Toward a theory of spiritual leadership

Toward a theory of spiritual leadership A causal theory of spiritual leadership is developed within an intrinsic motivation model that incorporates vision, hope/faith, and altruistic love, theories of workplace spirituality, and spiritual survival. The purpose of spiritual leadership is to create vision and value congruence across the strategic, empowered team, and individual levels and, ultimately, to foster higher levels of organizational commitment and productivity. I first examine leadership as motivation to change and review motivation-based leadership theories. Second, I note the accelerating call for spirituality in the workplace, describe the universal human need for spiritual survival through calling and membership, and distinguish between religion and spirituality. Next, I introduce a generic definition of God as a higher power with a continuum upon which humanistic, theistic, and pantheistic definitions of God can be placed. I also review religious- and ethics-and-values-based leadership theories and conclude that, to motivate followers, leaders must get in touch with their core values and communicate them to followers through vision and personal actions to create a sense of spiritual survival through calling and membership. I then argue that spiritual leadership theory is not only inclusive of other major extant motivation-based theories of leadership, but that it is also more conceptually distinct, parsimonious, and less conceptually confounded. And, by incorporating calling and membership as two key follower needs for spiritual survival, spiritual leadership theory is inclusive of the religious- and ethics and values-based approaches to leadership. Finally, the process of organizational development and transformation through spiritual leadership is discussed. Suggestions for future research are offered. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Leadership Quarterly Elsevier

Toward a theory of spiritual leadership

The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 14 (6) – Dec 1, 2003

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Elsevier Inc.
ISSN
1048-9843
DOI
10.1016/j.leaqua.2003.09.001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A causal theory of spiritual leadership is developed within an intrinsic motivation model that incorporates vision, hope/faith, and altruistic love, theories of workplace spirituality, and spiritual survival. The purpose of spiritual leadership is to create vision and value congruence across the strategic, empowered team, and individual levels and, ultimately, to foster higher levels of organizational commitment and productivity. I first examine leadership as motivation to change and review motivation-based leadership theories. Second, I note the accelerating call for spirituality in the workplace, describe the universal human need for spiritual survival through calling and membership, and distinguish between religion and spirituality. Next, I introduce a generic definition of God as a higher power with a continuum upon which humanistic, theistic, and pantheistic definitions of God can be placed. I also review religious- and ethics-and-values-based leadership theories and conclude that, to motivate followers, leaders must get in touch with their core values and communicate them to followers through vision and personal actions to create a sense of spiritual survival through calling and membership. I then argue that spiritual leadership theory is not only inclusive of other major extant motivation-based theories of leadership, but that it is also more conceptually distinct, parsimonious, and less conceptually confounded. And, by incorporating calling and membership as two key follower needs for spiritual survival, spiritual leadership theory is inclusive of the religious- and ethics and values-based approaches to leadership. Finally, the process of organizational development and transformation through spiritual leadership is discussed. Suggestions for future research are offered.

Journal

The Leadership QuarterlyElsevier

Published: Dec 1, 2003

References

  • Charismatic leadership in organizations: Perceived behavioral attributes and their measurement
    Conger, J.A.; Kanungo, R.N.
  • Organization design
    Galbraith, J.R.
  • God
    Horton, W.R.
  • Path–goal theory of leadership: Lessons, legacy, and a reformulated theory
    House, R.J.
  • Path goal theory of leadership
    House, R.J.; Mitchell, T.
  • Substitutes for leadership: Their meaning and measurement
    Kerr, S.; Jermier, J.M.
  • Charisma in action: The transformational abilities of Virgins Richard Branson and ABB's Percy Barnevik
    Kets De Vries, M.F.R.
  • On fire: Charismatic leadership and levels of analysis
    Klein, K.J.; House, R.J.
  • Leading change
    Kotter, J.P.

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