Doctoral Project Abstract
The Spiritual Effect: Fusing Spirituality with Organizational Design
Karen A. Rutherford-Coulson
Henry Ford once asked, "Why is it that I always get the whole person when all I really want is a pair of hands?" Unfortunately, this leadership attitude once dominated the hierarchical structures of the past. Usually within these structures, decision-making and thinking filtered top-down. The leader was isolated from others and had no connection or relationship with lower level employees. For this reason, leaders did not always notice the human and spiritual needs of their followers. However, today's worker is no longer willing to work in such an environment. Instead, people are in search of work that satisfies their dreams and provides a sense of wholeness. This shift toward a more meaningful and spiritual work environment has affected not only the structure and design of work, but also the quality of life throughout the workplace.
Yet, simply changing the structure of an organization is not enough. It must begin with a change in mindset and a practice of guidance that weaves both leadership and spirit together. It requires a re-examination of the organization's values, beliefs, and reason for being. Spirituality must reflect in the values and behaviors of both leader and follower, as well as polices, and practices of the organization. It must be a way of being, the foundation of an organization's culture. This culture must build on reciprocal relationships that promote trust, commitment, and a sense of community. In these relationships, partners support and encourage the personal and professional development of each other through the exchange of honest feedback.