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Individual Spirituality and Business Sustainability

  • Complex global sustainability challenges cannot be solved by governance and technology alone, but rather demand a broader cultural shift towards sustainability. Various authors postulate that a social change towards more sustainability can be manifested by a shift in human consciousness towards a more spiritual mindset. Similarly, the contemporary discourse in business literature increasingly emphasizes the importance of spirituality for business sustainability. This cumulative dissertation attempts to explore how the individual’s spirituality may be connected to business sustainability. Therefore, I carried out three studies on specific research gaps in the broad field of the connection between individual spirituality and business sustainability. Paper one (Chapter 2) addresses the general connection between the individual`s spirituality and business sustainability. The goal of the applied systematic literature review was to gain an overview of the themes that are discussed in the related literature and build a cohesive framework. This paper contributes to the literature stream of spirituality in business. Paper two and three focus on the individual level of spirituality and business sustainability. In paper two (chapter three), we address the spiritual practice mindfulness, a secularized, widely discussed Eastern spiritual practice that is gaining popularity in the Western (business) world. Katharina Spraul co-authored this paper. Mindfulness describes a nonjudgemental, nonevaluative process of paying attention to what is happening internally and externally. We connect mindfulness to business sustainability in such a way that we hypothesize that mindfulness serves as a moderator between the intention and behavior relationship in the field of green employee behavior. Employee pro-environmental behavior was found to be an important antecedent of ecological and economic business sustainability, such as green procurement, and ecological efficiency. In order to test this hypothesis, we applied a quantitative prospective design, assessing variables at two points of time. This paper enhances the theoretical strands of mindfulness research and employee green behavior. Paper three (chapter four) was written in co-authorship with Katharina Spraul. In this study, in terms of spiritual practices, we focus on German part-time yoga teachers. We investigate the meaningfulness experience of multiple jobholders with the case of part-time yoga teachers. Empirical research has linked meaningful work to job satisfaction and health (social sustainability) as well as work engagement and performance (economic sustainability). We pose the questions: What were the motives to start the secondary job as a yoga teacher? Which job is perceived as more meaningful and why? How does teaching yoga affect the meaningfulness of the primary, organizational job? In order to answer these questions, we applied a mixed method design. On the one hand, we conducted narrative interviews with part-time yoga teachers. On the other hand, we asked these interviewees to rank and rate Rosso et al.'s (2010) seven meaningfulness mechanisms for their jobs (with which we calculated meaningfulness values of each job). With this paper, we address gaps in research on meaningful work and multiple jobholders. Considering the outlined theoretical strands, this cumulative dissertation contributes to sustainable development by a differentiated discussion of the relationship between the individual’s spirituality and business sustainability.

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Author:Julia HufnagelORCiD
URN (permanent link):urn:nbn:de:hbz:386-kluedo-60786
Advisor:Katharina Spraul
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language of publication:English
Publication Date:2020/09/09
Year of Publication:2020
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Granting Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Acceptance Date of the Thesis:2020/07/29
Date of the Publication (Server):2020/09/09
Tag:Business Sustainability; Meaningful Work; Mindfulness; Multiple Jobholding; Spiritual leadership
Number of page:V, 170
Faculties / Organisational entities:Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften
DDC-Cassification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 330 Wirtschaft
Licence (German):Creative Commons 4.0 - Namensnennung, nicht kommerziell, keine Bearbeitung (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)