (Giacalone & Jurkiewicz, 2003; Pfeffer & Salancik, 2003). A leader can develop workplace spirituality by explaining the necessary ways to live it and by living it himself (Konz & Ryan, 1999). Employees under spiritual leaders are more courageous, more moral, and more loyal to their organizations (Fry, 2003).

1.1 Spiritual Leadership

Spiritual leadership is very much related to morality and supports kindness, righteousness, team work, congruence, completeness and correspondence (Zellers & Perrewe, 2003). As mentioned before, spiritual leadership literature follows the emerging paradigm of spirituality at work, due to the shift toward a concern for wholeness and spiritual values (Weinberg & Locander, 2014).

The spirituality at work literature is the starting point for spiritual leadership theory. Kouzes and Posner (1993) started the process and indicated the top four characteristics of leaders as their being honest, forward-looking, inspirational, and competent. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.