In the name of the cubicle, the computer, and the conference call, Amen.

Topic: Motivation, Organizational Performance, Work Environment
Publication: Journal of Organizational Change Management
Article: Workplace Spirituality and Organizational Commitment: An Empirical Study.
Blogger: LitDigger

Much academic literature investigating workplace performance overlooks the element of employee spirituality, but Rego and Cunha (2008) recently dared to venture into this unfamiliar territory. They found that workplace spirituality is related to employees’ organizational commitment.

No, we’re not talking about reciting the Hail Mary while you’re alone in your cubicle.  What Rego and Cunha mean by “workplace spirituality” concerns individual philosophy and values. For example, you could be considered high on workplace spirituality if you feel as though you can connect personal meaning toward the work you do, or that you’re headed toward self-actualization and reaching your potential.

Rego and Cunha’s workplace spirituality variable was made up of five dimensions: team’s sense of community, alignment with organizational values, sense of contribution to society, enjoyment at work, and opportunities for inner life.  They found that this variable was uniquely related to three types of organizational commitment.

The findings indicated that higher employee workplace spirituality is more likely to be associated with:

·    more emotional attachment to the organization (affective commitment)

·    higher perceived costs associated with leaving the organization
(continuance commitment)

·    greater feelings of obligation towards the organization (normative

The strongest of the three relationships described above was for workplace spirituality predicting affective commitment (48% of the variance was explained).  Although the corporate environment can be cold at times, feelings DO matter here. A take-away point for managers: Try to sever yourself from that Cartesian dualism way of thinking and realize that viewing an employee’s body and soul as unified elements has the potential to effect their job performance.  Workplace spirituality may sound like a soft topic, but organizational commitment’s effect on the bottom line is a hard reality.  So, what the heck.  At minimum, it’s worth looking into.

Rego, A., Cunha, M.P. (2008). Workplace Spirituality and Organizational Commitment: An Empirical Study. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 21 (53-75).