A Qualitative Study of Spiritual Intelligence in Organizational Leaders

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Alliant International University, San Francisco Bay, 2008 - 146 pages
2 Reviews
Six organizational leaders ranging from 30-69 in ages, and between 2-12 years in leadership experience, who each oversee a minimum of five subordinates were interviewed using open-ended, face-to-face interviews that sought to ascertain the essences of their spiritual intelligence experiences. The data was analyzed using qualitative methodology and reported. The results demonstrated that each leader experiences spiritual intelligence differently, and that the content of each leader's experience---as it is reflected in the essential themes---also differs. The results also demonstrated that (a) spiritual intelligence functions in the day-to-day responsibilities of organizational leaders; (b) spiritual intelligence functions differently for each leader; and (c) spiritual intelligence plays a prominent role in the leadership practices of spiritually intelligent leaders.

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One of the hardest things researchers are trying to discern is levels of intelligence in an area that is not always seen as hard-core science. Spirituality is an amazing concept that needs to be explored in depth and on multiple levels to extrapolate all of the inherent value that can aide in living our life. The author, in attempting and succeeding at revealing various styles of spiritual intelligence has given us an opportunity to explore this concept through rigorous qualitative research that is centered on the lived experience of others. If one is looking to gain insight, awareness, and a broader understanding of lived spirituality in modern-day leaders, then this is a wonderful opportunity to enhance your understanding of spiritual intelligence. - Ray Faulkenberry, PhD 

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This is a brilliant study that addresses an overlooked subject: how spiritual intelligence functions in organizational leaders. With all of the emphasis today on the bottom line, this study gets to the heart of real leadership: what is at the core of an effective leader. The study challenges our typical ideas about spirituality and shows how the term has come to mean many things other than what was originally intended. Another fascinating aspect of the study is how the author defines intelligence beyond the standard definition of cognitive ability. By doing this, the author shows how effective leadership is rooted in a variety of abilities, many of which may be intangible. For people who are interested in leadership, spirituality, intelligence, and organizations, this is an insightful read that has the potential to transform how we assess, cultivate, and train leaders. As far as dissertations go, it is very well written, very readable, and very interesting.

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