Challenges Enhancing Social and Organizational Performance

Challenges Enhancing Social and Organizational Performance

Ana Martins (Zirve University, Turkey), Isabel Martins (Zirve University, Turkey) and Orlando Pereira (University of Minho, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0948-6.ch002
OnDemand PDF Download:
No Current Special Offers


A vital component in the new age organizational paradigm is evident in spiritual capital, albeit many occasions leadership overlooks its importance. Nevertheless, this spiritual dimension is gaining acceptance in contemporary organizations as sustainability is very much dependent on this capital. The aim of this chapter is to analyze the principles of spiritual capital, its applicability in the organizational context and to reflect on the importance of this construct in contributing to organizational sustainability. This study aims to gauge the perception of employees about their spiritual capital and its importance in the workplace. We distributed a questionnaire as a data collection method to a sample in higher education institutions in order to create a reference to identify the spiritual resources in the organization. This chapter also analyzes the relevance of the spiritual capital construct, with special focus on spiritual leadership in organizations which are an integral part of the higher education sector.
Chapter Preview


It is a given that the current economy is based on knowledge. Initially knowledge was more technical and codified in nature, albeit rapidly knowledge permeated to intangible depths. Therefore, these intangibles have indeed developed exponentially from the initial exploration of human capital (HC) to the broader notions of social capital (SC) and intellectual capital (IC). Spiritual capital arises in this developmental path. In fact, the literature has been pointing out these issues (Amram, 2007; Fry et al., 2005; Fry et al., 2011; Zohar, & Marshall, 2000; Zohar, & Marshall, 2001) and the intangible values are considered as being the essence of both productivity and organizational performance. It is within this realm that, this research reflects upon the intangibles inherent in the organization. Consequently, the research indicates the link and relationship HC has with IC and SC, without losing sight that both EC and Spiritual Capital are deeply embedded in IC. This new 2nd generation Knowledge Management (KM) paradigm requires leaders to walk the talk and set the example. Therefore, leaders should change their mindset, behavior and attitudes because leadership is considered as the key to promoting this paradigm through a learning culture and leadership through values and spirituality. Shared leadership in this new mindset promotes higher levels and more efficient productivity in so far as these leaders sustain values and attitudes that are more humane thus ensuring a greater humanization of the organization.

The majority of innovation processes, regardless of their complexity, are related to a spiritual path, wherein lie the inter- and intra- organizational quality of life. Much needs to be done in this realm despite the little effort already visible. In fact, these issues have a deep relationship with intangible organizational values and are considered to be of importance because they offer sustainability for innovation processes.

The aim of this research is to evaluate the perception that employees have towards intangible values. This perception is based on the premise that the University can be regarded as a spiritual nurturing agent. This study entails a questionnaire as a data collection method distributed to a sample in higher education institutions (HEIs). The purpose of this research to ascertain whether that the findings will enable to identify those resources in the organization associated with spiritual intelligence. This research also aims to shed light on the relevance of the spiritual capital construct, with special focus on shared leadership in the HE sector. The findings will facilitate the assertion of whether or not those organizations targeted in this sector do indeed embrace spiritual capital to pave the way for the creation and implementation of organizational policies that will improve levels of spirituality and humanization in the organization.

The focus of this study presents a reflection on the role of IC in the path of towards a shift in organizational change and further reflection entails the spiritual capital construct to demonstrate spiritual intelligence as a means to nurture organizational paths of a spiritual nature. In this regard, an analysis of Fry et al. (2005) spiritual leadership model highlights values, such as altruistic love, which are closely associated with SC.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Spiritual Capital (SC): The subsequent model also provides a contemporary interpretation of SC that distinguishes it from the construct of religiosity. In accordance with this intangible perspective, through SC, EI can be linked to leadership and organizational success. SI is another type of intelligence in addition to the cognitive and emotional quotients, which support and are also considered complementary to SI. This is due to the fact that they consider SI as being the most noble of intelligences, despite the difficulties that still persist in viewing it in a concrete form of spirituality as a type of intelligence that leverages all capitals.

Virtues: Managers should be assessing their employees to ensure that they are recruiting the best talent as well as developing their existing talent. Organizations should be looking at learning and talent development (LTD) as a ‘strategic tool’ that will impact on the performance of their employees, their development, blending cognitive with personal attributes to enhance their overall virtues. In their daily organizational routines, professional individuals should behave with integrity, honesty, earnestness and have a deep feeling of consciousness and respect for others. They should favor common good, equity and stimulate group intelligence. In addition, individuals should strive to understand so that they can be understood - this being one of the secrets of successful organizations which are imbued with a climate of social respect, tolerance and sociability, kindness and friendliness.

Spiritual Intelligence: This construct includes a group of mental capacities which contribute to the awareness, integration, and adaptive application of the nonmaterial and transcendental aspects of one’s existence, leading to such outcomes as deep existential reflection, enhancement of meaning, recognition of a transcendental self, and mastery of a spiritual state.

Leadership: The new age paradigm emphasizes flexibility and inclusivity. It requires a new form of leadership predicated on openness, collaboration, power sharing where flexibility, creativity, imagination and responsiveness can flourish. Essential skills for leaders include, clear vision, strong leadership, relentless focus, political acuity, personal accountability, effective management, resilience and a sense of urgency. Within this new paradigm of quantum uncertainties, conveying the humanistic perspective, leadership should emphasize teamwork, flexibility, empathy, creativity, systems thinking which fosters a sense of belonging to a large whole. In accordance with this intangible perspective, through SC, EI can be linked to leadership and organizational success.

Human Capital (HC): The term HC is linked to one of the internal dimensions of Intellectual Capital (IC) and is made up of competencies, values, attitudes and education. Employees are an integral part of the IC of any organization and investing in the development of this capital will be beneficial in their quest for competitive advantage. HC has the potential in aiding an organization to be successful and sustain its competitive advantage over its competitors. People are most important assets for organizations, not its buildings nor materials but its knowledge and skills. The challenge lies in managers who need to ensure their IC is motivated and challenged. In order to hold onto the talent inherent in HC, organizations need to bond with their employees, empower and equip them with new and updated knowledge and skills to keep them constantly developing, innovating and therefore motivated.

Performance: Shared leadership in the new mindset promotes higher levels of and more efficient productivity in so far as leaders sustain values and attitudes that are more humane ensuring a greater humanization of the organization. Employees rely mostly on knowledge resorting predominantly to their intellectual resources rather than their physical ones. Knowledge workers with high level of work autonomy and creativity are motivated by work recognition that is also reflected in their high performance. Intangible values are considered as being the essence of both productivity and organizational performance. Knowledge workers are the crucial element for knowledge sharing to occur in order to boost performance levels.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: