Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Relationship between Spiritual Leadership and Organizational Citizenship Behaviors: A Research on School Principals' Behaviors *

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Relationship between Spiritual Leadership and Organizational Citizenship Behaviors: A Research on School Principals' Behaviors *

Article excerpt

Leadership and Spirituality

Leadership has been defined and explained differently throughout the ages in various ways. Particularly in this uncertain and rapidly evolving socio-economic world, an understanding of leadership is not only shaped by certain patterns but also by situational dynamics which include variably religious paradigms, belief systems, and inner or personal values. Therefore, there is a need for theories to be developed that help increase the understanding of the broader and often subtle contexts in which effective leadership takes place (Fry & Kriger, 2009).

From this realization has emerged a demand for more holistic leadership that integrates the body (physical), mind (logical/rational thought), heart (emotions, feelings), and spirit; these are the four fundamental areas that define the essence of human existence and pave the way for better performance and self-fulfillment in organization, if they are collectively considered and given respect in workplace (Moxley, 2000). Today, people are more often in the state of pursuit or seeking than they have been in the past, which cannot be solely ascribed to pursuit of financial freedom. In fact, people began to seek more meaning in their job and question the purpose of life and their own works. This need for a spiritual quest is found in almost all people as they purposefully look to discover their potential, an ultimate purpose, and a personal relationship with a higher power (Tart, 1975; Wulff, 1996).

Spirituality is linked to a person's own values such as love, affection, tolerance, satisfaction, responsibility and harmonious feelings toward himself and others. Being restricted to people's personal lives and mindsets, spirituality was not questioned and hardly ever received attention as a necessity in the workplace till some recent studies. A new interest has arisen in favor of spirituality especially in terms of incorporating this into the workplace, management, and daily job practices. Interestingly, this increasing interest into the spiritual side of work is often driven by non-spiritual concerns (Tourish & Pinnington, 2002). The appearance of this notion could possibly be ascribed to increasing pressure from society, globalization and environment, development of the Internet, and supply and demand (Kakabadse, Kouzmin, & Kakabadse, 2002).

Chen and Yang (2012) stated that in an organization where spirituality is valued, the following characteristics are seen: "Visions and goals of the organization engender intrinsic meaning for employees; emphasizing employee development; emphasizing the cultural values of trust and honesty; offering employee empowerment; and giving employees opportunities to express opinions." Kesken and Ünlü (2011) summarized the related literature about spirituality in a few keywords as follows:

* An inner will and power to live.

* Inner motivation and experience that leads people into action and gets them energized.

* Commitment to shared goals and a need for wholeness.

* A will to contribute into development or successes of others.

* Attachment to love, hope, faith, and optimism.

* Developing team spirit.

* Seeking a calling or meaning in life.

In this leadership style, it can be hard to separate leadership from religious faith and eliminate the conflicts concerning it due to many connotations ascribed to religion (Karadag, 2009). Although spirituality seems to share the same background with religion, these two concepts are different from each other and not synonymous (Veach & Chappell, 1991). Spirituality is a broad term that includes religion and many connected concepts. Mitroff and Denton (1999) defined spirituality as pursuing the ultimate goal in life and abiding by it throughout life. While this ultimate goal means doing the will of the Creator for some, it has a different meaning for others. Spirituality, in this regard, encompasses all belief systems and religions, though each may have different ways and understandings. …

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