Research Shows How to Create Peaceful Work Environments through Spirituality Practices | Pollack Peacebuilding Systems

February 25, 2021by Natalie Davis0
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Summary of:

Sarkar, A. & Garg, N. (2020). “Peaceful workplace” only a myth?: Examining the mediating role of psychological capital on spirituality and nonviolence behaviour at the workplace. International Journal of Conflict Management, 31(5), 709-728. DOI 10.1108/IJCMA-11-2019-0217

Background & Theory

This study explores how to create peaceful work environments by examining how psychological capital, spirituality, and nonviolence in the workplace are all related. The study additionally suggests how we might use this information and these relationships to create more peaceful organizations and workplaces. Spirituality in this article is noted for its religious context, but also outside of this in regard to mindful practices, which are often more practical for organizations.

Research Questions

Sarkar and Garg, in “‘Peaceful workplace’ only a myth?: Examining the mediating role of psychological capital on spirituality and nonviolence behaviour at the workplace” (2020), seek to address the following questions:

    1. How are spirituality, psychological capital, and nonviolence related?
    2. What does this show us about peace in the workplace?

Methods

The authors conducted their study with 347 participants (70.1% male/29.9% female; ages varied), all of whom worked in one of three sectors: financial, manufacturing, and IT/ITES. All participants worked for their company for at least two years, and were an executive or manager. All participants were provided statements that they responded to with a rating scale; the three areas examined were spirituality, psychological capital, and nonviolence work behavior. The data was assessed for reliability and validity, and analyzed through several statistical tools (noted in full on page 719).

Results

The results of the study show that non-violent behavior in the workplace is greatly related to one’s spirituality, namely within the four dimensions of spirituality evaluated in this study: meaningful life, connection with transcendence, faith, and practicing spirituality. Nonviolence in the workplace and spirituality are also impacted by psychological capital (the four dimensions being hope, optimism, resilience and self-efficacy); in fact, it was shown that these areas of psychological capital are at least partially responsible for the relationship between nonviolence in the workplace and one’s spirituality.

What This Means

  • Psychological capital can be greatly and positively influenced by spirituality. When this takes place, it ultimately leads to less violence in the workplace, which ultimately means a more peaceful work environment for all involved.
  • Spirituality is at the core of many positive outcomes and outlooks. When used in the context mentioned in the article, organizations can benefit from incorporating spirituality into more facets of their culture and training. This may be through a variety of mindfulness/spirituality practices, including yoga or meditation.
  • Organizations and leaders who care about meeting employees’ psychological and spiritual needs are more likely to have a peaceful work environment. When people feel appreciated, cared for, and have their well-being tended to, they can more positively contribute to their work and engage in more positive interactions with others.

Final Takeaway

For consultants: Changing an organizational culture can be quite challenging. Training leaders how to engage in mindfulness practices and finding ways to incorporate into their organization can be one step in the right direction.

For everyone: Spirituality may be religious, and it may not be. Think of ways you can engage in positive spirituality practices, as it can create a more positive outlook on life and in your workplace.

Natalie Davis

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