Spirituality at Workplace: A Report from Ground Zero

  • M.R. Das Ph. D. Scholar, Department of Management Studies, IIT, Dhanbad, India
  • Pramod Pathak Professor, Department of Management Studies, IIT Dhanbad, India
  • Mohit Ranjan Das Course Coordinator, Udacity, Bengaluru
Keywords: Spirituality at Workplace (SAW),, Competency, Purpose, Leadership


The construct called Spirituality at Workplace (SAW) has now gained adulthood as it was conceived in the last decade of 20th century. The awareness and practice of the concept among the working world is found severely lagging the speed of scholars' research, discourses and conferences. The paper has three purposes:
(i) Examine reasons for this lag through empirical research.

(ii) Suggest the way forward so that construct is conceived in its true sense and start delivering the greater
good for the society at large & beget sustainable success for the corporate world.
(iii) Examine whether SAW is a leadership Competency.
Three sets of questionnaires were administered to 104 Indian executives across the industry. The first was aimed at gauging the awareness about the construct. The second one targeted to probe whether Spirituality at Workplace (SAW) is in practice without realizing that they are already practicing it ! A simple definition of SAW distilled from the extensive literature review was provided in the third questionnaire and then attempted to assess acceptability of the construct and also whether it is a desirable leadership competency. Comparison of the feedback from first and third questionnaire revealed that it is basically lack of awareness
of correct definition of the construct among the corporate citizens which is responsible for the poor perceived value and misunderstanding of SAW. Many myths like relatedness with religion are also found responsible for camouflaging the publicity and virtue of the construct. It was also observed that spirituality
has already made inroads into the world of modern work clandestinely. The way forward to propagate SAW is suggested on the basis of results of the survey, expert opinions and literature review. The paper also discusses how a “pyramid of purpose” can be juxtaposed against the pyramid of Maslow's need hierarchy to provide a clear sense of levels of purpose to the corporate citizens and thus leverage and spread SAW for sustainable success in business world.
Keywords: Spirituality at Workplace (SAW), Competency, Purpose, Leadership.