Perspectives of spirituality and its influence on leadership in higher education

Leonardo Terrazas, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

This phenomenological study provides the perspectives of spirituality and its influence on leadership in higher education. Five faculty and administrators in higher education participated in the study, all of them from different disciplines: educational administration, engineering, science, liberal arts, and health sciences. First, the study explores how participants describe leadership. Findings show that participants' perceptions of leadership are congruent with concepts in leadership theory. Second, the study explores how participants describe spirituality. Findings revealed that participants defined spirituality from a Judeo-Christian perspective, and some talked about how they appropriately express their spirituality in the workplace. Their spirituality includes daily practices such as ‘quiet time’ to connect with God. Third, the study explores how participants perceive the influence of spirituality on leadership. Participants stated that their spirituality has a positive impact on their leadership in three areas: their inner self, their interaction with others, and their tasks and activities. Findings expand the knowledge of leadership in higher education by showing that spirituality enhances educational leadership. Finally, the study provides a summary of how findings relate to academic leadership literature, presents an analysis of spirituality from a critical theory perspective, and includes recommendations for future research. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Terrazas, Leonardo, "Perspectives of spirituality and its influence on leadership in higher education" (2005). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3168481.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI3168481

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