Introduction: The aim of this study was to explain how the spiritual leadership model
could be used as a paradigm for nursing leadership. Nursing leaders play a critical role
in the management of the health care system. Spiritual leadership is a new area that has
recently been considered in nursing management.
Methods: In this review article, electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, Google
Scholar and Science Direct) were searched from September 2014 to July 2016 to find
relevant articles using keywords, such as spirituality, leadership, management, nurses
and motivation. In this regard, the articles that fulfilled the goals of the study that were
written in English or Persian, had their full texts accessible, and were published in the
intended time interval were entered in the study. The articles without authors’ names
and dates and non-scientific papers were excluded from the study. On the whole, a total
of 120 articles were obtained, of which 48 were selected and analyzed.
Results: A review of the literature focusing on spiritual leadership demonstrated that
the spiritual leadership model has been examined in different countries, various fields
of the industry, trade training, and the health system with positive individual and
organizational consequences. It seems that the characteristics of this style of leadership
fits the nursing profession as well. Of course, more large-scale future studies for testing
this model of leadership in the field of nursing will bring about more promising results.
Conclusions: Spiritual leadership could improve the organizational productivity and
employees’ satisfaction. Nursing leaders should have paid greater attention to this type
of leadership to achieve positive organizational outcomes; therefore, they need more
training in this issue..
Buchan J, Twigg D, Dussault G, Duffield C, Stone PW. Policies to sustain
the nursing workforce: an international perspective. Int Nurs Rev.
;62(2):162-70. DOI: 10.1111/inr.12169 PMID: 25639942
Aitamaa E, Leino-Kilpi H, Iltanen S, Suhonen R. Ethical problems
in nursing management: The views of nurse managers. Nurs Ethics.
;23(6):646-58. DOI: 10.1177/0969733015579309 PMID:
Nelson BA. Spiritual leadership in healthcare: University of Northern
Fry LW, Matherly LL, Ouimet JR. The spiritual leadership balanced
scorecard business model: the case of the Cordon Bleu‐Tomasso Corporation.
J Manage Spirit Religion. 2010;7(4):283-314.
Jeon KS. The relationship of perception of organization performance
and spiritual leadership, workplace spirituality, and learning organization
culture in the Korean context. Pennsylvania, USA The Pennsylvania
State University; 2011.
Krishnakumar S, Houghton JD, Neck CP, Ellison CN. The “good”
and the “bad” of spiritual leadership. J Manage Spirit Religion.
;12(1):17-37. DOI: 10.1080/14766086.2014.886518
Fry LW. Toward a theory of spiritual leadership. Leadersh Q.
;14(6):693-727. DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2003.09.001
Benefiel M, Fry LW, Geigle D. Spirituality and Religion in the
Workplace: History, Theory, and Research. Psychol Religion Spirit.
;6(3):175-87. DOI: 10.1037/a0036597
Fry LW, Latham JR, Clinebell SK, Krahnke K. Spiritual leadership
as a model for performance excellence: a study of Baldrige award
recipients. J Manage Spirit Religion. 2017;14(1):22-47. DOI:
Torkamani ZN, Naami AZ, Sheykhshabani SH. The Effect of Spiritual
Leadership with Organizational Commitment, Productivity and
Knowledge Performance with Mediating Spiritual Well-Being and
Learning Organization, in Employees of Bidboland Gas Company
International Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Research. Int J
Psychol Behav Res. 2015;4(1):133-43.
Jeon KS, Passmore DL, Lee C, Hunsaker W. Spiritual leadership:
A validation study in a Korean context. J Manage Spirit Religion.
Sajjadi A. New emerging leadership theories and styles. Techn J Eng
Appl Sci. 2014;4(3):180-8.
Fry LW, Vitucci S, Cedillo M. Spiritual leadership and army transformation:
Theory, measurement, and establishing a baseline. Leadersh
Q. 2005;16(5):835-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2005.07.012
Egel E, Fry LW. Spiritual Leadership as a Model for Islamic
Leadership. Public Integr. 2017;19(1):77-95. DOI:
Sweeney PJ, Fry LW. Character development through spiritual leadership.
Consult Psychol J Pract Res. 2012;64(2):89.
Fry LW, Hannah ST, Noel M, Walumbwa FO. Impact of spiritual
leadership on unit performance (Retracted article. See vol. 25, pg.
, 2014). Leadersh Q. 2011;22(2):259-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.
Chen CY, Yang CY, Li CI. Spiritual Leadership, Follower Mediators,
and Organizational Outcomes: Evidence From Three Industries
Across Two Major Chinese Societies. J Appl Soc Psychol.
;42(4):890-938. DOI: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2011.00834.x
Chen CY, Yang CF. The Impact of Spiritual Leadership on Organizational
Citizenship Behavior: A Multi-Sample Analysis. J Busin Ethics.
;105(1):107-14. DOI: 10.1007/s10551-011-0953-3
Radovich P, Palaganas J, Kiemeney J, Strother B, Bruneau B, Hamilton
L. Enhancing Leadership Orientation Through Simulation. Crit Care
Nurs. 2011;31(5):58-63. DOI: 10.4037/ccn2011463
Curtis E, O’Connell R. Essential leadership skills for motivating and
developing staff: An empowered team is enthusiastic about its work
and will deliver high quality care. The key, argue Elizabeth Curtis
and Rhona O’Connell, is transformational leadership. Nurs Manage.
Ayranci E, Semercioz F. The relationship between spiritual leadership
and issues of spirituality and religiosity: A study of top Turkish managers.
Int J Busin Manage. 2011;6(4):136.
Jamaludin Z, Rahman N, Makhbul ZKM, Idris F. Do transactional,
transformational and spiritual leadership styles distinct? A conceptual
insight. J Glob Busin Econom. 2011;2(1):73-85.
Salehzadeh R, Pool JK, Lashaki JK, Dolati H, Jamkhaneh HB. Studying
the effect of spiritual leadership on organizational performance:
an empirical study in hotel industry. Int J Cult Tourism Hosp Res.
;9(3):346-59. DOI: 10.1108/Ijcthr-03-2015-0012
Khoshpanjeh M, Rahnama A, SeyyedKalan MM, Hoseinpour A.
Evaluating the Role of Spiritual Leadership Dimensions in Employee
Empowerment and their Effect on Workforce Productivity. J Basic
Appl SciRes. 2012;2(8):7681-9.
Chegini MG, Nezhad ZF. The effect of spiritual leadership and other
elements on employees’ empowerment of Iran’s bank: Case study of
Guilan Province. Afr J Busin Manage. 2012;6(28):8420.
Abdizadeh M, Khiabani MM. Implementing the spiritual leadership
model in the healthcare industry in Iran. Int J Busin Manage.
Memaryan N, Rassouli M, Mehrabi M. Spirituality Concept by Health
Professionals in Iran: A Qualitative Study. Evid Based Complement
Alternat Med. 2016;2016:8913870. DOI: 10.1155/2016/8913870
Reimer-Kirkham S, Pesut B, Sawatzky R, Cochrane M, Redmond A.
Discourses of spirituality and leadership in nursing: a mixed methods
analysis. J Nurs Manag. 2012;20(8):1029-38. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-
2012.01480.x PMID: 23151105