Chapter 3 Literature Review – Spiritual Intelligence
“The mystery of the world is revealed only to the person who can look upon the material world with his physical eyes and simultaneously has the spiritual vision necessary to see the unseen spiritual world. One who knows both Matter and Spirit is thus the true knower, and is a spiritually intelligent being.”
Awdhesh Singh, Practising Spiritual Intelligence:
For Innovation, Leadership and Happiness
The nature of human intelligence is one of the most controversial and strongly debated topics in psychological research. According to Cianciolo and Sternberg (2004), the nature of human intelligence and its psychological study have been areas of continuous scientific debate. Some scholars have argued that the sum of human intelligence is best described as a single construct Galton (1879), Spearman (1904), Thurston (1924) and Cattell (1941) cited in Gregory (2000) such as the Intelligence Quotient (IQ), while others have suggested that intelligence can be described as a multiple construct Gardner (1991) and Sternberg (1985) cited in Gregory, 2000).
Other scholars postulate that IQ, as argued by the above-stated scholars, accounts for a small part of performance and that there is intelligence beyond (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ) and they called that construct Spiritual Intelligence (SI) (Emmons, 1999; Zohar & Marshall, 2000b). According to Crichton (2008), SI is a new paradigm that appeared to have emerged sometime after the multiple theory of intelligence was introduced by Gardner in his book: Frame of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Schuller (2005) opines that spiritual intelligence is the intelligence that extends far beyond the cognitive capacities of rational intelligence and personal management benefits of emotional intelligence. Spiritual intelligence is also viewed as a vehicle that carries a much more substantial meaning and its potential contribution to a more rounded understanding of humans, of the workplace and of the organisational reality in general (Hicks, 2003).
This chapter therefore offers an in-depth literature review related to spiritual intelligence in a way that provides for viewing intelligence beyond that of just IQ. The literature review on spiritual intelligence in this chapter will probe into such matters as: operational concepts (spirituality, intelligence, religion, spiritual intelligence); the differences between spirituality and religion; a brief history of human intelligence; the three dimensions of intelligence and leadership; components of spiritual intelligence; the dimensions of spiritual intelligence
Conceptualisation of Operational Concepts
The following section of the chapter discusses the conceptualisation of the following operational concepts of this study: spirit, spirituality, religion, intelligence and spiritual intelligence.
Spirituality is derived from the word spirit, which has its origin in the Hebrew Scriptures (Crichton, 2008) and also from a Latin word spiritus meaning breath. The Hebrews understood from the Torah that the Spirit of God was the active agent in creation. The Hebrew word ruwach for spirit literally means a movement of air; breath; wind; and the immaterial consciousness of man (Harris, Archer, & Waltke, 1980 in Crichton, 2008). According to Anderson (2000) spirit is defined as ‘the vital principle or animating force traditionally believed to be within living beings’ (p. 16).
The adjectival form of spirit, spiritual is viewed by Crichton (2008) as descriptive of the characteristics that originate with the Spirit of God. According to him, the Spirit is summarised in the book of Isaiah as: “and there shall come forth a rod out of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, and the spirit of knowledge and of the LORD” (Isaiah 11:1-2 cited in Crichton, 2008).
Despite the vast amount of literature devoted to the concept of spirituality, only some advancement has been made towards the establishment of a widely accepted definition of the term (Gotsis & Kortezi, 2007). Spirituality has been used by different people to mean different things. According to Emmons (2000), spirituality is viewed as the aspect of life which is concerned with ultimate purpose and meaning in life, translates into a commitment to God or a higher power, recognition of the transcendent in everyday experiences, a selfless focus, and a set of beliefs and practices that facilitates a relationship with the transcendent. He viewed spiritual intelligence as a gestalt of all manifestations of an individual’s essence and concludes that spirituality mobilises the individual towards meaningful or transcendental accomplishment. It is a personal expression of ultimate concern and personal truth.
Zohar and Marshall (2000a) further described spirituality as being in touch with a larger, deeper, richer whole that put humans’ present limited situation into a new perspective which confers added meaning and value on the zeitgeist of the present moment. According to these authors, spirituality may refer to a deeper social reality or social web of meaning that may be a more profound level of truth or beauty; being attuned to some deeper, cosmic sense of wholeness, and a sense that our actions are part of some greater universal process. Spirituality is the awareness of us as beings of spirit, as well as the movement we may or may not choose to make toward a deepening personal relationship with God (Schuller, 2005).
Religion is frequently confused with spirituality. For some spirituality and religion mean one and the same thing (Hill et al., 2000); while for others, these domains are viewed as different. Many people confuse spirituality with religiosity. The emergence of both constructs within the psychological field can be traced back to the work of William James, Edwin Starbuck, G. Stanley Hall and George Coe in the 1900s, who investigated religiosity and spirituality through the lens of social science (Zinnbauer & Pargament, 2005). This resulted in the spiritual or spirituality being allied with the private realm of thought and experiences of religion being regarded as a primarily social phenomenon (Fuller, 2001).
There is little agreement on how to define intelligence. Wechsler (1976), understood intelligence as a hypothetical construct which is the aggregate or global capacity of the individual to act purposefully, think rationally and to deal effectively with his environment. Sternberg (2000) defined human intelligence as a mental activity directed toward purposive adaptation to, selection and shaping of, real-world environments relevant to one’s life. His theory of intelligence is divided into three parts: firstly, componential, which is associated with analytical giftedness which enables humans to dismantle problems and see solutions not commonly thought of, secondly; experiential, which is associated with the creative giftedness which deals mainly with how well a task is performed in regard to how familiar it is; and thirdly, practical which is contextual which deals with the mental activity involved in attaining fit to context. Emmons (2000) opines that some scholars equate intelligence with adaptive problem-solving behaviour, where problem solving is defined with respect to goal attainment and some sort of positive developmental outcome.
Intelligence is also viewed as a non-singular phenomenon. This is evident in Gardner’s (1993) view of intelligence as a set of abilities that are used to solve problems and create products that are valuable within a cultural setting or community. He argued that each intellectual is a system in itself, distinct from a global, unified entity of generalised intelligence. He further argued that these separate intelligences exist on the basis of their cultural significance and their correspondence with underlying neural structure conditions to maximise the development of specific competencies in their members. This was earlier demonstrated in Ceci’s (1990) theory of the bio-ecological perspective on intelligence which viewed the development of intelligence from the context from which the humans come from. The theory recognises the role of society and the environment in shaping human intelligence. This theory is critical of the traditional theory of intelligence which ignored the role of society in shaping intelligence and underestimated the intelligence of non-Western societies.
There is an emerging interest in integrating the constructs of spirituality and intelligence into a single construct known as spiritual intelligence, as referred in 3.1, where Hicks’ (2003) view was noted. Among the most frequently cited definitions of spiritual intelligence is that previously alluded to by Emmons (2000) who viewed spiritual intelligence as a framework for identifying and organising skills and abilities needed for the adaptive use of spirituality. This is further emphasised by Noble’s (2001) argument that spiritual intelligence is an innate human capability, but like any talent or gift it is expressed in various ways and to various degrees throughout the human population. Both Emmons’ and Noble’s conceptualisations of spiritual intelligence have a strong cognitive component.
On the other hand, Vaughan (2002) defines spiritual intelligence as “a capacity for a deep understanding of existential questions and insight into multiple levels of consciousness” (p. 19). For Wolman (2002) spirituality is “the human capacity to ask ultimate questions about the meaning of life, and to simultaneously experience the seamless connection between each of us and the world in which we live” (p. 83). According to Wigglesworth (2012), spiritual intelligence is the ability to behave with wisdom and compassion, while maintaining inner and outer peace, regardless of the situation (Wigglesworth, 2012). The conceptualisations by Vaughan, Wolman and Wigglesworth have strong self-actualisation components in them. It is the intelligence with which humans address and solve problems of meaning and value and with which humans can place our actions and our lives in a wider, richer, meaning-giving context; the intelligence with which humans can assess that one course of action or one life-path is more meaningful than another.
It is therefore clear from the above-stated different definitions that although some research has been done on the concept of spiritual intelligence, much still remains to be done to gain a full understanding of the construct. Most people are struck by the fact that definitional clarity is still lacking between spirituality and religion. The next section endeavours to provide clear differences between these concepts
Chapter 1 Background and Context of the Study
1.2 Motivation for the Research
1.3 Problem Statement
1.4 Research Question
1.5 Aims of the Research
1.6 Research Method
1.7 Definitions of Operational Concepts
1.8 Chapter Lay-Out
Chapter 2 Literature Review on Leadership
2.2 Exploring the Nature of Leadership
2.3 The Misconceptions about Leadership
2.4 The Differences between Leadership and Management
2.5 The Components of Leadership
2.6 The Theories of Leadership
2.7 The Levels of Leadership
Chapter 3 Literature Review – Spiritual Intelligence
3.2 Conceptualisation of Operational Concepts
3.3 The Differences between Spirituality and Religion
3.4 A Brief History of the Study of Human Intelligence
3.5 Spiritual Intelligence and the Brain
3.6 The Types of Intelligence
3.7 The Relationship between Spiritual and Emotional Intelligences
3.8 Dimensions of Spiritual Intelligence
3.9 The 21 Skills of Spiritual Intelligence
3.10 The Importance of Spiritual Intelligence to Human Progress
3.11 Spiritual Intelligence and Leadership
3.12 Developing Spiritual Intelligence
Chapter 4 Theoretical Framework
4.1 Introduction and Background Information
4.2 The Nature of the Ecological Theory
4.3 The Ecological Environment
4.4 Principles of the Ecological Theory of Leadership
Chapter 5 Research Design
5.2 Aims of the Research
5.3 Research Questions
5.4 Research Design
5.5 Research Method
Chapter 6 Presentation of the Results
6.2 Context of the Research
6.3 Demographics of the Participants
Chapter 7 Discussion of the Results
Chapter 8 Conclusion and Recommendations
8.2 Aims Revisited
8.3 Conclusions from the Literature Review
8.6 Suggestions for Further Research
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