SPIRITUALITY AND THE WORLD OF WORK

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW

“Spirituality helps us in our struggle to determine who we are (our being) and how to live our lives in this world (our doing). It combines our basic philosophy towards life, our vision and our values, with our conduct and practice. Spirituality encompasses our ability to tap into our deepest resources, that part of ourselves which is unseen and mysterious, to develop our fullest potential. Both this inward and outward journey gives us the opportunity to discover and articulate our personal meaning and purpose in life” (Howard & Welbourn, 2004, p. 35).
The purpose of Chapter 2 is to provide a literature review of the key constructs in this study. The literature review consists of six major themes: (1) define spirit and spirituality and distinguish spirituality from religion (2) define individual spirituality, identify measurement instruments that measure individual spirituality and discuss IS as an important workplace construct; (3) define workplace spirituality and/or organisational spirituality, provide an overview of the extant literature on OS, discuss OS as an important workplace construct as well as identify measurement instruments that measure the construct; (4) identify the factors that characterise the experience of spirit at work and the measurement instruments that measure the experience of spirit at work and discuss SAW as an important workplace construct; (5) define work engagement, explain how work engagement differs from other psychological constructs and discuss WE in relation to the three spirituality constructs; (6) define organisational commitment and discuss the dimensions of organisational commitment in relation to the three spirituality constructs.

SPIRITUALITY AND THE WORLD OF WORK

Since the industrial era, business and the world of work has changed. Work environments are becoming less hierarchical and more flexible and employees are crying out for more meaningful work and a sense of community in their workplaces. Some researchers (see Ferreira Vasconcelos, 2013; Geh & Tan, 2009; Giacalone & Jurkiewicz, 2010; Kendall, 2012) argue that these gradual changes emanate from a shift in societal values globally which has resulted in increased social consciousness and spiritual awareness (see the Zeigeist Movement in this regard). Contemplating this shift in societal values, Giacalone and Jurkiewicz (2010) draw a distinction between materialism and post-materialism and postulate that the increased interest in workplace spirituality recently, is due to a shift in societal values away from mere materialism towards post-materialism.
Materialists value economic growth and maintaining order in society. They express concerns for prosperity, security and control (Brown, 2003; Daniel 2010; Inglehart, 1977). Postmaterialists, on the other hand, prioritise the goals of environmental protection, freedom of speech and gender equality (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2012). Post-materialist values include concerns for social equality, increased participation in important decision-making, the desire for freedom and self-expression, a sense of community and environmentalism. Thus, the focus is less on safety and security and more on quality of life (Brown, 2003; Daniel, 2010; Inglehart, 1977) and hence spirituality fulfilling personal experiences – even at work. Therefore, in the contemporary world of work, organisations seeking increased commitment from their employees, need to recognise that this cannot be achieved without caring for the whole person (Anderton, 2012; Bullen, 2011/2012; Van der Walt, 2007).
The shift in societal values has spurred a shift in organisational thinking. Some organisations are undergoing extensive and permanent changes in response to these societal shifts (Abdallah & Ahluwalia, 2013; Geh & Tan, 2009; Van der Walt, 2007). The state of flux in the external environment is forcing organisations to re-examine their organisational structures, policies and practices if they are to remain competitive. This has led to flatter organisational structures and a shift in responsibility away from top management and spread more evenly across the organisation. According to Bullen (2011/2012) working individuals no longer want to be considered mere cogs in the machine, but want to be recognised as individuals who could and do make a significant and unique contribution to organisational success. Work is again becoming a critical component of life. With the increase in affluence in societies and industries, there is a growing need to find meaning in what we do, since life is not just about meeting our most basic survival needs (Geh & Tan, 2009; Hudson, 2014; Deloitte, 2014, 2015). Yet not all organisations are succeeding in meeting the demands of the new workforce.
For individuals to be capable of facing up to the challenges of the contemporary world of work, they need to establish balance in their lives and be focused, fulfilled, productive, creative, happy and motivated. Having these types of employees might ultimately provide organisations with the strongest competitive advantage to survive in the global economy (Daniel, 2010; Van der Walt & De Klerk, 2014b). Unfortunately, organisations’ attempts at managing the state of flux experienced in the contemporary world of work, has led to corporate restructuring, waves of downsizing and an increase in staff turnover and temporary contract workers (Heinsohn, 2012; Kendall, 2012; Marschke et al., 2011; Parboteeah & Cullen, 2010; Pfeffer, 2010). These shifts in turn have led to stressed, insecure, dissatisfied, angry, demoralised, unfulfilled, fearful and less loyal employees (Deloitte, 2014, 2015; Marschke et al., 2011; Parboteeah & Cullen, 2010; Pfeffer, 2010). Thus, happy and motivated employees are hard to come by (Van der Walt, 2007).
As a result, there is an increased need for connectedness, meaning, purpose, nurturance and hope in work and in the workplace (Anderton, 2012; Geh & Tan, 2009; Geldenhuys et al., 2014; Tombaugh, Mayfield & Durand, 2011). People no longer want to compartmentalise their lives into separate work and life domains (Bullen, 2011/2012; Geldenhuys et al., 2014; Marschke et al., 2011; May, 2014; Sendjaya, 2015). For many, work has become the centrepiece of their lives (Geh & Tan, 2009; Geldenhuys et al., 2014; Kendall, 2012). Work is the place where most people now seek to find a sense of meaning or purpose (Hudson, 2014). The secular workplace has become the platform for finding and expressing the sacred within us (Geldenhuys et al., 2014; Kendall, 2012; Saks, 2011).
Van der Walt and De Klerk (2014b) urge that organisations should rethink their current approach to work and employees by allowing employees to bring their whole selves to work and to experience spirituality in the work environment. This does not mean that the organisation has to become spiritual, but simply that it should provide employees with the freedom to express and explore their spirituality. However, it is assumed that if both the organisation and the individual employees working in the organisation are spiritual, there will be value congruence, which in turn could lead to higher organisational performance as well as happier and more motivated employees (Van der Walt & De Klerk, 2014b).
The research community has observed an increased interest in spirituality in the workplace (Anderton, 2012; Dandona, 2013; Ferreira Vasconcelos, 2013; Heinsohn, 2012; Kendall, 2012; Phipps, 2012; Saks, 2011; Sprung et al., 2012; Van der Walt & De Klerk, 2014a, 2014b). Spirituality on the individual level has been studied for some time. In the last two decades the focus in spirituality research has shifted to the workplace where the aim is to conceptualise and explain the phenomenon of workplace spirituality (Anderton, 2012; Giacalone & Jurkiewicz, 2010; Phipps, 2012). Given that the organisation as an entity could enact a culture that reflects a spiritual environment, it is argued that there can also be distinct experiences of spirit at work (Kinjerski & Skrypnek, 2004, 2006b, 2008).
There seems to be three distinct constructs related to the study of spirituality – individual spirituality (IS), organisational/workplace spirituality (OS) and the experience of spirit at work (SAW) either on the individual or the organisational level. Although researchers have investigated the correlations between spirituality and positive work outcomes such as job satisfaction, organisational commitment and work engagement, as far as could be established, no studies have been conducted that investigate the relationship between all three spirituality constructs and the resultant impact on certain positive work outcomes.
Concept clarification is required to measure the three spirituality constructs and determine the relationship between them. In Chapter 1 the following constructs were identified as critical constructs in this study:
 Spirit
 Spirituality
 Individual Spirituality (IS)
Organisational Spirituality (OS)
 Spirit at Work (SAW)
 Work Engagement (WE)
 Organisational Commitment (OC)

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SPIRIT AND SPIRITUALITY

“Four thousand volumes of metaphysics will not teach us what the soul is” (Voltaire as quoted by Dyer, 2004, p. 21).

SPIRIT

There appears to be no fixed definition of the terms ‘spirit’ and ‘spirituality’ (Geh & Tan, 2009; Hollins, 2005; King, 2007; Ledger, 2005; Marschke et al., 2011). It is difficult to define something as abstract as spirit, since spirit is highly subjective and transcendent (Kinjerski & Skrypnek, 2004; Klenke, 2003). However, most people recognise that there is a part of us that is not physical. Some people would call it ‘spirit’. Others might call it ‘human nature’ (Fairholm, 1996, p. 11). According to Anderson (2000, p. 16) and Marschke et al., (2011, p. 72) “spirit comes from the Latin word ‘spiritus’ meaning ‘breath’’’. It is considered to be the vital, life-giving force within us (Anderson, 2000, p. 16) while spirituality is the outward expression of the fruits of spirit (Dehler & Welsh, 1994; Fairholm, 1996; Hawkins, 2002). Spirit affects our values, our memories and our understanding of ourselves. It encompasses our inner wisdom and authority (Fairholm, 1996). It is the sense of awareness we carry with us throughout our entire lives (Prescott, 2000).
If one uses the analogy of a light bulb; the light bulb would represent the physical body. The electricity that runs through it would constitute spirit. According to Prescott (2000) the light coming from the light bulb is equivalent to one’s spiritual self. It is the spiritual self that lights your face up when you meet a friend as this light comes from your heart. Spirit uses thoughts, feelings and actions as vehicles for expression. Spirit flows through the mind as reason, intuition and wisdom and is expressed through emotions like love, kindness and oneness with nature (Prescott, 2000, p. 125).

SPIRITUALITY

Participants to Kinjerski and Skrypnek’s (2004) study had difficulty providing a comprehensive definition of spirit, but they found it fairly easy to recall and describe a spiritual experience or identify a spiritual individual. This implies that one way to define spirituality – which seems to be difficult to verbalise formally – is to focus on the characteristics of spirituality (Ingersoll, 2003; Izak, 2012). Table 2 lists the thoughts, attitudes, emotions and behaviours that are considered to reflect spirituality – i.e. the fruits of spirit. Table 2 serves as a summary of different characteristics that define spirituality mentioned in various sources.

CHAPTER 1: RESEARCH PROBLEM AND CONTEXT 
1 INTRODUCTION.
1.1 BACKGROUND
1.2 DEFINITION OF CONSTRUCTS
2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
3 RESEARCH GOAL
4 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
5 THESIS STRUCTURE
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
1 SPIRITUALITY AND THE WORLD OF WORK
2 SPIRIT AND SPIRITUALITY
3 INDIVIDUAL SPIRITUALITY
4 ORGANISATIONAL/WORKPLACE SPIRITUALITY
5 EXPERIENCE OF SPIRIT AT WORK
6 SPIRITUALITY AND POSITIVE WORK OUTCOMES
7 WORK ENGAGEMENT
8 ORGANISATIONAL COMMITMENT
CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 
1 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
2 SAMPLING
3 QUANTITATIVE PHASE OF THE RESEARCH PROCESS
4 QUALITATIVE PHASE OF THE RESEARCH PROCESS
5 TRUSTWORTHINESS, QUALITY AND RIGOUR IN RESEARCH
CHAPTER 4: QUANTITATIVE RESULTS 
1 RESULTS OF EXPLORATORY FACTOR ANALYSIS
2 RESULTS OF CONFIRMATORY FACTOR ANALYSES
3 STRUCTURAL EQUATION MODELLING
4 ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE (ANOVA)
CHAPTER 5: QUALITATIVE RESULTS 
1 SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEW PROCESS
2 PHENOMENOLOGICAL DATA ANALYSIS
CHAPTER 6: DISCUSSION
1 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
2 CONCLUSIONS ON RESEARCH QUESTIONS
3 CONTRIBUTIONS OF THIS STUDY
4 LIMITATIONS TO THE STUDY
5 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH
5 CONCLUSION 
REFERENCES 
APPENDIX
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