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The relationship between workplace spirituality, job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviors – an empirical study

Shibani Belwalkar (Department of Human Resources, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies University (NMIMS), Mumbai, India)
Veena Vohra (Department of Human Resources, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies University (NMIMS), Mumbai, India)
Ashish Pandey (Department of Human Resources, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 4 June 2018

3738

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the relationships between workplace spirituality, job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs). It examines the relationship between the three workplace spirituality components – meaning and purpose in work, recognition of an inner life or spirit and interconnectedness with OCBs, mediated by the job satisfaction experienced by the employees, in the context of an Indian private sector bank. A sample consisting of 613 banking employees is studied. The results provide considerable support for all except one of the hypothesized relationships between workplace spirituality components and OCBs. Workplace spirituality components also all led to job satisfaction in employees, and job satisfaction tested positive for a relationship with OCBs. This study can provide significant inputs to promote managerial effectiveness and change management, leadership and holistic performance and growth of organizations, through environments that promote workplace spirituality.

Design/methodology/approach

The objective of this research is the study of the relationship between the constructs, a spirituality at work, i.e. the independent variable, and OCBs (OCBs), i.e. the dependent variable, and to explore the possibility of the mediating effects of job satisfaction. As the nature of this empirical study is rigorous, and one which will pave the way toward theory building, this research adopts a positivist orientation quantitative method throughout because it is deemed most suitable as it allows testing the validity of the main measure (the integration profile) and the theory using hypotheses and establishing relationships, and at the same time, it allows the researcher to remain independent from the research participants (Reswell, 1994). Consequently, the findings will be very useful to answer the most important research question of this study, which is to inform managers and employers whether workplace spirituality affects employees’ job satisfaction and OCBs.

Findings

Using the SPSS statistical package and the partial least square structured equation modeling analysis software tool, the research data have been analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The quantitative results suggest that there is a positive relationship between the dependent variable, OCBs, and the independent variables, meaning and purpose and interconnectedness. The inner life dimension of workplace spirituality did to correlate to the single factor of OCB analyzed, but individually inner life had a significant positive relationship with the individual components of OCB – altruism, civic virtue, courtesy and sportsmanship, except conscientiousness. The correlations established the relationships, and the regression analysis identified the relevant factors that had causal relationship. The 163 validity and reliability of the measurement instruments were confirmed by the high internal consistency.

Research limitations/implications

Improving organizational citizenship is one of the lowest costs and best ways to encourage organizational effectiveness. This research is important for businesses that want to create competence and organizational effectiveness. Indian contextual studies (non-Western context) on both workplace spirituality and organizational outcomes are few and keeping in mind the growth of Indian industry, the evolving workforce and demands being made on workplaces, a study like this is significant. The studies stated that businesses should act as agents of national progress and development and as socially responsible citizens contributing to the environment and influencing well-being. This would require a strong and hard look at current management practices. Allio (2011) stated that as a result of the consequences of questionable and corrupt corporate practices, there is a strong need felt to articulate a new sense of purpose of the firm, corporate character and culture, survival, sustainability and innovation. Thaker (2011) advocated the same view as he stated that the current management and organizational policies, principles and practices are focused on a view of self-interest. This results in socially and environmentally dysfunctional organizations. An alternative approach is workplace spirituality (Al-Qutop and Harrim, 2014).

Practical implications

Strategic implementation of workplace spirituality is an upcoming focus and priority area of work for human resource managers (Marques, 2005). The human resource department’s role in designing and developing strategies that embrace spirituality, with the intention of developing a culture aimed toward the successful achievement of both business and individual or personal goals, is very critical for the management. By using statistical analysis to demonstrate whether or not a relationship exists between one or more of the determinants of spirituality and one or more of the determinants of job satisfaction, leaders may be better able to understand why certain individuals are able to remain passionate about their work. Leaders can integrate the appropriate determinants that may correlate to job satisfaction into the organizational culture, resulting in improved job satisfaction for all within the organization. The outcomes can provide a significant contribution to the body of knowledge for spirituality within organizations, as well as knowledge of factors that influence job satisfaction and motivation.

Social implications

The inherent nature of this study is intimately connected to its objective, purpose and significance. It is also based on the fundamental realization that managers and leaders today have a larger responsibility in society, one that extends beyond their routine functions and basic tasks of running a business. Leadership decisions can and do have a profound lasting effect on the larger community and society within which they operate. This study and the methods that have been adopted for this research are intended to add to the growing body of knowledge on managerial perceptions, and implications of the process of introducing and practicing workplace spirituality.

Originality/value

Studies in the Indian context of workplace spirituality and outcomes are rare. Particular studies in the banking sector are lesser. This research aims at studying the link between workplace spirituality, job satisfaction and OCBs, in the context of an Indian private sector bank, which is very unique. Earlier studies have tested the relationships independently, but have not examined the relationships of all three variables together.

Keywords

Citation

Belwalkar, S., Vohra, V. and Pandey, A. (2018), "The relationship between workplace spirituality, job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviors – an empirical study", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 410-430. https://doi.org/10.1108/SRJ-05-2016-0096

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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