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A Values Framework for Measuring the Impact of Workplace Spirituality on Orga...

Carole L Jurkiewicz; Robert A Giacalone

Journal of Business Ethics;
Jan 2004; 49, 2; ABI/INFORM Global

pg. 129

es rrameworK

asuring the Impact of

ace Spirituality on

Organiza
tional Performance

Carole L. Jurkiewicz

Robert A. Giacalone


ABSTRACT. Growing interest in workplace spiri
tuality has
led to the development of a new paradigm in organizational
science. Theoretical assumptions abound as to how workplace
spirituality mi
ght enhance organizational performance, most
postulating a significant positive impact. Here, that body of
research has been reviewed and analyzed, and a resul
tant
values framework for workplace spirituality is introduced,
providing the groundwork for emp
irical testing. A discussion
of the factors and assumptions involved for future research are
outlined.

Workplace spirituality has been defined as "a.
framework of organizational values evidenced in the
culture that promote employees' experience of
transcen
dence through the work process, facil
itating
their sense of being connected to others in a way that
provides feelings of completeness and joy" (Giacalone
and jurkiewicz, 2003). This experience of transcendence
experienced by employees as a personal connec
tion to
the content and process of work, and to the stake
holders
impacted by it, in a manner which extends beyond the
limitations of self
-
interest.

Interest in workplace spirituality has increased
steadily over the last decade of the twentieth century and

into the new millennium (Giacalone and Jurkiewicz,
2003), and has triggered much speculation (Gunther,
2001; Broadway, 2001; Sass, 2000; Cavanaugh, 1999).
Some hypothesize this interest is simply a reflection of
value changes globally (e.g., Neal, 1998; I
ngiehart,
1997; Jurkiewicz and Massey, 1997; Abramson and
ingiehart, 1995). A second perspective suggests it is an
outcropping of growing interest in Eastern philosophies
that promote integration between

self and the environment (e.g., Eck, 2001; Surak, 2
001;
Fox
-
Genovese, 1999; Koehn, 1999). The predominant
view is that it is a reactive response to the social and
business upheaval that has resulted in alienated
employees (e.g., Mitroff and Denton, 2000; Cash et al

2000; Burack, 1999; Izzo and Klein, 1997
), and a desire
to recapture the connection between
employer/employee.

Although employees are generally insecure and
frightened at work (Anderson, 2000; Friedman et'al.,
1998; Brandt, 1996; Whyte, 1994), they nonetheless
depend upon their workplaces for pr
imary links to other
people (Jurkiewicz et al., 1998) as well as for their
social identity (Cartwright and Cooper, 1997).
Traditional support systems like places of worship,
neigh
borhoods, and extended families are declining in
importance to the individua
l (Conger, 1994), and time
previously spent there is being supplanted by time spent
at work (Conlin, 1999); work is thus becoming
increasingly central to employees' personal growth
(Dehler and Welsh, 2003; jaffe, 1995). Consequently,
individuals are seekin
g to merge their personal and
professional values, desiring to achieve personal
fulfillment through their labor (Block, 1993),
Increasingly, the desired work experience has shifted
from a career
-
to earn a living to a vocation through
which employees can ex
press themselves and make a
positive difference in the world (Neal, 2000). Despite
warnings that employees need to find alternative sources
of self
-
esteem, recognition, and respect (Schwartz, 2000;
Kruger, 1999), this personal dependence on the social
aspe
cts of work continues to grow
T
, and organizations
have been called upon to do their part in meeting

Journal of Business Ethics
49: 129
-
142, 2004.

© 2004
Klmver Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.

Reproduced with permission of the copyright
owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

130

Carole L. jurkiewicz and Robert A. Giacalone


the spiritual needs of their employees (Mirvis, 1997).

According to McDonald (1999), workplace
spirituality is the last corporate taboo. Despit
e
best
-
selling books advocating a corporate soul (Palmer,
1998; Whyte, 1994; DePree, 1992), spiritual leadership
(Fairholm, 1998), servant leadership (Spears, 1998;
Greenleaf, 1978, 1977), stewardship (Block, 1993),
spiritual followership (Kelley, 1998), s
piritual laws of
success (Chopra, 1994), and values
-
based leadership
(Bolman and Deal, 2001; VailL 1998; Williams and
Houck, 1992), organizations have not been seeking to
integrate spirituality into their workplaces to any
discernible degree. The reluctanc
e is under
standable in
that the word itself is an awkward one to couple with
workplace, frequently invoking curiosity, fear, and
ridicule, usually simultaneously (jurkiewicz, 2002a).
The lack of a clear definition has contributed to this
reticence and led

some to assume workplace spirituality
was either a disguise for ingratiating religion into the
workplace, a new age mantra, or a mean
ingless quest for
yet another dead
-
end employee motivational tool
(Giacalone and jurkiewicz, 2003), These assumptions
led

many to conclude that workplace spirituality had no
discernible "payoff" for the organization. With tight
budgets, media oversight, and the need to maintain
fluidity in the marketplace, issues that do not have a
demonstrable impact on the bottom line


fo
r public,
private, or nonprofit organizations

-

are understandably
not given priority. While approbations abound,
conclusive evidence connecting workplace spirituality
w
T
ith bottom line performance is lacking. One foun
-
dational thread that has heretofore been over
looked is
the cultural connection.

C
ulture and performance

The measurable impact of organizational culture on
performance has been well
-
documented. Culture is a
causal variable in the growth and development of an
organization and, more specif
ically, is a determinant of
labor productivity es
sential to the predictive power of
economic theory in competitive markets (Altman, 2001).
It

is viewed as an additional variable in the pro
duction
function on par with capital stock, tech
nological change,
and human capital (Altman, 2001), an extension o
f
Weber's (1958) notions as articulated in
The Protestant
Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism..
Becker (1998)
introduced the notion of culture as an explicit
component of social capital that affects utility, building
upon Buchanan's (1994) work that establi
shes culture as
a facilitator or impediment to the quantity and quality of
the work effort. Pfeffer (2003) further emphasizes the
statistical and substantive impact of culture on quality,
productivity, and profitability.

The data suggests that organization
al cultures
emobdying transcendent goals, are the most pro
ductive,
and that by maximizing productivity they confer
organizational dominance in the marketplace (Reder,
1982). Cultural factors related to workplace spirituality
have been shown to override th
e economic
-
political
environment as an influence on worker productivity,
ethics, values, exercise of authority, innovation, etc.
(Altman, 2001; Becker, 1998). Individual effort is
discretionary and is positively correlated with policies
that entail consequ
ences, support the individual,
challenge them to grow, reward progress and innovation,
and restrain inefficien
cies
-

largely policies embodied in
a spirituality
-
based workplace (Buchanan, 1994),
Altman (2001, p. 267) makes perhaps the strongest
argument t
ying culture to economic perfor
mance:
"Culture can affect the level of per capita real output
produced in an economy and there
fore the level of per
capita material wealth, as well as differences in per
capita wealth, advanced by different economies at an
y
given time,"

Configuring workplace spirituality as a mea
surable
aspect of an organization's culture, working in unison to
provide a sense of conti
nuity with the world through
one's work processes, allows for further development of
the paradigm. Organiz
ations can then be assessed on
each of these values, culled from the theoretical work
on workplace spirituality, along a con
tinuum (See Table
I). It is postulated that those organizations that evidence
the values toward the left side of the continuum are
believed to exhibit more workplace spirituality than
those whose

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A Values Framework for Measuring the Impact of Workplace Spirituality

131

TABLE I The
values framework of
workplace spirituality

('+!

H


Kindness toward others and an orientation to

Benevolence

promote the happiness and prosperity of
employees and other stakeholders within the
'work context

Long
-
term focus, showing a concern for the

Gen
erativity

consequences of one's actions into the future:

respectful of future generations

Practices and policies that assert the essential

Humanism

dignity and worth of each employee; provides

an opportunity for personal growth in

conjunction with organiza
tional goals

Uncompromising adherence to a code of

Integrity
-

conduct; sincerity, honesty, candor;
exercising unforced power

Even
-
handed treatment and judgment: of

Justice

employees; impartial, fair, honest; unbiased

assignment of rewards and punishments

A
ll employees are interconnected and

Mutuality

mutually dependent, each contributes

to the final output by working in

conjunction with others

Open
-
minded, flexible thinking, orientation

Receptivity

toward calculated risk
-
taking, rewards creativity

Regard an
d treat: employees with esteem and

Respect

value; showing consideration and concern for
others

Independently follows through on goal

Responsibility

attainment irrespective of difficulty or

obstacles; concerned with doing what's

right rather than the right
thing

Being able to confidently depend on the character

Trust

and truth of the organization and its representatives

Employee feelings have no relevance
in the work environment, their
happiness and prosperity
-
are their
own concern Concerned with
immediate
reward without: regard for
long
-
term consequences Lacking
mercy or kindness; cruel; impersonal,
cold; unconcerned with the needs of
employees as human beings; lacking
warmth or geniality Organizational
members can act deceptive, expedient,
artificial, shal
low, politically
manipulative, and are inconsistent in
following a code of conduct Dishonest,
faithless; wrongful or biased in
judgments

Employees are separate and distinct
free agents responsible for their own
output irrespective of others' efforts,
time
spent interacting with others is
dictated by necessity
-
Enforces one
right way to do things, discourages
questioning and innovation; punishes
behavior outside the norm.
Demonstrates disesteem and contempt
for employees; uncivil, discourteous
to others Shirk
s work and follows
through only insofar as forced to do
so; does not exert effort independent
of external controls Character, truth,
maintenance of obligations and
promises is at the discretion of
individual o rganizational members as
predicated by their p
ersonal gain

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132

Carole L. jurkiewicz and Robert A. Giacalone


culture can be defined by the values on the right side of
die continuum. The degree o
f workplace spirituality
evident in a culture is thus indicated by the positive
expression of these values.

The values framework of workplace spirituality

Although the values framework of workplace
spirituality appears intuitively appealing (i.e., who
woul
d argue against integrity in the workplace?),
organizations must of necessity be concerned with their
own perpetuation (Jurkiewicz and Brown, 2000). To the
extent adopting a culture reflective of these values can
be said to enhance organizational performan
ce, the more
relevant they become as elements of organizational
strategy (Ashmos andDuchon, 2000; Mitroff and
Denton, 1999). While the paradigm of workplace
spirituality has thus far been characterized as pri
marily
theoretical, evidence exists for develop
ing hypotheses
on which to base empirical study using the values
posited in Table I and articulated below.

Benevolence

Organizations are emotional arenas that must be
understood as such if we are to understand orga
-
nizational phenomena (Fineman, 1993; Dehl
er and
Welsh, 1994; Schwartz, 2000). Benevolent activities
that engender positive emotions result in improved
employee attitudes about work (Milliman et al., 2001),
which in turn translate into enhanced performance.
Research has shown that employees who ar
e shown
organizational kindness are more motivated toward task
accom
plishment (Schulman, 1999; Salzmann, 1997),
and are 86% more productive than when in orga
-
nizations where such kindness is not shown (Lloyd,
1990). When organizations promote hope and hap
piness,
employees are better able to deal with stressors in the
work environment (Edwards and Cooper, 1988;
Simmons and Nelson, 2001), further contributing to
organi
zational performance. Simply put, employees are
more productive when shown affection by th
e

organization than when they are not (Adams et al.,
2003).

Generativity

Although we know that employees who are happy at
work usually carry that happiness and regard into their
lives outside work, and vice versa (Diener and Larson,
1984), individuals w
T
h
o are high in generativity are
interested in leaving something behind for those who
follow. Behaviors that mirror generative concerns such
as mentoring show that it is positively correlated with
career outcomes, role clarity, and job satisfaction
(Scandura
, 1992). There is growing evidence that
another potential proxy for gener
ativity, concern for the
environment in the form of proactive environmental
management strate
gies, helps to make firms more
efficient and com
petitive by generating employee
commitm
ent, performance, and loyalty (Altman, 2001).

Humanism

Humanism refers to a worldview that affirms the ability
and responsibility of each individual to live in a manner
which seeks to bring about the greater good of humanity
The positive effect of humanism

in organizational life
can be attested to by a number of factors: increased
self
-
esteem. (Hewitt, 1998; Barnura et al., 1998),
hopefulness (Curry et al., 1997; Snyder et al,, 1999),
and work satisfaction (Schwartz, 2000). Additionally,
benefits to the org
anization derive from employees who,
as a result of organizational humanism, bring their
entire self (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) to the
organization (Dehler and Welsh, 1994). There is
evidence that workplace spirituality may help to explain
bo
th overt (resources) and subjective (increased
ethicaiity) economic gains (Zitmbauer et al., 1999) in
that employees who view their work as a means to
advance spiritually are likely to exert greater effort than
those who see it merely as a means to a paych
eck.
Humanistic values in the organisation result in
employees' personal growth, which in turn makes
them

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A Values Framework for Measuring the Impac
t of Workplace Spirituality

133


more productive than those in organizations that don't
sustain such values (Lawler, 1986), When this
individual growth is consistent with the attainment of
organizational goals, employee identification with the
organizat
ion is enhanced (Prate, 1998). This connection
between personal goals and work life enables
employees to tran
scend physical and cognitive demands
and imbue tasks with spiritual significance (Richards,
1995).

Integrity

Ethical multiplicity, internally cons
istent yet
juxtapositive frameworks tied to environmental cues,
often precipitates a clash between employees' personal
and organizational lives, leading to disconnect, disparity,
and alienation from their work environments
(Jurkiewicz, 2002b; Jurkiewicz an
d Nichols, 2002).
Conversely, it has been shown that both organi
zations
and individuals do well when their values are integral
and aligned (Dorsey, 1998), and that employee
commitment (Kouzes and Posner, 1995) and
productivity (Dorsey, 1998) both increase

as a result.
Himmelfarb (1994) suggests that leaders who view their
work as a means to advance spiritually, at the individual
or group level, instill a sense of integrity and lead the
orga
nization to higher levels of performance.

justice

Employees who ha
ve expectations of being treated fairly
are measurably more productive and happier, and
consequently their organizations are more productive as
well (Lazarus, 1999, 2000). Moorman (1992), for
example, found that employees' job satisfaction was
related posi
tively to the perceived justice of employers'
decision
making and decision
-
implementation
procedures, Brockner et al. (1994) and Bies et al. (1993)
found that perceived fairness in the process of layoffs
influenced employees' reactions to the downsizing


greater fairness was associated with a less negative
reaction. This effect on attitudes translates into bolstered
productivity levels and

degrees of organizational commitment (Lazarus, 2000).

Mutuality

Interconnection and interdependence of employees as
e
xperienced through feelings of community and
meaningful work lead to increased organizational
commitment, job satis
faction, and self
-
esteem (Milliman
et al., 2001). Balancing the needs and contributions of
employees and stakeholders (Beer et al., 1990; Ko
tter
and Heskett, 1993), who share goals and work for the
common good (Adams et al, 2003), leads in turn to
organizational success. Being in cohesive work groups
with shared tasks/goals leads to an increased sense of
social support and career optimism (Fri
edman et al,
1998). Groups given some control over their w
T
ork in
conjunc
tion with others are also less likely to experi
ence
hopelessness, burnout, and are less likely to seek work
elsewhere (Golembieswski et al, 1986).

Receptivity

Research has shown tha
t threatening environ
ments
produce rigid and simplistic decision
making, while
supportive and open relationships with coworkers
fosters productivity and creativity (Dorsey, 1998;
Karasek and Theorell, 1990). The presence of
receptivity further facilitates

managers' ability to
effectively address risk and change in the work
environment (Wagner, 1996). Creative organizations, a
key element in receptivity, are more fiscally healthy
(Maccoby, 1988) and therefore better able to grow and
adapt to changing condit
ions. Neck and Milliman
(1994) have demonstrated a causal connection between
spirituality and increased innovation,

Respect

Organizations that demonstrate valuation, mutual
respect, and show consideration and concern for

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copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

134

Carole L. jurkiewicz and Robert A. Giacalone


others report decreases in stress, burnout, and turnover,
and concomitant increases in produc
tivity (Adams et al.,
2003; Snyder, 199
4; Karasek and
Theore.11
, 1990;
Brockner, 1985; Sigall and Gould, 1977). Research
shows that respect for employees increases their job
satisfaction and performance, resulting in less
absenteeism, weak
ening the desire to unio
nize, and
increasing the length of tenure with the organization
(Feldman and Arnold, 1983; Tharenou, 1979).
Additional research has suggested a link between
organizational concerns with spirituality (mani
fested in
issues such as an orientation toward givi
ng, and
acceptance of diversity) with an increase in employee
enthusiasm., effort, collab
oration, creativity, and
performance (McKnight, 1984; Bracey et al, 1990).
Conversely, disrespect and personal alienation lead to
decreased job satisfaction and commi
tment (Efraty et al,
1991).

Responsibility

When employees are allowed to follow through
independently on goal attainment, there, is
demonstrated improvement in worker and orga
-
nizational productivity (Pfeffer and Vega, 1999). Such
goal
-
directed employees,
when encouraged by the
organizational culture, are more consci
entious, help
each other, experience less unhealthy conflict, and
overcome obstacles more efficiently than other cultures
(Adams et al, 2003). Empowered employees are more
produc
tive (Reich, 1
981), with the greatest productivity
gains seen at the level of unskilled labor (Freeman,
1994).

Trust

Research has shown that trust between employees is
essential to productive work rela
tionships (Lloyd, 1990),
and that those organi
zations that create t
rust are more
productive than those that don't (Adams et al., 2003;
Williams and Jurkiewicz, 1993). Employees who are
able to confidently depend on the organization have

a greater sense of professional and personal security
(Pfeffer and Vega, 1999), which

in turn enhances
performance and loyalty. Organizations with high levels
of trust also exhibit reduced political behaviors, more
cooperative and sup
portive peer interactions, and
greater employee commitment (Anderson, 2000).

These ten values are consiste
nt with what Pfeffer
(2003, p. 32) asserts are the '"four funda
mental
dimensions of what people seek in the workplace: (1)
interesting work that permits them to learn, develop, and
have a sense of com
petence and mastery; (2) meaningful
work that provides

some feeling of purpose; (3) a sense
of connection and positive social relations with their
coworkers; and (4) the ability to live an inte
grated life,
so that one's work role and other roles are not inherently
in conflict and so that a person's work role

does not
conflict with his or her essential nature and w
T
ho the
person is as a human being." Organizations exhibiting
spirituality as defined by the presence of these values
create an environment where integration of the personal
and professional selves a
re possible, engaging the whole
person in the work process.

Although spirituality
-
related work practices such as
gainsharing, job security in encouraging calculated risks,
narrower wage and status differ
entials, processes for
effective worker input into t
he organization's
decision
-
making processes, and guarantees on individual
workers' rights have been widely correlated with higher
rates of growth in labor productivity (e.g., Ichniowski et
al, 1996; Gordon, 1996; "Buchele and Christiansen,
1995, 1999; Reic
h, 1981), it is the organizational
environment that determines the extent to which these
and other similar practices are likely to be adopted
(Levine, 1995). Most organizational environments resist
such changes even when confronted by empirical data
suppor
ting their efficacy (Altaian, 2001). There are
considerable short
-
run costs in adopting a new set of
long
-
term policies and procedures when managers are
measured on the basis of short
-
term results (Kochan et al,
1986; Gordon, 1996). However, a large and gr
owing
body of data suggests that costs associated with shifting
to

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A Values Framework for Measuring the Impact of Workplace Spirituality

135


a spir
ituality
-
based work culture are more than offset by
measurable productivity gains (e.g., Marshall, 1994;
Campbell and Sengenberger, 1994; Feis, 1994;
Wilkinson, 1994; OECD, 1996; Gordon, 1996). And,
further, that the spillover effect from workplace
spiritu
ality into employees' home life enhances
satisfaction with family, marriage, leisure activities,
social interac
tions, and financial health (Efraty et al.,
1997;
Bromet
et al., 1990; George and Brief, 1990;
Steiner and Tuxrillo, 1989; Crohan et ah, 1989;
E
mmons, 1999), which in turn positively affect their
work performance.

For the individual, organizational life is defined by
attempts to mediate ethical multi
plicity (jurkiewicz,
2002b; Jurkiewicz and Nichols, 2002), and integrate
workplace values with per
sonal values. Formal codes of
ethics embrace phrases and standards seldom borne out
in everyday practice. Trustworthiness, depend
ability,
stability, honesty, rationality, justice, prudence, morality,
virtue, fairness, consistency, and accessibility all so
und
good (Riggs, 1998; Kooiman, 1993), but are rarely
evidenced in a changing landscape that mandates
competition and winning at all costs. Understandably,
the dis
parity between what is said and what is condoned
leads to uncertainty over what constitutes
right and
wrong behavior (Jurkiewicz, 2002b), and it is this
heightened ambiguity that creates an envi
ronment where
unwritten rules of behavior can carry more weight than
written ones (Jurkiewicz and Thompson, 1999; Barnard,
1968). As an organization's st
ructure shifts and becomes
less familiar, stability is sought in principles of sameness
and consistency, and such consistency is usually found
in the Phantom Code of Ethics (Jurkiewicz, 2002b), the
set of ethical norms that actually guide behavior in the
w
orkplace. This circumstance provides those concerned
about organizational ethics with both opportunities and
threats. Integrating the values framework of workplace
spirituality as organizational policy and practice can
enhance employees' sense of personal
security
(Anderson, 2000), and reduces the likelihood that
espoused values will be aban
doned during times of
environmental turbulence (Kolodinsky et al, 2003).

The
effect
of workplace spirituality on
performance

Lloyd (1990) maintains that organizations
high in
workplace spirituality outperform those without it by
86%. Further, such organizations reportedly grow faster,
increase efficiencies, and produce higher returns on
investments. On a personal level, generalized benefits of
a spiritual culture includ
e increased physical and mental
health of employees (Mackenzie et al., 2000; Quick et
al., 1997; Matthews et al., 1994), advanced personal
growth by contributing to something larger than oneself
(Hawley, 1993), and an enhanced sense of self worth
(DiPadova
, 1998). The literature correlating workplace
spirituality
-
related factors with performance can be
shown to triangulate three areas: Motivation,
Commitment, and Adaptability.

Motivation

Organizational cultures that evidence high levels of
workplace spiritu
ality are believed to have a positive
effect on employee motivation. Under conditions of
high workplace spirituality, employees believe that their
efforts make a dif
ference to organizational outcomes,
and increase those efforts as needed to meet goals
(Fr
iedman et al., 1998). These employees also exhibit
greater persistence in overcoming obstacles in reaching
goals (Schulman, 1999), and are more creative in
designing solutions to solve problems contributing to
goal interference (Salzmann, 1997; Karasek and

Theorell, 1990). The personal growth resultant of
employees' attaining organi
zational goals, creates
intrinsic motivation to excel (Lawler, 1986). This
motivation to succeed is evidenced not only at the
individual level, but at the group level as well wh
ere
workplace spir
ituality is said to measurably enhance
team output in both quantity and quality of work
(Lovallo, 1997).

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136

Carole L. jurkiewicz a
nd Robert A. Giacalone


Commitment

A symbiotic person
-
job fit characterized by value
alignment between the organization and the employee,
results in increased productivity, reduced turnover,
enhanced recruiting success, and higher rates of
retention (Izz
o and Klein, 1998; Dorsey, 1998; Braus,
1992). Kouzes and Posner
(1995)

also noted increased
employee commitment as a consequence of spiritual
values in the workplace. Increased job satisfaction resul
-
tant of workplace spirituality is further said to reduc
e
job turnover and absenteeism. (Feldman and Arnold,
1983). Attitudes of employees in organizations with
high levels of spirituality are positive, supportive of the
organization, and demonstrate commitment to a much
greater degree than in organizations wit
hout such values
(Milliman et al., 2001; Pfeffer and Vega, 1999).

Adaptability

Employees in organizations with higher levels of
spirituality exhibit increased flexibility toward
organizational change (Salzmann, 1997). They are better
able to manage the cha
nge process, are less resistant to
new ideas (Wagner, 1996), and experience less stress as
a result (Adams et al, 2003), As environmental factors
shift, organiza
tions with spiritual values are better able
to sustain high performance and profitability leve
ls
(Collins and Porras, 1994), and are more suc
cessful at
engaging the hearts and minds of their employees
(Pfeffer, 2003; O'Reilly and Pfeffer, 2000). These
employees are also more respon
sive to organizational
calls to action, feeling they are serving a

purpose rather
than simply doing a job (Mohrman et al., 1998). Finally,
such cultures foster employee creativity and
individuation which translates into increased ability to
change work processes and procedures (Maccoby, 1988).
To evaluate not only the ef
fects of its presence but also
that of its absence, the lack of workplace spirituality is
believed to result in negative consequences for the
organization and the indi
vidual. The first articulation of
this difference can be seen as an element in McGregor'
s
(1960) Theory X/Theory Y models of
leadership,

spurred by Argyris' (1958) claim, that traditional,
paternalistic organizations lead to employee apathy,
detachment, and disconnect from their employers.
Maslow (1954) contributed to the dis
tinctio
n between
working to fulfill lower level needs as compared to
higher level pursuits, and the positive outcomes that
result for both the individual and the organization. In
more recent times Karasek and Theorell (1990) have
con
firmed that rigid, threatenin
g organizational
environments reduce productivity, while others (Snyder,
1994; Golembieswski et al., 1986) have demonstrated
that such cultures result in employee burnout and
feelings of hopelessness. Such, low
-
spirituality
environments also are cor
relate
d with increased alcohol
abuse and health
care costs (Tse and Jackson, 1990),
workplace injuries (Cooper and Davis, 1997), anxiety,
depression, prejudice, and right
-
wing authori
tarianism.
(Pargament, 1997). Finally, cultures that are best
described by the

defining characteristics found on the
right side of the Table I, labeled "low
-
spiritual cultures,"
reduce employee self
-
esteem that in turn decreases
performance effort (Brockner, 1985; Sigall and Gould,
1977), con
tributes to Sower job satisfaction, and
increases job turnover and absenteeism (Feldman and
Arnold, 1983).

Research using the workplace spirituality framework

Overall, the evidence suggests that the workplace
spirituality values framework is definable, that these
values have a positive impact on

employee and
organizational performance, and that orga
nizations can
exhibit varying degrees of these values through the
work processes, policies, and practices that constitute
their culture. The work of advancing a science of
workplace spirituality must
now address the conceptual
foundation. In this regard, the development of
workplace spir
ituality as an area of scientific inquiry
will require empirical work to test the theoretical
formula
tions introduced here. Three key areas for future
research are: m
easurement, performance vari
ables, and
moderator variables.

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

A Values Framework for Measuring the Impact of Workplace Spirituality

137


Measurement

The frontispiece in advancing workplace spirituality
research is the development of an assessment instrument.
Although a number of measures assess spirituality at the
individual level (Giacalone and Jurkiewicz, 2003), an
instrument that measures workplace
spirituality is
needed. Such an instrument will go far in superseding
the limitations of the current literature (Sass, 2000) by
providing a means to achieve two outcomes. First, an
assessment instrument can provide a means to determine
whether the values f
rame
work culled from the literature
and introduced here as a. coherent set is conceptually
distinct: in defining aspects of workplace spirituality.
Second, an assessment instrument can be used to deter
-
mine the degree of spirituality in an organization in

much the same way that ethical climate measures assess
the moral climate of an organi
zation ('Victor and Cullen,
1988).

Performance variables

Empirical assessments
dem.onscrati.ng

how spiri
tual
values are related to
individual and organi
zational
performance indicators are essential if researchers are to
develop causal models. The degree to which the
presence or absence of each of the values (or various
combinations thereof) evokes particular effects on
organizational

per
formance is a key area for study.
Understanding the direction of these effects, be they
positive or negative, will require considerable
integrative research. A critical issue will be to define
how the values impact various components (e.g.,
financial,

interpersonal) as well as various levels
(individual, group, organizational, societal) of
performance.

Mo derating va ria bles

The numerous variables impacting performance make it
unlikely that a simplistic positive rela
tionship between
spiritual values
and perfor
mance exists. Thus, it is
important to determine what variables moderate the
relationship between

workplace spirituality and performance. While it may
intuitively appear that spiritual environ
ments should be
beneficial to all, there may be bot
h internal and external
factors moderating the relationship. For example, at the
individual level, issues of person
-
job fit (Kristof, 1996:
Kristof
-
Brown, 2000) wherein individuals hold
disparate spiritual values to those of the organization,
may affect pe
rformance. Externally, changes in
economic conditions (such as unemployment and
inflation) have been shown to impact values asso
ciated
with spirituality (Inglehart, 1990) and may moderate the
impact that workplace spirituality has on performance.

Addition
ally, while research appears to support the
ameliorative impact of workplace spirituality, we must
caution that little is known about the interactive effects
of personal and workplace spir
ituality. For example,
might a very non
-
spiritual person have decre
ased
personal performance in a spiritual environment
because of the inconsis
tency between it and her own
worldview? Similarly, might a highly spiritual
individual in a moderately spiritual environment
experience decreases in personal performance because
t
he culture "is not spiritual enough." The likelihood of
interactive effects is intriguing and will require a great
deal of research, to understand.

Certainly the research panorama of workplace
spirituality extends well beyond these three areas, but
they re
present a fundamental start. Other avenues of
investigation include an examination of individual
differences (such as personal ethics), the impact of
national culture, industry type, sector, social forces, and
expectations external to the organization (suc
h as those
identified by Ray (1996) in relation to integral culture).
As with the development of all paradigms it involves an
extensive process of conceptual assimilation and, as has
been repeatedly demonstrated, more than one theoretical
construction can
always be imposed upon a given
collection of data (Kuhn, 1970). The proliferation of
ideas with no dis
cernible set of rules constitutes a
normative research tradition, though on that poses
frustra
tion for objectivists. Yet, as Kuhn maintains, such
frustr
ation is an essential impetus in moving beyond the
boundaries of current research and toward the
understanding of something new.

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

138

Carole L. jurkiew
icz and Robert A. Giacalone


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Carole L. jurkiewicz

Louisiana State University,

E.J. Ourso College of Business Administration,

Public Administration Institute,

3200C CEBA,

Baton Rouge,

LA 70803,

U.S.A.

E
-
mail: cljrkivczicvisu
.
edu

Robert A. Giacalone

Surtman Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics,

University of North Carolina at Charlotte,

U.S.A.

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