Spiritual Leadership and its Emotional and Prosocial Consequences

A Review and Synthesis

Authored by: Sukumarakurup Krishnakumar

The Routledge Companion to Management and Workplace Spirituality

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138499188
eBook ISBN: 9781351015110
Adobe ISBN:


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For eons, spirituality, emotions, and social-interpersonal behavior have been considered to be closely connected. Even though spirituality has widely ranging definitions, most scholars and practitioners agree on a relatively small number of themes that underlie individuals’ notions of spirituality. These include belief in an incomprehensibly large universe, belief in a power that is larger than everything that we know, and faith in a god with or without religious connotations. Undoubtedly, spirituality can affect a leader’s cognitions, emotions, and behaviors. Recent studies show that spiritual leadership does lead to positive outcomes in organizations. The aim of this chapter is to review and extend extant literature in the domain of spiritual leadership and develop a model of spiritual leadership that involves emotional abilities and influence processes. The crux of this theory will focus on three things. First, it will elucidate how spirituality facilitates the expression and regulation of positive emotions both intrinsically and extrinsically from the leader’s perspective. Second, it will show how a leader’s interpersonal and social interactions with the followers will be enhanced by his or her spirituality subsequently leading to prosocial influence processes. Third, and finally, this model will suggest how prosocial outcomes will be produced by the integrated use of spirituality and emotional abilities.

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