Soft Skills and Spiritual Leadership

Authored by: Debra J. Dean

The Routledge Companion to Management and Workplace Spirituality

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138499188
eBook ISBN: 9781351015110
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351015110-21

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Abstract

A 1953 article in Fortune magazine entitled, “Businessmen on their Knees” is conceivably the first mention of the concept scholars now term workplace spirituality. Fast forward nearly five decades and a second article was written in Fortune magazine (July 2001) entitled “God in Business.” Additionally, scholars have noticed the workplace spirituality movement and conducted several studies from an academic perspective. The first large-scale empirical study of religion and spirituality in the workplace revealed the urgency for organizations to “learn how to harness the whole person and the immense spiritual energy that is at the core of everyone … [or] they will not be able to produce world-class products and service” (Mitroff & Denton, 1999, p. 84). Today, workplace spirituality practitioners and scholars are finding evidence of positive benefits to the triple bottom line—people, profit, and the planet. Benefits include improvement in employee health, reduction of employee stress, more job involvement, increased job satisfaction, higher levels of organizational commitment, less organizational frustration, more organizational identification, and enhanced work unit performance. This chapter follows the research endeavor of one scholar who answered the call to explore two main instruments used to empirically test spirituality at work and contribute to the three most promising theoretical approaches to date. The Spiritual Leadership Scale and the Spirituality at Work Scale measured spirituality at work while the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire short-form and Organizational Commitment Questionnaire evaluated work outcomes of job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Additionally, the Religious Commitment Index and demographic questions examined control variables of age, education, gender, income, meditation experience, religion, and years of work experience. The research found Altruistic Love, Sense of Community, and Meaningful Work significantly predicted job satisfaction. Altruistic Love was the sole predictor of organizational commitment. This chapter will review facets of Altruistic Love as well as other soft skills and spiritual leadership that have proven to produce positive workplace outcomes.

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