Spiritual leadership and work–family conflict: mediating effects of employee well-being. By: Hunsaker, William D. Personnel Review. 2021, Vol. 50 Issue 1, p143-158. 16p.

Purpose: This study examines how employee well-being, in combination with spiritual leadership, helps mitigate the negative effects of work–family conflict.

Design/methodology/approach: This study followed an explanatory research design to explain the relationship between spiritual leadership and work–family conflict. The approach was based on a cross-sectional survey of 278 workers from diverse industries and functional roles in South Korea’s manufacturing and service sectors. Structural equation modeling and hierarchical regression analysis were used to test hypothesized relationships.

Findings: Results confirmed that spiritual leadership and employee well-being inversely influenced work–family conflict, in terms of work-to-family and family-to-work role interference. Furthermore, employee well-being fully mediated both of these relationships.

Practical implications: This study suggests that organizational competitiveness can be enhanced through a dual approach of organizational strategies and human resource training that cultivate employee well-being and a family-friendly environment. Notably, this study clarifies the value of leadership practices to both trigger and enhance employee well-being through a sense of meaningfulness in and at work.

Originality/value: This study expands the scope of our current understanding of how employee well-being is an effective mechanism in helping employees cope with work–family role conflict. Moreover, the study demonstrates the role that leadership practices, beyond the narrow interpretation of perceived supervisor support, play in helping employees cope with role conflict. Finally, this study enhances the field of workplace spirituality by examining the influence of spiritual leadership on employees’ spiritual well-being and work–family conflict, which has not been currently addressed in the workplace spirituality field.