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Publicly Available Published by De Gruyter October 10, 2022

Exploring aspects of New Work: Spirituality at Work in agile organizations

Der Beitrag von Spiritualität zur New Work Debatte: Spiritualität am Arbeitsplatz in Agilen Organisationen
  • Tobias Moll EMAIL logo
From the journal Spiritual Care


The topic spirituality at work is becoming increasingly important in the scientific management research, while various concepts of and approaches to new work are attracting more and more attention regarding for instance the trend toward a knowledge society, digitalization, increasingly intense competition, and uncertain market and working environments, or aspects of demographic changes especially in corporate practice. These two discussion strands currently run separately; I seek to connect them. I outline the contributions and impacts of the scientific discussion about spirituality at work for the challenges discussed in corporate practice conversation on new work regarding rapid innovation, agility, and continual change, employee retention, and meaning and purpose on the example of the healthcare industry, particularly nursing.

Based on initial results on German employer and employee perspectives on spirituality at work, I show that spirituality at work can positively contribute to employees dealing with uncertainty and persistent change in agile work settings, promote employee creativity, and employee retention and employer attractiveness, especially among younger members of Generation Y. Thus, spirituality at work is a resource for both employees and employers. Finally, I discuss spirituality at works’ double-edged sword character and its suitability for HRM in broadly secularized Germany.


Das Thema Spiritualität am Arbeitsplatz gewinnt in der wissenschaftlichen Managementforschung zunehmend an Bedeutung, während gleichzeitig verschiedene Konzepte und Ansätze um New Work immer mehr Aufmerksamkeit, insbesondere in der betrieblichen Praxis, auf sich ziehen, etwa mit Blick auf den Trend zur Wissensgesellschaft, die Digitalisierung, die zunehmende Wettbewerbsintensität und unsichere Markt- und Arbeitsumgebungen oder Aspekte des demografischen Wandels. Diese beiden bisher getrennten Diskussionsstränge werden in diesem Artikel verbunden. Am Beispiel der Gesundheitsbranche, insbesondere der Pflege, wird der Beitrag von Spiritualität am Arbeitsplatz in Bezug auf verkürzte Innovationzyklen, Agilität und beständigen Wandel, Mitarbeiterbindung und Sinnerleben erläutert.

Ausgehend von Ergebnissen zur Einstellung von deutschen Arbeitgebern und Arbeitnehmern zu Spiritualität am Arbeitsplatz diskutiere ich die Eignung des Konzepts Spiritualität am Arbeitsplatz für das Personalmanagement im Kontext zunehmenden Wettbewerbsdrucks und von Unsicherheit im weitgehend säkularisierten Deutschland und erläutere einen möglichen positiven Beitrag zum Umgang von Arbeitnehmenden mit agilen Arbeitsumgebungen, Ungewissheit und beständigem Wandel, sowie zur Kreativitätsförderung, Mitarbeiterbindung und Arbeitgeberattraktivität insbesondere bei jüngeren Arbeitnehmenden der Generation Y.

1 Introduction

The topic spirituality at work is gaining more importance in the management research, especially in the Anglo-American region and in Asia. While this topic is also increasingly gaining attention in Germany, it has to date drawn little attention in corporate practice. The peculiarity here is that while the topic is becoming increasingly important in the international management research, the construct is largely unknown in German corporate practice by the term spirituality at work, although I can find strong overlaps between spirituality at work and discussions about new work. While in recent years, new work has been strongly discussed and has been highly relevant in corporate practice in Germany, there are many different conceptualizations of new work currently in German management practice (Schnell & Schnell 2019; Hackl et al. 2017; Schermuly 2021; Väth 2016) regarding for instance the trend toward a knowledge society, digitalization, increasingly intense competition, and uncertain market and working environments, or aspects of demographic changes (Schermuly 2021). Although new work is a somewhat vague term that refers to a range of different and mainly scientifically known trends and issues (Georgi 2021), this does not detract from its high relevance for management practice. However, as heterogenous as they are, what all new work concepts have in common is their reference to Bergmann’s idea of new work. Schnell and Schnell (2019) summarized his notion, stating (1) that work can basically give life (quality) and at the same time take away life (quality) from employees and (2) that employees need meaning in their work in order to develop a desire for work.

I seek to show the links between spirituality at work and new work by connecting the academic discussion strands around spirituality at work and the practice-oriented discussion strands around new work, which to date have hardly been connected, but have several aspects in common. This implies that research on spirituality at work may already have found a number of answers to questions being discussed in the context of new work. Thus, I explore how spirituality at work can help solve problems raised in the new work discussion.

I first present Bergmann’s notion of new work (Bergmann 1979), with some additions, and then the concept of spirituality at work. I show the spirituality at work research’s relevance for new work discussions by highlighting the connections and overlaps between the two discussions, especially the overlaps between spirituality at work and the third pillar of Bergmann’s notion of new work. I then present and summarize findings on spirituality at works’ effects as well as employer and employee perspectives in corporate practice concerning new work issues. Finally, I discuss what spirituality at work can contribute to new work discussions in corporate practice and address the downsides of spirituality at work.

2 The New Work Concept and Spirituality at Work

In the years since 1976, the Austrian-American philosopher Frithjof Bergmann developed the idea of new work, which is currently widely discussed from different perspectives (Schnell & Schnell 2019; Bergmann 2019). Although in recent years this concept has been extended and widened and has evolved considerably toward practical applications in enterprises (Schnell & Schnell 2019), I will first reflect on Bergmann’s basic idea (Bergmann 1979). While Bergmann has not specifically defined new work, he has called for a stronger focus on employees’ individual wishes and needs. He states that “the new work […] is complex, surprising and difficult to grasp” (Bergmann 2004: 331), and that it is about what “you really, really want” (Bergmann 2019: 99 ff.). He suggests that the work persons performs in their life should have three equal parts or pillars: gainful employment, self-sufficiency work, and work to which the employee feels called (Bergmann 1979). The latter third is work that results in or is characterized by coherence with their values, hopes, wishes, dreams, and calling (Bergmann 1979). While Bergmann conceptualized these three pillars of work as separated, current discussions about new work in corporate practice assume that employers can enrich classical gainful employment through aspects of Bergmann’s third pillar (Schnell & Schnell 2019; Schermuly 2021), i. e. values (coherence), wellbeing, and others. However, this is a not trivial step. While I substantively refer to the aspects mentioned by Bergmann, I do not follow his line of argument that gainful employment and the third pillar are separate. This implies that, among others, I explicitly integrate meaning and calling into gainful employment. While on the one hand this can improve a work situation, it can on the other hand promote (self-)exploitation (Bunderson & Thompson 2009) in a world of working characterized by its pressure to perform, hierarchies, and dependencies. I will reflect on this downside in more detail later; I will first draw the connection to spirituality at work.

The spirituality at work concept involves key aspects of Bergmann’s third pillar. While there is currently still a broad and ongoing discussion about the exact definition of spirituality at work (Miller & Ewest 2015; Houghton et al. 2016; Maidl et al. 2022), the term typically encompasses at least three key aspects: (1) nurturing the inner self, (2) connectedness in community, and transcendence as well as (3) the search for and feeling of meaning and purpose (Houghton et al. 2016). While these key aspects draw the broad lines of the construct, it remains vague. I therefore proceed with Alewell and Moll’s (2018, 2019) more specific and illustrative definition of spirituality. They base their concept of spirituality on the individual level, which refers to the inner, spiritual life of individuals but also to their connections to others, to the community and to the transcendent and sacred. Their term also encompasses the inner and mental attitudes and abilities that make spiritual experience possible. They state that spiritual experience and living out spirituality is typically characterized by the search for meaning and purpose, for connection with the community and with what lies beyond the individual, with the whole and the transcendent as well as with specific ethical-normative values and moral concepts – all of which can be reflected in lifestyle and behaviors (Alewell & Moll 2018, 2019; Moll 2020). Spirituality can but does not have to build on religions and traditional religious practices; if it does, Alewell and Moll term spirituality as religiosity (Alewell & Moll 2019; Moll 2020).

Thus, I can understand spirituality at work as being about an integration of the spiritual sphere and the professional sphere of human life, which manifests for instance in the vocation or an activity. Vocation is based on the search for meaning and purpose in the spiritual sphere, while the de facto activities carried out as a work activity and the context in which the search and the experience take place are derived from the sphere of professional and work life.

The third pillar of Bergmann’s new work (Bergmann 1979) addresses such aspects, for instance, it may encompass activities to which an individual feels called, which helps to find and advance one’s agenda, one’s contributions to the greater good and to live out this process of searching and contributing through one’s work to the greater good, community, and/or even transcendence.

3 New Work and Spirituality at Work in an agile work environment

In this section, after introducing both new work and spirituality at work and showing the general overlaps and connections between them, I will go into some detail. First I point out and describe some of the central contemporary challenges in HRM, which (1) stand out in the discussion about new work in corporate practice, as mentioned by Schermuly (2021) and Schnell and Schnell (2019) in the introduction, and (2) are especially topical for healthcare, particularly nursing. In step 2, I will show what approaches and contributions research into spirituality at work may offer for these challenges.

3.1 Current challenges

Rapid innovation, agility, and continual change

In the corporate world, we are seeing increasingly fast innovation cycles. Thus, it is often necessary for companies to be increasingly innovative, faster, and more flexible in order to compete (Lawrence & Chonko 2005; Plonka 1997). However, this places higher demands on employees concerning their flexibility, capability to change and resilience. Also frequent reorganization and continual change processes in organizations, which go hand in hand with agile working concepts, can leave staff increasingly demoralized and insecure (Alewell & Moll 2019; Neal 2013). These aspects are very topical for the healthcare sector, which is under increasing pressure from intensified competition and, at the same time, rising cost pressure (Auth 2012). For these and other reasons, the sector is under increasing pressure to transform, but demands on nursing and above all the professional demands on nursing staff are increasing (Schaeffer 2011). Accordingly, the industry must address the issue of identifying ways to enable employees to cope with increasing change and the need to adapt.

Employer attractiveness and employee retention

We are currently experiencing an increasing shortage of skilled workers in Germany and a growing war for talent, even between industries, which – given the current demographic development – could continue for some time (Deissinger & Breuing 2014). In the healthcare sector, there is a massive and persistent shortage of skilled workers (Rossow & Leiber 2017). Further, especially in nursing, not only physiological demands but also illness and death are frequent and particularly psychological challenging situations. This combination of high workloads and low availability of labor leads to acute pressures to act at the organizational and employee levels in the area of employee retention and in the area of strengthening employees in situations of high pressure, increased workload and stress. Also, employers need to establish concepts and find ways to retain employees and to become more attractive to new employees, which is another topical aspect of practical discussions on new work (Schermuly 2021; Schnell & Schnell 2019).

Meaning and purpose

There are indications that meaning and purpose at work are gaining importance, as members of Generation Y, the next dominant generation in the workforce, are demanding meaning and purpose in their employment and their specific work tasks much more frequently (DGFP 2011; Welk 2015). Thus, they increasingly strive to combine what Bergmann conceptualized as separate pillars – gainful employment and a meaningful activity or vocation. Members of this generation also strives for a higher congruence between their personal and the corporate values of the company they work for – another core aspect of Bergmann’s third pillar. In healthcare, there is an urgent need to attract young employees to the profession owing to a labor shortage, high physiological demands, and demographic changes. It is therefore important to address the meaning aspect – especially since the occupation already has a high inherent meaning and is particularly suitable.

3.2 Spirituality at work’s contributions to current challenges

Based on the previous research, I will now provide an overview over how and where spirituality at work can help address the aforementioned challenges.

Rapid innovation, agility, and continual change

Spirituality may be one possible way of dealing with the psychological demands that result from rapid innovation, agility and continual change, particularly with the challenges of uncertainty and competition (Alewell & Moll 2019; Neal 2013; Paul et al. 2020): For instance, a strong, stable community that also considers itself to be a reliable unit (in the sense of a spiritual connection and solidarity) can provide support and confidence in an agile world of work that is experiencing high change. Uncertainty often arises from a situation in which the right decision or path is not obvious, or it is unclear which criteria should be used in the taking of decisions. Clear values, norm orientation and ethics provided by traditional spirituality or even the relationship with the transcendent can provide this missing orientation necessary for crucial decisions and can stimulate the inner compass in an uncertain, changing world.

However, while agility, continual change and insecurity also counteract the full development of such positive effects of spirituality at work, spirituality at work can nonetheless reduce these external driving forces for employees, especially in such situations. Huppenbauer (2008) for instance showed spirituality’s contributions in situations of uncertainty and Unverfügbarkeit [unavailability, uncontrollability](Müller & Berthold 2022), while Surzykiewicz (2021) highlighted spirituality’s potentials in coaching concepts for managers who are particularly affected by agility and insecurity.

With increasing competition, it is becoming ever more important for companies to find creative new answers to existing problems if they are to beat competitors. Creativity is an inner, mental and cognitive ability (Alewell & Moll 2019), while spirituality can be an inner resource (Fry & Solcum 2008). When inner resources feed inner abilities, spirituality can promote creativity – a key ability if one is to compete. An example of such a spiritual practice that promotes creativity is meditation (Alewell & Moll 2019). Accordingly, many authors have theoretically predicted and found empirically positive effects of spirituality at work on creativity (Alewell & Moll 2019; Krishnakumar & Neck 2002; Daniel 2010; Mitroff & Denton 1999; Gupta et al. 2014; Kudesia 2017; Neal 2013; Zysberg & Schenk 2013). This increased creativity can then lead to higher innovativeness and thus higher productivity and better competitive performance (Duchon & Plowman 2005; Faro Albuquerque et al. 2014).

Employer attractiveness and employee retention

Spirituality at work could increase job satisfaction and wellbeing (Alewell & Moll 2019; Alewell et al. 2022; Houghton et al. 2016; Fry 2003; Karakas 2010) as central aspects of employer attractiveness and employee retention. Job satisfaction and wellbeing may increase as employees can satisfy their spiritual and religious needs in the workplace or experience spirituality as an inner mental resource (Alewell & Moll 2021a; Alewell et al. 2021a) if spirituality is no longer excluded from organizations.

Spirituality can act as an inner mental resource for people, having a stabilizing effect that can increase employees’ resilience and resistance to stress (Alewell & Moll 2021a; Arslan & Yıldırım 2021). If spirituality is such an inner resource and has this positive psychological coping effect, spirituality at work could be a way to keep employees healthy in the long term, especially in professions that are particularly psychologically stressful owing to frequent dealings with illness and death (Rogers & Wattis 2015). This is crucial if you want to retain employees in the long run.

As the binding powers of family, church and neighborhood are diminishing, work organizations are increasingly becoming the primary place for experiencing connectedness and community, and thus became a place where employees may request spiritual search more strongly (Alewell & Moll 2019). Considering this demand, an organization can notably strengthen its binding power and organizational commitment through opening itself to spirituality. Empirical studies show that spirituality at work has positive effects on employees’ commitment, absence owing to sickness and turnover propensity (Alewell & Moll 2019; Garg 2017; Crawford et al. 2009; Pawar 2009; Milliman et al. 2003) – all-important aspects of employee retention.

Meaning and purpose

With its strong sense and meaning component, spirituality at work can form part of the answer to these new needs of Germany’s Generation Y, which companies must find if they are to attract these employees (Alewell & Moll 2019). Experiencing spirituality, transcendence and connectedness, as well as the ongoing search for meaning and purpose, can lead to a stronger focus on the big picture. With this big picture in mind, it may be easier for employees to see, recognize and feel their work and daily tasks more strongly as contributions to society, community and the planet or even as service to God. In turn, this can lead to being happier and more motivated at work and, finally, to satisfaction of the need for a search for meaning, purpose, or calling, which is particularly prominent in generation Y employees’ needs.

Concrete HR instruments to realize these points may be installing interreligious rooms of silence/prayer, a workplace chaplain, spiritual and mindfulness training, yoga or spiritual coaching, training in spiritual care, charismatic leadership based on meaning and vision, the integration of spiritual and ethical aspects and community orientation in the organization’s culture, interreligious festivities, flexible time arrangements for employees’ spiritual needs and food in canteens and others that conform to religious prescripts.

4 German employee and employer perspectives on Spirituality at Work

After showing how and that spirituality at work and the research into it can potentially inspire the new work discourse on contemporary challenges in the working sphere, I will now focus on Germany. While the spirituality at work topic is more common in Anglo-Saxon and Asian countries, it is not yet known well in Germany at all (Alewell & Moll 2021a). I will provide a general overview over the situation concerning spirituality at work in Germany and will examine the employer and employee perspectives on spirituality at work, to examine whether it is in fact a suitable topic for German enterprises, given Germany’s high secularization rate compared to for instance the U.S. (Smith 2013).

The employer perspective is critical, since new concepts will normally only play a key role in corporate discussions if employers and HRM are convinced of their benefits. Currently, there are very few scientific results concerning spirituality at work and particularly on employer perspectives in Germany (Alewell & Moll 2018, 2019).

Based on a small-scale study, Alewell and Moll (2021a) provided first insights into the roles, applications, goals and HR implementations of spirituality at work. Employers take different perspectives on religious and nonreligious spirituality. For instance, Alewell and Moll (2021a) found fairly skeptical perspectives on religious spirituality (faith-avoidant or faith-safe), yet a basically positive view of nonreligious spirituality. Reasons for the differences in employer perspectives are predominantly fear of tension or discrimination if a person’s religiosity becomes visible. For nonreligious spirituality, employers don’t regard this point as critical. Alewell and Moll (2021a) showed that companies are nonetheless already adopting and implementing many different HRM instruments and tools with different expectations and perceptions (Alewell & Moll 2021b) in their HR policies, under three perspectives (the employee capability, employee needs and workforce diversity perspectives) and under the four employer attitudes identified by Miller and Ewest (2015) (between faith-avoiding and faith-based) (Alewell & Moll 2021a). Some companies address the needs perspective, for instance through space-related instruments (e. g. workplace and work environment design, prayer rooms/rooms of silence), working time-related instruments (e. g. breaks or vacation arrangements), catering-related offers and instruments (e. g. in canteens, at celebrations) and instruments that facilitate coordination and cooperation in multi-religious settings (Alewell & Moll 2021a).

Another study showed employees’ perspectives on living out spirituality at work (Alewell & Moll 2021c) and employer perspectives (Alewell et al. 2021b). Alewell and Moll examined the relationship between individual spirituality and the expression of religious spirituality at work, considering personal and organizational characteristics. Here, they examined whether employees actually wish to express and include spirituality in the work sphere. They found that, privately, spiritual employees wish to include spirituality in the work sphere, yet they asserted that targeted HR offerings that give employees as much freedom as possible to take decisions about their own spirituality in the work context are highly relevant for the acceptance and successful implementation of concepts of spirituality at work (Alewell & Moll 2021c).

While employers generally have a more cautious view of spirituality at work, evidenced by fears of tension and discrimination, and I have a reasoned recommendation to give employees extensive freedom regarding the roles of their spirituality at work, I nonetheless found a certain openness and acceptance among both, employees and employers, on this topic, especially for nonreligious spirituality.

5 Discussion

I have shown clear links between the academic discussion about spirituality at work and the discussion about new work in corporate practice. I have shown that spirituality at work can enrich issues that are dealt within the framework of new work discussions in corporate practice. In particular, I was able to point out possible contributions from spirituality at work research for the discussions about new work in the areas of current corporate challenges rapid innovation, agility and continual change, employer attractiveness and employee retention and meaning and purpose. I showed the at least somewhat positive employer and employee perspectives in secularized Germany toward a stronger integration of spirituality in the workplace. Thus, the spirituality at work discussion can contribute to the new work discussions in corporate practice in Germany, since core aspects as well as core challenges of the new work discussion (Schnell & Schnell 2019; Schermuly 2021) are addressed and since both, employers and employees, are at least somewhat open to this new field.

However, the lines of connection between spirituality at work and new work described in Section 2 build to a substantial extent on meaning in spirituality at work. While meaning at work – also in the context of uncertainty and changing environmental factors – has already largely been addressed in the research (e. g. Bloom et al. 2021; Jiang 2021; Maidl et al. 2022), the treatment of spirituality at work in the context of new work extends beyond this, since spirituality at work is a construct from which employees can derive meaning and purpose. Spirituality at work goes beyond the mere consideration of meaning at work through aspects of community and transcendence, into ethical-normative elements. Thus, spirituality at work can contribute new aspects to the new work debate.

In the future, ideas, concepts and aspects discussed under spirituality at work, with their effects on and answers to questions of a modern, agile working world characterized by uncertainty and unsteadiness should enter and influence the practical corporate discussion about new work more.

However, we must not disregard the fact that organizations may use spirituality at work instrumentally, in the sense of Marx, to enhance performance (Case & Gosling 2010) or may further reinforce power structures within the organization (Bell & Taylor 2003; Tourish & Tourish 2010). In this sense, spirituality is a double-edged sword (Chaston & Lips-Wiersma 2015) – it meets employees’ inner and spiritual needs, but may also be used for the purpose of profit by exploiting their spiritual resources (Alewell & Moll 2019; Neal 2013). Organizations and employee representation should therefore consider and balance the two sides. Thus, there is a need to consistently involve employee representatives, who are likely to be fairly strong especially in a situation of a shortage of skilled workers. This participation is highly relevant for the successful implementation of spirituality at work, to involve employees rather than impose spirituality on all employees as a one-size-fits-all HR measure. It is important to always design an implementation in close coordination with employees and employee representatives on a voluntary basis in order to avoid discrimination, the violation of privacy and the invasion of personal liberties. This is the key to successful and moral implementation. In principle, there is always a danger that religion or spirituality will provide a starting point for discrimination or exclusion if it surfaces as a personal characteristic (Alewell & Rastetter 2019). In the context of religious spirituality in particular, this may result in negative effects (Lips-Wiersma et al. 2009), which counteract the possible positive effects. Chaston and Lips-Wiersma (2015), Bell & Taylor (2003), as well as Tourish & Tourish (2010) argued how an imposed and purposeful use of spirituality in HRM, especially in highly hierarchical organizations, may restricts workers’ freedoms to the point of possible indoctrination, which in the worst case can lead to social, mental and economic isolation. Further, organizations may use spirituality for reasons that don’t align with new work, but primarily as an instrument to increase performance and profit, thereby exploiting what may be employees’ most private resource (Case & Gosling 2010). For these reasons, participatory design and a voluntary offering design concerning employees is necessary for a moral and ethical implementation. Thus, spirituality at work is an HR topic that is always present in the tension between the moral and human appreciation of employees and the instrumental exploitation of employees.

However, even if spirituality at work is in the interest of both, employers and employees, and a good balance between benefits and risks has been achieved, there is another question to discuss. While younger members of Generation Y in Germany in particular have been found to have a stronger need for meaning in and at work (DGFP 2011; Welk 2015), there is also a trend toward increased secularization and toward increased individualization of religiosity in Europe and especially in Germany (Pickel & Sammet 2011; Pickel 2011; Davie 2008). Thus, the question arises whether spirituality at work is the right and proper instrument for the times and settings.

First, increasing secularization and increasing individualization of spirituality can but does not have to undermine the positive effects shown. Increased individualization goes hand in hand with a move away from traditional institutions of religious spirituality such as churches and religious establishments (Pickel 2011; Pollack & Pickel 2007). However, this shift may also lead to people more often living out their spiritual needs in new and different places in a more individualized way in the future. The workplace may increasingly become such a place. This may even promote the consideration of spirituality at work in new work discussions.

Second, secularization, and thus the turning away from the traditional (external) loci of religious spirituality is also accompanied by an increasing market orientation of religion, which is discussed under the title of the market model in the sociology of religion (Pickel 2011). According to this model, while churches’ binding power is declining, a broader range of other, more individual, or even Far-Eastern spirituality may counter this to a certain extent (Pollack & Pickel 2007). From this broad spiritual offering, individuals can then select the offering or bundle of offerings that suits best their spiritual inclination (Pollack & Pickel 2007). According to this model, secularization leads to a turning away from traditional providers of spirituality, while people’s need for and interest in spirituality does not necessarily decrease, but is at least partly served from other sources. In this case, spirituality at work remains important and the workplace may even become a contemporary community for employees’ spirituality. However, in extreme cases, this may hold the danger of drifting into cultist conditions (Tourish & Tourish 2010). Again, spirituality is a double-edged sword; one should aim for balance (Chaston & Wiersma 2015).

Third, according to Alewell and Moll (2021a), many of the employers interviewed in their exploratory interview study used HRM policies and tools that focus on nonreligious spirituality anyway (Alewell & Moll 2021a). The secularization argument and the rejection of institutional religious spirituality hardly apply to these HRM measures.

6 Conclusion

I was able to show that spirituality at work can positively contribute to employees dealing with uncertainty and continual change in agile work settings, promote employee creativity, employee retention and employer attractiveness, especially among younger members of Generation Y. Thus, spirituality at work is a resource for both, employees and employers (Alewell & Moll, 2021a). Spirituality at work is therefore a topic to consider in management research in Germany, as well as in both research and corporate practice concerning new work.

Owing to the high pressure to transform the high physiological and psychological demands on employees, demographic changes and labor shortages, spirituality at work is particularly relevant for the healthcare sector, especially for nursing. Although the topic of spirituality as a resource for people is not new here – but to date primarily in relation to patients (Frick et al. 2021; Taverna et al. 2019) – we should shed more light on how to better integrate this resource in organizations HRM offers, to expand spirituality at work’s potential contributions in agile organizations.

  1. Research funding: None declared.

  2. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.

  3. Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.

  4. Informed consent: Informed consent was obtained from all individuals included in this study.

  5. Ethical approval: The research relating to human use complied with all the relevant national regulations, institutional policies, is in accordance the tenets of the Helsinki Declaration, and has been approved by the authors’ institutional review board or equivalent committee.


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Published Online: 2022-10-10
Published in Print: 2022-10-06

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