Spiritual leadership; Alienative commitment; Political skill; Social capital
Purpose The purpose of the present study is to examine the relationship between spiritual leadership and employees' alienative commitment to the organization, both directly and indirectly, via employee social capital. We also test the role of employee political skill as a boundary condition of the indirect spiritual leadership–alienative commitment link. Design/methodology/approach Time-lagged data were collected from 491 employees in various manufacturing and service organizations. Data were analyzed using structural modeling equation in Mplus (8.6). Findings Spiritual leadership was negatively associated with alienative commitment, both directly and indirectly, via social capital. Employee political skill moderated the indirect relationship between spiritual leadership and alienative commitment, such that the relationship was stronger when employee political skill was high (vs low). Practical implications The demonstration of spiritual leadership's behaviors by both managers and employees can develop employees' social capital at work, which in turn can reduce employees' negative commitment to the organization. Likewise, improving employees' political skills can help leadership diminish alienative commitment. Originality/value The present work contributes to the literature on spiritual leadership by foregrounding how and why spiritual leadership undermines employee alienative commitment to the organization. By doing so, the study also enhances the nomological networks of the antecedents and outcomes of social capital and contributes to the scant literature on negative alienative commitment. Given the prevalence and negative repercussions of alienative commitment for employees' and organizations' productivity and performance, our findings are timely and relevant.