This special edition of the Graziadio Business Review (GBR) is dedicated to the topic of spiritual leadership. As we are living in an increasingly complex world and rapidly moving into the smart machine age, the need for good leadership has never been greater. Spirituality provides a compass to navigate through difficult decisions and situations. Furthermore, it is an essential element of good leadership as it infuses the essential elements of integrity, compassion, ethics, and stewardship.
Given the necessity of spiritual leadership it is not at all surprising to find that scholarly interest regarding this is increasing rapidly. In fact out of the nearly fifty-year history of Scopus, the world’s largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed scholarly literature, 56.0 percent of the publications about spiritual leadership have been in the last five years. Spiritual leadership is especially relevant to the business world, as 56.0 percent of all articles published on this topic are within business, management, and accounting across all academic disciplines. This percentage jumps to 76.1 percent for articles pertaining to workplace spirituality. Needless to say spiritual leadership, particularly in the area of business, is “a hot topic.”
This special edition is comprised of nine invited and refereed articles covering a variety of issues from some of the most significant thought leaders in spiritual leadership, including Louis (Jody) Fry, the most cited author in this field. Fry and Eleftheria Egel write on the need to embed sustainability in the triple bottom line. In a similar sphere, Laszlo Zsolnai discusses ecologically conscious leadership. Jerry Biberman offers an editorial that looks at current research trends regarding spiritual leadership in management. Rick Marrs examines the Jesus leadership style. Relatedly, Bernice Ledbetter, Robert Banks, and David Greenhalgh examine the topic of spirituality and leadership through the example of Apostle Paul. More generally, Soren Eilertsen makes the case for bringing the human spirit to business leadership. Connie James shows how spiritual leadership and learning organizations align. Rick Gibson covers how spirituality can be used to create and solve new problems. And, Richard Walton, Joetta Forsyth, and Jillian Alderman explore the interesting connection between religious beliefs and financial decision-making.