Spiritual resources and work engagement among religious workers: A three-wave longitudinal study

Grant R. Bickerton*, Maureen H. Miner, Martin Dowson, Barbara Griffin

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    50 Citations (Scopus)


    This study explores relationships between spiritual resources, job resources, and work engagement among 496 Australian religious workers at three time points over a period of 18 months. Drawing on the Conservation of Resources theory and Job Demands-Resources model, spiritual resources are conceptualized as a distinct category of personal resources significant for this occupational cohort. Results of structural equation modelling analysis did not support the hypothesis of reciprocal relationships between spiritual and job resources and work engagement. Instead, spiritual resources had a positive cross-lagged effect on work engagement, and work engagement had a positive cross-lagged effect on job resources. When the high stability of spiritual resources over time was accounted for, work engagement had a negative indirect effect on spiritual resources over time mediated by a negative effect of job resources on spiritual resources (suppression effect). Spiritual resources emerge as an important category of antecedent resources for work engagement among religious workers. However, it appears that motivated religious workers may prioritize energy investments into increasing job resources at the expense of maintaining and developing spiritual resources. Practically, this research provides evidence for the promotion of initiatives to foster spiritual resources that enhance resilience and well-being among religious workers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)370-391
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


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