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Research Article
Workplace spirituality in indian organisations: construction of reliable and valid measurement scale
expand article infoRabindra Kumar Pradhan, Lalatendu Kesari Jena, Cesar Merino Soto§
‡ Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, India
§ University of San Martín de Porres, Lima, Peru
Open Access

Abstract

The purpose of the paper was to develop and validate a comprehensive tool for measuring workplace spirituality. On the basis of literature, feedback from academic and industry professionals, a heuristic framework along with a scale on workplace spirituality was proposed and a questionnaire was developed. The instrument obtained empirical views from experts on its dimensions and statements. Content validity ratio (CVR) of the instrument was carried out and the retained items were taken for field survey. Three hundred and sixty one executive respondents employed in manufacturing and service organisations in Indian subcontinent responded to the 44 items scale assessing different facets of spirituality at workplace. This helped to validate the factors of workplace spirituality and optimize the contents of the proposed instrument with the help of structural equation modelling. Exploratory factor analysis revealed four distinct factors that constitute the new instrument of workplace spirituality: spiritual orientation, compassion, meaningful work, and alignment of values. Reliability analysis reported high level of internal consistency of the total scale (α = .78) and the five subscales (α’s ranging from .75 to .87). Finally, 30 items were retained with four important factors of Workplace Spirituality Scale.

Keywords

Spiritual orientation, Meaningful work, Compassion, Alignment of values, Workplace spirituality, Scale development, Validation, SEM, Indian context

JEL Classification

C12, C42

Introduction

Few decades back organizations were reluctant to discuss spirituality at workplace owing to its religious and communal connotation. But today organizations have realized that to harness the potential of their employees they have to offer them meaning in what they do or who they are as an organizational member (Anthony 2015). This profound transformation is backed by several studies which highlights the relationship between spirituality at workplace and organizational outcomes. The frequency of management books printed on spirituality has increased exponentially over the past 20 years with analogous growth in conference proceedings and symposia talk on “work place spirituality” across continents. Interestingly Neal and Biberman (2003) has specified that “one of the first journals to have published articles explicitly on the topic of spirituality and work appears to be the Journal of Organizational Change Management and between 1992 and 2014, the journal has published 122 such articles that have cited spirituality, including 36 articles with spirituality as their dedicated main focus”. Apparently by this time “there seem to be as many definitions of spirituality at workplace as there are researchers!” (Singhal and Chatterjee 2006). The question that arises in this context is “Why is there such an intensified curiosity to learn the nuances of workplace spirituality”?

One potential answer to this question we have observed that, in this knowledge and information era people are progressively aspiring to experience meaningfulness not only in their personal lives, but also in their professional sphere (Ray 1992). In the present globalized world, work has undoubtedly taken a more conspicuous and time consuming place in the life of a professional. Therefore, today’s knowledge professionals have realized that there need to have a spiritual consciousness for amalgamating one’s personal values and professional goals (Sandra 2015, Pradhan and Jena 2016). This includes discovering the purpose of one’s life through self-introspection, the relationship with society around, self-transcendence by allowing self to contribute for betterment of others. Because of its association with meaning, contemporary spirituality implicitly warrants for a greater understanding of human identity and of psychosocial development in a workplace setting. However, the literature available as on now has given a number of insights, but it has been criticized for lacking the critical insights (Gibbons 2000). This suggests for conducting a rigorous research through clearly defining the measure of workplace spirituality and developing instruments that can validate the underlying factors of the construct. To unfold this research gap this manuscript is organised as follows. First, we have reviewed the literature on workplace spirituality and its different facets explored so far. We have interviewed academicians and corporate practitioners across India regarding their understanding on present state of spirituality at workplace. On the basis of the literature, feedback from academic and industry professionals a heuristic framework along with a scale questionnaire on workplace spirituality was proposed. The proposed questionnaire had obtained empirical views from experts on its dimensions and statements. An exploratory factor analysis was carried out along with the reliability and validity of the instrument.

1. Theoretical foundation on workplace spirituality

There has been an increasing focus on the spirit, spirituality, and spiritual phenomenon in contemporary times. One of the greatest management thinker of this genre Drucker (1954) through his widely acclaimed book “The practice of management” mentioned that “the spirit that motivates, that calls upon a man’s reserves of dedication and effort, that decides whether he will give his best or just enough to get by”. The term “spirit” has become a catch word later and companies at present are in the process of exploring the right attitude (i.e. spirit) from their most valuable asset, human capital (Johnson 2007). The word spirituality has originally come from the Latin word spiritus which means “breath of life”. It has been defined as the valuing of the non-material or transcendental aspects of life. Ritscher (1998) tried to interconnect spirit and spirituality together stating “as the awareness that there is something more to life than just our narrow, ego-oriented view of it”. This definition richly captures the essence that there is more to life than the meaningless, pretentious superficiality.

Signifying the importance of Drucker’s vision Ashmos and Duchon (2000) outlined the importance of “spirit” within “the workplace” as “the recognition of an inner life is nourished by meaningful work which takes place in the context of community”. Extensive research done by Maginnis (2001), explored spiritual well-being as how successful a person is in realizing his requirements and meaning of life and, therefore, upholding an interconnected existence with one’s fellow workers. Another view of it could be that of a mutually nurturing relationship between individual employees’ spirituality experiences and workplace features (Kleiner 1996). Heaton et al. (2004) said, “while traditional approach intends at managing change from the ‘outside-in’, knowledge of the spiritual foundation of life suggests that change can be handled from the ‘inside-out’ and individuals who are able to self-experience the spiritual foundation of life can grow and develop in ways consistent with organizational goals”.

Although, there has been several attempts to define and conceptualize workplace spirituality, still our knowledge of this extraordinary and transcendental concept is far from being complete. In the following section we have briefly presented the various definitions and conceptualization of workplace spirituality as proposed by several authors.

Neck and Milliman (1994), defined spirit at work as a continuous striving force in order to have a comprehensive perception of reality and to experience the underlying oneness of life. Mirvis’s (1997) definition of workplace spirituality incorporates the notions of both community as well as meaningful work. The definition provided by Mitroff and Denton (1999a) is one of the first systematic investigations of the employee’s spiritual aspirations at workplace stating that spirituality is a basic feeling of being connected with one’s completes self, others and the entire universe. In the context of workplace, Guillory (2000) argued that, “spirituality is the integration of holistic principles, practices and behaviours that encourages full expression of body, mind and spirit. These include humanistic and employee friendly work environments, service orientation, creativity and innovation, personal and collective transformation, environmental sensitivity and high performance”. Thomson (2000) believed “spirit at workplace” is all about how one feels about one’s job- whether it is just a job or a “calling”. Ashmos and Duchon (2000) defined “Spirituality at Work” as “the recognition that employees have an inner life that nourishes and is nourished by meaningful work that takes place in the context of community”. This definition highlights three important dimensions of spirituality at workplace i.e., inner self, meaningful work, and sense of community. Inner self refers to the employee’s inner (spiritual) needs, which are as important as the physical, emotional and social needs of the employee (Duchon and Plowman 2005). The second dimension is meaningful work that means every individual looks for meaning in work. In other words work should have a compelling meaning to the individual which goes beyond mere sustenance or organizational survival. If the reason for which an individual works is grand and significant, the individual derive a feeling of wholeness or completeness by doing it (Overell 2008). The third dimension is sense of community, which refers to living in connection with each other.

Harrington and colleagues (2001) considered workplace spirituality as an attitude of sharing and a sense of togetherness with each other both within one’s department as well as in the organization. In the words of Giacalone and Jurkiewicz (2003a) workplace spirituality is “a framework of organizational values evidenced in the culture that promotes employees’ experience of transcendence through the work process, facilitating their sense of being connected to others in a way that provides feelings of completeness and joy” Wong (2003) asserted that “a healthy dose of spirituality and meaning at the workplace is good for business, because it improves morale and productivity of an organisation”. Ashar and Lane-Maher (2004) defined workplace spirituality as an “innate and universal search for transcendent meaning in one’s life ... it involves a desire to do purposeful work that serves others and to be part of a principled community. It involves a yearning for connectedness and wholeness that can only be manifested when one is allowed to integrate his/her inner life with one’s professional role in the service of a greater good”. Marques and colleagues (Marques et al. 2005) in their definition of spirit at work mentioned aspects like inner power, interconnectedness with all those involved in work process and a sense of purpose in the work environment. Beyer (1999) firmly believed that both meaning in work and belongingness to community nourishes the inner life of individuals and provides their work a spiritual dimension. International Center for Spirit at Work (ICSW 2006), defined spirituality at work as, “spirituality in the workplace is about individuals and organizations seeing work as a spiritual path, as an opportunity to grow and to contribute to society in a meaningful way. It is about care, compassion and support of others; about integrity and people being true to them and others. It means individuals and organizations attempting to live their values more fully in the work they do”.

We have found that with the passage of time, the elemental structure in the development of a workplace spirituality paradigm has taken place. A brief conceptualization of various researchers on their proposition on workplace spirituality is presented in Table 1. The constructions of scale carried out by researchers along with their experimented dimensions are presented in Table 2.

Schema of workplace spirituality construct

Authors & Year of Publication Propositions on workplace spirituality
(Neck and Milliman 1994) Oneness of life, and Perception of Reality
(Mirvis 1997) Meaningful Work and Sense of Community
(Beyer 1999) Meaningful Work and Belongingness to Community
(Mitroff and Denton 1999) Interconnectedness
(Ashmos and Duchon 2000) Inner Life, Meaningful Work and Sense of Community
(Harrington et al. 2001) Sharing and Sense of togetherness
(Milliman et al. 2003) Meaningful Work and Sense of Community
(Giacalone and Jurkiewicz 2003b) Transcendence through Work Process and Sense of Community
(Ashar and Lane-Maher 2004) Transcend Meaning, Purposeful Work, Sense of Community, Connectedness and Wholeness
(Marques et al. 2005) Inner Power, Interconnectedness, Sense of Purpose
(Kinjerski and Skrypnek 2006) Spiritual Connection, Meaning and Purpose in Work, Sense of Community and Mystical experience
(Sharma 2007) Spiritual Synergy and Positive Spirit
(Krishnan 2007) Oneness with all other beings

Experimented dimensions of workplace spirituality

Sl. No Authors & Sources Proposed Dimensions No. of items No. of samples for initial study
1. (Ashmos and Duchon 2000) a. Meaningful work
b. Sense of community
c. Alignment of values
21 696 employees working in various US health care organizations.
2. (Caroline and Peter 2001) a. Interconnection with a higher power
b. Interconnection with human beings
c. Interconnection with nature and all living things
16 2,232 executive members working in different US organizations including part time MBA students in USA.
3. (Milliman et al. 2003) a. Work meaningful dimensions
b. Community sense dimensions
c. Coherent of organisational value dimensions
17 167 part-time, evening MBA students attending a business school in southwest USA.
4. (Duchon and Plowman 2005) a. Community
b. Meaning at work
c. Inner life
d. Work unit community
e. Work unit and meaningful work
34 2033 informants from healthcare settings in six cities of US.
5. (Kinjerski and Skrypnek 2006) a. Engaging work
b. Mystical experiences
c. Spiritual connection
d. Sense of community
18 335 respondents across a wide range of occupations (including maintenance, clerical, technical, academic, and administrative), at a large mid-western university, USA.
6. (Krishnan 2007) No dimensions 6 174 teachers employed in post graduate teaching institutions.
7. (Rego and Cunha 2008) a. Team’s sense of community
b. Alignment between organisational and individual values
c. Sense of contribution to the community
d. Sense of enjoyment at work
e. Opportunities for the inner life
17 361 executives from 154 service organizations participated in the study.
8. (Petchsawanga and Duchon 2009) a. Compassion
b. Mindfulness
c. Meaningful work
d. Transcendence
22 206 Thai respondents working in food and beverage deliveries

With the development of research on spirituality in workplace the topic has begun to garner more attention among practitioners. This is because people use to spend much of their time in organisations and their workplace is very much important for their social identities. Therefore, the fundamental imperative is to make organisations more consistent with individual values and psychology.

However, many authors have cited that there is a lack of consensus in defining workplace spirituality posing a significant impediment for achieving a concrete understanding of workplace spirituality (Saas 2000, Baker 2015). Fry (2003) in his paper has highlighted the fact that, “workplace spirituality is a new topic in organisational literature which is having a limited theoretical development”. Hence these populist concerns warrant the construct of workplace spirituality for an epistemological enquiry. Saas (2000) has explicitly stated that, “the emerging body of academic literature on spirituality in organisations exhibits more breadth than the depth. At the same time, substantive efforts are expected from researchers for developing empirical measurement tools on workplace spirituality that may provide sufficient evidence to support workplace effectiveness” (Baker 2015). Through this paper we have tried to propose a definition and to develop the discrete dimensions of workplace spirituality. The objective is to establish a common language and a theoretical map of workplace spirituality by revisiting the established theory while joining the missing links.

2. Measurement development

In the development of a parsimonious scale to assess workplace spirituality, we have followed psychometric theory throughout a rigorous scale development process (Gerbing and Anderson 1988, Nunnally and Berstein 1994). The first step we have taken is to thoroughly examine the available literature and the associated scales on spirit or spirituality at workplace. Content analysis of the available transcripts have resulted 18 different factors which are perceived to be associated with the construct. The factors are mystic experience, spiritual connections, opportunity for inner life, empathy, sense of enjoyment at work, work meaningfulness, sense of contribution to community, alignment of values with organisation. These factors have been cross checked through discussing with subject experts and academicians in the field of industrial and organisational psychology who are familiar with spirituality literature. Since one of our objectives was to develop a measure that can be used in a variety of workplace settings, we have tried to eliminate jargons and complex terms defining the dimensions and its underlying statements. 44 items that corresponds to our proposed dimensions were developed. These 44 items were classified into four distinct dimensions: spiritual orientation (e.g., “My spiritual values guide my decision at work”), compassion (e.g., “I put conscious efforts to bring a viable solution to other’s problems”), meaningful work (e.g., “My work gives me sufficient satisfaction and personal meaning”), and alignment of values (e.g., “Individual and organization’s mission and vision are interconnected in my organization”).

The identified 44 item pools composing of 4 dimensions were reviewed by both academicians and senior HR practitioners to further ensure content validity. Primarily they have been asked to evaluate the instrument through examining its representativeness, comprehensiveness and clarity (Miles and Huberman 1994). To facilitate their judgement, the items were categorized under their nominated domain and operational definitions of the dimensions were provided for their understanding. The content experts were asked to indicate the extent to which they perceive each individual item as a representative of the sub-dimensions and dimension as a whole by circling the most appropriate number in 5-point rating scale. Content Validity Ratio (CVR) proposed by Lawshe (1975) was used to assess the content expert judgements. This was calculated in the following way:

where ne is the number of panel members indicating an item “essential,” and N is the number of panel members. According to this formula a minimum of CVR value of 0.49 is required from fifteen expert members (Lawshe 1975). As a result of CVR analysis, ten items were discarded due to disagreement among academicians and practitioners and finally 34 items and 4 dimensions with CVR value higher than 0.49 are retained in the scale.

The four dimensions that may compose as a measure of the construct are spiritual connectedness, compassion, meaningful work, alignment of values. The definition of workplace spirituality evolved from our survey outlines the concept of spiritual orientation to workplace, “where work transcends the transactional boundaries to create a spiritual connectedness among employees, experiencing them a meaningful work profile while guiding one’s alignment of values to organisational goals”. We have used this definition to develop a measure of spirituality at work, and subsequently we have conducted an investigation into the psychometric properties of the proposed measure.

3. Identified dimensions of workplace spirituality

3.1. Spiritual connectedness

It refers to an experience in which one feels unified with the job in a deeply meaningful way. Spiritual connectedness is the way people search for personal meaning in the context of the entire universe (Thibault et al. 1991). A sense of enlightenment and gratification prevails in such circumstances. Kinjerski and Skrypnek (2004) describes spirituality at work as the transcendental experience of employees who are passionate about their work, who sees grand meaning and purpose in their work, who feel that work helps them in expressing themselves, and they feel connected to their peers with whom they share the bulk of their office hours.

3.2. Compassion

Compassion is a kind of empathic concern or a felt relation with the other; and it is action oriented for lessening or relieving others suffering. Krishnan (2007) operationalised spirituality as “oneness with all other beings”. He views that spirituality is the integration of three dimensions- first is the knowledge base and belief systems of an individual, second is one’s interior life and inner self and the third dimension is exterior life and institutional activity. His definition is largely influenced by the ideal of oneness of all beings in the universe based on the teachings of Upanisads. In Indian context there is another important construct of spirituality at workplace proposed by Sengupta (2010). According to his SS*PS model of practical spirituality “SS” stands for “Spiritual Synergy” and “PS” stands for “Positive Spirit”. He has stated that the (SS*PS) leads to positive mental attitude, positive thought-action in the form of compassionate attitude, and positive karma.

3.3. Meaningful work

Meaningful work is defined as one’s experience that his/her work is a significant and meaningful part to his/her life. Rigoglioso (1999) believes that the hunger to nourish the spirit is the driving force behind the quest for greater meaning in work. The same is reiterated by Duchson and Plowman (2005) asserting that employee must perceive his/her work to be meaningful and worthwhile in terms of the values uphold by him/her. Sheep (2006) definition of “meaning in work” is about seeking answers to fundamental questions like the purpose of work, looking at work as part of grand and supreme design etc. Kinjerski and Skrypnek (2004) refer to meaning in work as engaging work that has higher purpose. In a study conducted by Learner (1996) people want their day-to-day jobs to be part of larger purpose in life.

3.4. Alignment of values

Alignment simply means “broadly consistent with” with the value system with which one is attached. Milliman et al. (2003) conceptualized alignment with organizational values as an important organisational aspect of workplace spirituality. A clearly articulated statement of values binds the professional with the organisation, thereby creating a greater focus and momentum to achieve organisational goal. Alignment with the vision and values of the organisation is related to the premise that an individual’s purpose is to make contribution to others and society. Mitroff and Denton (1999b) stated that workplace spirituality is an effort to derive a kind of consistency or alignment between one’s core beliefs and values of one’s organisation.

Summary of sample characteristics by percentage (source: author’s findings)

Demographic Characteristics Sample (%)
1. Gender
Male 82.51%
Female 17.49%
2. Total years of Experience
Less than 5 Years 13.66%
5 Years to 15 Years 62.02%
15 Years or more 24.32%
3. Managerial Level
Junior 49.18%
Middle 28.69%
Senior 22.13%
4. Organization
Public sector establishments 67.76%
Private sector establishments 32.24%

4. Design of the exploratory study

Th0e purpose of our study is to test and validate a new measurement of workplace spirituality. Therefore, a pilot study of the items retained through CVR was conducted. The primary purpose of the pilot study is to measure the extent to which the instrument is able to provide data sufficiency that will satisfy the objective of the research (Hunt et al. 1982). Recent research has found that in most cases, a sample size of 150 observations should be sufficient to obtain an accurate solution in exploratory factor analysis as long as item inter-correlations are reasonably strong (Guadagnoli and Velicer 1988, Hinkin 1995).

For our study, we have used convenience and snowball sampling for obtaining a good amount of sample size from executive professionals employed in Indian manufacturing and service industries. To increase the diversity of our survey, we have solicited through google research base, linkedin, personal e-mails and have requested our known respondents to forward the survey solicitation email to their contacts who are executives employed in our desired organizations. After one and half month, we have received 391 responses. Item missing cases were deleted. 361 cases were finally used for statistical analysis. Demographic characteristics of the sample are provided in Table 3.

5. Findings

The measurement model consisted of four latent variables with their indicators: spiritual orientation (twelve indicators), compassion (five indicators), meaningful work (nine indicators), alignment of values (eight indicators). Exploratory factor analysis using SPSS with principal component extraction and varimax rotation was carried out with the sample to evaluate the internal consistency of the scale and dimensionality of the construct (Costello and Osborne 2005, Fabrigar et al. 1999). As Hair et al. (2006) recommends, the number of factors may be decided looking into (a) percentage of variance explained (b) Eigen values (c) interpretability of the factor structure. The items with their highest loadings were retained. The results of exploratory factor analysis representing the respective factor loadings are provided in Table 4.

Results of Exploratory Factor Analysis (Principal Component Analysis with Varimax Rotation) (N = 366)

Sample Items Factors (KMO = .824)
1 2 3 4
Spiritual Orientation
SO12: Sometimes I experience a sense of enlightenment for my job. .806
SO8: I feel I am guided by a supernatural power about my work. .736
SO4: I experience joy and happiness at work. .729
SO5: I experience a sense of gratification out of my work. .667
SO7: My connection with supreme power provides positive energy and guidance for my work. .647
SO3: There is no scope for spirituality at my workplace. (R) .641
SO1: I do not receive any appreciation for my spiritual values at work. (R) .627
SO11: At times, I experience blissful moments at work. .615
SO9: Time just goes on for me while at work. .611
SO6: My spiritual values guide my decision at work. .580
S02: I experience high energy and vitality at work which is difficult to explain. .554
SO10: I use to feel elevated for the work I do. .552
Compassion
CO3: I can easily feel the distress of others. .871
CO5: I help others when they are in trouble. .769
CO2: I am concerned about my colleagues’ needs and requirements. .702
CO1: I put conscious efforts to bring a viable solution to other’s problems. .659
Meaningful Work
MW9: I enjoy my work to the fullest. .900
MW6: I use to maintain high spirit at work. .720
MW4: My work gives me sufficient satisfaction and personal meaning. .701
MW2: I feel enthusiastic and energized by my work. .675
MW7: I am able to maintain work-life balance that makes me happy and healthy. .659
MW5: I experience a sense of personal fulfilment out of work. .648
MW1: I enjoy keeping a harmonious relationship with people at work. .583
MW3: I experience a kind of positive connection between my job and life. .541
Alignment of Values
AOV8: My personal values are similar with the value systems of this organization. .900
AOV3: My organization has a moral obligation for its employees. .717
AOV1: I feel being part of organization’s goals. .671
AOV5: Employee’s morale are taken due care in my organization to boost work spirit. .647
AOV4: My organization is concerned about the upliftment of the poor. .628
AOV6: Individual and organization’s mission and vision are interconnected in my organization. .617
Variance explained by dimension (%) 13.91 11.32 10.15 7.47
Total variance explained (%) 51.43
Spherecity Bartlet Test 4960.75
df 703
Sign. .01

The rotated factor loading matrix was closely analysed. While interpreting the rotated factor pattern, an item is said to load on a factor pattern, an item is said to load on a factor if the factor loading is 0.50 or greater (Moore and Benbasat 1991). Using this criterion, the rotated pattern matrix of the dimensions was examined thoroughly. Initially, the principal component analysis has yielded four factors; with few of the statements being cross loaded on multiple factors for example “My organization always takes care of its employees” (component of alignment of values) was deleted due to overlapping among the components. Some of the statements have been eliminated as they have got loading with less than .50 for example I experience a kind of unconditional love with my work (component of meaningful work), employees health and wellbeing issues are properly addressed in my organization (component of alignment of values), other’s feel that I am trouble shooter in my organization (component of compassion). Therefore, items which did not affect the content validity were deleted and others were retained with the factors they showed highest loading. The resulting analysis has yielded four factors with thirty indicators and accounted for 51.4% of the variance (See Table 4).

Table 5 reports the psychometric property of the finalized scale along with its underlying dimensions. Correlations between each item and its underlying dimension ranged from .20 to .48, and the r-square from .20 to .35, thus providing evidence of adequate convergent validity. Moreover, Cronbach’s Alpha was found to be satisfactory for the individual dimensions (ranging from .75 to .87) and the total scale has got a Cronbach Alpha of .78. This is above level of .70 as recommended by Nunnally (1978). This was followed by testing a structural model linking these four dimensions. AMOS 18.0 was used to do the analysis. The proposed dimensions were examined for (a) significance and magnitude of the loading coefficient of each indicator onto the respective constructs (b) values of the fit indices namely GFI, CFI, NFI, RMSEA. The loading coefficients of all the observed indicators onto the hypothesized workplace spirituality dimensions were seen to be significant at 1% level. The fit indices of each dimension are reported at Table 6 and the structural model is placed at Figure 1. All the fit values fall in the very good fit zone.

Psychometric properties of Finalized workplace spirituality scale

Variables Mean (dimension wise) S. D. (Total Scale)
r R2 α α
Spiritual orientation (SO)
SO12 3.80 .76 .36
SO8 3.83 .62 .25
SO4 3.86 .56 .32
SO5 3.73 .61 .31
SO7 3.75 .68 .32
SO3 3.61 .59 .20 .20 .87
SO1 4.11 .38 .24
SO11 3.88 .62 .28
SO9 3.97 .57 .28
SO6 3.77 .63 .30
SO2 3.87 .62 .34
SO10 3.81 .66 .31
Compassion (CO)
CO3 3.55 .75 .51
CO5 3.69 .69 .37
CO2 3.60 .55 .44 .35 .75
CO1 3.71 .65 .48
Meaningful Work (MW)
MW9 3.58 .75 .45 .78
MW6 3.73 .71 .38
MW4 3.74 .65 .36
MW2 3.78 .69 .31 .27 .83
MW7 3.59 .66 .32
MW5 3.47 .63 .31
MW1 3.66 .70 .35
MW3 3.70 .52 .35
Alignment of Values (AOV)
AOV8 4.10 .75 .48
AOV3 3.96 .70 .31
AOV1 4.17 .66 .42
AOV5 3.96 .70 .40 .29 .76
AOV4 4.17 .68 .29
AOV6 4.37 .73 .31

CFA Model Fit indices for the dimensions of Workplace Spirituality

Sl.No Factors of Workplace Spirituality No. of Items GFI AGFI CFI NFI RMSEA
1 Spiritual Orientation 12 0.91 0.88 0.93 0.91 0.05
2 Compassion 4 0.96 0.89 0.95 0.92 0.04
3 Meaningful Work 8 0.97 0.89 0.95 0.95 0.04
4 Alignment of Values 6 0.94 0.91 0.93 0.92 0.05
Fig. 1.

Workplace spirituality construct. Legend: SC: Spiritual Orientation, CO: Compassion, MK: Meaningful work, AV: Alignment of values.

The full model has achieved an acceptable fit: χ2 = 307.34, df = 198, χ2/df = 1.55, p = .01, CFI = .87 and RMSEA = .04. Hence, all the four dimensions of workplace spirituality are individually validated. We may conclude that workplace spirituality scale can be represented as a four dimensional construct consisting of spiritual orientation, compassion, meaningful work and alignment of values.

Conclusions and scope for future research

The study has used rigorous research methods to present some of the first empirical data in placing the predictive validity on the dimensions of workplace spirituality. The instrument has developed a measure of workplace spirituality validated in Indian context. The paper carries a number of implications and research directions for academicians and business practitioner for investigating the influence of workplace spirituality on employee well-being and organisational effectiveness. Workplace spirituality scale (WSS) is a psychometrically sound, and easy to administer measure that holds much promise for use in organizational behavior and HR research and practice. However, construct validity is an important impediment for development of a scientific scale of this nature. Construct validity basically accrues over time and through many studies. The scale requires further refinement in order to increase their level of reliability and their ability to explain the variance associated with the constructs they measure.

Future research is warranted to examine with randomly selected populations to test the generalizability and validity of the proposed measurement model. The construct of spirituality is subjective and highly idiosyncratic in nature. Therefore, it is also proposed to cross-validate the instrument in different cultures with multiple methods that include views from immediate superiors, focused group discussion with peer groups and one to one employee interviews. To develop a sound and testable theory on the construct of workplace spirituality, the moderators, mediators and other associated variables need to be identified by future researchers.

Disclosure statement

We hereby declare that we are not having any competing financial, professional, or personal interests from other parties.

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