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Dr. B. Tim Lowder Saint Leo University February 24, 2011

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1 Dr. B. Tim Lowder Saint Leo University February 24, 2011
Aligning Spiritual Intelligence, Workplace Spirituality, and Organizational Culture: A New Domain for Superior Organizational Performance Dr. B. Tim Lowder Saint Leo University February 24, 2011

2 Background Information
Current areas of focus - Emotional intelligence and academic intelligence New area of focus - Spiritual intelligence & workplace spirituality Existing managerial and organizational paradigms must be expanded Role of organizational culture is critical

3 What is Organizational Culture?
Organizational culture is the sum total of all employees’ shared perceptions, norms, beliefs, and behaviors Culture performs a number of functions within an organization  Boundary defining role; that is it creates distinctions between one organization and others Conveys a sense of identity for organizational members Facilitates the generation of commitment to something larger than one's individual self-interest Enhances the stability of the social system and is the social glue that strengthens the organization Provides appropriate standards for what employees should say and do Is intangible in nature but provides many concrete organizational outcomes. Serves as a sense-making and control mechanism that guides and shapes the attitudes and behavior of employees

4 Why Explore Spiritual Intelligence & Workplace Spirituality?
Emotional intelligence and academic intelligence have been thoroughly researched Influence on organizational performance is documented Spiritual intelligence and workplace spirituality have not been thoroughly studied Need to understand how heightened levels of employee spirituality and workplace spirituality impact culture What is employee spirituality and workplace spirituality? What are the potential outcomes of enhanced workplace spirituality?

5 Why Explore Spiritual Intelligence & Workplace Spirituality?
Reasons for a Paradigm Shift in the Corporate Cultures Global expansion of organizations around the world A global culture encompassing peoples of all faiths, beliefs, norms, and values Employees are highly disillusioned at the immoral and unethical acts of management during the past two decades Attitudes and perceptions about corporate leadership are more negative than ever before Employees are seeking more out of work than just a paycheck A desire to be part of something greater that satisfies their need for accomplishment

6 A Spiritual Awakening Current trend toward individual spiritual awakening Culminated as a result of the materialistic mindset from the past two decades The materialistic mindset has left people emotionally and spiritually empty and without true purpose or meaning People spent in excess and lived above and beyond their means to attain true meaning and happiness People did acquire a majority of the materialistic possessions yet were unable to find any true sense of meaning Recent tendencies have brought about tremendous levels of introspection and critical self-reflection Consequently, people are turning to matters of the spirit to find true meaning and purpose Spiritual awareness is very personal to an individual and consequently, transcends into all aspects of our lives including the workplace. 94% of the participants identified spirituality as being important in their lives, while 52% identified religion as being important in their lives (Harris, 2010)

7 Spirituality, Religion, and Culture
Spirituality and religion are two different and distinct constructs Religion is a by-product, or the end result, of humanity’s quest for spirituality Spirituality is “a state of being spiritual; essence distinct from matter” (Grosset, 2005) To be more explicit, spirituality is related to the intangible domains of the spirit or soul and encompasses a state of meaning and understanding that is separate from body, material, and matter Spirituality is intangible and can’t be explained or defined by the five physical senses including sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch Intangible, positive experiences include love, happiness, joy, peace, and contentment Intangible, negative experiences include hate, anger, greed, depression, and sadness Neither the negative not the positive intangible experiences in our lives are explainable by the five physical senses but they definitely exist Spirituality is also an intangible facet of daily human experience

8 Religion Religion is also difficult to explain in a materialistic sense and as a result, is often associated with, or identified as being the same as spirituality Religions have typically been founded as a result of the same spiritual quest that now motivates the American workforce to seek true meaning from their work instead of tangible and material rewards The perceived similarity between spirituality and religion has alienated the topic of spirituality in the workplace It is the rigid, dogmatic, religious practices around the world that have resulted in spirituality being perceived negatively The dogmatic, zealous, and destructive implementation of religious societies throughout history resulted in our forefather implementing the constitutional requirement for separation of church and state

9 Spirituality Is unique and distinct from religion and because it is more individualistic Provides a framework for individuals to better understand where they fit into the world they live in A more precise, non-religious framework for explaining the concept of spirituality is that it: Is not formal, exclusive, or denominational Is the source of meaning, purpose, peace, faith, and willpower Creates the awesomeness felt by people when dealing with all life in its most ordinary circumstances Establishes one’s sense of interconnectedness with all things Is universal and timeless Is deeply personal and based on one’s personal value system and the resulting relationship with others (Ashmos & Duchon, 2000; Mitroff & Denton, 1999).

10 Definitions of Spiritual Intelligence and Workplace Spirituality
Spiritual intelligence is defined as each individual’s level of spiritual awareness within the framework of their values, ethics, morals, and behaviors including their commitment to positive outcomes in every aspect of their life. Workplace spirituality is defined as the sum total of force and energy of all employees’ spiritual intelligence within the organizational culture including the group’s behaviors and their commitment to positive outcomes in the organizational structure (Whitmore, 2004). Because of existing negative perceptions about spirituality existing managerial paradigms leave no opportunity for implementing the constructs of employee spiritual intelligence and workplace spirituality. Thus, they do not play a significant role and are not an integral component of organization cultures in the United States.

11 Higher Levels of Spirituality in the Workplace
Employee spiritual intelligence is stimulated, enhanced, and empowered to positively enhance the level of workplace spirituality Enhanced levels of workplace spirituality positively invigorate and revitalize the organizational culture An invigorated, revitalized organizational culture results in positive structural outcomes The process begins with the intangible constructs of heightened employee intelligence and enhanced workplace spirituality The process ends with tangible outcomes specific to the organization’s culture that include increased levels of shared meaning, beliefs, norms, and values that shape employee behaviors toward higher levels of productivity, performance, effectiveness, and efficiency.

12 Spiritual-Driven Outcomes
Employees seeking higher meaning from work typically maintain more positive attitudes and are not negatively impacted to a high degree by daily workplace As employees develop heightened levels of spiritual intelligence, they become more emotionally well balanced and seek the most positive outcome in any given situation in the work environment Employees with high levels of spiritual intelligence are not primarily motivated by materialism and/or wages Enlightened employees are primary motivated by a goal of finding true meaning in their lives through all things they do, including work and how it benefits both themselves and others A service before self attitude and overall positive outlook on life enhances workplace spirituality Enhanced employee spiritual intelligence significantly enhance workplace spirituality which in turn, positively affects the organizational culture

13 Wellness and Mattering
Heightened levels of spiritual intelligence result in a positive attitude which is reflected in employees being more compassionate about their jobs with a greater commitment to performing their jobs better Additionally, employees who care about their jobs tend to be physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy a larger percentage of the time than average employees Wellness and mattering are statistically correlated to increased job satisfaction and are predictors of higher levels of job satisfaction Strong positive correlations are also found between mattering and job satisfaction, and wellness and job Employees with higher levels of spiritual intelligence experience better job attendance, a greater commitment to the organization’s goals and objectives, and experience higher levels of happiness, ethical standards, and motivation

14 Performance and Productivity
Higher levels of performance and productivity are two of the most important objectives for organizational leaders Organizations with higher levels of workplace spirituality, more often than not, have higher levels of employee productivity and performance A recent study of several companies that encourage spirituality in the workplace has concluded that there is a high level of correlation between overall workplace spirituality and organizational performance Heightened employee spiritual intelligence leads to higher levels of workplace spirituality which in turn, creates an organizational culture that strives for higher levels of employee performance and productivity Employees with heightened spiritual intelligence levels are more likely to find happiness, satisfaction, meaning, and contentment within the work environment regardless of the type of work performed

15 Organizational Dynamics
Managerial leadership must separate the construct of spirituality and religion Managerial leadership must acknowledge the concrete outcomes of heightened employee spiritual intelligence. Managerial leadership must begin to understand how employee spiritual intelligence enhances workplace spirituality Managerial leadership must adopt a broader, more eclectic, meta-physical understanding of an organizational structure Managerial leadership must understand that the organizational structure is far more than tangible assets and resources that produce a product and/or service The five previous requirements will allow leaders to develop and implement strategies that generate the positive workplace spirituality outcomes The various dynamics of employee spiritual intelligence and workplace spirituality must be integrated into the strategic planning process

16 A Paradigm Shift - Integrating Spirituality into the Workplace
The paradigm shift must encompass all aspects of the organization as though it is a living, breathing, organic entity that is influenced by its level of spiritual intelligence like each of its employees Management must understand that spiritual intelligence seeks meaning, caring, wholeness, purpose, and being part of something greater The spiritual intelligence paradigm must be integrated into the organization’s vision and mission The paradigm must drive the organization toward heightened workplace spirituality and a culture that provides meaning to each employee Managerial leadership must integrate the fruits, traits, and attributes of spiritual intelligence that include trust, honesty, caring, ethics, honor, and shared meaning As the fruits of heightened spiritual intelligence are planted and begin to grow they enable workplace spirituality to flourish which positively impacts the organizational culture This cycle is self-feeding as heightened levels of spiritual intelligence result in heightened workplace spirituality which leads to a more positive and proactive culture

17 Keys to Successful Paradigm Shift
First key to successful implementation is developing a core set of values be established at all levels throughout the organization Second key to success is that leadership must demonstrate a total commitment to heightened employee intelligence and enhanced workplace spirituality Third key to success is that management’s commitment is sincere and long-term so that the majority of employees buy into the new paradigm Fourth key to success is for management to use on or more of the tools that are available to successfully establish an environment where employee spiritual intelligence flourish Structural design Employee empowerment Leadership participation Well-designed performance evaluation criteria An effective reward systems Consistent training Socialization toward an employee spiritual orientation

18 Conclusions A paradigm shift in decision making, culture, and leadership which focuses on heightened employee spiritual intelligence and enhanced workplace spirituality presents a viable alternative for an organizational structure in today’s competitive global business environment The culture in an organizational structure with an enhanced level of workplace spirituality possesses traits and characteristics that include trust, respect, shared meaning, common values and morals, a strong sense of purpose, a focus on individual spiritual development, humanistic work practices, and an openness to employee expression (Ashmos & Duchon, 2000; Badrinarayan Shankar, 2009; Chakraborty et al., 2004; Duchon & Plowman, 2005; Garcia-Zamor, 2003; Harris, 2010; Mohamed, Wisnieski, Askar, & Syed, 2004; Robbins, 2005; Salopek, 2004). The many positive traits and characteristics of a spiritual workplace generate a fresh and invigorating organizational culture which positively influences the organizational structure toward many positive outcomes in productivity, performance, effectiveness, and efficiency (Harris, 2010; Karakas, 2010; Mitroff & Denton, 1999; Usman & Danish, 2010a, 2010b; Vasconcelos, 2010; Wiklund & Wiklund, 2002).

19 References Ashmos, D. P., & Duchon, D. (2000). Spirituality at work. Journal of Management Inquiry, 9(2), 134. Badrinarayan Shankar, P. (2009). Individual spirituality, workplace spirituality and work attitudes. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 30(8), 759. Chakraborty, S. K., Kurien, V., Singh, J., Athreya, M., Maira, A., Aga, A., et al. (2004). Management paradigms beyond profit maximization. Vikalpa: The Journal for Decision Makers, 29(3), Duchon, D., & Plowman, D. A. (2005). Nurturing the spirit at work: Impact on work unit performance. Leadership Quarterly, 16(5), Garcia-Zamor, J.-C. (2003). Workplace spirituality and organizational performance. Public Administration Review, 63(3), Grosset, G. (Ed.) (2005) Webster's college dictionary and thesaurus. New Lanark, ML: Scotland David Dale House. Harris, P. (2010). Embracing spirituality in the workplace: A case study of employees' perceptions of increased job performance. Unpublished Ph.D., Capella University, United States -- Minnesota. Karakas, F. (2010). Spirituality and performance in organizations: A literature review. Journal of Business Ethics, 94(1), 89. Mitroff, I. I., & Denton, E. A. (1999). A spiritual audit of corporate America: a hard look at spirituality, religion, and values in the workplace. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Mohamed, A. A., Wisnieski, J., Askar, M., & Syed, I. (2004). Towards a theory of spirituality in the workplace. Competitiveness Review, 14(1/2), Robbins, S. P. (2005). Organizational behavior, 11th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Salopek, J. J. (2004). Engaging mind, body, and spirit at work. T+D, 58(11), Usman, A., & Danish, R. (2010a). Leadership spirituality in banking professionals and its impact on organizational commitment. International Journal of Business and Management, 5(3), 185. Usman, A., & Danish, R. (2010b). Spiritual consciousness in banking managers and its impact on job satisfaction. International Business Research, 3(2), 65. Vasconcelos, A. (2010). The effects of prayer on organizational life: A phenomenological study. Journal of Management and Organization, 16(3), 369. Whitmore, J. (2004). Something really has to change: Change management as an imperative rather than a topic. Journal of Change Management, 4(1), 5-14. Wiklund, H., & Wiklund, P. S. (2002). Widening the Six Sigma concept: An approach to improve organizational learning. Total Quality Management, 13(2),


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