Department

Leadership

Date of Paper/Work

2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Dissertation

Advisors

Jean Pierre Bongila, Sarah Noonan, James Sturdevant

Abstract

The purpose of this exploratory case study was to discover how the spiritual practices of Midwest leaders influenced them in the workplace. Numerous researchers link spirituality to effective leadership, however, the extent of the relationship continues to be debated among scholars. This study explored that relationship under specific circumstances. Major research questions were 1) how do leaders rely on their spiritual practices to achieve greater self-knowledge and self-growth and 2) how do they use the knowledge gained from spiritual practices to inform and influence their leadership? The data from interviews with twenty Midwestern leaders self-identified as having a spiritual practice revealed six themes and eleven subthemes. Regardless of the specific and diverse spiritual practices they used as individuals, the study participants believed one’s spirituality is central to both life and leadership and served as a grounding force that influenced both themselves and the individuals they led. These findings support the understanding that some leaders effectively integrate all of their social identities into their work and leadership roles (Benefiel, 2005; Miller, 2013). Finally, as a result of analysis of these data and application of these theories, conclusions and recommendations for future research are offered.

Keywords

spirituality and leadership, spirituality and workplace

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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