How does Spiritual Leadership Influences Employee Well-Being? Findings from PLS-SEM and FsQCA

Chwen-Li Chang, Ivon Arisanti


This study aims to examine the relationship between spiritual leadership, affective commitment, work engagement, and employee well-being. In this test, the hypotheses of 356 public sector employees through Partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) and fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA). PLS-SEM results show that spiritual leadership affects affective commitment, work engagement, and employee well-being and shows that affective commitment and work engagement have different effects because of parallel mediation with spiritual leadership in improving employee well-being. The results of the FsQCA provide theoretical insights and practical recommendations on how to improve understanding of spiritual leadership, affective commitment, work engagement, and employee well-being. This research has implications for policymakers, especially in the public sector, to support and develop spiritual practices that can help employees improve employee well-being through affective commitment and work engagement. In addition, this research can help organizations improve the performance of individuals in organizations, especially public organizations, to make positive contributions to society at large.


Doi: 10.28991/ESJ-2022-06-06-09

Full Text: PDF


Spiritual Leadership; Affective Commitment; Work Engagement; FsQCA; Employee Well-Being; PLS-SEM.


French, W. L., & Bell, C. H. (1995). Managing the OD process. Organization Development: Behavioral Science Interventions for Organizational Improvement. Prentice Hall, Hoboken, Unite States.

Fry, L.W. (2008). Spiritual Leadership: State-of-the-Art and Future Directions for Theory, Research, and Practice. Spirituality in Business, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, United States. doi:10.1057/9780230611887_7.

Fry, L. W., & Cohen, M. P. (2009). Spiritual leadership as a paradigm for organizational transformation and recovery from extended work hours cultures. Journal of Business Ethics, 84(S2), 265–278. doi:10.1007/s10551-008-9695-2.

Baharun, H., Wibowo, A., & Hasanah, S. N. (2021). Kepemimpinan Perempuan Dalam Menciptakan Sekolah Ramah Anak. Quality, 9(1), 87. doi:10.21043/quality.v9i1.10109. (In Indonesian).

Muali, C., Rofiki, M., Baharun, H., Zamroni, Z., & Sholeh, L. (2021). The Role of Sufistic-Based Kiai Leadership in Developing the Character of Santri in the Pesantren. Al-Ishlah: Jurnal Pendidikan, 13(3), 1705–1714. doi:10.35445/alishlah.v13i3.1012.

Zamroni, Z., Baharun, H., Hefniy, H., Bali, M. M. E. I., & Hasanah, K. (2020). Leader Member Exchange Dalam Membangun Komunikasi Efektif Di Pondok Pesantren. El-Buhuth: Borneo Journal of Islamic Studies, 3(1), 77-89. doi: 10.21093/el-buhuth.v3i1.2850. (In Indonesia).

Ali, M., Usman, M., Pham, N. T., Agyemang-Mintah, P., & Akhtar, N. (2020). Being ignored at work: Understanding how and when spiritual leadership curbs workplace ostracism in the hospitality industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 91. doi:10.1016/j.ijhm.2020.102696.

Bayighomog, S. W., & Arasli, H. (2022). Reviving employees’ essence of hospitality through spiritual wellbeing, spiritual leadership, and emotional intelligence. Tourism Management, 89. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2021.104406.

Devendhiran, S., & Wesley, J. R. (2017). Spirituality at work: enhancing levels of employee engagement. Development and Learning in Organizations, 31(5), 9–13. doi:10.1108/DLO-08-2016-0070.

Dey, M., Bhattacharjee, S., Mahmood, M., Uddin, M. A., & Biswas, S. R. (2022). Ethical leadership for better sustainable performance: Role of employee values, behavior and ethical climate. Journal of Cleaner Production, 337, 130527.

Jeon, K. S., Passmore, D. L., Lee, C., & Hunsaker, W. (2013). Spiritual leadership: A validation study in a Korean context. Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion, 10(4), 342–357. doi:10.1080/14766086.2013.801026.

Macey, W. H., & Schneider, B. (2008). The Meaning of Employee Engagement. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 1(1), 3–30. doi:10.1111/j.1754-9434.2007.0002.x.

Bakker, A. B., Albrecht, S. L., & Leiter, M. P. (2011). Key questions regarding work engagement. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 20(1), 4–28. doi:10.1080/1359432X.2010.485352.

Fry, L., & Kriger, M. (2009). Towards a theory of being-centered leadership: Multiple levels of being as context for effective leadership. Human Relations, 62(11), 1667–1696. doi:10.1177/0018726709346380.

Fry, L. W. (2003). Toward a theory of spiritual leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 14(6), 693–727. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2003.09.001.

Chen, S., Jiang, W., Zhang, G., & Chu, F. (2019). Spiritual leadership on proactive workplace behavior: The role of organizational identification and psychological safety. Frontiers in Psychology, 10. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01206.

Hunsaker, W. D. (2019). Spiritual leadership and job burnout: Mediating effects of employee well-being and life satisfaction. Management Science Letters, 9(8), 1257–1268. doi:10.5267/j.msl.2019.4.016.

Gupta, M., Kumar, V., & Singh, M. (2014). Creating Satisfied Employees Through Workplace Spirituality: A Study of the Private Insurance Sector in Punjab (India). Journal of Business Ethics, 122(1), 79–88. doi:10.1007/s10551-013-1756-5.

Djafri, F., & Noordin, K. (2017). The impact of workplace spirituality on organizational commitment: A case study of Takaful agents in Malaysia. Humanomics, 33(3), 384–396. doi:10.1108/H-02-2017-0018.

Cregård, A. (2017). Investigating the Risks of Spiritual Leadership. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 27(4), 533–547. doi:10.1002/nml.21262.

Jufrizen, J., Sari, M., Nasutian, M. İ., Radiman, R., & Wahyuni, S. F. (2019). The Strategy of Spiritual Leadership. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147- 4478), 8(1), 64–72. doi:10.20525/ijrbs.v8i1.194.

Reave, L. (2005). Spiritual values and practices related to leadership effectiveness. Leadership Quarterly, 16(5), 655–687. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2005.07.003.

FRY, L. W., & SLOCUM, J. W. (2008). Maximizing the Triple Bottom Line through Spiritual Leadership. Organizational Dynamics, 37(1), 86–96. doi:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2007.11.004.

Zheng, X., Zhu, W., Zhao, H., & Zhang, C. (2015). Employee well-being in organizations: Theoretical model, scale development, and cross-cultural validation. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 36(5), 621–644. doi:10.1002/job.1990.

Van Dierendonck, D., Borrill, C., Haynes, C., & Stride, C. (2004). Leadership Behavior and Subordinate Well-Being. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 9(2), 165–175. doi:10.1037/1076-8998.9.2.165.

Reitz, H. J., Pfeffer, J., & Salancik, G. R. (1979). The External Control of Organizations: A Resource Dependence Perspective. The Academy of Management Review, 4(2), 309-310. doi:10.2307/257794.

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. doi:10.1037/a0036597.

Mohammed, S. M., & Elashram, R. E. (2022). The impact of spiritual leadership on workplace spirituality in the light the COVID-19 pandemic in the governmental health sector. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 43(4), 623–637. doi:10.1108/LODJ-11-2021-0515.

Schaufeli, W. B., Salanova, M., Bakker, A. B., & Gonzales-Roma, V. (2002). The Measurement of Engagement and Burnout : A two sample confirmatory Factor Analytic Approach. Journal of Happiness Studies, 3(1), 71–92. doi:10.1023/A:1015630930326.

Yang, M., & Fry, L. W. (2018). The role of spiritual leadership in reducing healthcare worker burnout. Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion, 15(4), 305–324. doi:10.1080/14766086.2018.1482562.

Wang, M., Guo, T., Ni, Y., Shang, S., & Tang, Z. (2019). The effect of spiritual leadership on employee effectiveness: An intrinsic motivation perspective. Frontiers in Psychology, 9. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02627.

Eisenberger, R., Armeli, S., Rexwinkel, B., Lynch, P. D., & Rhoades, L. (2001). Reciprocation of perceived organizational support. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(1), 42–51. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.86.1.42.

Tews, M. J., Michel, J. W., & Stafford, K. (2013). Does Fun Pay? The Impact of Workplace Fun on Employee Turnover and Performance. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 54(4), 370–382. doi:10.1177/1938965513505355.

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. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2005.07.012.

de Klerk, J. J. (2005). Spirituality, meaning in life, and work wellness: A research agenda. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 13(1), 64–68. doi:10.1108/eb028998.

Judge, T. A., Heller, D., & Klinger, R. (2008). The dispositional sources of job satisfaction: A comparative test. Applied Psychology, 57(3), 361–372. doi:10.1111/j.1464-0597.2007.00318.x.

Mulvaney, M. (2011). A study of the role of family- friendly employee benefits programs, job attitudes, and self-efficacy among public park and recreation employees. Journal of Park & Recreation Administration, 29(1), 58–79.

Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W. B., & Leiter, M. P. (2001). Job burnout. Annual review of psychology, 52(1), 397-422. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.52.1.397.

Saks, A. M. (2006). Antecedents and consequences of employee engagement. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 21(7), 600–619. doi:10.1108/02683940610690169.

Kahn, W. A. (1990). Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work. Academy of Management Journal, 33(4), 692–724. doi:10.2307/256287.

Yadav, P. (2020). The Relationship between Employee Engagement and Psychological Well-Being. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.3628288.

Shuck, B. (2011). Integrative literature review: Four emerging perspectives of employee engagement: An integrative literature review. Human Resource Development Review, 10(3), 304–328. doi:10.1177/1534484311410840.

Fry, L. W., Matherly, L. L., & Robert Ouimet, J. (2010). The Spiritual Leadership Balanced Scorecard Business Model: The case of the Cordon BleuTomasso Corporation. Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion, 7(4), 283–314. doi:10.1080/14766086.2010.524983.

Fry, L. W., Nisiewicz, M., Vitucci, S., & Cedillo, M. (2007). Transforming city government through spiritual leadership: Measurement and establishing a baseline. Academy of Management, 3-8 August, 2007, Philadelphia, United States.

Bailey, C., Madden, A., Alfes, K., & Fletcher, L. (2017). The Meaning, Antecedents and Outcomes of Employee Engagement: A Narrative Synthesis. International Journal of Management Reviews, 19(1), 31–53. doi:10.1111/ijmr.12077.

Chen, C. Y., & Li, C. I. (2013). Assessing the spiritual leadership effectiveness: The contribution of follower’s self-concept and preliminary tests for moderation of culture and managerial position. Leadership Quarterly, 24(1), 240–255. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2012.11.004.

Kim, W., Kim, J., Woo, H., Park, J., Jo, J., Park, S. H., & Lim, S. Y. (2017). The Relationship between Work Engagement and Organizational Commitment: Proposing Research Agendas through a Review of Empirical Literature. Human Resource Development Review, 16(4), 350–376. doi:10.1177/1534484317725967.

Albrecht, S. L. (2012). The influence of job, team and organizational level resources on employee well-being, engagement, commitment and extra-role performance: Test of a model. International Journal of Manpower, 33(7), 840–853. doi:10.1108/01437721211268357.

Fry, L. W., & Matherly, L. L. (2006). Spiritual leadership and organizational performance: An exploratory study. Academy of Management, 11-16 August, Atlanta, United States.

Allen, N. J., & Meyer, J. P. (1996). Affective, continuance, and normative commitment to the organization: An examination of construct validity. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 49(3), 252–276. doi:10.1006/jvbe.1996.0043.

Abdullah, A. (2011). Evaluation of Allen and Meyerâ€TMs Organizational Commitment Scale: A Cross-Cultural Application in Pakistan. Journal of Education and Vocational Research, 1(3), 80–86. doi:10.22610/jevr.v1i3.13.

Schaufeli, W. B., Martínez, I. M., Pinto, A. M., Salanova, M., & Bakker, A. B. (2002). Utrecht Work Engagement Scale for Students. PsycTESTS Dataset. doi:10.1037/t76451-000.

Brislin, R. (1993). Understanding culture's influence on behavior. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York City, United States.

Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common Method Biases in Behavioral Research: A Critical Review of the Literature and Recommended Remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879–903. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.88.5.879.

Duarte, P., & Pinho, J. C. (2019). A mixed methods UTAUT2-based approach to assess mobile health adoption. Journal of Business Research, 102, 140–150. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.05.022.

Kura, K. M., Shamsudin, F. M., & Chauhan, A. (2015). Does Self-Regulatory Efficacy Matter? Effects of Punishment Certainty and Punishment Severity on Organizational Deviance. SAGE Open, 5(2). doi:10.1177/2158244015591822.

Morgan, S. L. (2010). Redesigning Social Inquiry: Fuzzy Sets and Beyond By Charles C. Ragin University of Chicago Press. 2008. 240 pages. $45 cloth, $18 paper. Social Forces, 88(4), 1934–1936. doi:10.1353/sof.2010.0011.

Huarng, K. H., Hui-Kuang Yu, T., & Rodriguez-Garcia, M. (2020). Qualitative analysis of housing demand using Google trends data. Economic Research-Ekonomska Istrazivanja, 33(1), 2007–2017. doi:10.1080/1331677X.2018.1547205.

Ragin, C. C., Strand, S. I., & Rubinson, C. (2016). User's guide to fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis. University of Arizona, Tucson, United States.

Chin, W. W. (1998). The partial least squares approach to structural equation modeling. Modern methods for business research, 295(2), 295-336, Taylor & Francis, Abingdon-on-Thames, United Kingdom.

Höck, M., & Ringle, C. M. (2010). Local strategic networks in the software industry: An empirical analysis of the value continuum. International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies, 4(2), 132–151. doi:10.1504/IJKMS.2010.030789.

Mackinnon, D. P. (2012). Introduction to statistical mediation analysis. Routledge, New York, Unite States. doi:10.4324/9780203809556.

Flury, B., Murtagh, F., & Heck, A. (1988). Multivariate Data Analysis. Mathematics of Computation, 50(181), 352. doi:10.2307/2007941.

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating Structural Equation Models with Unobservable Variables and Measurement Error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(1), 39–50. doi:10.1177/002224378101800104.

Venkatesh, V., Thong, J. Y. L., & Xu, X. (2012). Consumer acceptance and use of information technology: Extending the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology. MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems, 36(1), 157–178. doi:10.2307/41410412.

Hulland, J. (1999). Use of partial least squares (PLS) in strategic management research: a review of four recent studies. Strategic Management Journal, 20(2), 195–204. doi:10.1002/(sici)1097-0266(199902)20:2<195::aid-smj13>;2-z.

Henseler, J., Ringle, C. M., & Sarstedt, M. (2015). A new criterion for assessing discriminant validity in variance-based structural equation modeling. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 43(1), 115–135. doi:10.1007/s11747-014-0403-8.

Franke, G., & Sarstedt, M. (2019). Heuristics versus statistics in discriminant validity testing: a comparison of four procedures. Internet Research, 29(3), 430–447. doi:10.1108/IntR-12-2017-0515.

Ganter, A., & Hecker, A. (2014). Configurational paths to organizational innovation: Qualitative comparative analyses of antecedents and contingencies. Journal of Business Research, 67(6), 1285–1292. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.03.004.

Mikalef, P., Pateli, A., Batenburg, R. S., & Van De Wetering, R. (2015). Purchasing alignment under multiple contingencies: A configuration theory approach. Industrial Management and Data Systems, 115(4), 625–645. doi:10.1108/IMDS-10-2014-0298.

Lieberson, S., & Ragin, C. C. (2001). Fuzzy-Set Social Science. Contemporary Sociology, 30(4), 331. doi:10.2307/3089736.

Jeon, K. S., & Choi, B. K. (2020). A multidimensional analysis of spiritual leadership, affective commitment and employees’ creativity in South Korea. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 41(8), 1035–1052. doi:10.1108/LODJ-08-2019-0352.

Shimazu, A., & Kosugi, S. (2003). Job stressors, coping, and psychological distress among Japanese employees: Interplay between active and non-active coping. Work and Stress, 17(1), 38–51. doi:10.1080/0267837031000106862.

Yang, J. Te. (2010). Antecedents and consequences of job satisfaction in the hotel industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 29(4), 609–619. doi:10.1016/j.ijhm.2009.11.002.

Schaubroeck, J., Cotton, J. L., & Jennings, K. R. (1989). Antecedents and consequences of role stress: A covariance structure analysis. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 10(1), 35–58. doi:10.1002/job.4030100104.

Schaufeli, W. B., & Bakker, A. B. (2004). Job demands, job resources, and their relationship with burnout and engagement: A multi-sample study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25(3), 293–315. doi:10.1002/job.248.

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. doi:10.1006/jvbe.2001.1842.

Saks, A. M. (2011). Workplace spirituality and employee engagement. Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion, 8(4), 317–340. doi:10.1080/14766086.2011.630170.

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.28991/ESJ-2022-06-06-09


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Ivon Arisanti