Over the past twenty years, in the pursuit of achieving higher but socially responsible economic performance and productivity, many business organisations in the West had begun to take notice of a phenomenon collectively called as ‘workplace spirituality’. Western workplace spirituality is associated with various types of spirituality and self-growth based spirituality forms a significant component of this phenomenon. Few researchers in the spirituality at work discourse identify an important overlap between self-growth based workplace spirituality and Abraham Maslow’s self-actualisation. However, to the best of my knowledge, no empirical studies in the management field have examined this significant overlap. In this paper, I report the findings of a study conducted in Sri Lanka on the extent to which Abraham Maslow’s self-actualisation informs the area of entrepreneur workplace spirituality. To examine the significance of the findings, this paper compares and contrasts the enactment of workplace spirituality of entrepreneur participants with each other, and with the Western management literature. I use both emic and etic approaches to discover fresh insights into how predominantly Western-based phenomena are applicable in the East. The findings confirm the conceptual views of the overlap between self-growth based workplace spirituality and Abraham Maslow’s self-actualisation. The proposed self-actualising spirituality model suggests that, the need to connect—a critical and established construct in workplace spirituality and self-actualisation—can be used to overcome the contentious issues faced when accommodating religion-based workplace spirituality.
Fernando, M. (2005). Self-actualising workplace spirituality: An empirical study. In K. Weaver (Eds.), 65th Annual Academy of Management (AoM) conference (pp. 1-35). USA: Academy of Management.