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Purpose – In the context of the current financial crisis, this paper aims to examine values and spirituality in the modern workplace. Design/methodology/approach – Using contemporary examples and examining recent literature on spirituality and loneliness, the paper considers the concept of loneliness and argues that this may stem from an over‐preoccupation with the workplace and employment‐based achievement, at the expense of having rounded lives as human beings. Findings – It is demonstrated that, over the last decade at least, the levels of stress in life and work have risen noticeably. In this context, leaders need even more to be forgers of a sense of meaning and purpose in the workplace and engage the hearts and minds of staff towards improved outcomes. Originality/value – The current financial crisis is also a major spiritual crisis. Now there seems to be a growing gap between leaders and the led, and an increase in what the author terms “soul‐less leadership”, which fails to engage and motivate and inspire. The author calls on leaders in this crisis of capitalism to work and engage with staff in health and social care, so that those serving at the frontline feel‐valued and supported, developed and engaged in a common purpose.
The International Journal of Leadership in Public Services – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 18, 2011
Keywords: Individualism; Meaning; Leaders; Workplace; Soul; Society
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