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The role of spiritual leadership in fostering inclusive workplaces

George Gotsis (Department of History and Philosophy of Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece)
Katerina Grimani (Department of History and Philosophy of Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 7 August 2017




Inclusion is of critical importance to creating healthier workplaces, if the ongoing dynamic of workforce diversity is taken for granted. The purpose of this paper is to designate the role of spiritual leadership in fostering more humane and inclusive workplaces.


The authors review the extant literature on two distinct research streams, inclusion and inclusive leadership, and spiritual leadership, elaborate a mediation model, identify antecedents and outcomes, and articulate a set of propositions reflecting key findings.


The authors advance a conceptual model according to which inclusive practices founded on spiritual values will mediate the positive relationship between spiritual leadership and a climate for inclusion. They argue that calling and membership as components of spiritual wellbeing will reinforce employees’ experience of both uniqueness and belongingness, thus affecting their perceptions of inclusion and inducing multi-level beneficial outcomes.

Practical implications

Spiritual leadership assumes a preeminent role in embracing and valuing diversity: it embodies a potential for positioning inclusive ideals more strategically, in view of enabling employees unfold their genuine selves and experience integration in work settings.

Social implications

Spiritual leadership helps inclusive goals to be situated in their societal context; inclusion is thus viewed as both an organizational and societal good, embedded in social contexts, and pertinent to corporate vision, mission and philosophy.


The paper examines spiritual leadership as a predictor of climates for inclusion. Drawing on spiritual values, spiritual leaders display a strong potential for inclusion, facilitating diverse employees to experience feelings of both belongingness and uniqueness in work settings that assume high societal relevance.



Gotsis, G. and Grimani, K. (2017), "The role of spiritual leadership in fostering inclusive workplaces", Personnel Review, Vol. 46 No. 5, pp. 908-935.



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