Multi-focal Analysis of Workplace Spirituality and Employee Commitment: Exploratory Empirical Assessment

Mohamed Fares Brini


The purpose of this paper was to examine the contribution of workplace spirituality to employee commitment from a multi-focal perspective at the individual, group and organizational levels. Obtained data from a random sample of 111 Tunisian employees were analysed using PLS-SEM to test the proposed hypothesis of the study. The findings revealed that three-dimensional workplace spirituality (meaningful work, sense of community and organizational values) contributed positively and significantly to multiple commitment levels (individual, group and organization levels). Besides, these spiritual dimensions contributed to more than one level and showed that workplace spirituality framework can provide an expanded contribution to the multiple commitment research. In particular, meaningful work had the largest contribution to all commitment levels and can offer unique approach to manage overall commitment within organizations.

Full Text:



Allen, N. J., & Meyer, J. P. (1990). The measurement and antecedents of affective, continuance and normative commitment to the organization. Journal of Occupational Psychology, 63(1), 1–18.

Arrowsmith, J., & Parker, J. (2013). The meaning of ‘employee engagement’ for the values and roles of the HRM function. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(14), 2692–2712.

Ashar, H., & Lane-Maher, M. (2004). Success and spirituality in the new business paradigm. Journal of Management Inquiry, 13(3), 249–260.

Ashmos, D. P., & Duchon, D. (2000). Spirituality at Work: A Conceptualization and Measure. Journal of Management Inquiry, 9(2), 134–145.

Barrick, M., Mount, M., & Li, N. (2012). The Theory of Purposeful Work Behavior: The Role of Personality, Higher-Order Goals, and Job Characteristics. Academy of Management Review, 38(1), 132–153.

Benefiel, M., Fry, L. W., & Geigle, D. (2014). Spirituality and religion in the workplace: History, theory, and research. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 6(3), 175–187.

Blenkinsopp, J. (2007). Organisational loss of faith: Treating affective commitment as a spiritual matter. Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion, 4(2), 212–233.

Bollen, K. A., & Pearl, J. (2013). Eight Myths About Causality and Structural Equation Models.

Brewer, M. B., & Gardner, W. (1996). Who Is This ‘We’? Levels of Collective Identity and Self Representations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71(1), 83–93.

Brown, S. P., & Leigh, T. W. (1996). A new look at psychological climate and its relationship to job involvement, effort, and performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81(4), 358–368.

Burke, P. J., & Reitzes, D. C. (1991). An Identity Theory Approach to Commitment. Social Psychology Quarterly, 54(3), 239.

Chin, W. W. (2010). How to Write Up and Report PLS Analyses. In Handbook of Partial Least Squares (pp. 655–690).

Cohen J. (1988). Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioural Science (2nd Edition). In Statistical Power Anaylsis for the Behavioral Sciences.

Cohen, A. (2003). Multiple commitments in the workplace: An integrative approach. In Multiple Commitments in the Workplace: An Integrative Approach.

Crawford, A., Hubbard, S. S., Lonis-Shumate, S. R., & O’neill, M. (2009). Workplace spirituality and employee attitudes within the lodging environment. Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality and Tourism, 8(1), 64–81.

Dehler, G. E., & Welsh, M. A. (1994). Spirituality and Organizational Transformation: Implications for the New Management Paradigm. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 9(6), 17–26.

Delbecq, A. L. (2013). Management, spirituality, and religion: Where do we go from here? In Handbook of Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace: Emerging Research and Practice.

Dhiman, S., & Marques, J. (2011). The role and need of offering workshops and courses on workplace spirituality. Journal of Management Development, 30(9), 816–835.

Duchon, D., & Plowman, D. A. (2005). Nurturing the spirit at work: Impact on work unit performance. Leadership Quarterly, 16(5), 807–833.

Dutton, J., & Heaphy, E. (2003). The Power of High-Quality Connections. Positive Organizational Scholarship: Foundations of a New Discipline.

Dvir, T., Kass, N., & Shamir, B. (2004). The emotional bond: Vision and organizational commitment among high-tech employees. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 17(2), 126–143.

Ellemers, N., De Gilder, D., & Haslam, S. A. (2004). Motivating individuals and groups at work: A social identity perspective on leadership and group performance. Academy of Management Review, 29(3), 459–478.

Ellemers, N., De Gilder, D., & Van Den Heuvel, H. (1998). Career-Oriented Versus Team-Oriented Commitment and Behavior at Work. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83(5), 717–730.

Felps, W., Mitchell, T. R., & Byington, E. (2006). How, When, and Why Bad Apples Spoil the Barrel: Negative Group Members and Dysfunctional Groups. Research in Organizational Behavior, 27, 175–222.

Fry, L. W., Vitucci, S., & Cedillo, M. (2005). Spiritual leadership and army transformation: Theory, measurement, and establishing a baseline. Leadership Quarterly, 16(5), 835–862.

Gefen, D., Straub, D., & Boudreau, M.-C. (2000). Structural Equation Modeling and Regression: Guidelines for Research Practice. In Communications of the Association for Information Systems (Vol. 4).

Greguras, G. J., & Diefendorff, J. M. (2009). Different Fits Satisfy Different Needs: Linking Person-Environment Fit to Employee Commitment and Performance Using Self-Determination Theory. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(2), 465–477.

Guevara, K., & Ord, J. (1996). The search for meaning in a changing work context. Futures, 28(8), 709–722.

Gull, G. A., & Doh, J. (2004). The ‘transmutation’ of the organization: Toward a more spiritual workplace. Journal of Management Inquiry, 13(2), 128–139.

Hair, J. F., Hult, G. T. M., Ringle, C. M., & Sarstedt, M. (2014). A primer on Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). In Sage Publisher.

Hair, J. F., Risher, J. J., Sarstedt, M., & Ringle, C. M. (2019). When to use and how to report the results of PLS-SEM. European Business Review.

Henseler, J., Ringle, C. M., & Sarstedt, M. (2014). A new criterion for assessing discriminant validity in variance-based structural equation modeling. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 43(1), 115–135.

Houghton, J. D., Neck, C. P., & Krishnakumar, S. (2016). The what, why, and how of spirituality in the workplace revisited: a 14-year update and extension. Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion, 13(3), 177–205.

Joelle, M., & Coelho, A. M. (2019). The impact of spirituality at work on workers’ attitudes and individual performance. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 30(7), 1111–1135.

Johnson, R. E., & Chang, C. H. (2006). ‘I’ is to continuance as ‘We’ is to affective: The relevance of the self-concept for organizational commitment. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27(5), 549–570.

Johnson, R. E., Chang, C. H., & Yang, L. Q. (2010). Commitment and motivation at work: The relevance of employee identity and regulatory focus. Academy of Management Review, 35(2), 226–245.

Kanungo, R. N. (1982). Measurement of job and work involvement. Journal of Applied Psychology, 67(3), 341–349.

Kets De Vries, M. F. R. (2001). Creating authentizotic organizations: Well-functioning individuals in vibrant companies. Human Relations, 54(1), 101–111.

Kinjerski, V., & Skrypnek, B. J. (2006). Creating organizational conditions that foster employee spirit at work. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 27(4), 280–295.

Klein, H. J., Molloy, J. C., & Brinsfield, C. T. (2012). Reconceptualizing workplace commitment to redress a stretched construct: Revisiting assumptions and removing confounds. Academy of Management Review, 37(1), 130–151.

Knapp, J. R., Diehl, M. R., & Dougan, W. (2020). Towards a social-cognitive theory of multiple psychological contracts. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 29(2), 200–214.

Kock, N. (2015). Common method bias in PLS-SEM: A full collinearity assessment approach. International Journal of E-Collaboration, 11(4), 1–10.

Kock, N., & Hadaya, P. (2018). Minimum sample size estimation in PLS-SEM: The inverse square root and gamma-exponential methods. Information Systems Journal, 28(1), 227–261.

Kozlowski, S. W. J., & Bell, B. S. (2012). Work Groups and Teams in Organizations. In Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition.

Krahnke, K., Giacalone, R. A., & Jurkiewicz, C. L. (2003). Point-counterpoint: Measuring workplace spirituality. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 16(4), 396–405.

Kriger, M. P., & Hanson, B. J. (1999). A value-based paradigm for creating truly healthy organizations. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 12(4), 302–317.

Krishnakumar, S., & Neck, C. P. (2002). The “what”, “why” and “how” of spirituality in the workplace. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 17(3), 153–164.

Kristof-Brown, A. L., Zimmerman, R. D., & Johnson, E. C. (2005). Consequences of individuals’ fit at work: A meta-analysis of person-job, person-organization, person-group, and person-supervisor FIT. Personnel Psychology, 58(281–342).

Lapointe, E., Vandenberghe, C., Ben Ayed, A. K., Schwarz, G., Tremblay, M., & Chenevert, D. (2019). Social Comparisons, Self-Conceptions, and Attributions: Assessing the Self-Related Contingencies in Leader-Member Exchange Relationships. Journal of Business and Psychology, 35, 381–402.

Lips-Wiersma, M., & Wright, S. (2012). Measuring the Meaning of Meaningful Work: Development and Validation of the Comprehensive Meaningful Work Scale (CMWS). Group and Organization Management, 37(5), 655–685.

Mateos-Aparicio, G. (2011). Partial least squares (PLS) methods: Origins, evolution, and application to social sciences. Communications in Statistics - Theory and Methods, 40(13), 2305–2317.

Meyer, J. P. (2016). Handbook of employee commitment. In Handbook of Employee Commitment.

Meyer, J. P., & Allen, N. J. (1991). A three-component conceptualization of organizational commitment. Human Resource Management Review, 1(1), 61–89.

Meyer, J. P., Stanley, D. J., Herscovitch, L., & Topolnytsky, L. (2002). Affective, continuance, and normative commitment to the organization: A meta-analysis of antecedents, correlates, and consequences. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 61(1), 20–52.

Milliman, J., Czaplewski, A. J., & Ferguson, J. (2003). Workplace spirituality and employee work attitudes: An exploratory empirical assessment. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 16(4), 426–447.

Milliman, J., Gatling, A., & Bradley-Geist, J. C. (2017). The implications of workplace spirituality for person-environment fit theory. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 9(1), 1–12.

Mitroff, I. I. (2003). Do not promote religion under the guise of spirituality. Organization, 10(2), 375–382.

Mitroff, I., & Denton, E. (1999). A Study of Spirituality in the Workplace. Sloan Management Review, 40(4), 83–92.

Mowday, R. T., Steers, R. M., & Porter, L. W. (1979). The measurement of organizational commitment. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 14(2), 224–247.

Neal, J. (2000). Work as service to the Divine: Giving our gifts selflessly and with joy. American Behavioral Scientist, 8, 1316–1333.

Oh, I. S., Guay, R. P., Kim, K., Harold, C. M., Lee, J. H., Heo, C. G., & Shin, K. H. (2014). Fit happens globally: A meta-analytic comparison of the relationships of person-environment fit dimensions with work attitudes and performance across East Asia, Europe, and North America. Personnel Psychology, 67(1), 99–152.

O’Reilly, C. A., & Pfeffer, J. (2000). Unlocking the hidden value in organizations. Employment Relations Today, 27(2), 63–80.

Oyserman, D. (2007). Self-Concept and Identity. In Blackwell Handbook of Social Psychology: Intraindividual Processes.

Parker, S. K. (2014). Beyond Motivation: Job and Work Design for Development, Health, Ambidexterity, and More. Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 661–691.

Pawar, B. S. (2009). Individual spirituality, workplace spirituality and work attitudes: An empirical test of direct and interaction effects. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 30.

Petter, S. (2018). ‘Haters Gonna Hate’: PLS and Information Systems Research. The DATABASE for Advances in Information Systems, 49(2), 10–13.

Pfeffer, J. (2010). Business and the spirit: Management practices that sustain values. In Handbook of Workplace Spirituality and Organizational Performance.

Podsakoff, P. M., & Organ, D. W. (1986). Self-Reports in Organizational Research: Problems and Prospects. Journal of Management, 12(4), 531–544.

Pratt, M. G., & Ashforth, Blake, E. (2003). Fostering meaningfulness in working and at work. Positive Organizational Scholarship: Foundations of a New Discipline, 309–327.

Rego, A., & Cunha, M. P. e. (2008). Authentizotic climates and employee happiness: Pathways to individual performance? Journal of Business Research, 61(7), 739–752.

Rego, A., & Cunha, M. P. e. (2008). Workplace spirituality and organizational commitment: An empirical study. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 21(1), 53–75.

Riasudeen, S., & Prabavathy, R. (2011). Relationship of workplace spirituality and work attitude in manufacturing organisation. Global Management Review, 5(4), 29–37.

Ringle, C. M., Sarstedt, M., Mitchell, R., & Gudergan, S. P. (2018). Partial least squares structural equation modeling in HRM research. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 31(12), 1617–1643.

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2001). On Happiness and Human Potentials: A Review of Research on Hedonic and Eudaimonic Well-Being. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 141–166.

Shamir, B. (1991). Meaning, Self and Motivation in Organizations. Organization Studies, 12(3), 405–424.

Shmueli, G., Ray, S., Velasquez Estrada, J. M., & Chatla, S. B. (2016). The elephant in the room: Predictive performance of PLS models. Journal of Business Research, 69(10), 4552–4564.

Singhal, M., & Chatterjee, L. (2006). A person-organization fit-based approach for spirituality at work: Development of a conceptual framework. Journal of Human Values, 12(2), 161–178.

Sosik, J. J., Kahai, S. S., & Piovoso, M. J. (2009). Silver bullet or voodoo statistics?: A primer for using the partial least squares data analytic technique in group and organization research. Group and Organization Management, 34(1), 5–36.

Van Den Heuvel, M., Demerouti, E., Schreurs, B. H. j., Bakker, A. B., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2009). Does meaning-making help during organizational change?: Development and validation of a new scale. Career Development International, 14(6), 508–533.

Van Rossenberg, Y. G. T., Klein, H. J., Asplund, K., Bentein, K., Breitsohl, H., Cohen, A., … Yalabik, Z. Y. (2018). The future of workplace commitment: key questions and directions. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 27(2), 153–167.

Vandenberghe, C. (2011). Workplace spirituality and organizational commitment: An integrative model. Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion, 8(3), 211–232.

Wagner-Marsh, F., & Conley, J. (1999). The fourth wave: The spiritually-based firm. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 12(4), 292–301.

Wrzesniewski, A., & Dutton, J. E. (2001). Crafting a job: Revisioning employees as active crafters of their work. Academy of Management Review, 26(2), 179–201.


Copyright (c) 2021 Mohamed Fares Brini

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

International Journal of Human Resource Studies  ISSN 2162-3058


Copyright © Macrothink Institute  

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.