research student

John Kyle

Postgraduate Research Student


This research is situated at the nexus of human dignity and spiritual leadership theory. It critically explores human dignity, an expression of human value and worth, for its potential as the basis of an advancement to spiritual leadership, a contemporary organisational leadership theory developed at Texas A&M University.

Human dignity has significant implications, not only for the theory of spiritual leadership, but also for leadership practice. The research involves a qualitative study that suggests leaders and followers experience an increased sense of well-being in the workplace when they perceive their dignity has been respected inwardly and acknowledged outwardly by organisational leaders.

The research has revealed that dignity-respecting leadership behaviours, such as inclusive decision-making, increase the sense of wellbeing perceived by leaders and followers by, among other things, contributing to their sense of mattering. The research builds upon motivation research by exploring higher-order needs associated with wellbeing in the workplace, such as meaning-making, sense of purpose, and the sense of belonging.

Thesis title

An Exploration of Human Dignity as a Foundation for Spiritual Leadership