Creating organizational conditions that foster employee spirit at work

Val Kinjerski (Kaizen Solutions for Human Services, St Albert, Canada)
Berna J. Skrypnek (Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Publication date: 1 June 2006



This study sought to identify organizational factors that foster an individual's experience of spirit at work.


Ten women and three men, ranging in age from 26 to 81, who were in full‐time paid employment in a variety of occupations, and who self‐identified as having high spirit at work, participated in in‐depth, reflective interviews.


Inspired leadership emerged as central to influencing individual experiences of spirit at work and was strongly linked to six other organizational factors (strong organizational foundation; organizational integrity; positive workplace culture and space; sense of community among members; opportunities for personal fulfillment, continuous learning, and development; and appreciation and regard for employees and their contribution).

Research limitations/implications

Future research needs to investigate how each of these conditions is related to measured levels of spirit at work in a larger, representative sample, and how measured spirit at work is related to work outcomes.

Practical implications

Although this study did not investigate specific practices or strategies to increase spirit at work, results suggest that organizations wishing to enhance their employees' spirit at work could focus efforts on creating organizational conditions that encourage inspiring leadership and mentorship and the other six identified factors.


The paper raises awareness and highlights issues surrounding organizational factors that foster an individual's experience of spirit at work.



Kinjerski, V. and Skrypnek, B. (2006), "Creating organizational conditions that foster employee spirit at work", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 280-295.

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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