Updated September 10, 2022

Spirituality and Professionalism on Workplace

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Spirituality and Professionalism on Workplace essay
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Spirituality is a motivating power for an individual. It is used in distinct domains and given different definitions. According to (Giacalone&Jurkiewicz, 2003) define spirituality in work place in two levels: Individual & organization level. The individual one refers to the set of principles an individual have and how he utilizes that and facilitate connectedness among other employees.

The organizational level relates to the frame wok of values of the organizational culture, & how one abide them to feel content. In professionalism context spirituality is not about religion rather it is recognition of people coming to work with their minds and souls. Therefore it is connected to the activities involving personal growth, compassion to work with truthfulness.

Spirituality in profession enables employees to gain benefit from increasing joy and peace in workplace. It also enhances the level of mental and physical health and help in reducing job stressors.

Work Place Spirituality

The term spirituality workplace is an oxymoron; this is the figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction this was said by (Pierce, 2006). According to (Ashmos&Duchon, 2000) connected spirituality with several trends in the society. Mainly the workplace is seen as a primary source of community where one can feel connected to others because of the decline in the concept of extended families, neighborhood relations the workplace provide the only link to relate with others.

(Zamor, 2003) defines Spirituality in workplace not at personal level but at organizational level as: ‘the people bring their unique minds and souls while coming to workplace ‘. Meanwhile, (Gull &Doh, 2004) defines Spirituality workplace as; ‘The notion that they find more involved, more responsible, more ethical, more collaborative, and thus, more creative’.

The above concepts of spirituality in workplace is associated with activities that involve personal development/growth, learning, involvement and being truthful. While spirituality at the individual level, can be defined as a reflection of employees experiences based on performing the job (Salarzehi, Aramesh, and Mohammadi, 2011). Still in the entity level of workplace Spirituality is defined as, one of the emotional climate in which people (employees) consider themselves to have an internal life with meaningful work and are placed in the framework of community (Wulandari, 2014). So that the various concepts, in this paper shows Spirituality workplace in three levels; the individual level, group level and organizational level.


Spirituality can be taken in different meanings and in different forms used. “Spirituality is a motivating power of life, an energy which inspires an individual to a particular ending or a self-transcendent purpose (McKnignt, 1984). In other definition, spirituality is energy, meaning, purpose and awareness of life (Cavanagh, 1999). These definitions explicitly signifies spirituality as inner power and strength and existence of spirituality in an individual’s life is stimulant and essential. Myers (1990) defines spirituality in an article:”spirituality is the continuous search for meaning and purpose of life, awareness of profound value of life, extent of world, existing natural forces, and individual ethical system”.

Spiritualism foster a concept of being sensitive towards oneself, others, god, and nurtures humanistic approach.


It is basically the competence or skill used by a professional or a person engaged in some activity.“The process by which human resource professionals collectively strive to achieve the recognition and status that is accorded to the established professions by emulating or adopting the defining characteristics of the established professions.” (Balthazard, 2014).

It deals with the attitude and approach one have towards its profession. An individual who shows consideration, respect and dutifulness to his/her profession is said to have professionalism. It deals with the conduct, aims and qualities that an individual have in workplace.

Effect of Spirituality on Professionalism

Spirituality workplace Improve Job Satisfaction:

Job satisfaction is one of the most important aspect which generate emotional satisfaction in an individual. (Wagner & Hollenbeck, 2010), in which job satisfaction includes three components; the value, the importance of values and the perceptions. They suggested that each individual obtain different levels of job satisfaction and when they are satisfied with their jobs they be more productive, energetic and committed towards it.

There is proof that spirituality enables a person to benefit from increasing ‘joy, peace, silence, job satisfaction and commitment’ (Giacalone and Jurkiewicz, 2003). Spirituality workplace can also be described as a indication of the values and understanding of the inner member of the organization, combined with professional life. There are plenty of researches done on how spirituality increase the level of mental and physical health and lower job stress (Roberts, 2011).

Russell (2007) found that when ordinary people are actually practiced their faith in the workplace, and not only in the church that they become more fulfilled in the second, but it was also reported that ‘most ordinary people see little or no relationship between their faith and their workplace ‘. While a number of studies also confirm the relationship between spirituality workplace and job satisfaction.In addition, the results Goodarzi, Kaviani, Mostafa (2013), Choerudin (2014), Javanmard, Nami &Haraghi (2014), and research Wulandari, Fitri. (2014), after correlation analysis showed positive and significant relationship between spirituality workplace and job satisfaction. Therefore, in this paper stating that spirituality workplace has a positive and significant relationship to job satisfaction.

Spirituality Workplace and the Increase Organizational Commitment

Organizational commitment refers to; a worker identifies an organization, objectives and expectations for himself as a member of the organization. Whereas by (Kreitner& Kinicki, 2008) organizational commitment can be defined as the extent to which an individual identifies himself with the organization and is committed to the objectives of the organization.

Organizational commitment leads to an individual’s commitment to the organization, so that every individual has the basic and different behavior based on the commitment of each individual in the organization. Therefore, organizational commitment can be perceived as an individuals’ loyalty, identification and involvement with his/her organization (Robbins, 2001).

The involvement of the employees with the organization foster psychological identification as reflected by (Pawar, 2009). Fulfillment of spiritual needs of employees and the community is positively related to employee commitment to the organization. Consistent with this, there are studies which have found support for a positive relationship between members (community) and organizational commitment (Fry et al., 2005). Causality spirituality workplace and organizational commitment in the background backs by the realization that the work is not only related to the search material alone, so the award will work itself internally will increase the commitment of the organization’s members.

This opinion is specifically confirmed in research (Milliman, et. al.,2003), Rego& Cunha (2007) and research Chawla, &Guda, (2010) in which the research findings show that spirituality workplace has a significant relationship to organizational commitment. Research Osman-Gani, Hashim & Yusof (2013) also support previous research that there is a significant positive relationship between spirituality workplace and professional commitments. Related to these findings, obtained the premise that spirituality workplace has a positive and significant relationship with organizational commitment.

Spirituality Generate Resources Professionals

The concept is used to measure how professionals look at their profession that is reflected in their attitudes and behaviors. The concept of professionalism developed by Hall (1968) stated that “professionalism in the profession are reflected in the attitudes and behavior”. Further he describes that community affiliation, autonomy demand, belief, self-regulation, dedication and social obligation are five professional elements that form professionalism. Hall (1968) also said there is a reciprocal relationship between attitudes and behavior.

Professional behavior is a reflection of professionalism attitude and vice versa (Kalbers& Fogarty, 1995). Professionalism is an important individual attributes without seeing some kind of work, but the professionalism implies a mutual relationship between attitudes and behavior. The concept of professional behavior is a reflection of the professionalism, and vice versa professionalism reflected in the professional behavior (Ekawati 2013).Therefore in order to produce quality work for an organization professionalism must be inculcated in the members. The relationship between job satisfaction and organizational commitment to professionalism, then the related novelty in this papers obtained premise that spirituality workplace has a positive and significant relationship with professionalism.

Qualitative Research

(Denzin & Lincoln,2000) claim that qualitative research involves an interpretive and naturalistic approach: “This means that qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or to interpret, phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them”

As like all kinds of research, qualitative research needs some Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People, research questions. Research questions include a variety of topics, but most focus on participants’ understanding of meanings and social life in a particular context. There is a close relation between the researcher’s goals and the researcher’s theoretical frames.

The theoretical frames consist of all the previous researches, findings or theories; existing on the topics to be studied that are mobilized by the researcher. Another paper which is use in qualitative research paper is Methodological points. These depend on how information is collected, how the data is analyzed and it includes the cases [Crescentini&Mainardi, 2009].

The qualitative research data are descriptive, in the form of interview notes, observation records, and documents; and data are analyzed inductively. The study emphasizes on a holistic approach, and final outcomes. The sources of data are real-world situations, natural, non-manipulated settings. Qualitative researchers have to use key principles of research design, such as, linking the research questions to the methodological approaches, considering issues of analysis and data collection as integrated, and being clear about the purposes of the research [Mason, 1996].

Study Objectives

The study focuses on following objectives:

  • Defining workplace spirituality
  • Dimension of Workplace Spirituality in Pakistani Context
  • How Workplace Spirituality influences professionalism of teachers in Pakistani higher Education institutions

Research Gap

The Aim of this research paper is to identify Effects of spirituality on professionalism. How spiritualism influences people minds and souls at workplace.

The posture of people towards seeking a meaning in their lives based on self-transcendence or the need to be related to something bigger than the individual self (Zinnbauer, Pargament, & Scott, 1999). According to the etymology of the word, it comes from the Latin words Spiritus (breath) or Spirare (to breath). Spirit could be defined as a vital life force or inner source of energy, while spirituality is the outward articulation of that force (Kendall, 2012).

Suchlike, (Vance, 2001) have observed difficulties defining the notion, identified three similar elements that support most standard definition of spirituality as: interconnectedness with God, meaning and purpose of life, and the ability to transcend oneself.

In a general way spirituality is experienced and expressed individually. People have some sort, some level of depth or intensity of spirituality which differs from person to person. It can vary according to a person’s ethnic origin, or culture and environment; this distinction can occur even within the same broad culture. For instance, the spirituality of a Christian might be different to that of a Muslim, an Australian person, a Buddhist or an atheist (Lepherd L., 2014).

Spirituality and Religion

The broader differences between spirituality and the religion are epitomized by Thoresen and Harris (2002) where they suggest that a frequently held view is that religion is a social phenomenon involving social institutions which stick to certain rituals and practices, whereas spirituality is a personal experience that can be consorted with religion but which is becoming increasingly considered as being more independent.

Spirituality is something different from religion, even while being closely linked with it. (Carey J., 2017).

Multi-dimensional Nature of Spirituality

According to (Lepherd L., 2014) study, the framework which is stated below have dimensions which are inclusive and interrelated.

  1. Integrative energy
  2. Values and beliefs
  3. Process and journey
  4. Connectedness
  5. Existential

Integrative energy

Integrative energy, force and power can be viewed in spirituality at two levels. It can be observed at an individual level where it can lead to coherence in the domain of body, mind and spirit (Goddard N., 1995). At a second level, power (or force) can have a broader meaning. Spirituality often involves a person looking for a relationship with others, their surroundings or greater power (Murray J., 2007). This indicates that the power is transcendental.

Value and beliefs

Values have many facets and love, hope, trust and wisdom can be included in it (Hart T, Waddell A., 2003) as well as honesty and imagination can also escalate the sense of well-being. (Dossey BM, Guzzetta, 2005). Lin and Bauer-Wu (2003) conducted a research associated with psycho-spiritual well-being in terminally ill people, and specifically those with advanced cancer, suggested that generally many participants found significant strength in their beliefs and comfort in their faith.

Process and journey

One dimension of spirituality describes that it is a life-long, developmental process (Murray J, et al, 2007; Arles N., Sorajjakool S., 2006)

One other vision is that spirituality shapes a person’s life-journey in fact shaped by our own life’s journey (Burkhardt, Nagai, 2005)


Spirituality incorporates a universal human capacity to transcend self and connect with people, surroundings, nature and power outside of self, including a supreme being, and is present whether people partake in an organized religion or not (Murray J., 2007; McEwen M., 2005)


An expressed dimension of spirituality is that spirituality is the reflection of existential. The nature of existence in particular is a person’s meaning and purpose in life (Karen KJ et al, 2002; Chirban JT, 2001) although the terms spirituality and existentialism can be considered as interchangeable (Plante, Sherman 2001; Kearney M., 2000)


Merriam-Webster defines professionalism as “the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or professional person” and it also explain profession as “a calling required specialize knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation”. Professionalism is having set of skills, information and the ability to understand essence of the problem and also how that problem can be solved (Evetts, J. 2003).

These definitions explain that professionalism are some of different characteristics that combines and these characteristics as follows

Characteristics of professionalism

  1. Specialized knowledge.
  2. Competency.
  3. Honesty and integrity.
  4. Accountability.
  5. Self regulation.
  6. Image.


The most important thing for a professional is to have complete knowledge about their work. They have dedicated them selves in gaining and improving their skills and where needed they also have the degrees and certificate that proves to be the base of there knowledge. Not all the fields of business requires a degree and certificate or having higher education.

Professionals have worked in dedicated behavior and in attentive ways to have strong grip on the technical knowledge that help them in succeed in their field.


Professionals have the ability to fulfill their work. They also keep their words. Whenever they faces a difficulty to complete their task they put their whole effort in the work to get the best outcome.

Honesty and integrity

Professionals have attributes such as honest and integrity. They can be trusted unconditionally. They will accommodate their principles for others even if it puts them in a hard situation.

Professionals are also modest people. Whenever they failure in work that is out of their skills and abilities and are never shy to accept this. They never hesitate to get help form other but they take it as a part of there learning.


Professionals are never afraid of accepting if they are mistake. They will take responsibility of each and every work done by them right or wrong.


Professional know how react under a difficult and unpleasant situation. If they are working with someone who keep an unprofessional behavior that keep making them uncomfortable or make them lose their temper they will not react in aggressive or raging emotion but they will try to keep calm and make every thing possible in their abilities to help them.


Professionals are always dressed up cleanly and shiningly. They never show up for work in dull and sloppy ways, they hair are always shape in good manners. This help them in getting respect from other and also boast their confident.

Workplace Spirituality

Workplace spirituality is a composite form which includes the employee, the organization and the inter-linkage of the employees with the organization. Workplace spirituality gives a frame of reference through which employees can recognize the main goals of their life, can develop strong bonding with their colleagues and other individuals related to the work environment and can develop an adjustment with norms and basic goals of organization(Fagley and Adler, 2012).

All the definitions of the workplace spirituality agrees that their is personal frame of reference with an importance of connection at workplace, struggles to find the basic goals of life, strong bonds with the colleagues and adjustment of ones beliefs and values and with the organization(Ashmos and Duchon, 2000;Millimon et al., 2003).

Workplace spirituality is derived by the strong sensations of well-being, a strong belief that the work which they are doing is not meaningless and has high goals, to give awareness of adjustment in between ones beliefs and work, a spiritual connection more than self and connection with one self and others to achieve a common purpose. Workplace spirituality is all about the personal values which are rooted in a sense of meaning, purpose, open mind and tolerance(Ashmos and Duchon, 2000).

Effect of Spirituality on Professionalism

Meeting the spiritual needs of the employees will create a working environment which will result in the attainment of professionalism. Organizations can also improve the professionalism in the employees by satisfying their spiritual and psychological needs. Workplace spirituality has positive and direct relation with job satisfaction, business ethics and professionalism.

To understand the meaning of work is deeply related to spiritual beliefs and values attained by the employee during his/her work. Workplace spirituality increases job satisfaction and professionalism in employees during work which results in increase in the productivity and satisfaction. Workplace spirituality also has relationship with organizational commitments(Rolland E Fanggidae et al,2016).Spirituality on organizational level recognizes that employees have inner life and is nourished by the meaningful work that takes place in frame of reference of society(Ashmos and Duchen,2000).

On individual level workplace spirituality is interpreted as a reflection of individual’s meaningful experiences while doing the job, relationship with the colleagues and perfection in the workplace (Salarzehi, Aramesh and Mohmemadi,2011).Workplace spirituality consists of meaningful work, sense of doing job and work and adjustment with organization’s values(Czaplewski and Ferguson,2003).

Employees expressing their ideas in the work environment make them more professional and loyal with their work and organization which also results in increasing inner life opportunities and it causes in increasing in affective professional commitment. Their is also a significant relation between opportunities for inner life and affective professional commitment(European Journal of Social Sciences,2010).Workplace spirituality allows employees to comprise the sense of joy and pleasure at work. Sense of joy at work is a sub-dimension of of ‘Meaningful Work’. It provides a different way to achieve meaning at work(Rego and E cungh,2008).Greater the workplace spirituality, employees will be more professionals and profession commitments.

Workplace spirituality also increases the Organization’s Citizenship Behaviour, which is a kind of thinking and ideas. It includes behaviors such as acceptance and to assume additional responsibilities(Somayeh and Yaghoob,2013).Workplace spirituality influences on attitudes and behaviors of employees in every part of the world in history of the world and human being(Maringer,1960).All definitions of workplace spirituality has one common thing: values.Workplace spirituality increases the value of work for the employees which results in great professionalism in employee.Workplace spirituality has some characteristics which allows employees to believe in their work and to do their job in a new innovative way(Heaton,2000).

Professionalism is a matter of personal choice but based on workplace spirituality(Mayer and Allen,1991).Professionalism is developed when their will be strong relation between workplace spirituality and employees(Sreejesh and Tavleen,2011).

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How do you demonstrate spirituality in the workplace?
How to implement workplace spirituality Connect your work to your value system. Look at things positively. Treat others well. Take some time for yourself. Get to know your coworkers. Speak to your boss about ideas you have to spread workplace spirituality. Be mindful. Put people first.
What is meant by spirituality at work in the modern workplace?
Definition of spirituality in the workplace is “ the recognition that employees have an inner life that nourishes and is nourished by meaningful work that takes place in the context of community ” (Ashmos & Duchon, 2000: 137).
What is spirituality in professional ethics?
According to McLaughlin (2005), for some, spirituality simply means. incorporating the personal values of integrity, morality, good quality work . For others, it means. treating colleagues in an affectionate and responsible way. For another, it is about taking part.
Why is spirituality important in a workplace?
Workplace spirituality Workplace spirituality is initially proposed to consists of five components, but confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) applied to data collected from employees from a large Thai company suggests a four-factor model: compassion, meaningful work, mindfulness and transcendence . Measuring workplace spirituality in an Asian context - Taylor & Francis includes many aspects like meaningful work, sense of community, and organizational value. Workplace spirituality is intended to interconnect past experiences and develop trust among employees in a way that would lead the organization into a better and productive environment .
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