Spirituality in Business: An Exploration Into Three Exemplar For-Profit Organizations, Using Qualitative and Quantitative Measures
McCulloch, A. Scott, (2006). Spirituality in Business: An Exploration Into Three Exemplar For-Profit Organizations, Using Qualitative and Quantitative Measures. Ph.D. doctoral dissertation, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, CA.
This study explored the incorporation of spirituality in 3 for-profit businesses, each with its own unique approach. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from all levels of the organizations, including a Projective Differential (PD) assessment, a Semantic Differential (SemDf), the Expressions of Spirituality Inventory-Revised (ESI-R), in-depth interviews with senior executives, and a questionnaire completed by employees.
Management teams differed in both kind and degree of explicitly measured spiritual expression, with their approaches to incorporating spirituality more directly influenced by kind than by degree. The PD data uncovered participants’ implicit, nonverbal perceptions of the spirituality of their organizations, themselves, and their opposite cohorts, highlighting degrees of alignment between management and employees at a latent level of awareness. INcongruence data indicated disparities between nonverbal and verbal perceptions, showing that management and employee cohorts experienced different levels of pressure to perceive their organizations, and their opposite cohorts as spiritual. All organizations exhibited misalignment between their management teams’ and employees’ perceptions, and differences in the amount of pressure each experienced. Although both management and employees of the most explicitly spiritual organization exhibited generally more positive perceptions of the spirituality of their organization, and mostly lower levels of INcongruence, they did not exhibit overall higher levels of alignment than the other organizations.
Differences among the 3 cultures and approaches to spirituality were discussed in terms of some previously published frameworks, and addressed: levels of management-employee trust required; management control desired; behavior-values congruence exhibited; and alignment of management and employee perceptions.
This study demonstrates the value of including data from an implicit, nonverbal level of perception along with more explicit, verbal levels of information to derive quantitative measures of congruence and management-employee alignment, producing a deeper view into 3 very different organizations’ unique approaches to incorporating spirituality and the implications of each.
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