How Spirituality Shapes the Practices of Ethical Leadership, Including During Ethical Dilemmas

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies, major in Organization Development



First Advisor

Antonette Palma-Angeles, PhD


This study aimed to look at how spirituality shapes ethical leadership. As a desirable kind of leadership with positive effects on good relations, financial sustainability and profit, healthy and inspiring reputation to members and external communities, it is important to know how ethical leadership can be brought about. Interviews with leadership experts were conducted to come up with characteristics of being spiritual as well as a list of potential interviewees. Using Grounded Theory as a framework, a total of eight Filipino business leaders participated in the data gathering. From this, it has been found that spirituality – which our study has shown is a connectedness with God or a Divine Being and the conscious living out of values that are anchored on this – shapes being ethical in a unique way. Compared to other reasons for being ethical, spirituality leads to an ethics practice that is persistent as well as involves feelings of humility, desire to nurture followers and hope. This kind of ethics practice then results in ethical leadership with its elements of mission, concern for others, moral imagination and decision-making influenced by one’s relationship with God and God-derived values. During ethical dilemmas, this kind of ethics and the practice of ethical leadership remain the same but are heightened by way of the leaders’ exertion of more effort to live out and follow values because more can be at stake during this time.

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