The Relationship Between Spirituality in Workplace, Organizational Commitment and Professional Ethics Among Girl’s Senior High School Teachers

AUTHORS

Marzie Rezaei Kalantari 1 , * , Roghie Nadi Khalili 1

1 Department of Education, Islamic Azad University, Neka Branch, Neka, IR Iran

How to Cite: Rezaei Kalantari M, Nadi Khalili R. The Relationship Between Spirituality in Workplace, Organizational Commitment and Professional Ethics Among Girl’s Senior High School Teachers, Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci. 2018 ; 12(2):e62356. doi: 10.5812/ijpbs.62356.

ARTICLE INFORMATION

Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences: 12 (2); e62356
Published Online: March 17, 2018
Article Type: Original Article
Received: October 15, 2017
Revised: January 10, 2018
Accepted: January 31, 2018
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Abstract

Background: Along with growth of attention to spirituality in workplace, this question “what is the meaning and effects of spirituality in workplace” came up.

Objectives: To investigate the relationship between spirituality in a workplace, organizational commitment, and professional ethics among girl senior high school teachers in Neka city-Iran.

Methods: A sample of 90 teachers who had 5 years of experience of teaching participated in a descriptive-relational study. Data gathering process was done using spirituality in workplace, organizational commitment, and professional ethic questionnaires. Pearson Correlation Coefficient tests were used for data analysis.

Results: There was a significant relationship between spirituality in workplace and dimensions of organizational commitment and professional ethics [(r = 0.556, 0.482, 0.328 n = 90, P = 0.000), (r = 0.570, 0.375, 0.318, 0.356 n = 90, P = 0.000) respectively]. Also, there was a significant correlation between spirituality in workplace, organizational commitment and professional ethics (r = 0.466, 0.449, n = 90, P = 0.000).

Conclusion: The more spirituality in the work place among teachers would cause a growth in organizational commitment and professional ethics and vice versa. Accordingly, educational organizations need to pay attention to teachers’ mental and spiritual needs, so they can do their jobs with perseverance, commitment, and seriousness.

1. Background

Spirituality in workplace encompasses a quest to find the final goal of a person in work life, creation of a balance and integration between individuals’ basic beliefs and organizations’ values (1). Experiencing spirituality in the workplace is interwoven with the growth of creativity, honesty, trust, commitment, and sense of personal growth and development of personnel (2). Spirituality in workplace includes a sense of integration, unify, continuation, and understanding grand values in work (3). In a more comprehensive definition, spirituality has been defined as efforts done to increase sensitivity to selves, others, surroundings, and God, who is in the center and beyond this complex. This definition encompasses concepts like meaningful work, interconnectedness, transcendence, and alignment between values. (4). Experts of spirituality in the work place mentioned integrity in the work place. Integrity of person’s individual, mental, and spiritual life connects him to his work and leads to satisfaction of mental needs. Changes in kinds and amounts of workers’ needs are also important (5).

Organizational commitment is among the most studied factors of organizations, which have been done because of leaders’ desire to employ and keep qualified and loyal workers (6). Meticulous and scientific recognition of organizational commitment and its dimensions, besides, measuring their relationship with other organizational factors are of great importance and can be a path way to management of selection, evaluation, education, and promotion of the staff (7). Porter et al., (2004) saw organizational commitment in acceptance of organizational values and involvement in organization. They consider motivation, willingness to work and acceptance of organizational values as the measures of organizational commitment (8).

Organizational commitment with 3 different dimensions were define by Porter et al., (2004) as having a strong belief in organizational goals and values, willingness to make any efforts for the organization, and willingness to be a member of the organization (8). Based on Mayer and Allen’s definition, it is a psychological connection between members with the organization and this connection would reduce the chance of abandonment (9). They have proposed 3 components for organizational commitment: emotional commitment, continuous commitment, and normative commitment.

Professional ethics is a set of moral principles in Islamic education with which we differentiate right and wrong (10). It is also about continuous hard work to improve quality of work. It is about believing that there is a kind of excellence in work (11). It is a part of culture, which includes beliefs and values related to the job (12). Researchers found that strong professional ethics have a positive relationship with efficiency, creativity, management, and professional and business practices (13). It is a combination of physical and mental abilities of the groups or individuals to extract the inner powers and potentials of the organization for development (14). Measures of organizational behavior are attachment to work, perseverance and hard work, healthy relationships at work, community spirit, and collaboration (15).

Rafiei et al., (2012) indicated that there is a significant relationship between spirituality in workplace of sport managers of Ghazvin province, Iran, and their organizational commitment. Furthermore, the results suggested that there is a significant relationship between all dimensions of spirituality in the work place (except for the intrapersonal relationship) and organizational commitment (16). Matlabi et al., (2012) in a case study, which has been done in Torbat-E-Heidarie Hospital of Social Security Organization, found that there is a significant relationship between spirituality in the workplace and all aspects of professional ethics (17). Hassani et al., (2015) in a study under the subject of “The Effects of Islamic Professional Ethics on Organizational Justice, Job Satisfaction, and Absence From Work” suggested that there is a positive relation between Islamic professional ethics with organizational justice and job satisfaction. This study confirmed the mediator effects of organizational justice regarding Islamic professional ethics, job satisfaction, and absence from work (18).

Abdullahi et al., (2015) in a research entitled “On the Relationship of Organizational Commitment and Spirituality in the Workplace with Ethical Behavior” stated that there is a positive significant relation between organizational commitment and spirituality in work place with staffs’ ethical behavior (19). Mirzaii Tavakoli and Shariatmadari (2015) proved that there is a significant relation between all dimensions of spirituality in the workplace, organizational commitment, and job satisfaction (20).

Zhu and Chen (2010) proposed that there are various ways to improve organizational commitment. They have suggested having a mission or ideology, charismatic mission, value based employment, emphasizing values and education, building traditions, securing organizational justice, receiving complains, choosing suitable managers, etc. can be mentioned as some of those ways (21).

Koulbert and Kowne (2010), having analyzed a sample of 118 employees, suggested that organizational commitment and its dimensions (emotional, continuous and normative commitment) have a negative significant relationship with the intention to leave the job (22). Hayati and Caniago (2012) studied staffs’ professional ethics and suggested that with reforming employment systems we would be able to employ people who are more willing to follow the rules and ethics in their social life (23).

Maybe the necessity of spirituality in some special people is questionable. However, as far as this issue is concerned, teachers have special status compare to other employees due to their special authority and presence in special places. Educational organization, in order to fulfill its worthy goals (i.e. educate people), needs to enjoy hardworking, compassionate, and committed teachers. Educational organization can claim that it has something to offer only when it enjoys human resources who are committed and attached to their job, organization, values and professional ethics. Hence, the importance of the present study lays in the fact that those managers, teachers, and employees of educational organization can benefit from the results of the present study to understand the current status of high school teachers’ spirituality, organizational commitment, and professional ethics. Also, they can move toward excellence of organizational goals, commitment, and ethics through strategic planning. In the present study, the researchers are trying to answer the following question: is there a relationship between spirituality in the workplace, organizational commitment, and professional ethics among all girl senior high school teachers in Neka City?

2. Objectives

To investigate the relationship between spirituality in the workplace, organizational commitment, and professional ethics among all girl senior high school teachers in Neka city-Iran.

3. Material and Methods

This is an applied research done using a descriptive-relational method. The population of the present study was 117 all girl senior high school teachers who were teaching during 2015 - 2016 school year. A sample of 90 teachers was chosen from the above mentioned population based on a stratified random sampling method and Krejcie and Morgan’s table. All teachers must be certified teachers of Education Organization and currently working at an all girls’ senior high school in Neka city, Iran. All of the participants were female teachers who were at the age range of 25 to 45 years old with more than 5 years of teaching experience in their resume.

To meet the ethical consideration of the research, each teacher has been met in person at school and asked to fill the questionnaire. A thorough explanation about the questionnaire and the process of the research has been given to the participants. Also, they were told that the process would be done unanimously to follow the ethical rules of research. All participants voluntarily consented to take part in the process of research then, they fill out the questionnaires. Next, the researchers did an inferential (Pearson correlation coefficient) statistical analysis using the SPSS 22 software package on obtained data.

In order to answer the research questions, 3 different questionnaires were used to gather the data. The first questionnaire, devised by Milliman et al., (2003), was related to spirituality in the workplace and consisted of 20 questions (24). The 2nd questionnaire, devised by Allen and Meyer (1990), was related to organizational commitment and consisted of 24 questions (25). This standard questionnaire encompasses 3 different components: emotional commitment, continuous commitment, and normative commitment. The 3rd questionnaire, devised by Patty (1990), was related to professional ethics and consisted of 23 questions (26). This standard questionnaire encompasses 4 different components: attachment to work, perseverance and hard work, healthy relationships at work, and community spirit and collaboration.

The reliability of the above mentioned questionnaires were analyzed in a pilot study, a sample of 30 teachers from the population was chosen and then they answered the questionnaires. The results were analyzed by the SPSS 22 software package using Cronbach’s alpha test. The results of this test showed that Cronbach's alpha coefficient amount for spirituality in workplace, organizational commitment, and professional ethics are 0.91, 0.86, and 0.96, respectively. Based on mentioned pilot study, it can be said that these questionnaires enjoy relative high levels of reliability. The results are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1. Cronbach’s Alpha Test Results for Pilot Study
ConstructsAlpha Correlation Coefficient
1. Spirituality in workplace0.91
2. Organizational commitment0.86
2.1. Emotional0.79
2.2. Continuous0.84
2.3. Normative0.80
3. Professional ethics0.96
3.1. Attachment to work0.98
3.2. Perseverance and hard work0.96
3.3. Healthy relationships at work0.93
3.4. Community spirit and collaboration0.94

4. Results

4.1. Relationship Between Teachers’ Spirituality in Workplace and Elements of Organizational Commitment

A Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient was computed to assess the relationship between the amount of spirituality in workplace and different elements of organizational commitment.

Table 2. Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Test Results Related to the First Hypothesis
NdfR2rsig
Spirituality in workplace - elements of organizational commitment90880.2670.5560.000
90880.2670.4310.000
90880.2670.3820.000

Calculated P values (P = 0.000) for emotional, continuous, and normative commitment suggest that there was a significant correlation between spirituality in the workplace - elements of organizational commitment (r = 0.556, 0.482, 0.328 n = 90, P = 0.000) (Table 2). Consequently, the first hypothesis would be confirmed. The results are illustrated thoroughly in Table 2.

4.2. Relationship Between Teachers’ Spirituality in Workplace and Elements of Professional Ethics

Based on the results of a Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, which is shown in Table 3, we can suggest that there was a significant correlation between spirituality in the workplace - elements of professional ethics, which are attachment to work, perseverance and hard work, healthy relationships at work, as well as community spirit and collaboration, respectively (r = 0.570, 0.375, 0.318, 0.356, n = 90, P = 0.000) (Table 3). Accordingly, the 2nd hypothesis would be confirmed.

Table 3. Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Test Results Related to the Second Hypothesis
NdfR2rsig
Spirituality in workplace - elements of professional ethics90880.2670.5700.000
90880.2670.3750.000
90880.2670.3180.002
90880.2670.3560.000

4.3. Relationship Between Teachers’ Spirituality in Workplace, Organizational Commitment and Professional Ethics

As it is shown in the following table, there was a significant correlation between spirituality in the workplace, organizational commitment, and professional ethics (r = 0.466, 0.449, n = 90, P = 0.000) (Table 4). Consequently, the main hypothesis would be confirmed.

Table 4. Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Test Results Related to the Main Hypothesis
NdfR2rsig
Spirituality in workplace - organizational commitment and professional ethics90880.2670.4660.000
90880.2670.4490.000

5. Discussion

The first hypothesis indicated that there is a significant relationship between spirituality in the workplace and organizational commitment of the teachers. Furthermore, considering the fact that correlation coefficient is positive, we can conclude that the more growth in each element of emotional, continuous, and normative commitment would cause a growth in spirituality in the workplace among teachers and vice versa. The finding of the current research is in line with several studies (16, 19, 20) such as Rafie et al., (2012), Abdollahi et al., (2015), and Tavakolli and Shariatmadari (2015). Spirituality let the staff show a wide range of positive conducts like creativity, honesty, power, morality, trust, and flexibility. Also, it causes an increase in efficacy levels through decreasing erosive work and improving persistence. Emotional commitment is the personal relationship and interest of workers to the organization and it seems that staffs’ social relationships between themselves and the organization is based on some of the common ethical values. Integrity between work life and spiritual life of the workers make them more committed to their jobs. With the advent of ethical and personal crises all over the world, spirituality has been emphasized more and more (19, 20, 27, 28). Considering that continuous commitment entails possible costs of job abandonment and coercion to stay, decreasing job opportunity out of organization and increasing staffs’ capitals inside the organization would decline their chance of leaving their jobs. Spirituality in the workplace is experienced by workers who are passionate and energetic at work, their job satisfy them, they have found meaning and goal in their job, and they have an effective relation with other colleagues (16, 19, 20, 22). If the staff believed in being faithful to the organization and considered continuous working for the organization as their duty, they would be more willing to work better and more efficiently. In fact, normative commitment is the person’s beliefs about his or her responsibility regarding the organization, therefore, those that are normatively committed feel they should stay with the organization.

The 2nd hypothesis revealed that there is a significant relationship between spirituality in the workplace and elements of professional ethics among teachers, which is in tune with the findings of some studies (17, 18, 23) such as Matlabi et al., (2012), Hassani et al., (2014), and Gregory et al., (2013). Considering the fact that correlation coefficient is positive, we can conclude that the more growth in each element of attachment to work, perseverance and hard work, healthy relationships at work, as well as community spirit and collaboration would cause a growth in spirituality in the work place among teachers and vice versa. Spirituality in the workplace can be a powerful force for the employees lives, as people would be able to combine their working life and spiritual life together and have a more enjoyable, meaningful, and balanced job. Existence of spirituality in the workplace is inevitable as it leads to loyalty and interest towards the organization (17, 18, 29). Since the main goal of education organization is to prepare the next generation for life, it would also work to prepare the next generation of educated work force. To reach this aim, a plethora of factors are effective, among which the role of teachers is of crucial importance and sensitivity. Due to this, paying attention to teachers’ interests and attachment is highly important. Those teachers who feel the meaning in their jobs believe that people are interrelated, they are also connected to the others at work, and they are in congruence with organizational goals.

The main hypothesis revealed that there is a significant relationship between spirituality in the workplace with organizational commitment and professional ethics among teachers. Findings of the present study are in line with Matlabi et al., (2012), Hassani et al., (2014), Gregory et al., (2013), Rafie et al., (2012), and the finds of Abdollahi et al., (2014) (16-19, 23). With an eye to the fact that correlation coefficient is positive, we can conclude that the more growth in each element of organizational commitment and professional ethics would cause a growth in spirituality in the workplace among teachers and vice versa.

Conservativeness of participants, low levels of their awareness and knowledge about the subject area, as well as a short time span of the study could be mentioned among the limitations of the current study. It is suggested that more qualitative and longitudinal studies (i.e. ethnography researches, case studies, interviews, etc) should be done in this field to unravel the hidden aspects of spirituality on organizational behaviors. There are still so many questions to be answered in this field, such as: What would be the effects of spirituality in other organizations with different structures than that of an educational organization, as well as what is the relationship of spirituality and other organizational variables like empowerment or knowledge management?

To put it in a nutshell, human resources, as the most important capital of an organization in today world and can cause competitive advantage. Organizations can make the sense of meaning, goal, and challenge in work through creating spirituality in the work place and non-financial tools like tact and policy. They would pave the way for the organizations’ development and growth. Furthermore, spirituality in the workplace would the sense that workers are a part of the organization and they should support it. Moreover, they would feel that they are mixed with organizational goals and missions, and would show creativity as well as be initiative of ways to reach organizational goals. Spirituality would spread a sense of trust in the workplace, in that colleagues would have a positive communication and contribution together.

Acknowledgements

Footnotes

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