Relationship of Confucian Values to Spiritual Leadership in a South Korean Context

  •  William D Hunsaker    


Spiritual leadership is an emerging holistic leadership construct that has been validated in several cultures outside of North America. However, these studies have failed to examine the underlying relationship of embedded cultural values and spiritual leadership. To address this problem, the purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of Confucian values to spiritual leadership within a South Korean context. Data was gathered through surveys from three firms within Korea’s financial sector. Factor analysis of Confucian values found a two-factor solution, including social order and harmony. Harmony was excluded from analysis due to poor inter-scale correlations. Social order showed a positive, significant relationship to spiritual leadership variables, suggesting Confucian values comprise a portion of the inner life of Koreans and support the emergence of spiritual leadership within a Confucian context. The results of this study increase our understanding of the importance of emic manifestations of leadership theory in generalizing western leadership theories to outside cultures.

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