Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

The Influence of Spiritual Leadership on Spiritual Well-Being and Job Satisfaction: A Conceptual Framework

Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

The Influence of Spiritual Leadership on Spiritual Well-Being and Job Satisfaction: A Conceptual Framework

Article excerpt

Introduction

How do people treat spirituality in the workplace? People always heard about spirituality but reluctant to associate it with the workplace, due to assumptions that workplaces or other social institutions are secular (Hicks, 2002). Some researchers and scholars have argued that future organizational life and social change in our society consists of critical elements such as spirituality, the desire for meaningful work, and employee job satisfaction (Giacalone & Jurkiewicz, 2003; Karakas, 2009; Marques, Dliiman & King, 2005). Duffy (2006) states that limited number of empirical studies were conducted on the relationship between spirituality and work-related variables such as job satisfaction. Some scholars viewed higher levels of job satisfaction could be nurtured for employees who view work as a means of spiritual expression, as they will have a more positive outlook and contribute more to create better working conditions (Ghazzawi & Smith, 2009). However, even though the interests in the relationship between spirituality and job satisfaction are expanding, only a few studies have found a positive influence of spirituality on job satisfaction (Clark et al., 2007), such as works by Milliman, Czaplewski and Ferguson (2003) and GarciaZamor (2003), who found that certain dimensions of spirituality were positively related with various aspects of work-related variables such as job satisfaction and involvement.

Studies on the link between spirituality and organizational leadership; and the impact of spirituality to employees outcomes such as absenteeism, productivity, turnover, ethicality, stress, and health are growing and have become a central issue in current trend of spirituality studies (Fairholm, 1998; Fry, 2003; Giacalone & Jurkiewicz, 2003). Justin (2008) states that there has been a rising doubts regarding the impact of spirituality on leadership practices in the past decade, even though there were evident that the effectiveness of the leaders has been associated with their spiritual values and practices (Reave, 2005). How spirituality impact the organizations and individuals; such as leaders and followers (employees) are the main areas of empirical research which tend to highlight the importance of spirituality in the workplace. Nevertheless, Thompson (2002) states that spiritual issues have been neglected in most leadership research and the spiritual qualities of leaders are commonly overlooked. Previous leadership theory neglected the spiritual component and mainly focused on the aspects of physical, mental, or emotional elements of human interaction in organisations (Fry, 2003). Thus, the main objective of this paper is therefore to propose the conceptual framework that examines the influence of leaders spiritual leadership on employees spiritual well-being and job satisfaction.

Spirituality Defined

Zinnbauer and Pargament (1998) suggested that over 300 definitions of spirituality have been published, while Markow and Klenke (2005) say that even though there are more than 70 definitions of spirituality at work, but there is no widely accepted definition or a single, concrete definition of spirituality. Fairholm (1996) defines spirit as "the vital, energizing force or principle in the person which affects our identity, our values, our memories, our sense of humour and integrates guiding principles of wholeness, relationships, inner wisdom and inner authority"; while Rayburn and Rayburn (1996) state that spirituality is the vital force of one's being. Anderson (2000) further views spirituality as the intangible, life affirming force in self and all human beings. Lean (2002) relates the aspect of an individual's spirituality to their work by describing spirituality as "a mental disposition or attitude that embraces spirit as integral to one's work, behavior, thinking, and success." This study defines spirituality as personal qualities, embedded within self, and it is "a subconscious feeling that energizes individual action that inspires one toward certain ends or purposes that go beyond self" (Fernando, Beale & Geroy, 2009). …

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