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Title: Spiritual leadership : a Buddhist approach
Author: Vu, Mai Chi
ISNI:       0000 0004 7426 886X
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2018
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This study examines spiritual leadership from a Buddhist perspective in the context of a transitional economy: Vietnam. Vietnam is undergoing significant changes in blending traditional values with contemporary ones, which creates a complex and dynamic social setting for exploratory research. Changes include incorporating traditional spiritual practices and engaged Buddhism in the contemporary context. The study explores and examines how spiritual leaders in organizations interpret and enact Buddhist teachings and principles in Vietnam. The outcome of the preliminary quantitative study examining spiritual leadership in the context of Vietnam informs a mixed methods study in which the qualitative phase is guided by a critical-realist-informed grounded theory approach. This mixed-methods study explores how spiritual leadership is distinctively interpreted by organizational leaders who are Buddhist practitioners. The findings suggest that Buddhist-enacted leadership is a process of self-transformation and operates as a skilful means involving multiple leadership identities to flexibly and mindfully respond to contextual challenges. Context emerges as having a primary role in the understanding and application of Buddhist principles in leadership, manifested by the Buddhist concepts of impermanence, non-attachment, and wisdom. Buddhist-enacted leaders’ authenticity was challenged and moderated by the adoption of multiple identities, resulting in inconsistencies in leadership styles, the overall skepticism in Vietnamese society due to the lack of trust of the Vietnamese people as a result of the political and social features of the country’s regime, and the level of maturity of leaders in respect of Buddhist practices. The study introduces a Buddhist-enacted leadership model that contextualises spiritual leadership and reaffirms that neither the promotion of commonly known good practices nor any mimetic isomorphism of social responsibility or Western sustainability practices would be able to address the complex nature of a developing nation like Vietnam.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available