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Abstract

O ne of the greatest challenges facing leaders today is the need to develop new business models that accentuate ethical leadership, employee well-being, sustain-ability and social responsibility without sacrificing profitability, revenue growth, and other indicators of financial perfor-mance. This article seeks to address top man-agers' need to simultaneously maximize the so-called triple bottom line, or ''People, Pla-net, Profit.'' In doing so, we draw from the emerging fields of workplace spirituality, spiritual leadership, and conscious capital-ism. Research conducted with Interstate Bat-tery System of America, Inc. (Interstate Batteries) is offered as a case study of a company that may serve as a role model for spiritual leadership. We also present a general process for maximizing the triple bottom line through the development of the motivation and leadership required to simultaneously optimize employee well-being, social responsibility, organizational commitment, and financial performance. Enron Corp., Adelphia Communications Corp., Arthur Andersen, Tyco International and WorldCom Inc. are but some of the many scandals that have cast a chilling pall over the way business is conducted. These companies have given people the perception that cor-porations are amoral, corrupt, and lack both ethical leadership and a sense of social responsibility. Michael Douglas' Oscar win-ning performance in Wall Street claiming that ''greed is good'' still appears to be the mantra of most businesses big and small. However, there are companies, such as SAS Institute, Google, Shell Oil Co., NEC Corp., and Proc-ter & Gamble Co., that have committed them-selves to a course of developing business models that accentuate ethical leadership, employee well-being, sustainability and social responsibility. These companies believe this can be done without sacrificing profitability, revenue growth, and other areas of financial and performance excel-lence. In effect, they are experimenting with new business models and adopting sustain-able business strategies that have a positive economic, social, and environmental impact, often referred to as the triple bottom line.
Maximizing the Triple
Bottom Line through
Spiritual Leadership
LOUIS W. FRY JOHN W. SLOCUM JR.
One of the greatest challenges facing
leaders today is the need to develop
new business models that accentuate ethical
leadership, employee well-being, sustain-
ability and social responsibility without
sacrificing profitability, revenue growth,
and other indicators of financial perfor-
mance. This article seeks to address top man-
agers’ need to simultaneously maximize the
so-called triple bottom line, or ‘‘People, Pla-
net, Profit.’’ In doing so, we draw from the
emerging fields of workplace spirituality,
spiritual leadership, and conscious capital-
ism. Research conducted with Interstate Bat-
tery System of America, Inc. (Interstate
Batteries) is offered as a case study of a
company that may serve as a role model
for spiritual leadership. We also present a
general process for maximizing the triple
bottom line through the development of
the motivation and leadership required to
simultaneously optimize employee well-
being, social responsibility, organizational
commitment, and financial performance.
Enron Corp., Adelphia Communications
Corp., Arthur Andersen, Tyco International
and WorldCom Inc. are but some of the many
scandals that have cast a chilling pall over the
way business is conducted. These companies
have given people the perception that cor-
porations are amoral, corrupt, and lack both
ethical leadership and a sense of social
responsibility. Michael Douglas’ Oscar win-
ning performance in Wall Street claiming that
‘‘greed is good’’ still appears to be the mantra
of most businesses big and small. However,
there are companies, such as SAS Institute,
Google, Shell Oil Co., NEC Corp., and Proc-
ter & Gamble Co., that have committed them-
selves to a course of developing business
models that accentuate ethical leadership,
employee well-being, sustainability and
social responsibility. These companies
believe this can be done without sacrificing
profitability, revenue growth, and other
areas of financial and performance excel-
lence. In effect, they are experimenting with
new business models and adopting sustain-
able business strategies that have a positive
economic, social, and environmental impact,
often referred to as the triple bottom line.
THE CHALLENGE OF ETHICAL
LEADERSHIP AND SOCIAL
RESPONSIBILITY
Capitalism is an economic model grounded
in a worldview of self-interest. The exclusive
pursuit of self-interest has been found want-
ing by most ethicists. The inherent assump-
tion that the liberty of individuals should be
Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 86–96, 2008 ISSN 0090-2616/$ – see frontmatter
ß2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2007.11.004
www.organizational-dynamics.com
Acknowledgments: Portions of this research were sponsored by a research grant from
OxyChem Corporation to John W. Slocum, Jr. The authors acknowledge the incisive and
helpful comments from Cecily Cooper, Don Hellriegel, Bob Giacalone, Tina Potter,
Dan Pryor, William Reisel, Bob Vecchio, and Tara Wernsing.
86
maximized is well documented in the latest
chief executive officer (CEO) severance
packages. The $210 million dollar severance
paid to Bob Nardelli by Home Depot Inc.’s
board of directors is just the latest example.
Ethical values, leadership, and trust are
key issues confronting executives attempting
to effectively respond to the emerging and
exponentially accelerating force for global,
societal, and organizational change. Ethics
is primarily concerned with exploring the
question of what are the values and princi-
ples of morally good behavior, of what is
‘‘the good life’’ in terms of happiness and
well-being, and providing justification that
might help senior managers make moral
decisions. The Dalai Lama, in Ethics for the
New Millennium, notes that at no time in
human history has it been more essential that
we reach a consensus about what constitutes
positive and negative conduct and to ulti-
mately answer the question that confronts us
all: ‘‘How can I be happy?’’ The desire to be
happy and avoid pain and suffering knows
no boundaries.
Corporate Culture, Leadership,
and Performance
People bring to work values and attitudes
that drive their behavior. Core values reflect
the moral principles that an individual con-
siders to be important and act as guidelines
for his or her decisions. These core values
greatly determine what a person considers to
be good or bad. In turn, they make up the
foundation for moral principles that collec-
tively form an organization’s ethical system.
Corporate culture stems from fundamen-
tal ethical values of top managers that affect
employees’ behaviors. World renowned
organizational psychologist Edgar Schein
defines corporate culture as the learned pat-
tern of shared basic assumptions that
employees and groups hold. Organizational
culture significantly influences the way
things are done. It influences the range of
behaviors that members view as appropriate
and provides them with a framework that
influences their thinking and behavior. Cul-
tures that are based on values of dishonesty,
deceit, favoritism, and greed (e.g., Enron,
WorldCom and Tyco International) can lead
top managers to make choices that are injur-
ious to key stakeholders. When altruistic
values of respect, fairness, honesty, care,
compassion and the like are integral parts
of an organization’s culture, a culture of trust
emerges. The Container Store, Stride-Rite
and Johnson & Johnson, among others, have
such cultural values. Senior managers in
these organizations have made decisions
based on moral principles that are the foun-
dation of all the world’s major religions.
Once formed, a corporate culture is tena-
cious and difficult to change. A culture tends
to go into survival mode and engage in
rationalization and denial in the face of exter-
nal threats and internal failures. This was
evident in the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration’s (NASA’s) Challen-
ger and Columbia disasters, as well as the
Enron and Arthur Andersen debacles. Thou-
sands of NASA workers would have never
condoned sending the Challenger and
Columbia astronauts into space in a craft
with known flaws that would compromise
safety. Yet NASA’s bureaucratic culture and
cost-cutting decision protocols overrode
their decision-making.
Leaders play a major role in creating and
sustaining an organization’s culture, espe-
cially since the assumptions and values of
a culture are usually taken for granted. Con-
sequently, leaders must do what it takes to
make clear to all stakeholders that the orga-
nization’s culture and ethics are inextricably
linked. Ethical leadership rests upon three
pillars: (1) the leader’s moral character, (2)
the ethical legitimacy of the leader’s vision
and values, which followers either embrace
or reject, and (3) the morality of the choices
and actions that leaders engage in and col-
lectively pursue. To be ethical, leadership
must have a moral foundation. Additionally,
leaders and followers must be willing to have
their behavior evaluated against generally
accepted societal values.
Corporate performance is linked to strong
ethical leadership. Perhaps the best evidence
87
so far comes from Jim Collins’s Good to Great,
a remarkable study of 11 organizations and
their leaders to discover what creates great
high performance organizations. Collins
defines Level 5 leadership as leadership that
transcends self-interest through a paradoxi-
cal mix of humility and professional will.
Level 5 leaders display compelling modesty,
are self-effacing and understated. Yet they
are fanatically driven to produce sustained
performance excellence. They establish their
organization’s culture by creating an envir-
onment of inclusion, personal responsibility
and open and honest communication among
employees, so that they feel empowered to
raise issues and make decisions. These lea-
ders create a legacy by setting up their suc-
cessors for even greater success.
Level 5 leaders also create and sustain
high performance cultures where truth is
heard and the brutal facts (e.g., return on
investment, market share) confronted. They
believe that leadership is a core competence
and lever for organizational effectiveness.
These leaders do this by first getting the right
people on the bus (and the wrong people off)
and then worry about developing the vision
of where to drive it. In doing so, they place
greater weight on ethical thinking, integrity,
the quality of a person’s character and values
and his or her fit with the core cultural values
of the organization than on a person’s educa-
tional background, managerial competen-
cies, expertise or work experience.
Corporate Social Responsibility
and the Triple Bottom Line
Leaders of admired organizations, such as
General Electric Co., Starbucks Corp. and
Southwest Airlines Co., have adopted a sta-
keholder approach to managing strategic
issues facing their firms. Leaders of these
organizations acknowledge that various sta-
keholders all have a legitimate moral stake in
the organization’s performance. Key stake-
holders often have the power to negatively
affect organizational performance if their
expectations are not met. Each of these sta-
keholders may have different values and
interests. The fundamental problem for top
management is how to maximize perfor-
mance, while at the same time meeting the
needs and safeguarding the rights of its sta-
keholders. To achieve such an outcome,
employees must come together and coop-
erate on defining the core values of the orga-
nization.
A business model is a description of the
value a company offers to one or several sets
of customers. It is the architecture of the firm
and the network of partners/stakeholders.
We believe there is a need for developing
new business models that accentuate ethical
leadership, employee well-being, sustain-
ability and social responsibility without
sacrificing profitability, revenue growth,
and other indicators of financial and perfor-
mance. This means developing and adopting
business models with strategies that have a
positive economic, social, and environmental
impact, often referred to as the triple bottom
line. The triple bottom line – or ‘‘People,
Planet, Profit’’ – encompasses an explicit
set of moral values and criteria for measuring
organizational (and societal) success and
with it a need to institute triple bottom line
assessment and reporting.
Pioneering companies such as Shorebank
Corp., a bank holding company established
in Chicago in 1973, have created organiza-
tional cultures that integrate for-profit ration-
ality with nonprofit charity and compassion.
It developed a complex subsidiary organiza-
tional structure, sophisticated strategy, and
innovative product development process in
response to a customer and community sta-
keholder base with an economic and physical
infrastructure near total collapse.
Other companies, such as Nike Inc., New
Balance and The Walt Disney Co., have rea-
lized that failing to account for the environ-
mental and social costs of doing business can
threaten the viability of the company. Unfor-
tunately, traditional financial measures (e.g.,
return on investment, return on equity, and
return on assets) do not fully reflect a com-
pany’s performance in the environmental
and social arenas. Many companies, includ-
ing Unilever PLC, General Motors Corp.,
88 ORGANIZATIONAL DYNAMICS
Dow Chemical Co., Amoco Corp. and Ford
Motor Company, are taking in-depth exam-
inations of how they view their triple bottom
line. They’ve created education programs
and new executive positions, such as vice
president for sustainable development, to
implement the triple bottom line, according
to Thomas Gladwin, professor of sustainable
enterprise at the University of Michigan.
WORKPLACE SPIRITUALITY,
SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP AND
CONSCIOUS CAPITALISM
Patricia Aburdene in her recent book Mega-
trends 2010, states that the focus on spiritual-
ity in business is becoming so pervasive that
it stands as ‘‘today’s greatest megatrend.’’
She contends that the power of spirituality
is increasingly impacting our personal lives
and is spreading into organizations to foster
a moral transformation. More and more peo-
ple are making choices in the marketplace as
‘‘values-driven consumers.’’
Feature articles from Newsweek,Time,
Fortune,andBusiness Week have chronicled
the growing presence of spirituality in cor-
porate America. A major change is taking
place in the personal and professional lives
of many CEOs and leaders as they aspire to
integrate their spirituality with their work.
In many cases, this has led to very positive
changes in their interpersonal relationships
at work and their organizations’ effective-
ness. Further, there is evidence that work-
place spirituality programs not only lead to
beneficial personal outcomes, such as
increased positive human health and psy-
chological well-being, but that they also
deliver improved employee commitment,
productivity and reduced absenteeism
and turnover. Companies perform better
if they emphasize workplace spirituality
through both people-centered values and
a high-commitment model of attachment
between the company and its employees.
There is mounting evidence that a more
spiritual workplace is not only more pro-
ductive, but also more flexible and creative
and a source of sustainable competitive
advantage.
Advocates of workplace spirituality pro-
pose that people bring unique competencies
to the workplace. They are also highly moti-
vated by their spiritual needs to experience a
sense of transcendence and community in
their work. According to George Platt,
CEO of ViewCast Corporation, ‘‘People don’t
come to work to be No. One or Two or to get a
25% return on net operating income. They
want a sense of purpose and come to work to
get meaning from their lives.’’ Spiritual lea-
dership involves motivating and inspiring
workers through a vision and a culture based
in altruistic values to create a more moti-
vated, committed and productive workforce.
In such an organization, where employees’
spiritual needs are met and aligned with
organizational objectives, this higher motiva-
tion, commitment and productivity have a
direct impact on the bottom line.
Employees who view their work as a
called vocation are likely to approach their
work very differently from employees who
see work primarily as a means to satisfy their
pecuniary needs. There is emerging evidence
that spirituality provides competitive advan-
tage on organizational performance. Work-
place spirituality incorporates those values
that lead to a sense of transcendence and
interconnectedness such that workers experi-
ence personal fulfillment on the job. This
sense of transcendence – of having a calling
through one’s work (vocationally) – and the
need for membership, community, or social
connection provide the foundation for a the-
ory of workplace spirituality.
Workplace Spirituality and
Religion
The study of workplace spirituality has
been relatively free of the denominational
politics in which arguments are frequently
cloaked. In fact, religious ideology has been
virtually disregarded. The issues that have
surfaced regarding workplace spirituality
have avoided any mention of a compara-
tively right and wrong ideology. Viewing
89
workplace spirituality through the lens of
religious traditions and practice can be divi-
sive. To the extent that a given religion views
itself as the only path to God and salvation, it
excludes those who do not share those par-
ticular denominational traditions. Religion
can lead to arrogance. Translating religion
of this nature into workplace spirituality can
foster zealotry at the expense of organiza-
tional goals, offend constituents and custo-
mers, and decrease morale and employee
well-being.
One successful company that has gener-
ated some controversy in this area is Chick-
fil-A—a privately held franchise chain with
$2.3 billion in system-wide sales from 1,300
franchised stores in the U.S. It has the lowest
turnover rate in the industry (5% vs. over 60%)
and is a strong advocate of lifetime employ-
ment. The only company mandate is to ‘‘glor-
ify God.’’ Franchisees want married workers
and hire their family members. They are
required to close on Sunday so employees
can go to church. Managers are encouraged
to host Bible study groups, and market their
restaurants through church groups. Founder
and chairman S. Truett Cathy says, ‘‘You don’t
have to be a Christian to work at Chick-fil-A,
but we ask you to base your business on
Biblical principles, because they work.’’
Although there are no federal laws that pro-
hibit companies from asking personal ques-
tions about religion and marital status, most
companies don’t, because it can open them up
to discrimination claims. Chick-fil-A has been
sued at least 12 times since 1998 on charges of
employment discrimination and might have
faced more lawsuits if its franchisees were not
independent contractors and didn’t screen
potential hires and operators so carefully—a
process that can take up to a year and include
dozens of interviews.
It is important, however, to note that there
is a distinction between spirituality and reli-
gion. Religion is concerned with a system of
beliefs, ritual prayers, rites and ceremonies
and related formalized practices and ideas.
Spirituality, instead, is concerned with quali-
ties of the human spirit. This includes positive
psychological concepts, such as love and com-
passion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, con-
tentment, personal responsibility, and a sense
of harmony with one’s environment. Spiri-
tuality is the pursuit of a vision of service to
others; through humility as having the capa-
city to regard oneself as an individual equal
but not greater in value to other individuals;
through charity, or altruistic love; and
through veracity, which goes beyond basic
truth-telling to engage one’s capacity for see-
ing things exactly as they are, freed from
subjective distortions. From this perspective,
spirituality is necessary for religion, but reli-
gion is not necessary for spirituality. Conse-
quently, workplace spirituality can be
inclusive or exclusive of religious theory
and practice.
Spiritual Leadership
Spiritual leadership involves motivating
and inspiring workers through a transcen-
dent vision and a corporate culture based on
altruistic values to produce a highly moti-
vated, committed and productive workforce.
Having a sense of calling through one’s work
and for a social connection at work is central
to spiritual leadership. Essential to spiritual
leadership are the key processes of:
1. Creating a vision wherein leaders and
followers experience a sense of calling so that
their lives have meaning and make a differ-
ence; and
2. Establishing a social/organizational
culture based on the values of altruistic love
whereby leaders and followers have a sense
of membership, feel understood and appre-
ciated, and have genuine care, concern, and
appreciation for BOTH self and others.
Spiritual leadership therefore requires,
‘‘doing what it takes’’ through faith in a clear,
compelling vision which produces a sense of
calling—that part of spiritual well-being that
gives one a sense of making a difference and,
therefore, that one’s life has meaning. Vision
and hope/faith add belief, conviction, trust,
and action to achieve the vision. Thus, spiri-
tual leadership generates hope/faith in the
90 ORGANIZATIONAL DYNAMICS
organization’s vision that keeps followers
looking forward to the future. It also requires
that an organization’s culture be based on
values of altruistic love. This must be demon-
strated through leaders’ attitudes and beha-
vior and produces a sense of membership—
that part of spiritual well-being that gives one
a sense of being understood and appreciated.
The dimensions of spiritual leadership and
the process of satisfying spiritual needs for
spiritual well-being and positively impacting
key organizational outcomes are shown in
Fig. 1.
SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP IN
PRACTICE
Over the last eight years, we have extensively
researched our ideas about spiritual leader-
ship theory with hundreds of leaders in over
100 government and for-profit organizations.
Here, we offer Interstate Batteries as an
example of a company that embraces spiri-
tual leadership and the triple bottom line.
Interstate Batteries: A Study of
Spiritual Leadership,
Organizational Commitment and
Performance
Interstate Batteries, founded in 1952, is a
leader in battery marketing and distribution
with a network that provides consumers
with ‘‘Every Battery for Every Need.’’ It
provides more than 7,000 types of batteries
for households and businesses. The Dallas-
based company has revenues of over $700
million and holds the largest share of the
replacement car-battery market. In 2002, it
was the only recipient of the Toyota Excel-
lence Award. The award acknowledged
Interstate as a top supplier, based on opera-
tional and product quality and support in
demonstrating ‘‘sustained effort, uncompro-
mising attention to detail, and a commitment
to performance excellence.’’ More than 300
franchise distributors service Interstate Bat-
teries’ 200,000 retail dealers, who provide
automotive, commercial, marine/RV, motor-
cycle, lawn and garden or specialty batteries
most anywhere in the U.S., as well as in
Canada and select international locations. It
also sponsors the highly successful Interstate
Batteries Winston cup team and an NHRA
Funny Car Team.
The mission statement of the company
starts with ‘‘To glorify God ....’’ It is clear
from its mission statement that Interstate
Batteries has found a way to incorporate faith
and business:
To glorify God as we supply our
customers worldwide with top qual-
ity, value-priced batteries, related
electrical power-source products,
91
FIGURE 1MODEL OF SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP
and distribution services. Further,
our mission is to provide our part-
ners and Interstate Batteries System
of America, Inc. (IBSA) with oppor-
tunities which are profitable,
rewarding and growth-oriented.
The company is also an active laboratory
for the implementation of workplace spiri-
tuality through Norm Miller’s spiritual lea-
dership, one that we have had the good
fortune to study and research in our spiritual
leadership program. Norm Miller, Inter-
state’s chairman, is a devout Christian and
believer in God’s power to change lives. He
chronicles his journey in his book, Beyond the
Norm, which details his beginning as a tra-
veling salesman, his conversion experience,
how he turned his will and his life over to
God after his third DWI, and how he created
Interstate Batteries. In his book, Miller writes,
‘‘The bottom line of Interstate is to love
people and try to meet their needs, all in
the context of top performance and reason-
able profitability.’’ At Interstate, Miller and
Interstate’s workers do not hide their faith
(predominately Christian) but, he insists,
neither do they want to ‘‘cram religion down
anyone’s throat.’’ There is a corporate cha-
plaincy program that is available for ministry
to employees and customers. Any time
employees or visitors gather to eat, there is
a prayer. The company sponsors Bible and
other spiritual studies before and after work
and it maintains an e-mail prayer chain.
Employees may elect to have up to five
dollars a paycheck deducted for a cata-
strophic relief fund administered by the cor-
porate chaplaincy. These funds are used to
help Interstate employees who need tempor-
ary financial assistance. A company library
lends employees reading material and video-
tapes. A monthly pizza get-together hosts
spiritual speakers and offers employees free
pizza.
We were asked to work with Interstate to
help them conduct a study of spiritual lea-
dership to capture and examine any differ-
ences in spiritual leadership between
corporate headquarters and the growing
number of company-owned distributor-
ships. At the time, only 43 of the over 300
distributorships were owned and operated
by Interstate, but the company is pursuing a
strategy of owning distributorships. Top
management felt confident that there was a
high level of spiritual leadership among
employees at their corporate headquarters,
which is housed in an office complex in north
Dallas. They were less sure of the level of
spiritual leadership across the distributor-
ships, which ranged in size from five to 27
employees and were scattered throughout
the United States.
Our sample consisted of 347 workers
employed in 43 company-owned wholesale
distributorships who serviced automotive,
commercial, marine/RV, motorcycle, and
lawn and garden retail dealers and 388 work-
ers at the home office. The three dimensions
of spiritual leadership (e.g., hope/faith,
altruistic love, vision), two spiritual well-
being dimensions (calling/meaning and
membership), and organizational commit-
ment and productivity were measured. In
addition, two measures of performance were
provided from each distributor—percentage
increase/decrease in sales and profit.
Referencing the spiritual leadership
model in Fig. 1, the averages of the spiritual
leadership variables (vision, altruistic love,
and hope/faith) were all significantly higher
for corporate headquarters employees than
those in the distributorships. Headquarters
employees also reported being more under-
stood and appreciated than distributorship
employees. There was no difference in the
level of reported meaning/calling. The find-
ings provided empirical support for top
management’s view that there was a need
to establish a baseline to assess the effective-
ness of future organizational development
strategies to more closely align corporate
and distributor vision and culture.
Our analysis also revealed that meaning/
calling and membership explained 13% of
distributor sales growth, 94% of an employ-
ee’s commitment to the company, and 73% of
distributorship productivity. Spiritual lea-
dership through hope/faith in a transcen-
92 ORGANIZATIONAL DYNAMICS
dent vision and a culture based in the values
of altruistic love positively and significantly
influenced spiritual well being and ulti-
mately key employee and organizational per-
formance variables. Distributorships with
higher levels of spiritual leadership subse-
quently had employees who reported higher
levels of spiritual well-being through calling
and membership (see Fig. 1) that in turn
positively impacted organizational commit-
ment, productivity, and sales growth. Spiri-
tual leadership is a significant source of
competitive advantage. If sustained and
compounded, spiritual leadership would
result in a 13% increase in sales growth.
CONCLUSION
Robert Fulmer, in a recent article in Organiza-
tional Dynamics, explored what some key lea-
ders are saying and doing to develop leaders
who manage their organizations by the triple
bottom line. He found near unanimous agree-
ment about the need to develop leaders who
are balanced between strong ethical sensitiv-
ity and the ability to produce results.
Since customer needs and market condi-
tions can change without warning, the intel-
lectual capital and core competencies
required of employees to thrive may change
as well. By establishing a compelling vision,
purpose, and mission for the organization,
management has a major impact on their
organization and, we believe, a significant
source of competitive advantage. First, the
vision directs the focus of the internal assess-
ment of strengths and weaknesses and the
external analysis of threats and opportu-
nities. This analysis leads to the strategic
action plans and objectives that a firm wishes
to pursue. CEOs and managers must also
provide employees with the knowledge of
how their jobs are relevant to the organiza-
tion’s performance and vision/mission. This
understanding is necessary to integrate indi-
vidual jobs, teams, and business units with
the company’s vision/mission to success-
fully implement strategy, and hence, survive
and thrive in today’s global economy.
Second, when combined with a sense of
mission of who we are and what we do, the
vision helps shape the organization’s culture
with its fundamental ethical system and core
values. Establishing a culture where the core
values represent an organization’s ‘‘essential
and enduring tenets,’’ provides the context
for intrinsic motivation and for spiritual lea-
dership. Spiritual leaders make everyone
understand that the organization’s future is
dependent on its reputation and demonstrate
perseverance in uncovering problems and
finding solutions. Indicators, such as
employee commitment, psychological well-
being, productivity and retention, reflect
how well a firm utilizes human resources.
Regular assessment of all employees’ well-
being and commitment and continuous
improvement of employee commitment is
also required to link individual, department
and business unit efforts in a common and
integrated direction.
Like the Level 5 leaders, spiritual leaders
build high performance companies that are
personal and human with a focus on the
importance of the individual; every member
feels empowered and responsible for the
reputation of the company. The combined
experiences of calling and membership result
in spiritual growth and well-being from
which employees can draw strength and to
which they give high levels of commitment.
Spiritual leaders are like the Level 5 leaders
from Jim Collins Good to Great in that they are
humble, motivate followers by creating a
vision of a long-term, challenging, desirable
and different future based on high standards
of excellence and high ideals, and have fol-
lowers who are committed to meeting and
exceeding the performance levels required to
reach the preferred future.
Finally, in the quest of the triple bottom
line, it is important to avoid the negative
consequences of a hostile work environment
that may result when employers’ emphasize
a particular religion in the workplace. Reli-
gious practices often conflict with the social,
legal, and ethical foundations of business,
law, and public and nonprofit administra-
tion. Imbuing religion into workplace spiri-
93
tuality can foster zealotry at the expense of
organizational goals, offend constituents and
customers, and decrease morale and
employee well-being. Accentuating the line
between religion and spirituality in regards to
workplace spirituality is therefore essential.
However, as our study of Interstate Batteries
demonstrates, it is possible for companies to
avoid these pitfalls through such practices as
internal groups or prayer space, on-site cha-
plains, and through periodic surveys that
facilitate openness to spirituality, religion
and transcendence in full freedom through
adherence to its core values.
94 ORGANIZATIONAL DYNAMICS
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
For an overview of sustainability and the
triple bottom line, see A. W. Savitz and M.
McVicar, The Triple Bottom Line: Why Sustain-
ability is Transforming the Best-Run Companies
and How it Can Work (New York: John Wiley
& Sons Inc., 2006).
For a further discussion of conscious
capitalism, see P. Aburdene, Megatrends
2010 (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads
Publishing Co., 2005).
To read more on ethical leadership, see R.
M. Fulmer, ‘‘The Challenge of EthicalLeader-
ship,’’ Organizational Dynamics, 2004, 33, 307–
317; R. Kanungo and M. Mendonca, Ethical
Dimensions of Leadership(Thousand Oaks: Sage
Publications, 1996); L. W. Fry ‘‘Toward a The-
ory of Ethical and Spiritual Well-being, and
Corporate Social Responsibility Through
Spiritual Leadership,’’ in R. A. Giacalone,
C. L., Jurkiewicz, and C. Dunn (Eds.) Positive
Psychology in Business Ethics and Corporate
Responsibility (Greenwich, CT: Information
Age Publishing, 2005, 47–83); M. Brown and
L. Trevino, ‘‘Ethical Leadership: A Review
and Future Directions,’’ The Leadership Quar-
terly, 2006, 17, 595–616; J. Sonnenfeld and
A. Ward, Firing Back: How Great Leaders
Rebound after Career Disasters (Cambridge:
Harvard Business School Press, 2007).
Other work that incorporates theories of
workplace spirituality and positive psychol-
ogy that has implication for spiritual leader-
ship include R. A. Giacalone and C. L.
Jurkiewicz, ‘‘Toward a Science of Workplace
Spirituality,’’ in R. A. Giacalone and C. L.
Jurkiewicz (Eds.), Handbook of Workplace Spiri-
tuality and Organizational Performance (New
York: M. E. Sharp, 2003, 3–28); K. Cameron,
J. Dutton, and R. Quinn, Positive Organizational
Scholarship: Foundations of a New Discipline
(San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2003).
To read more about the state of the art of
spiritual leadership, theories, and practice,
see L. W. Fry, ‘‘Toward a Theory of Spiritual
Leadership,’’ The Leadership Quarterly, 2003,
14, 693–727; L. W. Fry, S. Vitucci, and M.
Cedillo, ‘‘Spiritual Leadership and Army
Transformation: Theory, Measurement, and
Establishing a Baseline.’’ The Leadership Quar-
terly, 2005, 16, 835–862; The October 2005
Leadership Quarterly Special Issue on Spiritual
Leadership; and the International Institute
for Spiritual Leadership web site (http://
www.iispiritualleadership.com/).
For selected works on corporate culture
and leadership, see Edgar Schein, Organiza-
tional Culture and Leadership 2nd ed. (San
Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1992); Barry Mike
and John W. Slocum, ‘‘Changing Culture at
Pizza Hut and YUM! Brands, Inc.,’’ Organi-
zational Dynamics, 2003, 32, 319–320; Steven
Feldman, ‘‘Moral Business Cultures: The
Keys to Creating and Maintaining Them,’’
Organizational Dynamics, 2007, 36 (2), 156–
170; Chip Jarnagin and John W. Slocum,
‘‘Creating Corporate Culture through
Mythopoetic Leadership,’’ Organizational
Dynamics, 2007, 36, 288–302.
Louis W. Fry is a Professor of Management in the College of Business
Administration at Tarleton State University, Central Texas. He has
published articles in top management journals such as The Journal of
Applied Psychology, Organization Science, The Academy of Management
Journal, and The Academy of Management Review. He is a co-editor of the
95
Journal of Management, Spirituality, and Religion, the founder of the
International Institute for Spiritual Leadership, and on the editorial
review board of The Leadership Quarterly, which includes being the guest
editor for the October, 2005 Special Issue on Spiritual Leadership. He can be
reached at fry@tarleton.edu (Tel.: +1 254 519 5476).
John W. Slocum, Jr. is the O. Paul Corley Professor of Management in the
Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. He
has published more than 134 articles and 27 books, including Organiza-
tional Behavior, 12th ed. published by South-Western, 2009. He is co-editor
of the Journal of World Business, and Journal of Leadership and Organizational
Studies, and associate editor of Organizational Dynamics. He has been
studying and writing about leadership and corporate cultures for
more than four decades. He can be contacted at jslocum@cox.smu.edu
(Tel.: +1 214 768 3157).
96 ORGANIZATIONAL DYNAMICS
... 13) . Thus, spiritual leaders create refreshing leadership paradigms that intrinsically motivate others (68), (69), (162), (31); this behaviour of leaders have immeasurable effect on subordinates and organisations thus enhancing triple bottom line of people, planet/environment, and profits (Fry & Slocum, 2008;Bosch, 2009). This will in turn produce motivated, committed and productive workforce (106), (13), (69), (70), (71), (31), (165) . ...
... Thus, spiritual leaders create refreshing leadership paradigms that intrinsically motivate others (68), (69), (162), (31); this behaviour of leaders have immeasurable effect on subordinates and organisations thus enhancing triple bottom line of people, planet/environment, and profits (Fry & Slocum, 2008;Bosch, 2009). This will in turn produce motivated, committed and productive workforce (106), (13), (69), (70), (71), (31), (165) . These leaders focus on recognition of values, attitudes and behaviour of employees that promote positive health and psychological wellbeing (66), (67), (213), (31), (133) ; also enhancing sustainable organisational revenue growth and subsequent attainment of organisational goals and objectives (212) (70) . ...
... This will in turn produce motivated, committed and productive workforce (106), (13), (69), (70), (71), (31), (165) . These leaders focus on recognition of values, attitudes and behaviour of employees that promote positive health and psychological wellbeing (66), (67), (213), (31), (133) ; also enhancing sustainable organisational revenue growth and subsequent attainment of organisational goals and objectives (212) (70) . ...
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... The primary functions that make sure this reference point in spiritual leadership are: (1) Creating a vision through which leaders and subordinates experience a feeling of purpose in their jobs, giving meaning to their lives; and (2) creating an altruistic love culture in which leaders and subordinates feel recognized, appreciated, and care for one another (Luthans & Slocum, 2008). Spiritually guided leaders are focused on long-term, demanding leader have an obsession with perfection, and their subordinates are equally devoted to accomplishing the performance goals necessary to achieve the desired and envisioned destiny (Fry & Slocum, 2008). ...
... In the 21 st century, change has grown more prevalent in all aspects of life (Fry, 2003). In the modern, complex and rapidly altering world, the necessity for moral standards, leadership, and confidence hasd eveloped significant concerns for administrators (Fry &Slocum, 2008). The desire for spirituality is being amplified in our personal life, and if we talk about jobs and work, spiritual leadership is of immense need at any organization. ...
... Spiritual leaders foster a sense of belonging and identification that encourages open communication, supporters' empowerment, a strong vision, and compelling objectives, all of which contribute to extraordinary levels of well-being. These leaders work with genuine publics using genuine techniques to achieve their goals and ambitious objectives at exceptional results (Fry & Slocum, 2008). ...
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