Date of Award

Spring 3-25-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Carlos V. Guzman

Second Advisor

Dr. Jalin Johnson

Third Advisor

Dr. Laurie Love


Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore and understand the perception of nonprofit leaders on how spirituality in the workplace fosters a positive workplace culture.

Methodology: In this phenomenological qualitative study, data were collected using interviews of 12 nonprofit leaders. The essential data collection method for this study was in-depth, semi-structured, open-ended interview questions, key informant interviews, and pilot study data interviews. After the data were collected and transcribed, the coding process began, and themes were identified.

Findings: The research on spirituality in the workplace and spiritual intelligence of nonprofit leaders has been completed. There is still a gap in the literature of quantitative studies on how spiritual intelligence informs the behaviors of nonprofit leaders. Interviews and a demographic survey were collected from the study participants. Five overarching themes and six major research findings emerged from the data analysis from the 12 nonprofit leaders.

Conclusion: Relationship building is essential to positive work culture. Developing a spiritual workplace culture is demonstrated through collaborative practices and collective unity to create harmony in achieving the mission and vision of an organization. Nonprofit leaders’ perspectives of spiritual intelligence are a self-reflective process of servicing others, which informs how contributions are made within the context of community. Employees and others are treated as individuals who have an opportunity to learn, build, and sustain relationships through meaningful and purposeful work of the organization. The leaders that tap into spiritual intelligence are empowered to enhance the organization through facilitating others to tap into their purpose in life.

Recommendations: Future studies might include a quantitative study of workplace spirituality and spiritual intelligence for nonprofit leaders locally, across the state, or nationwide. A Delphi study investigating the five overarching themes with a panel of leading experts in the field should be considered. What are their perceptions of spiritual intelligence and its contributions to a spiritual workplace? Additionally, the research should be replicated in other parts of the United States to gain more insights into spirituality in the workplace and spiritual intelligence.