Transcendental Leadership for the 21st Century: A Narrative Inquiry on Effective Leadership and Workplace Spirituality

Transcendental Leadership for the 21st Century: A Narrative Inquiry on Effective Leadership and Workplace Spirituality

Author: 
Joseph Emeka Isebor
Program of study: 
D.B.A.
Abstract: 
Researchers have shown that transcendental leadership theory is an extension of transactional, transformational, servant, and spiritual leadership theories in terms of internal locus control, leadership effectiveness, and spirituality. The problem that the researcher addressed in this study was that while transcendental leaders may be yielding financial results, they are not as successful in gaining spiritual results by influencing their followers. The purpose of this qualitative narrative research study was to explore the conceptualizations of spiritual leadership in a secular workplace context and to explore the challenges and potential barriers confronting spiritual and transcendental leadership. Data collection involved individual interviews with 10 executive members of the Academy of Management who practice transcendental leadership and workplace spirituality. The results of the thematic analysis indicated that transcendental leaders develop and practice seven dimensions of spirituality: organizational commitment, altruistic love, hope and/or faith, trust, civic/social responsibility, solidarity, and spiritual connectedness. While the participants described differing ways of inspiring and reinforcing spirituality, the overarching methods of developing and practicing all seven of these dimensions included a relationship between the leader and employee—as well as a focus on the individual employee themselves, including a unified vision, behavior modeling, as well as a sense of meaning or greater purpose. The results of the present study may increase transcendental leaders’ ability to encourage spirituality through improved understanding of the barriers and challenges to implementing dimensions of spirituality in the workplace. Additionally, companies may experience greater benefits associated with transcendental leadership, such as increased productivity and employee satisfaction.
Dedication: 
This study is dedicated to all pioneers, researchers, supporters, and followers of leadership theories leading to transcendental leadership theory.
Acknowledgements: 
First, I want to thank my family for all the support and encouragement during this journey. My sincere gratitude to my Chair, Dr. Ahmed and Committee Members, Dr. Flora and Dr. Reason for their support and direction. Without their support and direction this journey would have been a lonely and boring one. To my family, who had to sacrifice quality time with me: Thank you for supporting my doctoral journey.