Dark Spirituality: Its Impact on the Strategic and Operational Efficiency of Organizations

  • Orneita Burton
  • Sunny Jeong
  • Kanti Mohan Saini
Reference work entry


This chapter defines the nature of spirituality and uses a structural understanding of natural design to define who we are and who we can be as spiritual beings. As living examples, we offer a particularly unique set of experiences to establish a basis for spiritual understanding and define the nature of people who walk in either spiritual darkness or spiritual light.

Because an abundance of theological research is grounded in the “salt and light” of spirituality, we offer perspectives from both academic and practical sources to better understand how spirituality can be re-identified and in turn reinforce “dark” behavior within an individual or organization. We construct a pattern of behavior through real-life examples to explain how the use of spiritual language masks true identifiers of inner spirituality and to understand how this practice conflicts with our understanding of how spirituality shapes and influences the lives of people. This research provides specific insight within the context of the business environment because of its impact on workplace efficiency and overall productivity. In this chapter, we discuss approaches to identifying the dark and light of spirituality as manifested in various forms and scenarios. Through examples and discussion, we will propose approaches to assist managers in properly defining spirituality at the individual and firm level and how this information can be incorporated into policies and practices that add value to an organization.

The key objectives of this study are to:
  • Define the concepts of dark spirituality and spiritual identity and provide comparative examples to encourage theoretical studies to support management research.

  • Promote academic rigor and credibility through storytelling within disciplines to study forms of spirituality as a foundation to achieve positive, sustainable improvements in management outcomes.

  • Discuss opportunities to introduce evidence-based research methods around themes of spirituality in cross-disciplinary research.


Spirituality Dark spirituality Spiritual identity Spiritual light Transparency Spiritual deficit 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Orneita Burton
    • 1
  • Sunny Jeong
    • 2
  • Kanti Mohan Saini
    • 3
  1. 1.Abilene Christian UniversityAbileneUSA
  2. 2.Wittenberg UniversitySpringfieldUSA
  3. 3.NL Dalmia Institute of Management Studies and ResearchMumbaiIndia

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