Saints in Caesar’s Household: Spirituality’s Impact on Self Perceptions of Leaders in Public Institutions

Cynthia Ebele Nwizu, Fordham University


The current global environment is full of what appears to be relentless crises causing the urgent need for new models for effective leadership in the public sector. Not only do leaders require explicit skills in responding to the complexity of concerns but operating in this environment demands leaders who have a reservoir from which to nourish and nurture themselves. Spirituality is one such reservoir. A major emphasis of the literature on spirituality in the workplace has been on spirituality’s positive impact on organizational reality, management processes, and leadership. However, as important a role as spirituality can play, its place in the workplace may be in danger because of postmodernism, which cultivates the belief that religion has failed humanity. This phenomenological study sought to understand how public sector leaders with a Christian spirituality express their spirituality at work and how the anti-religion sentiments of postmodernism may hinder full expression. The findings of this study were framed within van Dierendonck’s conceptual model of servant leadership. The data in this study were obtained through interviews with public administrators in the New York City metropolitan area, a focus group of retired and former public administrators, and a review of websites and relevant documents. The researcher presented six findings: Christian ethos, prayer to do the right thing, prayer, community, and bible scripture to build resiliency, protected class in practice, directly addressing moral dilemmas, and servant leadership.

Subject Area

Spirituality|Religion|Management|Public administration

Recommended Citation

Nwizu, Cynthia Ebele, "Saints in Caesar’s Household: Spirituality’s Impact on Self Perceptions of Leaders in Public Institutions" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30632321.