Workplace Spirituality and Well-Being among the Workforce in Social Businesses in Scotland

Gjorevska, Natasha (2021) Workplace Spirituality and Well-Being among the Workforce in Social Businesses in Scotland. PhD thesis, Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem, Gazdálkodástani Doktori Iskola. DOI 10.14267/phd.2021048

PDF : (dissertation)
PDF : (draft in English)


This study draws from the research on workplace spirituality and well-being in connection to the context of social businesses involved in alternative food production and provision. This study’s focal points of interest are workforce motives and well-being in the specific context of organizations that have a social mission beyond making profit. For the purpose of this study, workplace spirituality is described as work performed by individuals that has broader societal implications (Sheep 2006), which includes a holistic mindset with a sense of mission and interconnectedness (Mitroff & Denton 1999, Sendjaya 2007) and transcendent motives as connection, compassion, meaningfulness, mindfulness (Guillén et al. 2015). Spiritual leaders are described as individuals who focus on value creation over value capture (Kauanui et al. 2010), consider the quality of their organization’s products (Pruzan 2008), contribute to society to make a difference (Fry 2003), and care for multiple stakeholders (Fry 2003, Reave 2005, Zsolnai 2011). Spiritually-informed workplace and leadership behaviors are driven by transcendental motives of selfless needs to improve the lives of employees, community, the society, the environment (Guillén et al. 2015, Ungvári-Zrínyi 2014, Mitroff & Denton 1999). Workplace spirituality and spiritual leadership have been associated with many beneficial outcomes such as high morale, commitment, less stress and ethical behavior (Fry 2003, Mitroff & Denton 1999, McGhee & Grant 2017, Karakas 2010). Connecting the literatures on well-being and workplace spirituality, there is a similarity between spirituality and the psychological approaches such as eudaimonia and flow. A spiritual approach supports psychological aspects of well-being through purpose in life, service to others, while psychological approaches such as eudaimonia and flow seem to support spiritual experiences. There is a lot of similarity and overlap between these concepts. For instance, eudaimonia is about human flourishing and manifesting the inner spirit or true nature (Waterman 1993, Van Dierendonck & Mohan, 2006), and it is not a momentary orientation but a lifetime of virtuous action and an activity of the soul (Aristotle 2014). Eudaimonia includes focus on meaningful activities relating to the bigger picture and doing the right thing, by having a holistic sense of self (Ryan & Deci 2001). Similarly, the spiritual outlook includes a sense of connection, compassion, mindfulness, meaningful work, transcendence (Guillén et al. 2015), interconnectedness, sense of mission, and a sense of wholeness or a holistic mindset (Mitroff & Denton 1999, Sendjaya 2007). Thus, eudaimonia is essential for the spiritual approach to work or Furthermore, the flow experience is considered to be an expression of eudaimonia (Fullagar & Kelloway 2010) and workplace spirituality is linked to flow at work (e.g., Fry 2003, Ungvári-Zrínyi 2014). The concepts of mindfulness at work and meaningful job are consistent with Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of flow (Ungvári-Zrínyi 2014, p. 6), which means that contributing to a worthwhile cause at work, for the benefit of others and self, as well as performing jobs that express the inner values of people, can result in engaging the full capacity (flow) and attaining a high level of fulfillment in life. The spiritual and meaningfulness oriented approach accounts for eudaminic experiences and offsets the destructive or negative aspect of flow (Csikszentmihalyi 1999). This puts into the perspective the importance of having a meaningful life over temporary enjoyment. Accordingly, jobs that take into account social consequences, allow for the expression of inner values at work and the experience of meaningfulness will support positive workplace well-being.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD thesis)
Supervisor:Takács Sándor
Uncontrolled Keywords:Workplace, Well-Being, Social Business
Subjects:Social welfare, insurance, health care
Labour economics
ID Code:1153
Date:15 November 2021
Deposited On:22 Jun 2021 09:56
Last Modified:24 Jan 2022 10:49

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