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A review of workplace spirituality: identifying present development and future research agenda

Snehal G. Mhatre (Department of Organizational Behavior/HRM, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India)
Nikhil K. Mehta (Department of Organizational Behavior/HRM, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 2 January 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify the present development of workplace spirituality (WPS) by synthesizing the findings from the WPS literature, identifying gaps and proposing a research agenda.

Design/methodology/approach

This study reviews 72 articles on WPS published in scholarly journals to review their findings on how it has developed over time.

Findings

This review reveals a dearth of qualitative studies like the phenomenological approach, ethnographic research, mixed methodology and experimental research. Besides, the findings reveal various dimensions of spirituality in regard to the workplace. The synthesis reveals a paucity of research to examine WPS at the level of mesospiritual. The findings reveal the scope for cross-cultural studies in WPS that could support and advance inclusion and diversity in the organization. Also, there is scope to examine the relationship of WPS with mental and behavioral health, mindset, innovative behavior, sustainable behavior and trust. Further, the findings reveal the scope of studying the darker side of spirituality in the workplace.

Research limitations/implications

This study offers significant implications to researchers, management and human resource management (HRM) practitioners by providing a holistic understanding of WPS. The literature review findings are limited to the analysis performed on seventy-two papers from Web of Science (WoS) and Google Scholar databases.

Practical implications

This study provides suggestions and future research directions for researchers, HRM and management practitioners for the inclusion of spirituality. The review findings suggest the implications for management and HRM practitioners by understanding the research done in cognitive science and neuroscience related to spirituality to humanize the workplace. HRM practitioners can draw on the insights offered in this analysis to develop learning and development interventions in support of WPS, e.g. training programs for cultivating mindset through spiritual mentoring.

Originality/value

The study provides WPS development over time. It also provides a comprehensive outlook on WPS that highlights its positive and negative sides. The study contributes to the literature by categorizing the literature and proposing a research agenda to guide future WPS research.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to editor(s) and anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions throughout the review process. We would also like to acknowledge the helpful comments provided, by Prachi Gurav.

Citation

Mhatre, S.G. and Mehta, N.K. (2023), "A review of workplace spirituality: identifying present development and future research agenda", Management Research Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/MRR-11-2021-0800

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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