This paper aims to investigate the spirituality amongst leaders in the Danish corporate life. The present discussion about the topic spiritual based leadership reflects a lack of nuanced insight in the phenomena plus a lack of knowledge regarding the impact spirituality has on working life. Qualitative interviews offer information about the spirituality of eight Danish highly competent and respected business leaders. An analysis of their perceptions and practises around spirituality shows that this group, which in Danish corporate life is perceived to be practising spiritual based leadership, is not homogenous. Their ways of perceiving and practising spirituality can be divided into four different categories of which the two of them is not aligned with the definition of spirituality, according to this paper. The consequence of this is a debate about spirituality in working life that might be making false conclusions, since the argumentation evolves around members of the working life that are not necessarily spiritual. The reason these leaders are falsely perceived to be spiritual is due to either a use of methods that are usual perceived to be spiritual, since they enhance self-development, or due to another religious practice that embodies soul at work. The paper identifies a need for distinction and clarity regarding the phenomena. This is necessary in order for HRM to recognize the needs for spiritual embracement of members of the working life, since the specific needs vary according to the different perceptions of spirituality. A research about new tendencies in the working life identifies a rising implementation of values that challenge the old rational paradigm. A new paradigm is taking shape, and the analysis of spirituality in working life concludes that the impact spirituality has is consistent to the counterparadigm. Spiritual based members of working life seeks to align their working effort with a higher purpose and strives for open, honest and caring relationships with theirs surroundings. These needs match the values of the counter-paradigm. This means that HRM does not necessarily have to engage in the specific form of spirituality of a given member an organisation, but in stead they can make sure that the organisation embraces values of the counter-paradigm. This is necessary if companies want to keep visionary, responsible and enthusiastic employees who feel that rigid and mechanical structures from the old rational paradigm restrain their spiritual life dimension. The paper concludes that society should be appreciative about people bringing their souls at work, since it makes corporate life take much more responsibility for the common good. The critique of spiritual based leaders only wanting to free more potential of the organizational members and make them sell their soul in the name of capitalism is not false, but it is misleading. In fact it is not the spiritual based leaders that practice this but the non-spiritual based leaders who are experimenting with so called spiritual methods without having the spiritual anchor. Nonetheless this experimentation can lead to new realizations about how a real spiritual dimension in life can bring more meaning in to the effort and time spent in organizations. Furthermore the paper states that a dynamic aspect of spirituality causes constant reflection and review on living conditions which most likely result in constant innovation and movement in working life around the spiritual members. Spirituality is not reproducing old patterns and therefore organisations should expect constant needs for improvement and introspection. Spirituality brings consciousness, accountability and social responsibility to corporate life, which the individualistic, fragmented postmodern worker is not being held responsible for elsewhere.
|Educations||MSocSc in Human Resource Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||82|