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Leveraging Spirituality and Religion in European For-profit-organizations: a Systematic Review

Leveraging Spirituality and Religion in European For-profit-organizations: a Systematic Review This systematic review synthesises the available evidence regarding the European  under- standing of workplace spirituality (definitions), the importance of spirituality and  reli- gion (evidence) as well as spiritual leadership (meaning and practice) in for-profitorgan- izations. The search for eligible studies was conducted in OPAC Plus, SCOPUS, Science Direct, JSTOR, EBSCO, and Google Scholar from 2007/01 to  2017/07. Three independ- ent scholars extracted the data. Twenty studies were included  (two mixed-methods, eight quantitative, ten qualitative) for the final quality assessment.  A study quality assessment and thematic analysis was conducted. This review gives  suggestions for study quality improvement and reporting. Thematically, two different approaches to religion and spiritu- ality (R/S) were detected: a) work has a spiritual dimension and b) religious and spiritual orientation as “spiritual capital”. Studies demonstrated positive effect on job satisfaction, health, commitment, company  productivity and sustainability; Christian leadership does not address personal religious orientation; the spiritual dimension may lead to a change of perspective; workplace  spirituality may exploit people for profit-oriented business goals; non-white Muslims experience discrimination. This systematic review provides robust evi- dence and  findings for evidence-informed policymaking and encourages a more rigorous research in this field of study. Keywords Spiritual leadership · Workplace spirituality · Quality of work life · Sustainability · Human resource management · European for-profit organizations * Lydia Maidl Lydia.Maidl@lmu.de Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, 80539 Munich, Germany Institute of Tourism, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences of Arts, Rösslimatte 48, 6002 Lucerne, Switzerland Professorship of Spiritual Care & Psychosomatic Health, University Hospital rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Kaulbachstr. 22a, 80539 Munich, Germany University Hospital Ulm, Albert-Einstein-Allee 23, 89081 Ulm, Germany Institute of Nursing Science and Practice, Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg, Strubergasse 21, 5020 Salzburg, Austria 1 3 Vol.:(0123456789) Humanistic Management Journal Introduction Studying workplace spirituality is an open field of research that examines spiritual and religious orientation(s) at different levels, such as individual, organizational and societal, and analyses its consequences for educational, managerial and marketing purposes. The evidence demonstrates that to succeed and improve, all profit-oriented organizations must constantly be on the lookout for values and norms that support sustainable human resource management, advance the image of the organization (branding) and help to produce prod- ucts that are in compliance with societal norms and consumer values. Thus, there is grow- ing pressure to not only produce accordingly, but also to represent and live these values within the organization. Therefore, current leadership and Human Resource Management (HRM) research is constantly searching for solutions supporting the growth of emotional, spiritual, cultural, intentional and appreciative intelligence in leaders and decision-makers (Martin and Hafer 2009; Šilingienė and Škėrienė 2015; Parkkali et  al. 2015; Rosenauer et  al. 2016; Kaufmann and Gaeckler 2015; Kaufmann and Wagner 2017). The ability to manage the ‘spiritual capital’ in the workplace has been called “the missing link in the process of human development that should be identified and considered as an important factor for developed and morally qualified human resources” (Ahmed et al. 2016, p. 165). Accordingly, the ongoing discussions call for a turn in management styles, in particular, when facing the challenge of HRM in the workplace. Cultural Diversity and Human Resource Management Modern HRM is a wicked problem, because trying to change a single agent calls for large system initiatives (Waddock et  al. 2015). Current HRM faces numerous challenges, such as motivating and keeping elderly employees (Kurek and Rachwał 2011, Sturz and Zogra- fos 2014, Vasconcelos 2015; 2018), while making organizations attractive for Generations Y and Z (Sullivan et  al. 2009, Brown et  al. 2012, Baumane-Vītoliņa et  al. 2017, Chawla et  al. 2017), supporting female (Bark et  al. 2014) and LGBTIQ+ journeys (Köllen 2016, Pichler et al. 2017), maintaining an appropriate work environment for people with disabili- ties (Hogan et  al. 2012, Kulkarni and Rodrigues 2014) and addressing employees’ strug- gles with various lifestyle and health issues, such as diabetes (Stynen et al. 2015), obesity (Levay 2014), alcohol and substance abuse (Belhassen and Shani 2012) or helping those suffering from violence at home or at the workplace (Alsaker et al. 2016). In addition to these aspects, there is the paramount problem of how to adapt to the man- ifold cultural identities in the workplace. This challenge spans from international talent management (Gallardo-Gallardo et al. 2020) to expatriate issues (Lazarova et al. 2010), as well as leveraging multi-ethnic, national and religious identities (Byrne et al. 2011, Tracey 2012, Ghumman et  al. 2013, Khattab and Johnston 2015). To overcome these and other HRM challenges, adopting a model of workplace spirituality might seem a useful forth- coming initiative. Workplace Spirituality – Fostering Oneness and Belonging Many of the empirical studies have demonstrated a positive effect of spirituality on job commitment, satisfaction and performance. The conventional strategy of organizations lies in helping their employees flourish by enhancing the individual’s knowledge, skills, abili- ties and emotion control (Ahmed et al. 2016). Accordingly, spiritual values in employees 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal have been positively associated with their mental well-being and low occupational stress, whereas the spiritual practices are positively associated with low work-related exhaustion and burnout (Arnetz et  al. 2013; Nowrouzi et  al. 2015). Other studies are demonstrating positive results in employees’ altruism and conscientiousness, self-career management, reduced inter-role conflict, reduced frustration, organization based self-esteem, involve- ment, retention and ethical behaviour (Geigle 2012). Based on earlier findings, it can be concluded that spirituality benefits employees and supports organizational performance by enhancing employee well-being and quality of life, providing a sense of purpose, mean- ing, interconnectedness and community (Karakas 2010). The problem is that these studies have applied measures that enable understanding spirituality, spiritual needs and personal growth in individual employees or managers, however, the challenges and changes at group and organizational level have been largely neglected (Alcázar et al. 2013; Kulik 2014; Sul- livan and Baruch 2009). Thus, there is a solemn need to explore and measure the effective- ness of diversity management activities in order to understand why, when and where adopt- ing a workplace spirituality model might be forthcoming. An additional problem is that there is no consensus on what workplace spirituality actu- ally means. It has been suggested that in spiritually driven workplaces, people follow the model of minimization – meaning that they tend to highlight their similarities and ignore their differences (Ameli and Molaei 2012). Workplace spirituality has been linked to the ‘oneness principle’ indicating that “when you see no other, you help and support the cor- respondent no matter what his or her position/race/religion.” (Çelik 2012, p. 71). Accord- ingly, it is to be understood as a construct delivering a sense of connectedness or belonging linked to workplace specific moral boundaries and values. Workplace Spirituality and Religion When examining workplace spirituality and spiritual leadership, most researchers combine spirituality and religion (Dent et al. 2005), which is problematic for several reasons. Work- place spirituality is aiming at minimizing differences by creating an organizational system of meaning and delivering the message of community. Accordingly, “many organizations appear increasingly willing to play the role of secular religion, where the founders may become deities of sorts; key insiders may become clergy; jobs, callings; institutionalized processes, rituals; and failings, sins.” (Ashforth and Vaidyanath 2002, p. 359). Creating an Olympus, a workplace full of gods and good will, no matter how innovative and inspiring, has its downsides calling for caution, in particular, when it comes to respecting employees as individuals each with their cultural and religious attachments. Ignoring the issue of formal religion over workplace spirituality may have serious con- sequences for individuals, organizations and for societies (Alidadi and Foblets 2012). The consequences have not been examined and understood yet, however, Karakas has identified common problems connected to (mis)managing workplace spirituality. First and foremost is the danger of proselytism (the attempt to convert people to another religion or opinion), followed by the issue of compatibility, the risk of spirituality becoming a fad or a manage- ment tool to manipulate employees, the legitimacy problem the field of spirituality at work faces in theory, research and practice, the accommodation of spiritual requests, respect for diversity, openness and freedom of expression as well as acknowledgement of employees as individuals (Karakas 2010). This extensive list of problems clearly calls for an intelli- gent approach not only regarding management styles, but also in research. 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal It appears that the contradiction between implementing workplace spirituality models at work and (dis)respecting worker’s religion has led to a point, where many people simply wish that religion had no foothold in the workplace (Borstorff and Arlington 2011). This is all the more reason to take employees’ religious and faith-related needs seriously, when studying workplace spirituality and spiritual leadership. Aims and Objectives For the past decade, the meaning of spirituality and religion in the workplace and in HRM has been the topic of many academic research endeavours. The importance of this topic for research becomes apparent considering the number of published books (Antwi 2017; Charles 2016; Farina 2015; Fry and Altman 2013; Lalani 2014; Marshall 2012; Morton 2015; Mugalu 2010; Ngambi 2011; Peltonen 2017; Scalise 2007) or scientific reviews conducted to investigate, explore, and discuss the various aspects of workplace spiritual- ity and the management of religion and/or spirituality (R/S) at the individual, organiza- tional or societal level. Previously conducted reviews (Lizardo 2011; Ratnakar and Nair 2012; Tracey 2014; Tracey 2012; Ghumman et  al. 2013; Miller and Ewest 2013; Balog et  al. 2014; Habib Rana and Shaukat Malik 2016) have proposed arguments, conclusions and recommendations, which are contradictory and inconclusive. Therefore, the principal questions regarding what is workplace spirituality, why workplace spirituality matters, how to manage workplace spirituality and what to do about religion at the organizational level, still remain relevant. As the majority of evidence regarding managing R/S at organizations stems from non-European countries (Hashim et al. 2015), the following review pays spe- cial attention to knowledge and evidence emerging from the European context. Methods This is a systematic review of literature to provide a complete and comprehensive sum- mary of evidence on how to leverage spirituality and religion in for-profit-organizations in the European context. The findings of this review are presented according to the PRISMA (Moher et al. 2010) guideline. The study protocol was published on ResearchGate on Feb- ruary 2, 2018 (Paal 2018). Eligibility This review considered quantitative, qualitative and mixed method studies. Quantitative designs include experimental studies (including randomized controlled trials, non-rand- omized controlled trials, other quasi-experimental studies including before and after stud- ies) and observational designs (descriptive studies, cohort studies, cross sectional studies, case studies and case series studies). Qualitative designs include any studies that focus on qualitative data, such as, but not limited to, case studies, grounded theory, ethnography designs or discursive analysis. This review concentrated on studies published between January 2007 and July 2017. Only publications in the English language are included. Books, book chapters, book reviews, conference proceedings, editorials and theses are excluded from this review. 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal For inclusion/exclusion decision making, we applied the following PICO framework (Schardt et al. 2007): Population: Adult workers and managers of any for-profit-organization in European countries. Intervention: Any introduction/application/assessment of R/S in the workplace at group or organizational level. Comparison: Any methods applied, including comparison between European and non- European countries. Outcomes: Any reported outcomes on R/S in the workplace at group or organizational level, or in management. Exclusion Criteria We excluded adolescents, retired, unemployed workers, stakeholders, ethnic minorities or expats at non-profit and governmental organizations, private or public military, prison, church, school, higher education unit, health institution, virtual teams and digital society or workforce outside the workplace in non-European countries. Also excluded were studies tackling knowledge transfer, communication, organizational or life-long-learning, analys- ing and exploring organizational change, workplace issues and leadership challenges with- out an explicit connection to spirituality and religion. The Search Strategy The search strategy was deliberately kept broad in order to map the range of topics hypo- thetically connected to the workplace R/S, R/S in HRM and spiritual leadership. The MeSh browser (Mesh on Demand n.d.) was visited to extend the search words. Regular meetings were held to discuss the primary findings in order to fine-tune the search strategy and key words. Word combinations and search terms were used as demonstrated in the following figure (Fig. 1). The search was conducted by two independent scholars in following electronic data- bases and generic search engines: (1) OPAC Plus (2007/01-2017/07) (2) SCOPUS Fig. 1 The keywords in the search algorithm 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal (2007/01-2017/07) (3) Science Direct (2007/01-2017/07) (4) JSTOR (2007/01-2017/07) (5) EBSCO (2007/01-2017/07) (6) Google Scholar (2007/01-2017/07). Selected literature reviews (Sturz and Zografos 2014; Tecchio et al. 2016; Karakas 2010; Balog et al. 2014; Drenten and McManus 2016; Geigle 2012) and three journals (Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion, Journal of Organizational Change Management and Journal of Management Development) were also searched manually. Synthesis and Analysis of Outcomes Three investigators (LM, PP, AKS) independently: (1) extracted the data, (2) evaluated the study quality, (3) coded and categorized and finally (4) synthesized the findings to answer the review questions. The data was extracted by three investigators (LM, PP, AKS) independently using an Excel based data extraction matrix comprising and describing the elements that respond to the objective of this review (Fig. 1. Data extraction matrix). The matrix was developed in accordance with the primary literature search findings. The study quality appraisal was done by three independent investigators (LM, PP, AKS) following the QualSyst scoring system for qualitative and quantitative studies (Kmet et  al.  2004). Consensus discussions were held to solve any interrater disagree- ments. Two independent investigators (LM, AKS) coded and categorized the findings using the line by line coding to search for research questions, definitions, best practice models and central findings. The derivation of themes was data based. • LM and PP synthesized the qualitative findings according to the thematic synthesis of qualitative research in systematic reviews (Thomas and Harden 2008). Consensus dis- cussions were held upon presenting the final findings. Risk of Investigator Bias Extensive search of databases was conducted by two independent investigators (PP, LM). Different search strategies and search words/algorithms (sometimes with limitations on site, such as “-books”) were applied to exploit the benefits of each search platform. Dou- ble checks in reviews, journals, and special issues demonstrated that our online search had included the majority of relevant publications to answer the review questions. This review concentrates on studies of European origin and focused on literature pub- lished only in English. Depending on regional policies, socio-economic situation and local research priorities, the investigated topic may be more relevant in some European countries than in others, and depending on cultural background, scholars may use different concepts and notions having explicit or implicit connection to spirituality and religion. To diminish investigator bias, an interdisciplinary group of investigators was involved in conducting this review. The investigators are experts in different fields (economics, theol- ogy, cultural sciences), know different regions of Europe by origin or longer periods of res- idence (Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Germany) and have a number of languages at their 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal disposal (English, German, French, Russian, Italian, Finnish, Baltic and Scandinavian). All authors have Christian backgrounds. Results The search results from two independent investigators (PP, LM) were merged using the TM reference management software Endno te . The automatic removal of duplicates resulted in 2331 hits for the preliminary screening. The dual screening of titles and abstracts for eligible studies resulted in identifying 89 studies for the article reading (Fig.  2). During the first read, 17 articles did not meet the primary inclusion criteria linguistically (Rego 2007; Santiago 2007), thematically (Aydinli-Karakulak and Dimitrova 2016; Cornelissen and Jirjahn 2012; Gebert et  al. 2014; Gorbănescu 2014; Izak 2015; Kurek and Rachwał 2011; Lloyd and Robinson 2011; Opfinger 2014; Corbett 2009; Essounga-Njan et al. 2013; Ouarda et al. 2012; Schreurs et al. 2014) or contextually (Alidadi and Foblets 2012; Chen and Yeh 2014; Cregård 2017). The reasons for further consensus-based exclusion were: three literature reviews (Gundolf and Filser 2013; Silingiene and Skeriene 2016; Tracey 2012); Fig. 2 Flow Diagram 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal • 22 conceptual papers (Al Ariss and Sidani 2016; Bolton 2010; Case and Gosling 2010; Corbett 2009; Cullen 2013; Eisenbeiss 2012; Foblets 2013; Kamoche and Pinnington 2012; Krinitcyna and Menshikova 2015; Lennerfors 2015; Nicolae et al. 2013; Roberts 2012; Rozuel 2014; Schnall and Cannon 2012; Slavik et al. 2015; Smith and Rayment 2007; Storsletten and Jakobsen 2015; Szilas 2014; Teeple Hopkins 2015; Ungvári- Zrínyi 2014; Van Gordon et al. 2016; Woniak 2012); • five articles concentrating on religious branding and consumer behaviour (Paquier 2015; Pace 2013; Rauschnabel et al. 2015; Schlegelmilch et al. 2016; Moraru 2013); • four RELIGARE studies funded by the European Commission (Foblets and Alidadi 2013; European Commission 2014) monitoring the public sector (Bader et  al. 2013; Christoffersen and Vinding 2013; Frégosi and Kosulu 2013; Grekova et al. 2013); two articles monitoring the discrimination before entering the workplace (Forstenlech- ner and Al-Waqfi 2010; Murray and Ali 2017), 15 articles from Turkey (Fisher Onar and Müftüler-Baç 2011; Ersoy et al. 2011; Ersoy et al. 2015; Yamak et al. 2015; Dede and Ayranci 2014; Çelik 2012; Sabah et al. 2014; Elçi et  al. 2011; Uyar et  al. 2015; Kurtulmuş and Warner 2016; Bideci and Albayrak 2016; Altinay 2008; Tanyeri-Erdemir et  al. 2013; Karakas and Sarigollu 2017; Kurt et al. 2016) and. • one conference proceeding (Šilingienė and Škėrienė 2015). After the careful selection process, 20 studies were eligible to be included for fur- ther analysis: two of these are mixed methods (Bakanauskiene and Katiliene 2015; Kupczyk et  al. 2015), eight quantitative (Khattab and Johnston 2015; Kumpikaitė- Valiūnienė 2014; Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et  al. 2014; Mensching et  al. 2016; Răducan and Răducan 2013a, 2013b; Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008; Volonté 2015) and ten qualitative studies (Cullen and Turnball 2012; Cullen 2011; Pina e Cunha et  al. 2017; Izak 2012; Lychnell 2017; Neal and Vallejo 2008; Pio 2010; Stokes et  al. 2016; Zaharia and Benchea 2013; Zsolnai and Illes 2017). The studies originate from Romania (3), Poland (2), Lithuania (2), Spain (2), Ireland (2), Sweden (2), United Kingdom (2), Hungary (1), Portugal (1), the Netherlands (1), Switzerland (1) and a German/Swiss/Austrian collaboration (1). The overview of review articles is presented in Table 1. The Study Quality Appraisal Three independent investigators conducted the study quality appraisal following the Qual- Syst scoring system (Kmet et al. 2004). The score sheet for qualitative studies consists of ten items and the one for quantitative studies, 14 items. In all quantitative studies, the ran- domizing or blinding interventions (items 5 to 7) were not applicable. Respectively, the maximum score for qualitative studies was 60 (3 × 20) (Fig. 3) and for quantitative studies 66 (3 × (28-(3 × 2))) (Fig. 4). The two mixed-method studies (Bakanauskiene and Katiliene 2015; Kupczyk et al. 2015) were assessed in both categories. To reflect on the overall study reporting quality, we looked at the single item report- ing quality across the included studies. As each investigator could rate the items with a maximum of two points, each item could be scored with a maximum of six points. For 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal 1 3 Table 1 The summary of review articles Author(s) Year Title Country Study aim Participants & sample size Data collection methods Mixed methods (Bakanauskiene and Katil- 2015  A methodological frame- LIT Identify how leadership 333 top-level managers written survey, electronic iene 2015) work to study expression style influences organiza- 299 employees questionnaire, semi-struc- of a leadership style in tional culture features 10 CEOs tured interviews organizational culture: an example of spiritual leadership (Kupczyk et al. 2015) 2015 Implementation of diversity POL Diversity management 335 corporate workers and survey, interviews management in Poland implementation in Poland managers and its relationship with and its relationship with organizational trust trust in company, its man- agers and co-workers Qualitative Studies (Neal and Vallejo 2008) 2008 Family firms as incuba- ES/CAN Family firms typically 2 family firms literature review, case study tors for spirituality in the possess specific cultural workplace: factors that characteristics that stimu- nurture spiritual busi- late the development of nesses spirituality (Pio 2010) 2010 Islamic sisters – Spirituality SWE Ethnic minority entrepre- - literature research, case study and ethnic entrepreneur- neurship offered through ship in Sweden the sacred-secular lens of the Islamic Dawoodi Bohra community, with the purpose of exploring the relationship of spiritu- ality to entrepreneurship (Cullen 2011) 2011 Researching workplace IRL Management of workplace participant/ ethnographic fieldwork, auto- spirituality through auto/ spirituality due to a researcher ethnography ethnography management development program Humanistic Management Journal 1 3 Table 1 (continued) Author(s) Year Title Country Study aim Participants & sample size Data collection methods (Cullen and Turnball 2012) 2012 The hetero-ethical man- IRL Management develop- 50 managers ethnographic fieldwork, agement development ment program effects on interviews rationale program participants (Izak 2012) 2012 Spiritual episteme: sense- POL Sense-making mechanisms 35 CEOs literature review, interviews making in the frame- in the discourse of organi- spiritual teachers employees work of organizational zational spirituality spirituality (Zaharia and Benchea 2013 The psychology behind ROM Christian orthodox employ- 35 employees from com- interviews 2013) religion: how is it to work ees’ attitudes towards panies led by Muslim for a Muslim company? working for a Muslim employers employer (Pina e Cunha et al. 2017) 2016 Gemeinschaft in the midst POR How managers make sense 18 Portuguese CEOs interviews of Gesellschaft? Love as of the meaning of love an organizational virtue as an organizational phenomenon. (Stokes et al. 2016) 2016 The role of embedded UK Values, beliefs and attitudes 18 employees from 3 interviews individual values, belief (VBA) held by indi- companies and attitudes and spir- vidual employees with itual capital in shaping business environments, everyday post-secular which motivate and organizational culture shape behaviour in the workplace and the extent to which VBA reveal roots and drivers linked to spiritual capital. (Lychnell 2017) 2017 When work becomes medi- SWE How managers apply a 7 CEOs and business own- two-year in-depth clinical tation: how managers use meditative attitude to ers of small and medium- inquiry work as a tool for personal work in order to further sized companies growth personal growth. Humanistic Management Journal 1 3 Table 1 (continued) Author(s) Year Title Country Study aim Participants & sample size Data collection methods (Zsolnai and Illes 2017) 2017 Spiritually inspired creativ- HUN The relation of spirituality 3 spiritual-based creative case study ity in business and creativity in the busi- business models (Organic ness context India, The Economy of Communion, Triodos Bank) Quantitative Studies (Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008 Workplace Spirituality and ES The impact of five dimen- 361 individuals from 154 survey 2008) organizational commit- sions of workplace organizations ment: an empirical study spirituality on affective, normative, and continu- ance commitment. (Răducan and Răducan 2013 Landmarks of Christian and ROM The influence of Christian 240 employees survey 2013b) adjustment in Romania religious belief upon the organizational culture adjustment to the organi- zational culture rules and values. (Răducan and Răducan 2013 Christian religious faith and ROM The influence of Chris- 240 employees survey 2013a) social relations at work tian Confession upon personality’s coefficients and upon the relational organized conducts. (Khattab and Johnston 2014 Ethno-religious identities UK Unemployment and 553,600 respondents aged UK Labor Force Survey 2015) and persisting penalties in obtaining posts within 19–65 (2002–2010) (LFS) the UK labor market the salariat for ethno- religious groups. Humanistic Management Journal 1 3 Table 1 (continued) Author(s) Year Title Country Study aim Participants & sample size Data collection methods (Kumpikaitė-Valiūnienė 2014 Spirituality at work: com- LIT/EU Investigating differences of 23 interviews with Chris- survey 2014) parison analysis how people from different tian managers, students institutional settings see and non-managerial spirituality at work employees, European sample from Christian entrepreneurs and manag- ers. (Mazereeuw-van der Duijn 2014 Religiosity, CSR attitudes, NED The relationship between 473 executives survey Schouten et al. 2014) and CSR behaviour: an Christian religiosity, atti- empirical study of execu- tudes towards corporate tives‘ religiosity and CSR social responsibility and CSR behaviour of execu- tives. (Volonté 2015) 2015 Culture and Corporate Gov- SUI Investigation of the effect 753 firm-years Swiss performance index ernance: The influence of of culture on corporate language and religion in governance using the Switzerland extraordinary opportu- nity that the corporate landscape of Switzerland provides. (Mensching et al. 2016) 2016 Internationalisation of fam- GER/SUI/AUT The individual decision- 126 CEOs and top manag- conjoint analysis ily and non-family firms: making process of ers a conjoint experiment decision-makers in family among CEOs and non-family firms in internationalisation activi- ties, which depends on the intertwining of both economic and socioemo- tional reference points Humanistic Management Journal Fig. 3 Quality assessment results for qualitative studies according to the QualSyst scoring system (Kmet et al. 2004). *Kupczyk et al., 2015, conducted a mixed-method study but did not report sufficiently on the qualitative approach, which hindered the quality appraisal Fig. 4 Quality assessment results for quantitative studies according to the QualSyst scoring system (Kmet et al. 2004) the analysis, we calculated the average score of each item for both study types, qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative studies (Fig.  5) scored low in items reflecting study design and justifying sampling strategy. Serious flaws were detected in methods applied to data analysis to verify the credibility of outcomes. None of the quantitative studies (Fig. 6) rep- resented randomized controlled studies. Overall the studies failed to justify the participant/ group selection, which led to significant weaknesses in reporting analytic methods and confounders. 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal Fig. 5 Quality assessment of single items in reporting qualitative data according to the QualSyst scoring system (Kmet et al. 2004) Fig. 6 Quality assessment of single items in reporting quantitative data according to the QualSyst scoring system (Kmet et al. 2004) Synthesis of Thematic Analysis Results Question 1: What is Workplace Spirituality? There is no consensus regarding the concept of spirituality in the workplace. It is usually not identified with religion or associated with specific religious traditions, but interpreted more broadly (Izak 2012). It can include any ideological or philosophical orientation of values that exist within a company or an employee. Although spirituality is associated with a variety of dimensions and levels (“multidimensional, multilevel phenomenon”) (Kumpikaitė-Valiūnienė 2014), two common denominators can be identified: (1) The need and - if successful - the experience of achieving meaningful work that corresponds to one’s 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal own values, helps others and possibly serves the greater good. (2) The experience of con- necting with other people, initially at work and then after work with partners and custom- ers and, if the need arises, over and above creating long-term bonds. People want to grow personally through their work and make a contribution to society. They want to be connected („the yearning for connectedness and wholeness”) (Izak 2012; Kumpikaitė-Valiūnienė 2014) and desire meaningfulness and happiness (Neal and Vallejo 2008; Cleary et  al. 2015; Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008). The con- nection with the transcendent is explicitly mentioned in different ways (Zsolnai and Illes 2017). Trust among each other is considered to be a central basis (Kupczyk et al. 2015). Spirituality in the workplace, therefore, results in a combined, appealing perfor- mance and quality orientation that goes beyond the usual values such as independence, competition and acquisition (Kumpikaitė-Valiūnienė 2014). The term “spiritual capital” is derived from the organizational and economic con- text. It was initially chosen by the William Templeton Foundation at the beginning of the 21st century for “social capital” created by religious communities for the socially disadvantaged. It then was extended to mean “secular” spiritual capital in other con- texts, i.e. for the set of values, ethical points of view and visions of individuals as well as of groups and institutions. This includes anything that gives life a sense and mean- ing, such as relationships of all types. Spiritual capital is considered to be a source of motivation for the other forms of capital in a company (Stokes et al. 2016). The utilisation of the broad term spirituality for empirical research is the centre of many studies, sometimes combined with an initial empirical evaluation of one’s own approach (Bakanauskiene and Katiliene 2015; Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008). Rego and Pina e Cunha identified five dimensions that make both the organizational commit- ment and the individual meaning of work visible as essential components of workplace spirituality: Experience a sense of community in their work teams, feel that their val- ues are aligned with those of the organization, consider that they do meaningful and helpful work, experience enjoyment at work and consider that the organization gives them opportunities for their inner life (Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008, p. 62-64). Neal and Vallejo have similar aspects for the basis of their study, in that they distinguish the following five dimensions for “Spirit at work”: (1) the physical dimension (a positive environment and energy), (2) the affective (a feeling of joy and deep satisfaction of well-being), (3) the cognitive (a feeling of being authentic and a connection of per- sonal values with one’s own work and the awareness of doing meaningful work that has a higher goal), (4) the interpersonal (a feeling of connectedness with each other and with a common goal) and (5) the mystical dimension (a spiritual presence, char- acterized by a feeling of connection with something greater, the transcendence and the experience of inspiration and something sacred). Religion is also considered to be institutionalized spirituality (Neal and Vallejo 2008). Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et  al. look towards “religiosity”. They also describe a complex phenomenon of cognitive, affective-motivational and behavioral aspects, but emphasize institutional integration. Religiosity is “an orienting worldview that is expressed in beliefs, narratives, symbols and practices of worship” (Mazereeuw- van der Duijn Schouten et al. 2014, p. 440). It includes both the inner experience of the individual and the connection with others. For research, they consider it sufficient to choose a few key characteristics, in particular the distinction between intrinsic form (religiosity as a framework for interpreting one’s own life) and extrinsic form (domi- nance of social requirements) (Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et al. 2014). 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal With regard to spirituality in the context of an organization, it is important to dis- tinguish the levels of personal spirituality of employees and organizational spirituality to understand their connection. Hence, the forming of a theoretical foundation based on the various concepts of spirituality as well as on the relationship between organi- zational structure and spiritual leadership is only in its infancy (Bakanauskiene and Katiliene 2015; Kumpikaitė-Valiūnienė 2014). Question 2: What Eec ff t Does Workplace Spirituality Have for People and Companies in Profit‑oriented Businesses? Companies that manage to establish spiritual values have had many positive experi- ences, both for the individual employee and for the company. For the employees (1) the experience of an appreciative and “spiritual” work environment contributes to a higher emotional well-being and job satisfaction, contentedness and better health (Kumpikaitė- Valiūnienė 2014; Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008; Stokes et  al. 2016). (2) This strength- ens motivation, willingness to learn, creativity and commitment. Managers and other employees are eager to do their best (Kumpikaitė-Valiūnienė 2014; Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008). It can also lead to courageous activities, e.g. identifying mismanagement or corruption (Stokes et al. 2016). (3) Being respected as a person and accepted as hav- ing value orientation leads to a higher degree of emotional and normative commitment to the company. For the company, on the other hand, (1) the higher affective and normative commit- ment has a long-term effect on productivity (Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008), whereby (2) rate of return, growth, efficiency and return on investment also increases (Kumpikaitė- Valiūnienė 2014). (3) Overall, there is an improved fit of the person to the organization (Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008). (4) From a functional point of view, this is also an important result since commitment is an influential pre-requisite for organizational and team performance. (5) These forms of commitment are particularly enriching for the change-management of companies and should be taken into account accordingly, so that organizational changes don’t conflict with what employees regard as “soft dimensions”, described as workplace spirituality (Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008, p. 69). Global Perspective and Sustainability This value orientation often underlines the need to consider global values, i.e. perspectives with regard to sustainability (Stokes et al. 2016). A solid spiritual foundation is now considered to be one of the important factors in the com- mitment to sustainability. According to Stokes at al.: “VBA [Values, Beliefs, Attitudes] makes an often hidden, even mundane, but also very powerful, contribution to human capital. It potentially enhances the value of every member of the company by creating additional conditions and dimen- sions in which their ‘knowledge, capabilities and skills’ can be better expressed, thus enhancing their sense of emotional wellbeing and job satisfaction, which in turn minimizes the more destructive and inimical practices that were highlighted within the corporate setting. […] Second (and linked to the point above), the driv- ers and application of VBA can be seen to have a multi-levelled impact: from the smallest attention to detail that makes an employee feel valued and noticing anoth- er’s struggles and engaging empathically, through to standing up of the underdog in the face of perceived miss-management or corruption within the structures of 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal the business. Occasionally, VBA highlights the role of business as part of a wider web of interconnectedness that directly connects with global ethical agendas con- cerning, for example, the well-being of the planet as a whole.” (Stokes et al. 2016, p. 48). Conversely, this means that the prevailing neglect of spirituality hides possible resources for individual and company performance. Question 3: Risks of Mismanagement of Spirituality in the Workplace In the interests of the economy, should individual employees with their diverse cultural backgrounds be placed into the interest of the profit orientation of the business? Cullen & Turnbull warn against the dangers of “soft capitalism”, which puts the whole person in the service of a capitalist company, namely with the neoliberal rhetoric of a new culture of work and organization, the emphasis on self-motivation and self-realization and an authen- tic self-existence. Such self-centred management development initiatives extend their impact beyond work, to people’s aims in life and relationships (Cullen and Turnball 2012). Approaches to organizational spirituality, which focuses on the congruence of values and the sense of belonging, need political agendas and power structures for their critical corrective analysis. Izak examined some recent studies and questions and their positive aspects of organizational spirituality. He advocates that future research should focus even more on the political aspects, power structures, methods of asserting influence and provid- ing support (Izak 2012). On the other side, an appreciative and “spiritual” work environ- ment can lead employees to courageous activities, e.g. identifying mismanagement or cor- ruption (Stokes et al. 2016). Question 4: The Contribution of People’s Religious Orientation to “spirituality” in the Workplace Religion in the workplace has so far been regarded as a diversity factor. Influences beyond this have not yet been investigated much. In the studies at hand, Christianity as a religious background, has formed the basis for this investigation involving a variety of questions. A common result is that religion and spirituality show up at the workplace through various values and attitudes (Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et  al. 2014; Stokes et  al. 2016; Zsolnai and Illes 2017). The studies show that executives and other company employees emphasize the follow- ing values: (1) Integrity, sincerity, transparency and trust, (2) reflection on mistakes and constructive criticism of faults, (3) empathy and concern for colleagues, also in an altru- istic way instead of constant orientation to fast and inexpensive work, (4) respect and fair dealings with each other and with customers and (5) minimizing hurtful and stressful out- comes. The aim is to compensate for social differences (bridging and linking social capi- tal), build social solidarity and mitigate the dangers of a closed group mentality (Stokes et  al. 2016). The focus is on promoting social togetherness as an expression of Christian charity (Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et  al. 2014; Stokes et  al. 2016; Zsolnai and Illes 2017). Charity, thus, becomes an organizational principle (Pina e Cunha et al. 2017). Dealing with Mistakes and Resolution of Conflicts Stokes et  al. observe that Christian leaders and company members in the UK find it important to have a culture of dealing with 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal mistakes (importance of forgiving), whereas Răducan and Răducan in Romania show a low level of dealing with conflicts and criticism among Orthodox Christian workers (Răducan and Răducan 2013a, 2013b). Tolerance of Religious Diversity Among Dutch executives, the influence of intrinsic Christian religiosity on the question of diversity was shown to be negative. Traditional Protestant and Catholic teaching and patriarchal ecclesiastical structures are assumed to be the basic reason for this (Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et al. 2014). In Romania, Orthodox Christianity is considered to be tolerant of religions. Romanians who see them- selves as (very) Orthodox Christians have no problem working for a Muslim entrepreneur. In their experience, religion at the workplace is irrelevant and there were no experiences of religious restrictiveness (Zaharia and Benchea 2013). Impact on Financial Responsibility Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et al. show a neg- ative effect of intrinsic Christian religiosity in relation to the instrumentalisation of Corpo- rate Social Responsibility (CSR) to maximize profits (Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et al. 2014). This result is supported by the quotation in many religions: “You cannot serve both God and money” (Luke 16:13). Special Features: Dependence on Culture and the Religious Composition of the Com‑ pany Board In Swiss companies, confessional-cultural attitudes showed to have an influ- ence on the company’s economic and corporate style. In particular, on the willingness to either tolerate company power structures, promote them or influence management and control structures. “Most importantly French, Swiss-French, and Roman Catholics tend to tolerate hierarchical structures and strong leadership. In contrast, German, Swiss-German, and Protestants tend to be skeptical towards a concentration of power” (Volonté 2015, p. 79). The study provides empirical evidence that culture and values related to tolerance for hierarchical structure directly affect board structure: “Swiss–German boards and boards in Protestant cantons are commonly observed to have a two-tiered board structure. […] In the Swiss–French area and in Roman Catholic cantons, one-tier boards are more prevalent, which necessarily results in concentrations of power” (Volonté 2015, p. 103). The former aim is to limit the concentration of power; the latter promotes it. While the ‘board compo- sition’ is significantly determined by culture, religion and language, ownership as well as capital structure (“equity structure”) are not significantly dependent on it (Volonté 2015). Differences Between West and East The fact that Christian values and a corresponding workplace spirituality contribute to successful company management is a conviction far higher among Christian managers in Western Europe than among Christian blue-collar workers in Lithuania (managers were not interviewed here). A connection with the com- munist past is suspected to be the reason here (Kumpikaitė-Valiūnienė 2014). Explicitness of Religion in a Secular Society Religious orientation is frequently not dis- played directly, but through values and attitudes. The authors suspect that the obstacles to a secular society, i.e. the hostility towards religious values that religious leaders also notice and feel from non-religious leaders, to be the reasons (Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et al. 2014). Stokes et al. raise the question of the extent to which this self-cen- sorship is self-imposed, or a consequence of a secular based hostility to religion in the public domain, “whereby only the secular is perceived as neutral and therefore eligible for 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal public consumption, and the religious is deemed fit only for private expression (but see also the provision of prayer rooms for staff in many UK firms which contrasts favorably with other EU settings such as in France where work and religion are considered incompat- ible” (Stokes et al. 2016, p. 49). Question 5: Religious Diversity and Forms of Discrimination The study by Kupczyk et al. notes that the level of diversity management implementation in Poland is rather low. This is related to the fact that trust in organizations is rather low, much lower than trust in management or in colleagues (Kupczyk et  al. 2015). Based on the findings of the study by Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et al. (2014), however, it would be important to know if there is a connection between confidence in organizations and the religious orientation of the managers. Uncertainties about diversity, especially about other languages and other religions, are greater in family businesses in Germany, Switzerland and Austria than in non-family busi- nesses. Consequently, family businesses in these countries regard internationalisation of their products for more distant countries to be riskier than in the neighbouring countries (Mensching et  al. 2016). In the UK, non-white and, especially, Muslim men and women experience discrimination. The discrimination is particularly evident towards higher posi- tions and management levels. “In the case of non-whites, particularly Muslim minorities, there is a clear hierarchy in the penalty they face between the stage of finding a job - any job - and joining the salariat class. This means that through their employment careers some individuals will face an increasing penalty as they seek to advance from a given level to a higher one” (Khattab and Johnston 2015, p. 11-12). A small case study shows how Muslim women of an ethnic minority (Dawoodi Bohra community) manage to maintain their Islamic identity running their small businesses, even increase their honour in their community and, at the same time, avoid conflict with Swe- den’s secular host society (Pio 2010). Question 6: How Can Spirituality be Promoted in For‑profit Business? The Importance of Spiritual Leadership Promoting workplace spirituality requires new creativity (Šilingienė and Škėrienė 2015; Zsolnai and Illes 2017), a “spiritual intelligence” of managers whose personalities (hon- esty, appreciation) are committed to ideas and values (including confidence and care), interactions with employees and customers (trust, communication, flexibility, an eye for talent and involvement) and also showing alignment with the performance of a company (life satisfaction, commitment, corporate responsibility, continuous improvement, produc- tivity) (Bakanauskiene and Katiliene 2015). “Critical existential thinking”, “personal meaning production”, “conscious state expan- sion”, “transcendental awareness” are four further characteristics (Šilingienė and Škėrienė 2016, p. 61). “Spiritual Leadership”, which is regarded as a generic term for concepts such as, “busi- ness ethics”, “values-based leadership” and “corporate social responsibility” brings about a change of perspective by shifting values, e.g. common good before individual capitalist interests, mutual trust before mutual market advantages, social commitment before self- ish behaviour and basic needs before subjective preferences. According to Copenhagen 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal Business School scholar Peter Pruzan (2011) “spiritually based leadership considers ethics, social responsibility and sustainability not as instruments to protect and promote the classi- cal business rationale, but as fundamental goals in their own right” (Zsolnai and Illes 2017, p. 198). This could create a certain independence, which enables creative and ethically responsible solutions to be found for the complex challenges and goes beyond a purely instrumental rationality and materialistic orientation that contributes to major social and environmental problems (Zsolnai and Illes 2017). Interventions – Two Examples Researching ways that support people in leadership and management in their spiritual dimension, the studies examined the effects of two rather extensive interventions that pursue conflicting interests. On the one hand, managers were offered possibilities for promoting spiritual development with the aim that their spiritual direction will lead to better corporate values. This showed largely positive results, depend- ing on the spirituality or religiosity of the individual (Cullen 2011). On the other hand, the focus was on how leadership is influenced by a spiritual, or similar, attitude (meditation) and regular experience sharing; this structure gave the individual support so that the par- ticipants did not relapse into old work pattern routines (Lychnell 2017). Discussion The global discussion on workplace spirituality and spiritual leadership is ongoing (Alt- man et al. 2022; Alewell and Moll 2021a, 2021b; Brügger 2021; Moll 2022). World leaders call for value-based decision making in order to guarantee decent work for all and promote sustainable economic growth. The papal Encyclical “Laudato Si’” from 2015 states that “leadership capable of striking out on new paths and meeting the needs of the present with concern for all and without prejudice towards coming generations” (p. 38) is lacking (The Holy Father Francis 2015). In 2015 in New York, world leaders agreed to the key role of decent work for all in achieving sustainable development. This is highlighted by Sustain- able Development Goal 8 – SDG 8 – (implemented since 2016) which aims to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” (p. 2), including people with disabilities, women, young and older workers, cultural and indigenous minorities as well as migrants. “Furthermore, crucial aspects of decent work are broadly rooted in the targets of many of the other 16 goals” (United Nations 2015, p. 19). Respecting cultural and with that religious diversity as well as personal development and social integration is part of decent workplace practice and calls for special rights and measures at work. Fostering workplace spirituality and religious orientations and expressions at work could be supported by “Good Religious Practice” as SDG 8. Ulrich Hemel of Weltethos-Institut Tübingen proposed this at the UNESCO Sum- mer School in Lucerne in June 2019 to encourage the dialogue between politics, economy and religion (Hemel 2019, p. 250). The research regarding workplace spirituality is con- centrated in America, Asia and the Islamic World (Pirkola et al. 2016). Nevertheless, since the turn of the millennium, the subject of workplace spirituality has received greater atten- tion in Europe as well (Zsolnai and Illes 2017). Following the global call for better and more integrative workplaces, the present sys- tematic review investigated the spiritual dimension in European for-profit-organizations, focusing on explicit religious or spiritual management goals and pondering facilitators and barriers in leveraging R/S in workplace, leadership, and employee bonding. 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal Based on the search conducted in a wide range of databases, earlier reviews and peer- reviewed journals, our study demonstrates that specific cultural and regional aspects of R/S in the workplace are of particular importance in the European context: (1) Individual countries have a different history of “secularity” or “laïcité”, and correspondingly, differ - ent requirements to address R/S in the workplace. (2) Denomination and religious diversity are defining parameters. (3) The influence of an ex-communist background can also cause divergences. Of the twenty studies available, eight come from Central and Eastern European coun- tries (Lithuania: 2, Poland: 2, Hungary: 1, Romania: 3), four from the English-speaking region (Ireland: 2; UK: 2), two from Sweden, two from the German-speaking regions (Ger- many, Austria, Switzerland, incl. French-speaking Switzerland), one from the Netherlands, two from Spain and one from Portugal. Limitations The data were checked in different databases demanding variations in search strategies and algorithms, which affects the transparency and replicability of this systematic review. The search was conducted including literature from 2007/01 to 2017/07. The articles published after 2017/07 are referred to, but not systematically analysed in this paper. A large number of studies were excluded based on pre-defined inclusion/exclusion criteria. By not includ- ing the numerous studies conducted in Turkey may have led to implicit bias as there is no comparison of spirituality and religion in the Islamic working worlds. This would, how- ever, be desirable to have in our plural and global work contexts in Europe. Strengths This systematic literature review was reported following the PRISMA guidelines. The study protocol was based on broad preliminary search that was finalized as rigorous search strategy with database appropriate search algorithms and clearly defined inclusion/exclu- sion criteria. The research questions are specifically focused (Schardt et  al. 2007), which is to ensure that the review process remains focused. Three independent investigators were working on screening, data extraction, study quality assessment and thematic analysis at different stages of the process. All included studies are presented according to research design, methodology, data, assumptions made and study quality. Despite the inevitable risks of investigator bias, we believe that the results of this systematic review provide robust evidence and valuable findings for evidence-informed policymaking and encourage a more rigorous research in this field of study. Conclusions and Recommendations The major findings of the research show two different approaches to religion and spiritual- ity (R/S) in the workplace: (a) Work as a form of self-development and world formation, and, in the broader sense, having spiritual dimensions when associated with the search for meaning and the transcending of oneself. (b) How religious and spiritual orientation becomes allied to the workplace and corporate culture in the form of “spiritual capital”. The spiritual needs of people at work become part of a search for meaningful work that corresponds to their own values, a search for a contribution to society, to the community, to 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal responsibility for the whole in the sense of sustainability and for a purpose in life and hap- piness. The studies show that taking these aspects into account has a positive effect on job satisfaction, health and affective and normative commitment of employees, thereby pro- moting company productivity and sustainability. According to the studies available, leader- ship and staff did not openly admit a personal religious orientation towards the Christian faith (only this aspect was available for the studies) as these aspects were hidden in the corporate culture. This proved to have a positive effect through significant commitment to social cohesion and inclusion, but a negative effect through distrust, or at least insecurity, with handling religious diversity. Trust and love were also examined in the framework of principles within an organization. If leadership had a real interest in the spiritual dimen- sion, this would lead to a change of perspective. Maximizing profits would become less important than the values of personal development of employees, greater job satisfaction, bonding and sustainability. However, the studies also point to the danger that, through the concepts of workplace spirituality, people may be exploited for profit-oriented business goals. When looking for work and especially when moving up to higher positions, non- white Muslims (both men and women) in particular experience discrimination. In view of the importance of spirituality in the workplace and the growing religious-cultural diversity, the question is raised, whether the time is ripe for religion and spirituality to be taken out of the taboo and private sphere and put into the economic context. Implications for Evidence‑based Policy‑making In the past, it has been argued that in European societies, R/S has been to a larger extent “privatized” (Luckmann 1996). The concern of counteracting privatization and tabooing and the need to discuss spirituality and religion in the work context, can be understood as an expression of “enlightened respect”. “Secularity today does not mean the opposite of religion, but rather, consciously enabling pluralism” (Fiedler 2015, p. 125). Of course, after having been tabooed and privatized for so long, this change requires learning pro- cesses, (self-)reflection as well as development of language. Overall, religion and spirituality are still very much neglected by business enterprises in Europe. Recent studies show that in German-speaking countries, workplace spirituality is less implemented in diversity management and HRM, considering R/S a private matter and being afraid of negative consequences of religions ‘violence potential’ (Alewell and Rastetter 2020). The findings “suggest that the more businesses can be open to acknowl- edging the existence of both religious and secular expressions of spiritual capital the more humane and therefore the more productive their corporate environment is likely to be. The more spaces and places in which staff can be facilitated to express their deepest values, beliefs and attitudes for positive change and the well-being, then the more authentically connected they will feel to the roles that have been assigned to them” (Stokes et al. 2016, p. 49). The studies evaluated in this review show the need to differentiate between the spir - itual needs that connect many people to their work and work environment and the different cultural and religious backgrounds of the individuals. The question is how spirituality in the workplace is connected to the specific needs of various religions, free space and forms of expression and whether there is time and a place in companies for this. Can promoting workplace spirituality in companies help increase respect for religious diversity in its vari- ous forms and can it also help to find creative solutions? 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal Implications for Future Research Empirical research, as well as theory building and model development for workplace spir- ituality and spiritual leadership with its connections within Europe to profit-oriented busi- nesses, is still in its initial stage. This, however, should not affect the study quality and the quality of data published. Our review provides suggestions for improvements. This systematic review presented workplace spirituality as problematic, which indicates that research must be contextualized and the population as well as the methods to investi- gate R/S and workplace spirituality carefully chosen. It became evident that the available tools to measure R/S and workplace spirituality are not appropriate for the European con- text. The issue that adequate conceptions and assessment instruments are missing, such as in German-speaking countries, has been raised in other studies (Moll 2020). Albeit other voices, in particularly in the healthcare sector, warn against an instrumentalisation of S/R (Best el al. 2020). Further investigations of the connection of workplace spirituality and R/S with social determinants and health (e.g. based on absenteeism) is also needed. In par- ticular, long-term studies and studies with control groups are entirely missing. Author Contributions LM and EF devised the project and the main conceptual ideas. LM and PP performed the preliminary and final literature search. PP worked out the study protocol. LM, PP and AKS extracted the data and preformed the quality assessment. LM and PP wrote the manuscript. All authors contributed to the article and approved the submitted version. Funding Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. This work was supported by Karl Schlecht Stiftung. Data Availability The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. Code Availability The search and data extraction strategy is presented in the paper. Declarations Conflict of Interest The authors confirm that there is no conflict of interest. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Com- mons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http:// creat iveco mmons. org/ licen ses/ by/4. 0/. References Ahmed, Adeel, Mohd Anuar Arshad, Arshad Mahmood, and Sohail Akhtar. 2016. 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Leveraging Spirituality and Religion in European For-profit-organizations: a Systematic Review

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Abstract

This systematic review synthesises the available evidence regarding the European  under- standing of workplace spirituality (definitions), the importance of spirituality and  reli- gion (evidence) as well as spiritual leadership (meaning and practice) in for-profitorgan- izations. The search for eligible studies was conducted in OPAC Plus, SCOPUS, Science Direct, JSTOR, EBSCO, and Google Scholar from 2007/01 to  2017/07. Three independ- ent scholars extracted the data. Twenty studies were included  (two mixed-methods, eight quantitative, ten qualitative) for the final quality assessment.  A study quality assessment and thematic analysis was conducted. This review gives  suggestions for study quality improvement and reporting. Thematically, two different approaches to religion and spiritu- ality (R/S) were detected: a) work has a spiritual dimension and b) religious and spiritual orientation as “spiritual capital”. Studies demonstrated positive effect on job satisfaction, health, commitment, company  productivity and sustainability; Christian leadership does not address personal religious orientation; the spiritual dimension may lead to a change of perspective; workplace  spirituality may exploit people for profit-oriented business goals; non-white Muslims experience discrimination. This systematic review provides robust evi- dence and  findings for evidence-informed policymaking and encourages a more rigorous research in this field of study. Keywords Spiritual leadership · Workplace spirituality · Quality of work life · Sustainability · Human resource management · European for-profit organizations * Lydia Maidl Lydia.Maidl@lmu.de Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, 80539 Munich, Germany Institute of Tourism, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences of Arts, Rösslimatte 48, 6002 Lucerne, Switzerland Professorship of Spiritual Care & Psychosomatic Health, University Hospital rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Kaulbachstr. 22a, 80539 Munich, Germany University Hospital Ulm, Albert-Einstein-Allee 23, 89081 Ulm, Germany Institute of Nursing Science and Practice, Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg, Strubergasse 21, 5020 Salzburg, Austria 1 3 Vol.:(0123456789) Humanistic Management Journal Introduction Studying workplace spirituality is an open field of research that examines spiritual and religious orientation(s) at different levels, such as individual, organizational and societal, and analyses its consequences for educational, managerial and marketing purposes. The evidence demonstrates that to succeed and improve, all profit-oriented organizations must constantly be on the lookout for values and norms that support sustainable human resource management, advance the image of the organization (branding) and help to produce prod- ucts that are in compliance with societal norms and consumer values. Thus, there is grow- ing pressure to not only produce accordingly, but also to represent and live these values within the organization. Therefore, current leadership and Human Resource Management (HRM) research is constantly searching for solutions supporting the growth of emotional, spiritual, cultural, intentional and appreciative intelligence in leaders and decision-makers (Martin and Hafer 2009; Šilingienė and Škėrienė 2015; Parkkali et  al. 2015; Rosenauer et  al. 2016; Kaufmann and Gaeckler 2015; Kaufmann and Wagner 2017). The ability to manage the ‘spiritual capital’ in the workplace has been called “the missing link in the process of human development that should be identified and considered as an important factor for developed and morally qualified human resources” (Ahmed et al. 2016, p. 165). Accordingly, the ongoing discussions call for a turn in management styles, in particular, when facing the challenge of HRM in the workplace. Cultural Diversity and Human Resource Management Modern HRM is a wicked problem, because trying to change a single agent calls for large system initiatives (Waddock et  al. 2015). Current HRM faces numerous challenges, such as motivating and keeping elderly employees (Kurek and Rachwał 2011, Sturz and Zogra- fos 2014, Vasconcelos 2015; 2018), while making organizations attractive for Generations Y and Z (Sullivan et  al. 2009, Brown et  al. 2012, Baumane-Vītoliņa et  al. 2017, Chawla et  al. 2017), supporting female (Bark et  al. 2014) and LGBTIQ+ journeys (Köllen 2016, Pichler et al. 2017), maintaining an appropriate work environment for people with disabili- ties (Hogan et  al. 2012, Kulkarni and Rodrigues 2014) and addressing employees’ strug- gles with various lifestyle and health issues, such as diabetes (Stynen et al. 2015), obesity (Levay 2014), alcohol and substance abuse (Belhassen and Shani 2012) or helping those suffering from violence at home or at the workplace (Alsaker et al. 2016). In addition to these aspects, there is the paramount problem of how to adapt to the man- ifold cultural identities in the workplace. This challenge spans from international talent management (Gallardo-Gallardo et al. 2020) to expatriate issues (Lazarova et al. 2010), as well as leveraging multi-ethnic, national and religious identities (Byrne et al. 2011, Tracey 2012, Ghumman et  al. 2013, Khattab and Johnston 2015). To overcome these and other HRM challenges, adopting a model of workplace spirituality might seem a useful forth- coming initiative. Workplace Spirituality – Fostering Oneness and Belonging Many of the empirical studies have demonstrated a positive effect of spirituality on job commitment, satisfaction and performance. The conventional strategy of organizations lies in helping their employees flourish by enhancing the individual’s knowledge, skills, abili- ties and emotion control (Ahmed et al. 2016). Accordingly, spiritual values in employees 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal have been positively associated with their mental well-being and low occupational stress, whereas the spiritual practices are positively associated with low work-related exhaustion and burnout (Arnetz et  al. 2013; Nowrouzi et  al. 2015). Other studies are demonstrating positive results in employees’ altruism and conscientiousness, self-career management, reduced inter-role conflict, reduced frustration, organization based self-esteem, involve- ment, retention and ethical behaviour (Geigle 2012). Based on earlier findings, it can be concluded that spirituality benefits employees and supports organizational performance by enhancing employee well-being and quality of life, providing a sense of purpose, mean- ing, interconnectedness and community (Karakas 2010). The problem is that these studies have applied measures that enable understanding spirituality, spiritual needs and personal growth in individual employees or managers, however, the challenges and changes at group and organizational level have been largely neglected (Alcázar et al. 2013; Kulik 2014; Sul- livan and Baruch 2009). Thus, there is a solemn need to explore and measure the effective- ness of diversity management activities in order to understand why, when and where adopt- ing a workplace spirituality model might be forthcoming. An additional problem is that there is no consensus on what workplace spirituality actu- ally means. It has been suggested that in spiritually driven workplaces, people follow the model of minimization – meaning that they tend to highlight their similarities and ignore their differences (Ameli and Molaei 2012). Workplace spirituality has been linked to the ‘oneness principle’ indicating that “when you see no other, you help and support the cor- respondent no matter what his or her position/race/religion.” (Çelik 2012, p. 71). Accord- ingly, it is to be understood as a construct delivering a sense of connectedness or belonging linked to workplace specific moral boundaries and values. Workplace Spirituality and Religion When examining workplace spirituality and spiritual leadership, most researchers combine spirituality and religion (Dent et al. 2005), which is problematic for several reasons. Work- place spirituality is aiming at minimizing differences by creating an organizational system of meaning and delivering the message of community. Accordingly, “many organizations appear increasingly willing to play the role of secular religion, where the founders may become deities of sorts; key insiders may become clergy; jobs, callings; institutionalized processes, rituals; and failings, sins.” (Ashforth and Vaidyanath 2002, p. 359). Creating an Olympus, a workplace full of gods and good will, no matter how innovative and inspiring, has its downsides calling for caution, in particular, when it comes to respecting employees as individuals each with their cultural and religious attachments. Ignoring the issue of formal religion over workplace spirituality may have serious con- sequences for individuals, organizations and for societies (Alidadi and Foblets 2012). The consequences have not been examined and understood yet, however, Karakas has identified common problems connected to (mis)managing workplace spirituality. First and foremost is the danger of proselytism (the attempt to convert people to another religion or opinion), followed by the issue of compatibility, the risk of spirituality becoming a fad or a manage- ment tool to manipulate employees, the legitimacy problem the field of spirituality at work faces in theory, research and practice, the accommodation of spiritual requests, respect for diversity, openness and freedom of expression as well as acknowledgement of employees as individuals (Karakas 2010). This extensive list of problems clearly calls for an intelli- gent approach not only regarding management styles, but also in research. 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal It appears that the contradiction between implementing workplace spirituality models at work and (dis)respecting worker’s religion has led to a point, where many people simply wish that religion had no foothold in the workplace (Borstorff and Arlington 2011). This is all the more reason to take employees’ religious and faith-related needs seriously, when studying workplace spirituality and spiritual leadership. Aims and Objectives For the past decade, the meaning of spirituality and religion in the workplace and in HRM has been the topic of many academic research endeavours. The importance of this topic for research becomes apparent considering the number of published books (Antwi 2017; Charles 2016; Farina 2015; Fry and Altman 2013; Lalani 2014; Marshall 2012; Morton 2015; Mugalu 2010; Ngambi 2011; Peltonen 2017; Scalise 2007) or scientific reviews conducted to investigate, explore, and discuss the various aspects of workplace spiritual- ity and the management of religion and/or spirituality (R/S) at the individual, organiza- tional or societal level. Previously conducted reviews (Lizardo 2011; Ratnakar and Nair 2012; Tracey 2014; Tracey 2012; Ghumman et  al. 2013; Miller and Ewest 2013; Balog et  al. 2014; Habib Rana and Shaukat Malik 2016) have proposed arguments, conclusions and recommendations, which are contradictory and inconclusive. Therefore, the principal questions regarding what is workplace spirituality, why workplace spirituality matters, how to manage workplace spirituality and what to do about religion at the organizational level, still remain relevant. As the majority of evidence regarding managing R/S at organizations stems from non-European countries (Hashim et al. 2015), the following review pays spe- cial attention to knowledge and evidence emerging from the European context. Methods This is a systematic review of literature to provide a complete and comprehensive sum- mary of evidence on how to leverage spirituality and religion in for-profit-organizations in the European context. The findings of this review are presented according to the PRISMA (Moher et al. 2010) guideline. The study protocol was published on ResearchGate on Feb- ruary 2, 2018 (Paal 2018). Eligibility This review considered quantitative, qualitative and mixed method studies. Quantitative designs include experimental studies (including randomized controlled trials, non-rand- omized controlled trials, other quasi-experimental studies including before and after stud- ies) and observational designs (descriptive studies, cohort studies, cross sectional studies, case studies and case series studies). Qualitative designs include any studies that focus on qualitative data, such as, but not limited to, case studies, grounded theory, ethnography designs or discursive analysis. This review concentrated on studies published between January 2007 and July 2017. Only publications in the English language are included. Books, book chapters, book reviews, conference proceedings, editorials and theses are excluded from this review. 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal For inclusion/exclusion decision making, we applied the following PICO framework (Schardt et al. 2007): Population: Adult workers and managers of any for-profit-organization in European countries. Intervention: Any introduction/application/assessment of R/S in the workplace at group or organizational level. Comparison: Any methods applied, including comparison between European and non- European countries. Outcomes: Any reported outcomes on R/S in the workplace at group or organizational level, or in management. Exclusion Criteria We excluded adolescents, retired, unemployed workers, stakeholders, ethnic minorities or expats at non-profit and governmental organizations, private or public military, prison, church, school, higher education unit, health institution, virtual teams and digital society or workforce outside the workplace in non-European countries. Also excluded were studies tackling knowledge transfer, communication, organizational or life-long-learning, analys- ing and exploring organizational change, workplace issues and leadership challenges with- out an explicit connection to spirituality and religion. The Search Strategy The search strategy was deliberately kept broad in order to map the range of topics hypo- thetically connected to the workplace R/S, R/S in HRM and spiritual leadership. The MeSh browser (Mesh on Demand n.d.) was visited to extend the search words. Regular meetings were held to discuss the primary findings in order to fine-tune the search strategy and key words. Word combinations and search terms were used as demonstrated in the following figure (Fig. 1). The search was conducted by two independent scholars in following electronic data- bases and generic search engines: (1) OPAC Plus (2007/01-2017/07) (2) SCOPUS Fig. 1 The keywords in the search algorithm 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal (2007/01-2017/07) (3) Science Direct (2007/01-2017/07) (4) JSTOR (2007/01-2017/07) (5) EBSCO (2007/01-2017/07) (6) Google Scholar (2007/01-2017/07). Selected literature reviews (Sturz and Zografos 2014; Tecchio et al. 2016; Karakas 2010; Balog et al. 2014; Drenten and McManus 2016; Geigle 2012) and three journals (Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion, Journal of Organizational Change Management and Journal of Management Development) were also searched manually. Synthesis and Analysis of Outcomes Three investigators (LM, PP, AKS) independently: (1) extracted the data, (2) evaluated the study quality, (3) coded and categorized and finally (4) synthesized the findings to answer the review questions. The data was extracted by three investigators (LM, PP, AKS) independently using an Excel based data extraction matrix comprising and describing the elements that respond to the objective of this review (Fig. 1. Data extraction matrix). The matrix was developed in accordance with the primary literature search findings. The study quality appraisal was done by three independent investigators (LM, PP, AKS) following the QualSyst scoring system for qualitative and quantitative studies (Kmet et  al.  2004). Consensus discussions were held to solve any interrater disagree- ments. Two independent investigators (LM, AKS) coded and categorized the findings using the line by line coding to search for research questions, definitions, best practice models and central findings. The derivation of themes was data based. • LM and PP synthesized the qualitative findings according to the thematic synthesis of qualitative research in systematic reviews (Thomas and Harden 2008). Consensus dis- cussions were held upon presenting the final findings. Risk of Investigator Bias Extensive search of databases was conducted by two independent investigators (PP, LM). Different search strategies and search words/algorithms (sometimes with limitations on site, such as “-books”) were applied to exploit the benefits of each search platform. Dou- ble checks in reviews, journals, and special issues demonstrated that our online search had included the majority of relevant publications to answer the review questions. This review concentrates on studies of European origin and focused on literature pub- lished only in English. Depending on regional policies, socio-economic situation and local research priorities, the investigated topic may be more relevant in some European countries than in others, and depending on cultural background, scholars may use different concepts and notions having explicit or implicit connection to spirituality and religion. To diminish investigator bias, an interdisciplinary group of investigators was involved in conducting this review. The investigators are experts in different fields (economics, theol- ogy, cultural sciences), know different regions of Europe by origin or longer periods of res- idence (Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Germany) and have a number of languages at their 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal disposal (English, German, French, Russian, Italian, Finnish, Baltic and Scandinavian). All authors have Christian backgrounds. Results The search results from two independent investigators (PP, LM) were merged using the TM reference management software Endno te . The automatic removal of duplicates resulted in 2331 hits for the preliminary screening. The dual screening of titles and abstracts for eligible studies resulted in identifying 89 studies for the article reading (Fig.  2). During the first read, 17 articles did not meet the primary inclusion criteria linguistically (Rego 2007; Santiago 2007), thematically (Aydinli-Karakulak and Dimitrova 2016; Cornelissen and Jirjahn 2012; Gebert et  al. 2014; Gorbănescu 2014; Izak 2015; Kurek and Rachwał 2011; Lloyd and Robinson 2011; Opfinger 2014; Corbett 2009; Essounga-Njan et al. 2013; Ouarda et al. 2012; Schreurs et al. 2014) or contextually (Alidadi and Foblets 2012; Chen and Yeh 2014; Cregård 2017). The reasons for further consensus-based exclusion were: three literature reviews (Gundolf and Filser 2013; Silingiene and Skeriene 2016; Tracey 2012); Fig. 2 Flow Diagram 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal • 22 conceptual papers (Al Ariss and Sidani 2016; Bolton 2010; Case and Gosling 2010; Corbett 2009; Cullen 2013; Eisenbeiss 2012; Foblets 2013; Kamoche and Pinnington 2012; Krinitcyna and Menshikova 2015; Lennerfors 2015; Nicolae et al. 2013; Roberts 2012; Rozuel 2014; Schnall and Cannon 2012; Slavik et al. 2015; Smith and Rayment 2007; Storsletten and Jakobsen 2015; Szilas 2014; Teeple Hopkins 2015; Ungvári- Zrínyi 2014; Van Gordon et al. 2016; Woniak 2012); • five articles concentrating on religious branding and consumer behaviour (Paquier 2015; Pace 2013; Rauschnabel et al. 2015; Schlegelmilch et al. 2016; Moraru 2013); • four RELIGARE studies funded by the European Commission (Foblets and Alidadi 2013; European Commission 2014) monitoring the public sector (Bader et  al. 2013; Christoffersen and Vinding 2013; Frégosi and Kosulu 2013; Grekova et al. 2013); two articles monitoring the discrimination before entering the workplace (Forstenlech- ner and Al-Waqfi 2010; Murray and Ali 2017), 15 articles from Turkey (Fisher Onar and Müftüler-Baç 2011; Ersoy et al. 2011; Ersoy et al. 2015; Yamak et al. 2015; Dede and Ayranci 2014; Çelik 2012; Sabah et al. 2014; Elçi et  al. 2011; Uyar et  al. 2015; Kurtulmuş and Warner 2016; Bideci and Albayrak 2016; Altinay 2008; Tanyeri-Erdemir et  al. 2013; Karakas and Sarigollu 2017; Kurt et al. 2016) and. • one conference proceeding (Šilingienė and Škėrienė 2015). After the careful selection process, 20 studies were eligible to be included for fur- ther analysis: two of these are mixed methods (Bakanauskiene and Katiliene 2015; Kupczyk et  al. 2015), eight quantitative (Khattab and Johnston 2015; Kumpikaitė- Valiūnienė 2014; Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et  al. 2014; Mensching et  al. 2016; Răducan and Răducan 2013a, 2013b; Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008; Volonté 2015) and ten qualitative studies (Cullen and Turnball 2012; Cullen 2011; Pina e Cunha et  al. 2017; Izak 2012; Lychnell 2017; Neal and Vallejo 2008; Pio 2010; Stokes et  al. 2016; Zaharia and Benchea 2013; Zsolnai and Illes 2017). The studies originate from Romania (3), Poland (2), Lithuania (2), Spain (2), Ireland (2), Sweden (2), United Kingdom (2), Hungary (1), Portugal (1), the Netherlands (1), Switzerland (1) and a German/Swiss/Austrian collaboration (1). The overview of review articles is presented in Table 1. The Study Quality Appraisal Three independent investigators conducted the study quality appraisal following the Qual- Syst scoring system (Kmet et al. 2004). The score sheet for qualitative studies consists of ten items and the one for quantitative studies, 14 items. In all quantitative studies, the ran- domizing or blinding interventions (items 5 to 7) were not applicable. Respectively, the maximum score for qualitative studies was 60 (3 × 20) (Fig. 3) and for quantitative studies 66 (3 × (28-(3 × 2))) (Fig. 4). The two mixed-method studies (Bakanauskiene and Katiliene 2015; Kupczyk et al. 2015) were assessed in both categories. To reflect on the overall study reporting quality, we looked at the single item report- ing quality across the included studies. As each investigator could rate the items with a maximum of two points, each item could be scored with a maximum of six points. For 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal 1 3 Table 1 The summary of review articles Author(s) Year Title Country Study aim Participants & sample size Data collection methods Mixed methods (Bakanauskiene and Katil- 2015  A methodological frame- LIT Identify how leadership 333 top-level managers written survey, electronic iene 2015) work to study expression style influences organiza- 299 employees questionnaire, semi-struc- of a leadership style in tional culture features 10 CEOs tured interviews organizational culture: an example of spiritual leadership (Kupczyk et al. 2015) 2015 Implementation of diversity POL Diversity management 335 corporate workers and survey, interviews management in Poland implementation in Poland managers and its relationship with and its relationship with organizational trust trust in company, its man- agers and co-workers Qualitative Studies (Neal and Vallejo 2008) 2008 Family firms as incuba- ES/CAN Family firms typically 2 family firms literature review, case study tors for spirituality in the possess specific cultural workplace: factors that characteristics that stimu- nurture spiritual busi- late the development of nesses spirituality (Pio 2010) 2010 Islamic sisters – Spirituality SWE Ethnic minority entrepre- - literature research, case study and ethnic entrepreneur- neurship offered through ship in Sweden the sacred-secular lens of the Islamic Dawoodi Bohra community, with the purpose of exploring the relationship of spiritu- ality to entrepreneurship (Cullen 2011) 2011 Researching workplace IRL Management of workplace participant/ ethnographic fieldwork, auto- spirituality through auto/ spirituality due to a researcher ethnography ethnography management development program Humanistic Management Journal 1 3 Table 1 (continued) Author(s) Year Title Country Study aim Participants & sample size Data collection methods (Cullen and Turnball 2012) 2012 The hetero-ethical man- IRL Management develop- 50 managers ethnographic fieldwork, agement development ment program effects on interviews rationale program participants (Izak 2012) 2012 Spiritual episteme: sense- POL Sense-making mechanisms 35 CEOs literature review, interviews making in the frame- in the discourse of organi- spiritual teachers employees work of organizational zational spirituality spirituality (Zaharia and Benchea 2013 The psychology behind ROM Christian orthodox employ- 35 employees from com- interviews 2013) religion: how is it to work ees’ attitudes towards panies led by Muslim for a Muslim company? working for a Muslim employers employer (Pina e Cunha et al. 2017) 2016 Gemeinschaft in the midst POR How managers make sense 18 Portuguese CEOs interviews of Gesellschaft? Love as of the meaning of love an organizational virtue as an organizational phenomenon. (Stokes et al. 2016) 2016 The role of embedded UK Values, beliefs and attitudes 18 employees from 3 interviews individual values, belief (VBA) held by indi- companies and attitudes and spir- vidual employees with itual capital in shaping business environments, everyday post-secular which motivate and organizational culture shape behaviour in the workplace and the extent to which VBA reveal roots and drivers linked to spiritual capital. (Lychnell 2017) 2017 When work becomes medi- SWE How managers apply a 7 CEOs and business own- two-year in-depth clinical tation: how managers use meditative attitude to ers of small and medium- inquiry work as a tool for personal work in order to further sized companies growth personal growth. Humanistic Management Journal 1 3 Table 1 (continued) Author(s) Year Title Country Study aim Participants & sample size Data collection methods (Zsolnai and Illes 2017) 2017 Spiritually inspired creativ- HUN The relation of spirituality 3 spiritual-based creative case study ity in business and creativity in the busi- business models (Organic ness context India, The Economy of Communion, Triodos Bank) Quantitative Studies (Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008 Workplace Spirituality and ES The impact of five dimen- 361 individuals from 154 survey 2008) organizational commit- sions of workplace organizations ment: an empirical study spirituality on affective, normative, and continu- ance commitment. (Răducan and Răducan 2013 Landmarks of Christian and ROM The influence of Christian 240 employees survey 2013b) adjustment in Romania religious belief upon the organizational culture adjustment to the organi- zational culture rules and values. (Răducan and Răducan 2013 Christian religious faith and ROM The influence of Chris- 240 employees survey 2013a) social relations at work tian Confession upon personality’s coefficients and upon the relational organized conducts. (Khattab and Johnston 2014 Ethno-religious identities UK Unemployment and 553,600 respondents aged UK Labor Force Survey 2015) and persisting penalties in obtaining posts within 19–65 (2002–2010) (LFS) the UK labor market the salariat for ethno- religious groups. Humanistic Management Journal 1 3 Table 1 (continued) Author(s) Year Title Country Study aim Participants & sample size Data collection methods (Kumpikaitė-Valiūnienė 2014 Spirituality at work: com- LIT/EU Investigating differences of 23 interviews with Chris- survey 2014) parison analysis how people from different tian managers, students institutional settings see and non-managerial spirituality at work employees, European sample from Christian entrepreneurs and manag- ers. (Mazereeuw-van der Duijn 2014 Religiosity, CSR attitudes, NED The relationship between 473 executives survey Schouten et al. 2014) and CSR behaviour: an Christian religiosity, atti- empirical study of execu- tudes towards corporate tives‘ religiosity and CSR social responsibility and CSR behaviour of execu- tives. (Volonté 2015) 2015 Culture and Corporate Gov- SUI Investigation of the effect 753 firm-years Swiss performance index ernance: The influence of of culture on corporate language and religion in governance using the Switzerland extraordinary opportu- nity that the corporate landscape of Switzerland provides. (Mensching et al. 2016) 2016 Internationalisation of fam- GER/SUI/AUT The individual decision- 126 CEOs and top manag- conjoint analysis ily and non-family firms: making process of ers a conjoint experiment decision-makers in family among CEOs and non-family firms in internationalisation activi- ties, which depends on the intertwining of both economic and socioemo- tional reference points Humanistic Management Journal Fig. 3 Quality assessment results for qualitative studies according to the QualSyst scoring system (Kmet et al. 2004). *Kupczyk et al., 2015, conducted a mixed-method study but did not report sufficiently on the qualitative approach, which hindered the quality appraisal Fig. 4 Quality assessment results for quantitative studies according to the QualSyst scoring system (Kmet et al. 2004) the analysis, we calculated the average score of each item for both study types, qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative studies (Fig.  5) scored low in items reflecting study design and justifying sampling strategy. Serious flaws were detected in methods applied to data analysis to verify the credibility of outcomes. None of the quantitative studies (Fig. 6) rep- resented randomized controlled studies. Overall the studies failed to justify the participant/ group selection, which led to significant weaknesses in reporting analytic methods and confounders. 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal Fig. 5 Quality assessment of single items in reporting qualitative data according to the QualSyst scoring system (Kmet et al. 2004) Fig. 6 Quality assessment of single items in reporting quantitative data according to the QualSyst scoring system (Kmet et al. 2004) Synthesis of Thematic Analysis Results Question 1: What is Workplace Spirituality? There is no consensus regarding the concept of spirituality in the workplace. It is usually not identified with religion or associated with specific religious traditions, but interpreted more broadly (Izak 2012). It can include any ideological or philosophical orientation of values that exist within a company or an employee. Although spirituality is associated with a variety of dimensions and levels (“multidimensional, multilevel phenomenon”) (Kumpikaitė-Valiūnienė 2014), two common denominators can be identified: (1) The need and - if successful - the experience of achieving meaningful work that corresponds to one’s 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal own values, helps others and possibly serves the greater good. (2) The experience of con- necting with other people, initially at work and then after work with partners and custom- ers and, if the need arises, over and above creating long-term bonds. People want to grow personally through their work and make a contribution to society. They want to be connected („the yearning for connectedness and wholeness”) (Izak 2012; Kumpikaitė-Valiūnienė 2014) and desire meaningfulness and happiness (Neal and Vallejo 2008; Cleary et  al. 2015; Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008). The con- nection with the transcendent is explicitly mentioned in different ways (Zsolnai and Illes 2017). Trust among each other is considered to be a central basis (Kupczyk et al. 2015). Spirituality in the workplace, therefore, results in a combined, appealing perfor- mance and quality orientation that goes beyond the usual values such as independence, competition and acquisition (Kumpikaitė-Valiūnienė 2014). The term “spiritual capital” is derived from the organizational and economic con- text. It was initially chosen by the William Templeton Foundation at the beginning of the 21st century for “social capital” created by religious communities for the socially disadvantaged. It then was extended to mean “secular” spiritual capital in other con- texts, i.e. for the set of values, ethical points of view and visions of individuals as well as of groups and institutions. This includes anything that gives life a sense and mean- ing, such as relationships of all types. Spiritual capital is considered to be a source of motivation for the other forms of capital in a company (Stokes et al. 2016). The utilisation of the broad term spirituality for empirical research is the centre of many studies, sometimes combined with an initial empirical evaluation of one’s own approach (Bakanauskiene and Katiliene 2015; Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008). Rego and Pina e Cunha identified five dimensions that make both the organizational commit- ment and the individual meaning of work visible as essential components of workplace spirituality: Experience a sense of community in their work teams, feel that their val- ues are aligned with those of the organization, consider that they do meaningful and helpful work, experience enjoyment at work and consider that the organization gives them opportunities for their inner life (Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008, p. 62-64). Neal and Vallejo have similar aspects for the basis of their study, in that they distinguish the following five dimensions for “Spirit at work”: (1) the physical dimension (a positive environment and energy), (2) the affective (a feeling of joy and deep satisfaction of well-being), (3) the cognitive (a feeling of being authentic and a connection of per- sonal values with one’s own work and the awareness of doing meaningful work that has a higher goal), (4) the interpersonal (a feeling of connectedness with each other and with a common goal) and (5) the mystical dimension (a spiritual presence, char- acterized by a feeling of connection with something greater, the transcendence and the experience of inspiration and something sacred). Religion is also considered to be institutionalized spirituality (Neal and Vallejo 2008). Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et  al. look towards “religiosity”. They also describe a complex phenomenon of cognitive, affective-motivational and behavioral aspects, but emphasize institutional integration. Religiosity is “an orienting worldview that is expressed in beliefs, narratives, symbols and practices of worship” (Mazereeuw- van der Duijn Schouten et al. 2014, p. 440). It includes both the inner experience of the individual and the connection with others. For research, they consider it sufficient to choose a few key characteristics, in particular the distinction between intrinsic form (religiosity as a framework for interpreting one’s own life) and extrinsic form (domi- nance of social requirements) (Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et al. 2014). 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal With regard to spirituality in the context of an organization, it is important to dis- tinguish the levels of personal spirituality of employees and organizational spirituality to understand their connection. Hence, the forming of a theoretical foundation based on the various concepts of spirituality as well as on the relationship between organi- zational structure and spiritual leadership is only in its infancy (Bakanauskiene and Katiliene 2015; Kumpikaitė-Valiūnienė 2014). Question 2: What Eec ff t Does Workplace Spirituality Have for People and Companies in Profit‑oriented Businesses? Companies that manage to establish spiritual values have had many positive experi- ences, both for the individual employee and for the company. For the employees (1) the experience of an appreciative and “spiritual” work environment contributes to a higher emotional well-being and job satisfaction, contentedness and better health (Kumpikaitė- Valiūnienė 2014; Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008; Stokes et  al. 2016). (2) This strength- ens motivation, willingness to learn, creativity and commitment. Managers and other employees are eager to do their best (Kumpikaitė-Valiūnienė 2014; Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008). It can also lead to courageous activities, e.g. identifying mismanagement or corruption (Stokes et al. 2016). (3) Being respected as a person and accepted as hav- ing value orientation leads to a higher degree of emotional and normative commitment to the company. For the company, on the other hand, (1) the higher affective and normative commit- ment has a long-term effect on productivity (Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008), whereby (2) rate of return, growth, efficiency and return on investment also increases (Kumpikaitė- Valiūnienė 2014). (3) Overall, there is an improved fit of the person to the organization (Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008). (4) From a functional point of view, this is also an important result since commitment is an influential pre-requisite for organizational and team performance. (5) These forms of commitment are particularly enriching for the change-management of companies and should be taken into account accordingly, so that organizational changes don’t conflict with what employees regard as “soft dimensions”, described as workplace spirituality (Rego and Pina e Cunha 2008, p. 69). Global Perspective and Sustainability This value orientation often underlines the need to consider global values, i.e. perspectives with regard to sustainability (Stokes et al. 2016). A solid spiritual foundation is now considered to be one of the important factors in the com- mitment to sustainability. According to Stokes at al.: “VBA [Values, Beliefs, Attitudes] makes an often hidden, even mundane, but also very powerful, contribution to human capital. It potentially enhances the value of every member of the company by creating additional conditions and dimen- sions in which their ‘knowledge, capabilities and skills’ can be better expressed, thus enhancing their sense of emotional wellbeing and job satisfaction, which in turn minimizes the more destructive and inimical practices that were highlighted within the corporate setting. […] Second (and linked to the point above), the driv- ers and application of VBA can be seen to have a multi-levelled impact: from the smallest attention to detail that makes an employee feel valued and noticing anoth- er’s struggles and engaging empathically, through to standing up of the underdog in the face of perceived miss-management or corruption within the structures of 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal the business. Occasionally, VBA highlights the role of business as part of a wider web of interconnectedness that directly connects with global ethical agendas con- cerning, for example, the well-being of the planet as a whole.” (Stokes et al. 2016, p. 48). Conversely, this means that the prevailing neglect of spirituality hides possible resources for individual and company performance. Question 3: Risks of Mismanagement of Spirituality in the Workplace In the interests of the economy, should individual employees with their diverse cultural backgrounds be placed into the interest of the profit orientation of the business? Cullen & Turnbull warn against the dangers of “soft capitalism”, which puts the whole person in the service of a capitalist company, namely with the neoliberal rhetoric of a new culture of work and organization, the emphasis on self-motivation and self-realization and an authen- tic self-existence. Such self-centred management development initiatives extend their impact beyond work, to people’s aims in life and relationships (Cullen and Turnball 2012). Approaches to organizational spirituality, which focuses on the congruence of values and the sense of belonging, need political agendas and power structures for their critical corrective analysis. Izak examined some recent studies and questions and their positive aspects of organizational spirituality. He advocates that future research should focus even more on the political aspects, power structures, methods of asserting influence and provid- ing support (Izak 2012). On the other side, an appreciative and “spiritual” work environ- ment can lead employees to courageous activities, e.g. identifying mismanagement or cor- ruption (Stokes et al. 2016). Question 4: The Contribution of People’s Religious Orientation to “spirituality” in the Workplace Religion in the workplace has so far been regarded as a diversity factor. Influences beyond this have not yet been investigated much. In the studies at hand, Christianity as a religious background, has formed the basis for this investigation involving a variety of questions. A common result is that religion and spirituality show up at the workplace through various values and attitudes (Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et  al. 2014; Stokes et  al. 2016; Zsolnai and Illes 2017). The studies show that executives and other company employees emphasize the follow- ing values: (1) Integrity, sincerity, transparency and trust, (2) reflection on mistakes and constructive criticism of faults, (3) empathy and concern for colleagues, also in an altru- istic way instead of constant orientation to fast and inexpensive work, (4) respect and fair dealings with each other and with customers and (5) minimizing hurtful and stressful out- comes. The aim is to compensate for social differences (bridging and linking social capi- tal), build social solidarity and mitigate the dangers of a closed group mentality (Stokes et  al. 2016). The focus is on promoting social togetherness as an expression of Christian charity (Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et  al. 2014; Stokes et  al. 2016; Zsolnai and Illes 2017). Charity, thus, becomes an organizational principle (Pina e Cunha et al. 2017). Dealing with Mistakes and Resolution of Conflicts Stokes et  al. observe that Christian leaders and company members in the UK find it important to have a culture of dealing with 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal mistakes (importance of forgiving), whereas Răducan and Răducan in Romania show a low level of dealing with conflicts and criticism among Orthodox Christian workers (Răducan and Răducan 2013a, 2013b). Tolerance of Religious Diversity Among Dutch executives, the influence of intrinsic Christian religiosity on the question of diversity was shown to be negative. Traditional Protestant and Catholic teaching and patriarchal ecclesiastical structures are assumed to be the basic reason for this (Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et al. 2014). In Romania, Orthodox Christianity is considered to be tolerant of religions. Romanians who see them- selves as (very) Orthodox Christians have no problem working for a Muslim entrepreneur. In their experience, religion at the workplace is irrelevant and there were no experiences of religious restrictiveness (Zaharia and Benchea 2013). Impact on Financial Responsibility Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et al. show a neg- ative effect of intrinsic Christian religiosity in relation to the instrumentalisation of Corpo- rate Social Responsibility (CSR) to maximize profits (Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et al. 2014). This result is supported by the quotation in many religions: “You cannot serve both God and money” (Luke 16:13). Special Features: Dependence on Culture and the Religious Composition of the Com‑ pany Board In Swiss companies, confessional-cultural attitudes showed to have an influ- ence on the company’s economic and corporate style. In particular, on the willingness to either tolerate company power structures, promote them or influence management and control structures. “Most importantly French, Swiss-French, and Roman Catholics tend to tolerate hierarchical structures and strong leadership. In contrast, German, Swiss-German, and Protestants tend to be skeptical towards a concentration of power” (Volonté 2015, p. 79). The study provides empirical evidence that culture and values related to tolerance for hierarchical structure directly affect board structure: “Swiss–German boards and boards in Protestant cantons are commonly observed to have a two-tiered board structure. […] In the Swiss–French area and in Roman Catholic cantons, one-tier boards are more prevalent, which necessarily results in concentrations of power” (Volonté 2015, p. 103). The former aim is to limit the concentration of power; the latter promotes it. While the ‘board compo- sition’ is significantly determined by culture, religion and language, ownership as well as capital structure (“equity structure”) are not significantly dependent on it (Volonté 2015). Differences Between West and East The fact that Christian values and a corresponding workplace spirituality contribute to successful company management is a conviction far higher among Christian managers in Western Europe than among Christian blue-collar workers in Lithuania (managers were not interviewed here). A connection with the com- munist past is suspected to be the reason here (Kumpikaitė-Valiūnienė 2014). Explicitness of Religion in a Secular Society Religious orientation is frequently not dis- played directly, but through values and attitudes. The authors suspect that the obstacles to a secular society, i.e. the hostility towards religious values that religious leaders also notice and feel from non-religious leaders, to be the reasons (Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et al. 2014). Stokes et al. raise the question of the extent to which this self-cen- sorship is self-imposed, or a consequence of a secular based hostility to religion in the public domain, “whereby only the secular is perceived as neutral and therefore eligible for 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal public consumption, and the religious is deemed fit only for private expression (but see also the provision of prayer rooms for staff in many UK firms which contrasts favorably with other EU settings such as in France where work and religion are considered incompat- ible” (Stokes et al. 2016, p. 49). Question 5: Religious Diversity and Forms of Discrimination The study by Kupczyk et al. notes that the level of diversity management implementation in Poland is rather low. This is related to the fact that trust in organizations is rather low, much lower than trust in management or in colleagues (Kupczyk et  al. 2015). Based on the findings of the study by Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten et al. (2014), however, it would be important to know if there is a connection between confidence in organizations and the religious orientation of the managers. Uncertainties about diversity, especially about other languages and other religions, are greater in family businesses in Germany, Switzerland and Austria than in non-family busi- nesses. Consequently, family businesses in these countries regard internationalisation of their products for more distant countries to be riskier than in the neighbouring countries (Mensching et  al. 2016). In the UK, non-white and, especially, Muslim men and women experience discrimination. The discrimination is particularly evident towards higher posi- tions and management levels. “In the case of non-whites, particularly Muslim minorities, there is a clear hierarchy in the penalty they face between the stage of finding a job - any job - and joining the salariat class. This means that through their employment careers some individuals will face an increasing penalty as they seek to advance from a given level to a higher one” (Khattab and Johnston 2015, p. 11-12). A small case study shows how Muslim women of an ethnic minority (Dawoodi Bohra community) manage to maintain their Islamic identity running their small businesses, even increase their honour in their community and, at the same time, avoid conflict with Swe- den’s secular host society (Pio 2010). Question 6: How Can Spirituality be Promoted in For‑profit Business? The Importance of Spiritual Leadership Promoting workplace spirituality requires new creativity (Šilingienė and Škėrienė 2015; Zsolnai and Illes 2017), a “spiritual intelligence” of managers whose personalities (hon- esty, appreciation) are committed to ideas and values (including confidence and care), interactions with employees and customers (trust, communication, flexibility, an eye for talent and involvement) and also showing alignment with the performance of a company (life satisfaction, commitment, corporate responsibility, continuous improvement, produc- tivity) (Bakanauskiene and Katiliene 2015). “Critical existential thinking”, “personal meaning production”, “conscious state expan- sion”, “transcendental awareness” are four further characteristics (Šilingienė and Škėrienė 2016, p. 61). “Spiritual Leadership”, which is regarded as a generic term for concepts such as, “busi- ness ethics”, “values-based leadership” and “corporate social responsibility” brings about a change of perspective by shifting values, e.g. common good before individual capitalist interests, mutual trust before mutual market advantages, social commitment before self- ish behaviour and basic needs before subjective preferences. According to Copenhagen 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal Business School scholar Peter Pruzan (2011) “spiritually based leadership considers ethics, social responsibility and sustainability not as instruments to protect and promote the classi- cal business rationale, but as fundamental goals in their own right” (Zsolnai and Illes 2017, p. 198). This could create a certain independence, which enables creative and ethically responsible solutions to be found for the complex challenges and goes beyond a purely instrumental rationality and materialistic orientation that contributes to major social and environmental problems (Zsolnai and Illes 2017). Interventions – Two Examples Researching ways that support people in leadership and management in their spiritual dimension, the studies examined the effects of two rather extensive interventions that pursue conflicting interests. On the one hand, managers were offered possibilities for promoting spiritual development with the aim that their spiritual direction will lead to better corporate values. This showed largely positive results, depend- ing on the spirituality or religiosity of the individual (Cullen 2011). On the other hand, the focus was on how leadership is influenced by a spiritual, or similar, attitude (meditation) and regular experience sharing; this structure gave the individual support so that the par- ticipants did not relapse into old work pattern routines (Lychnell 2017). Discussion The global discussion on workplace spirituality and spiritual leadership is ongoing (Alt- man et al. 2022; Alewell and Moll 2021a, 2021b; Brügger 2021; Moll 2022). World leaders call for value-based decision making in order to guarantee decent work for all and promote sustainable economic growth. The papal Encyclical “Laudato Si’” from 2015 states that “leadership capable of striking out on new paths and meeting the needs of the present with concern for all and without prejudice towards coming generations” (p. 38) is lacking (The Holy Father Francis 2015). In 2015 in New York, world leaders agreed to the key role of decent work for all in achieving sustainable development. This is highlighted by Sustain- able Development Goal 8 – SDG 8 – (implemented since 2016) which aims to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” (p. 2), including people with disabilities, women, young and older workers, cultural and indigenous minorities as well as migrants. “Furthermore, crucial aspects of decent work are broadly rooted in the targets of many of the other 16 goals” (United Nations 2015, p. 19). Respecting cultural and with that religious diversity as well as personal development and social integration is part of decent workplace practice and calls for special rights and measures at work. Fostering workplace spirituality and religious orientations and expressions at work could be supported by “Good Religious Practice” as SDG 8. Ulrich Hemel of Weltethos-Institut Tübingen proposed this at the UNESCO Sum- mer School in Lucerne in June 2019 to encourage the dialogue between politics, economy and religion (Hemel 2019, p. 250). The research regarding workplace spirituality is con- centrated in America, Asia and the Islamic World (Pirkola et al. 2016). Nevertheless, since the turn of the millennium, the subject of workplace spirituality has received greater atten- tion in Europe as well (Zsolnai and Illes 2017). Following the global call for better and more integrative workplaces, the present sys- tematic review investigated the spiritual dimension in European for-profit-organizations, focusing on explicit religious or spiritual management goals and pondering facilitators and barriers in leveraging R/S in workplace, leadership, and employee bonding. 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal Based on the search conducted in a wide range of databases, earlier reviews and peer- reviewed journals, our study demonstrates that specific cultural and regional aspects of R/S in the workplace are of particular importance in the European context: (1) Individual countries have a different history of “secularity” or “laïcité”, and correspondingly, differ - ent requirements to address R/S in the workplace. (2) Denomination and religious diversity are defining parameters. (3) The influence of an ex-communist background can also cause divergences. Of the twenty studies available, eight come from Central and Eastern European coun- tries (Lithuania: 2, Poland: 2, Hungary: 1, Romania: 3), four from the English-speaking region (Ireland: 2; UK: 2), two from Sweden, two from the German-speaking regions (Ger- many, Austria, Switzerland, incl. French-speaking Switzerland), one from the Netherlands, two from Spain and one from Portugal. Limitations The data were checked in different databases demanding variations in search strategies and algorithms, which affects the transparency and replicability of this systematic review. The search was conducted including literature from 2007/01 to 2017/07. The articles published after 2017/07 are referred to, but not systematically analysed in this paper. A large number of studies were excluded based on pre-defined inclusion/exclusion criteria. By not includ- ing the numerous studies conducted in Turkey may have led to implicit bias as there is no comparison of spirituality and religion in the Islamic working worlds. This would, how- ever, be desirable to have in our plural and global work contexts in Europe. Strengths This systematic literature review was reported following the PRISMA guidelines. The study protocol was based on broad preliminary search that was finalized as rigorous search strategy with database appropriate search algorithms and clearly defined inclusion/exclu- sion criteria. The research questions are specifically focused (Schardt et  al. 2007), which is to ensure that the review process remains focused. Three independent investigators were working on screening, data extraction, study quality assessment and thematic analysis at different stages of the process. All included studies are presented according to research design, methodology, data, assumptions made and study quality. Despite the inevitable risks of investigator bias, we believe that the results of this systematic review provide robust evidence and valuable findings for evidence-informed policymaking and encourage a more rigorous research in this field of study. Conclusions and Recommendations The major findings of the research show two different approaches to religion and spiritual- ity (R/S) in the workplace: (a) Work as a form of self-development and world formation, and, in the broader sense, having spiritual dimensions when associated with the search for meaning and the transcending of oneself. (b) How religious and spiritual orientation becomes allied to the workplace and corporate culture in the form of “spiritual capital”. The spiritual needs of people at work become part of a search for meaningful work that corresponds to their own values, a search for a contribution to society, to the community, to 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal responsibility for the whole in the sense of sustainability and for a purpose in life and hap- piness. The studies show that taking these aspects into account has a positive effect on job satisfaction, health and affective and normative commitment of employees, thereby pro- moting company productivity and sustainability. According to the studies available, leader- ship and staff did not openly admit a personal religious orientation towards the Christian faith (only this aspect was available for the studies) as these aspects were hidden in the corporate culture. This proved to have a positive effect through significant commitment to social cohesion and inclusion, but a negative effect through distrust, or at least insecurity, with handling religious diversity. Trust and love were also examined in the framework of principles within an organization. If leadership had a real interest in the spiritual dimen- sion, this would lead to a change of perspective. Maximizing profits would become less important than the values of personal development of employees, greater job satisfaction, bonding and sustainability. However, the studies also point to the danger that, through the concepts of workplace spirituality, people may be exploited for profit-oriented business goals. When looking for work and especially when moving up to higher positions, non- white Muslims (both men and women) in particular experience discrimination. In view of the importance of spirituality in the workplace and the growing religious-cultural diversity, the question is raised, whether the time is ripe for religion and spirituality to be taken out of the taboo and private sphere and put into the economic context. Implications for Evidence‑based Policy‑making In the past, it has been argued that in European societies, R/S has been to a larger extent “privatized” (Luckmann 1996). The concern of counteracting privatization and tabooing and the need to discuss spirituality and religion in the work context, can be understood as an expression of “enlightened respect”. “Secularity today does not mean the opposite of religion, but rather, consciously enabling pluralism” (Fiedler 2015, p. 125). Of course, after having been tabooed and privatized for so long, this change requires learning pro- cesses, (self-)reflection as well as development of language. Overall, religion and spirituality are still very much neglected by business enterprises in Europe. Recent studies show that in German-speaking countries, workplace spirituality is less implemented in diversity management and HRM, considering R/S a private matter and being afraid of negative consequences of religions ‘violence potential’ (Alewell and Rastetter 2020). The findings “suggest that the more businesses can be open to acknowl- edging the existence of both religious and secular expressions of spiritual capital the more humane and therefore the more productive their corporate environment is likely to be. The more spaces and places in which staff can be facilitated to express their deepest values, beliefs and attitudes for positive change and the well-being, then the more authentically connected they will feel to the roles that have been assigned to them” (Stokes et al. 2016, p. 49). The studies evaluated in this review show the need to differentiate between the spir - itual needs that connect many people to their work and work environment and the different cultural and religious backgrounds of the individuals. The question is how spirituality in the workplace is connected to the specific needs of various religions, free space and forms of expression and whether there is time and a place in companies for this. Can promoting workplace spirituality in companies help increase respect for religious diversity in its vari- ous forms and can it also help to find creative solutions? 1 3 Humanistic Management Journal Implications for Future Research Empirical research, as well as theory building and model development for workplace spir- ituality and spiritual leadership with its connections within Europe to profit-oriented busi- nesses, is still in its initial stage. This, however, should not affect the study quality and the quality of data published. Our review provides suggestions for improvements. This systematic review presented workplace spirituality as problematic, which indicates that research must be contextualized and the population as well as the methods to investi- gate R/S and workplace spirituality carefully chosen. It became evident that the available tools to measure R/S and workplace spirituality are not appropriate for the European con- text. The issue that adequate conceptions and assessment instruments are missing, such as in German-speaking countries, has been raised in other studies (Moll 2020). Albeit other voices, in particularly in the healthcare sector, warn against an instrumentalisation of S/R (Best el al. 2020). Further investigations of the connection of workplace spirituality and R/S with social determinants and health (e.g. based on absenteeism) is also needed. In par- ticular, long-term studies and studies with control groups are entirely missing. Author Contributions LM and EF devised the project and the main conceptual ideas. LM and PP performed the preliminary and final literature search. PP worked out the study protocol. LM, PP and AKS extracted the data and preformed the quality assessment. LM and PP wrote the manuscript. All authors contributed to the article and approved the submitted version. Funding Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. This work was supported by Karl Schlecht Stiftung. Data Availability The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. Code Availability The search and data extraction strategy is presented in the paper. Declarations Conflict of Interest The authors confirm that there is no conflict of interest. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Com- mons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http:// creat iveco mmons. org/ licen ses/ by/4. 0/. References Ahmed, Adeel, Mohd Anuar Arshad, Arshad Mahmood, and Sohail Akhtar. 2016. 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Journal

Humanistic Management JournalSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 1, 2022

Keywords: Spiritual leadership; Workplace spirituality; Quality of work life; Sustainability; Human resource management; European for-profit organizations

References