The effects of spiritual expression at work during the COVID-19 crisis: evidence from a private hospital

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    Purpose: This paper aims to explain the effects of spirituality at work on organizational commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic. In detail, it investigates whether the active part of spirituality at work, called spiritual expression, has a positive influence on organizational commitment in a hierarchically organized private hospital. In addition, it explores whether the sense of belonging at work mediates spiritual expressions and a person’s commitment toward the employer during times of severe crisis. Design/methodology/approach: This study tests the hypotheses on a range of health-care personnel, including doctors, nurses, physicians, administrators, managers and cleaning staff. This study draws on quantitative data of more than one third of the employees of that private Austrian hospital (n = 96) and on insights from 12 qualitative interviews conducted over a period of four months during spring 2021. Findings: This study finds strong evidence that spiritual expression at work is directly related to belonging and indirectly related to organizational commitment through belonging. This study extracts eight concurrent themes impacting the effectiveness of spirituality at work in the hospital. Originality/value: This study provides insights on how to facilitate spiritual expression at work to increase flexibility and resilience in the health-care sector. All in all, spirituality at work is better understood as a “multi-authored” process, in which all participants, including the patients, co-create its meaning and implications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)155-172
    Number of pages18
    JournalInternational Journal of Organizational Analysis
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


    • Belonging
    • COVID-19
    • Crisis
    • Hospital management
    • Organizational commitment
    • Spirituality at work


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