Publication Details

This article was originally published as The place of self-actualisation in workplace spirituality: evidence from Sri Lanka, Culture and Religion, 9(3), November 2008, 233–249.


The aim of this paper is to develop a self-actualizing spirituality model. It examines the place of self-actualization in the experience of workplace spirituality of Sri Lankan business leaders. The primary method of data collection was in-depth and face-to-face interviews with 13 Sri Lankan business leaders. Within the qualitative tradition and case study method, grounded theory and data triangulation were used to analyze the data. The findings suggest that when the business leaders experience workplace spirituality, they commonly project a need to grow, become and evolve towards the ideal (ought) self. This need is primarily driven by a desire to relate or connect to one’s self. Findings suggest that self-actualizing work arrangements offer a way to implement inclusive workplace spirituality, devoid of the challenges usually associated with the practice of religion-based workplace spirituality. Despite the geographical, cultural and social differences that exist between Sri Lanka and other cultures, this paper provides research implications for spiritual leadership and ethical decision-making in other cultural settings.



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