Emergence of Spiritual Leadership: Creating Internal Ownership and Empowerment in Complex Organizations

Emergence of Spiritual Leadership: Creating Internal Ownership and Empowerment in Complex Organizations

Theresa D. Neimann (Oregon State University, USA) and Uta M. Stelson (Huainan No. 2 Middle School, China)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1049-9.ch015
OnDemand PDF Download:
$30.00
List Price: $37.50

Abstract

The emergence of spiritual leadership is drawing attention with leadership experts as an answer to worker performance sustainability. It is an open systems leadership strategy that sustains complex organizational work culture by focusing on shared worker-centered management. It values the eminence of human existence and the authenticity of the individual. The hypothesis of spiritual leadership purports when people work inauthentically by adapting their natural thinking and working styles to fit work expectations of employers, tension and stress result, leading ultimately to poor work performance. The servant posturing–base of spiritual leadership sustains worker performance by empowering natural inclinations in others, as well as cooperation, cooperative consensus-based democratic decision making and facilitating cooperative dialogue.
Chapter Preview
Top

What Is Spiritual Leadership?

Instead of trying to be a super-leader, it is critical that the perceptions of others view the leader as being authentic and committed to the work that one does and loving the people one serves (Bolman & Gallos, 2011; Carter, 1996; Greenleaf, 2002). Spiritual management and leadership strategies value people the same as capital profits (Court, 2003). They value the eminence of human existence and the authenticity of the individual—beliefs, values and way of life. Unpacking the term, “spiritual leadership” as cooperation, cooperative consensus-based democratic decision making and facilitating cooperative dialogue, appeals to our sense of wholeness in our politically-charged work environments (Court, 2003; Greenleaf, 2002). Its wholeness not just tolerates but respects the opinions of others (Kocolowski, 2010; Lee-Davies, Kakabadse, & Kakabadse, 2007).

Though the word spirit/ual means to enliven or the vital principle, its derivation came from the Old French word spirit which came from the Latin word spiritus, which meant soul, courage, vigor, or breath (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2015). The focus of leading from “spirit” and imparting spirit or soul into others is the foundation for the use of the term, spiritual leadership (Bolman & Deal, 2011). It is a leadership strategy that leads authentically from one’s most prized value system (Gardner, Cogliser, Davis, & Dickens, 2013; Greenleaf, 2002). The essence of this kind of leadership values one’s relationships and collaborations with others, one’s connection to the natural world, and beyond (Capra, 1996; Wheatley, 2006). Spirituality in the context of leadership isn’t so much about religion but about genuine compassion and authentic concern for others (Bass & Steidlmeier, 1999; Gardner, et al., 2013). Within the work environment, spiritual leadership takes shape as empowering natural inclinations in others, cooperation, cooperative consensus-based democratic decision making, and facilitating cooperative dialogue (Carter, 1996; Gardner et al., 2011; Senge, 1990).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Lekgotla: A South African term designed as a meeting place for village assemblies ( De Liefde, 2007 ).

Ubuntu: A South African conversational concept that considers the vulnerability of each human soul and its contribution to the wholeness of others. It connotes a conversational process where the voice of each tribal member becomes one voice leading the group forward. For example, it takes into consideration the possible deferment to the opinions of others based on experience, expertise or wisdom ( De Liefde, 2007 ).

Participatory/Democratic Leadership: A leadership concept in which personnel have shared ownership in the origin of concepts, decisions, implementation and outcomes of ideas. Contributions of the group are not just valued but help lead the organization ( Court, 2003 ).

Falsification of Type: A Jungian term denoting the unnatural adaption of one’s natural thinking, ways of being and working styles in order to fit work expectations of employers, resulting in personal and workplace stress and social tensions ( Benziger, 1996 ).

Authentic Leadership: Concern for others points of view, espoused by respecting each individual’s— beliefs, values and way of life within workplace conversations ( Bolman & Gallos, 2011 ).

Cooperative Consensus-Based: Fostering mutual respect by facilitating participatory management leading to general agreement and harmony, especially from less dominant voices as an effective way to manage an organizational culture ( Kolb, 1983 ).

Spiritual Leadership: A servant posturing leadership strategy that sustains worker performance by genuine respect, empowering natural inclinations in others, cooperation, cooperative consensus-based democratic decision making and facilitating cooperative dialogue ( Greenleaf, 2002 ).

Leading by Dialogue: The idea that story-telling and productive conversational dialogue is demonstrated through the concept of mutual respect, active listening and at times deferring to the opinions of others (Lee-Davies Kakabadse & Kakabadse, 2007 AU26: The in-text citation "Lee-Davies Kakabadse & Kakabadse, 2007" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset