Thesis - submission copy (Jeffrey Yee).pdf (2.79 MB)
Spiritual well-being, meaning and work performance: Narratives of healthcare sales representatives in Malaysia
thesisposted on 2023-08-30, 14:16 authored by Jeffrey Yee
This research focuses on spiritual well-being in the workplace and its relation to work performance. Extant empirical studies have mostly focused on demonstrating statistical links between these two concepts to the exclusion of qualitative studies that can better explain what spiritual well-being may be and how the experience is possibly related to work performance. Especially under-researched is the ground-level employees’ perspectives and the possible incompatibility of spiritual and organisational goals. This research thus examined the experiences of spiritual well-being among successful healthcare sales representatives in Malaysia, particularly on how their spiritual inclinations or their inclination for meaningfulness interfaced with the need to meet work targets. This qualitative research is exploratory and is framed within a constructionist epistemological stance. It used narrative inquiry as its methodology. Its primary data were stories successful healthcare sales representatives in Malaysia told about their work. These were collected and analysed using narrative interviews and narrative analysis respectively. What the research found was that the relation between spiritual well-being and work performance was depicted to be diverse, fragile and transitory. This was predicated on the ground-level employees’ experience of the interface between their spiritual inclinations and the need to meet work targets, which was diverse and changeable. What the research also found was that spiritual well-being resembled an experience that was constructed as employees engaged with their work. Spiritual well-being is thus neither merely found at work nor merely brought to work but constructed in the interplay between the employees’ spiritual inclinations and what they do at work. The research contributes to theoretical development in the area by advancing an expanded understanding of spirituality in the workplace. It demonstrates that spiritual well-being is contingent upon the work employees do, and the extent to which the work may be amenable for the construction of the experience. Thus, the relation between spiritual well-being and work performance ought to be understood from the way individual employees construct and individualise their experience of work. The research also foregrounds the importance of using models of organisation that accommodate the constructed, interactive and evolving nature of spiritual well-being in the workplace.
InstitutionAnglia Ruskin University