Ahmet Göçen, Habib Özğan


This study examined metaphors teachers provided about what their concepts of spirituality were. It also examined teachers’ opinions regarding workplace spirituality definitions, along with the qualities a spiritual organization requires. Based on the qualitative research method, the research was structured according to a phenomenological design. The sample studied was composed of two groups of teachers (N=40) from another study conducted on the schools’ spiritual development program during the 2016-2017 academic year in Şanlıurfa, Turkey. The teachers from both groups volunteered to participate in different parts of this study and answered written questions about their personal metaphors to explain their concept of spirituality and what they think about the place of spirituality in schools, in light of their interpretations and definitions of workplace spirituality and spiritual qualities. While the first part of the study produced 18 different metaphors such as “water, knowing the self, energy, sea, space, math, oxygen, students, nucleus”, the second part included 30 different opinions about workplace spirituality on both a personal and a group level. The results show that the participants consider workplace spirituality as an important issue for self-identity, organizational identity, and growth.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



workplace spirituality, metaphors, schools, teachers


Abdullah, A. G. K., Ismail, A., & Mydin, A. (2013). The Moderating Effects of School Principals’ Leadership Practices on the Workplace Spirituality and Leadership Effectiveness Relationship. International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education (IJCDSE), 4(4), p.1318-1323

Ambrose, R. (2005), Relational Spirituality and the Lived Experiences of Classroom Community, Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 2(2), 93-96, DOI: 10.1080/15505170.2005.10411554

Ashmos, D. P., & Duchon, D. (2000). Spirituality at Work: A Conceptualization and Measure. Journal of Management Inquiry, 9(2), 134-145. doi:10.1177/105649260092008

Barsh, R. (2015). Exploring the relationship between teacher spirituality and teacher self-efficacy (Order No. 10014508). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1767771569). Retrieved from

Bell, E., & Taylor, S. (2003). The elevation of work: Pastoral power and the new age work ethic. Organization, 10(2), 329-349. doi:10.1177/1350508403010002009

Cavanagh, G. F. (1999). Spirituality for managers: Context and critique. Journal of organizational change management, 12(3), 186-199. doi: 10.1108/09534819910273793

Chittenden, A. H. (2003). Spirituality: a foundation for educational development in schools. Curriculum & Leadership Journal. Available at,4650.html?issueID=9691.

Dent, E. B., Higgins, M. E., & Wharff, D. M. (2005). Spirituality and leadership: An empirical review of definitions, distinctions, and embedded assumptions. The Leadership Quarterly, 16(5), 625-653.

Fagley, N. S., & Adler, M. G. (2012). Appreciation: A spiritual path to finding value and meaning in the workplace. Journal of management, spirituality & religion, 9(2), 167-187.

Fry, L. W. (2003). Toward a theory of spiritual leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 14, 693–727.

Gautam, D., & Jhajharia, P. (2016). The Effect of Workplace Spirituality on Employee's Self-Empowerment. International Journal of Human Resource Management and Research (IJHRMR), 6 (3). p. 13-20, Available at SSRN:

Giacalone, R.A. and Jurkiewicz, C.L. (Eds) (2003). Handbook of Workplace Spirituality and Organizational Performance, M.E. Sharpe, New York, NY.

Göçen, A. (2017). An Experimental Implementation to Develop Workplace Spirituality in Educational Organizations (Unpublished PhD thesis). Gaziantep University Educational Sciences, Gaziantep, Turkey

Goertzen, B.J., Barbuto, J.E. (2001). Individual spirituality: A review of the literature. Submitted to Human Relations. Paper presented at annual Institute for Behavioral and Applied Management

Groß, C. (2010). Spiritual Cleansing: A Case Study on how Spirituality Can Be Mis/used by a Company. Management Revue, 21(1), 60-81. Retrieved from

Hill. P. C., Jurkiewicz, C. L.. Giacalone. R. A.. & Fry, L. W. (2013). From concept to Science: Continuing steps in workplace spirituality research. In R. F. Paloutzian & C. L. Park (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality (pp. 617-631). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Kabat‐Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness‐based interventions in context: past, present, and future. Clinical psychology: Science and practice, 10(2), 144-156.

Kahn, W. A. (1990). Psychological conditions of personal engagement and disengagement at work. Academy of Management Journal, 33(4), 692-724.

Kernochan, R. A., McCormick, D. W., & White, J. A. (2007). Spirituality and the management teacher: Reflections of three buddhists on compassion, mindfulness, and selflessness in the classroom. Journal of Management Inquiry, 16(1), 61-75. Retrieved from

Kinjerski, V. M., & Skrypnek, B. J. (2004). Defining spirit at work: Finding common ground. Journal of organizational change management, 17(1), 26-42.

Klerk-Luttig, J. D. (2008). Spirituality in the workplace: a reality for South African teachers?. South African Journal of Education, 28(4), 505-517.

Korac-Kakabadse, N., Kouzmin, A., & Kakabadse, A. (2002). Spirituality and leadership praxis. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 17(3), 165 – 182

Marques, J., Dhiman, S., and King, R. (2007), Spirituality in the workplace: What it is, Why it Matters, How to Make it Works For You. Fawnskin: Personhood Press.

Mata, J. (2012). Nurturing spirituality in early childhood classrooms: The teacher’s view. In M. Fowler, J. D. Martin, & J. L. Hochheimer (Eds.), Spirituality: Theory, praxis and

pedagogy (pp. 239-248). Oxford, UK: Inter-Disciplinary Press.

Mousa, M., & Alas, R. (2016). Workplace spirituality and organizational commitment: A study on the public schools teachers in Menoufia (Egypt). African Journal of Business Management, 10(10), 247-255.

Nuzulia, S. and Rupiati. (2016). The Relationship Between Teachers’ Workplace Spirituality and Job Satisfaction with the Perception of Transformational Leadership as a Variable Moderator. The Social Sciences, 1242-124

Oman, D. (2013). Defining Religion and Spirituality. In R. F. Paloutzian & C. L. Park (Eds.), Handbook of the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 2nd ed. (pp. 23-47). New York: Guilford.

OECD (2005). Teachers matter: Attracting, developing and retaining effective teachers, Paris: OECD Publishing. Pointer Version Available at

Özoğlu, M., Gür, B., & Altunoğlu, A. (2013). Turkiye ve dunyada ogretmenlik retorik ve pratik. Ankara: Egitim-Bir-Sen Publishing.

Patton, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods, 3rd Edition, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks

Petchsawang, P.A. and Duchon. (2009). Measuring Workplace Spirituality and Organizational Performance in An Asia Context. Human Resource Development International, 12(4): 53-75.

Rego, A., & Pina e Cunha, M. (2008). Workplace spirituality and organizational commitment: An empirical study. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 21(1), 53-75. doi:10.1108/09534810810847039

Stanley, A. Q. (2011). Benefits of teacher 'connections' in stressful educational settings. International Journal of Children's Spirituality, 16(1), 47. Retrieved from

Streib, H., & Klein, C. (2016). Religion and Spirituality. In M. Stausberg & S. Engler (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of the Study of Religion (pp. 73-83). Oxford: Oxford Universiy Press.

Twigg, N. W., & Parayitam, S. (2006). Spirit at work: spiritual typologies as theory builders. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict, 10(2), 117-133. Retrieved from

Underwood, L. G. (2011). The daily spiritual experience scale: Overview and results. Religions, 2(1), 29-50. doi:

Van der Walt, F., & de Klerk, J. J. (2014). Measuring spirituality in south africa: Validation of instruments developed in the USA. International Review of Psychiatry, 26(3), 368-378. doi:10.3109/09540261.2014.907129

Vasconcelos, A. F. (2010). Spiritual development in organizations: A religious-based approach. Journal of Business Ethics, 93(4), 607-622. doi:

Vasconcelos, A. F. (2013). Examining Workers’ Perceptions of Spirituality in the Workplace: An Exploratory Study. Management & Marketing, 8(2), 231-260. Retrieved from

Vokey D (2003). Longing to connect: spirituality and public schools. In: Carr D & Haldene J (eds). Spirituality, philosophy and education. London: Routledge Falmer

Watson, J. (2000). From Transcendence to Ethics: Shaping spirituality to schools, Journal of Beliefs & Values, 21(1), 39-50, DOI: 10.1080/13617670050002318

Whitney, D. (1995), "Spirituality as a Global Organizing Potential," Paper delivered at conference on The Organizational Dimensions of Global Change, Cleveland, OH: Case Western Reserve University

Yıldırım, A. & Şimşek, H. (2016). Sosyal Bilimlerde Nitel Araştırma Yöntemleri. 10. Baskı, Ankara: Seçkin Yayıncılık.

Zinnbauer, B. J., Pargament, K. I., & Scott, A. B. (1999). The emerging meanings of religiousness and spirituality: Problems and prospects. Journal of personality, 67(6), 889-919.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Ahmet Göçen, Habib Özğan

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015-2023. European Journal of Education Studies (ISSN 2501 - 1111) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).