The Neglected Ethical and Spiritual Motivations in the Workplace

Posted: 29 Oct 2014 Last revised: 13 Jul 2015

See all articles by Manuel Guillén Parra

Manuel Guillén Parra

University of Valencia - Department of Economics

Ignacio Ferrero

School of Economics and Business

W. Michael Hoffman

Independent

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Date Written: October 23, 2014

Abstract

Understanding what motivates employees is essential to the success of organizational objectives. Therefore, properly capturing and explaining the full range of such motivations are important. However, the classical and most popular theories describing employee motives have neglected, if not omitted entirely, the importance of the ethical and spiritual dimensions of motivation. This has led to a model of a person as self-interested, amoral, and non-spiritual. In this paper, we attempt to expose this omission and offer a more complete taxonomy of motivations which include these dimensions. Although more work will need to be done to fully develop the ethical and spiritual dimensions of motivation, the expanded taxonomy will provide the foundations and serve as a guide for such further research. Furthermore, this new categorization of motivations brings out the full dimensions of being human, which promises to lead to improved management practices with regard to employees and foster greater human flourishing in the workplace.

Keywords: Ethical motivations, Flourishing in the workplace, Human motivation taxonomy, Motivations in the workplace, Religious motivations and spiritual motivations

Suggested Citation

Guillén Parra, Manuel and Ferrero, Ignacio and Michael Hoffman, W., The Neglected Ethical and Spiritual Motivations in the Workplace (October 23, 2014). Journal of Business Ethics, (2015) 128:803–816 DOI 10.1007/s10551-013-1985-7, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2513791

Manuel Guillén Parra

University of Valencia - Department of Economics ( email )

Av. dels Tarongers s/n
46071 Valencia
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://www.uv.es/~mguillen/Manuel-Guillen/

Ignacio Ferrero (Contact Author)

School of Economics and Business ( email )

Edificio Bibliotecas-Este
Pamplona, Navarra 31080
Spain

W. Michael Hoffman

Independent

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