Spiritual leadership within the service industry: A phenomenological study interpreting the spiritual leadership experiences of eight business executives

by Quinnine, Tracy E., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2007, 164 pages; 3264282


This qualitative study used a phenomenological approach to explore, interpret and describe business executive spiritual leadership lived experiences within the service industry. Spiritual leadership theory has proposed to address current work environment challenges such as, disengaged employees, low morale and leadership which typically view employees as intellectual capital by aligning employee callings with appropriate organizational roles, modeling universal values which demonstrate ethics and morality as well as integrating employee spirits, minds and souls. The study used a purposive sample of eight business executives, selected for their demonstration of consistent spiritual leadership within their communities and organizations. Data was collected by structured telephone interviews and analyzed using Van Kaams 7-step method as modified by Moustakas (1994). It was found that intrinsic value, applying spiritual values, leading by example, service to others and treating others well were the most significant spiritual leadership experiences for participants. It was also found that within many of the participant organizations that spiritual leadership practices were linked to organizational effectiveness measures. The study found that participants were able to respect others while maintaining and deepening their own spiritual leadership. It was concluded that participants experienced spiritual leadership on three levels: personally, community, and organizationally. It was also concluded that working in the service industry offered a natural alignment between providing a professional product or service and serving others spiritually. The ultimate conclusion was that participants aspired to be as authentic as possible in their service industry roles.

AdviserGary Robinson
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsReligion; Management; Occupational psychology
Publication Number3264282

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