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Does Workplace Spirituality Increase Self-Esteem in Female Professional Dancers? The Mediating Effect of Positive Psychological Capital and Team Trust

Department of Dance and Performing Arts, ERICA Campus, Hanyang University, Ansan-si 15588, Republic of Korea
Religions 2023, 14(4), 445;
Submission received: 3 February 2023 / Revised: 16 March 2023 / Accepted: 23 March 2023 / Published: 25 March 2023
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spirituality and Positive Psychology)


Based on the self-transcendence theory and immaturity-maturity theory, this study empirically tested the influence of female professional dancers’ workplace spirituality on positive psychological capital, team trust, and self-esteem. The subjects of this study were female professional dancers. We conducted the surveys in two countries—the United States and the United Kingdom—and ultimately obtained 441 samples. To test the hypotheses, we performed a structural equation model analysis using three statistical programs: SmartPLS, GSCA Pro, and jamovi. (1) The workplace spirituality of female professional dancers showed a statistically significant positive influence on positive psychological capital, team trust, and self-esteem. (2) The positive psychological capital of female professional dancers showed a statistically significant positive influence on team trust and self-esteem. (3) The team trust of female professional dancers showed a statistically significant positive influence on self-esteem (except when using jamovi). This study found that fostering workplace spirituality was paramount for female professional dancers in an organization. Accordingly, we outlined four recommendations for the organizations: (1) convey the importance of the organization’s mission and values to organizational members; (2) increase each organizational member’s decision-making and autonomy; (3) encourage members to cooperate while working in the domains of their specific positions; and (4) discourage members from neglecting their organizational responsibilities and resorting to egoism.

1. Introduction

Dance is an art form that uses physical expression to elicit aesthetic emotions in audiences. It is an activity that satisfies people’s inner longings to express thoughts and feelings through their bodies (Atkinson and Duffy 2019; Ssebuuma and Martin 2018). The dancer’s body is a tool and an instrument; it is the very basis of a dancer’s artistic expression (Banerjee et al. 2017; Jowitt 2006; Lindqvist 2001). Generally, considerable time is required for dancers to establish themselves professionally. Aspiring dancers must first finish their studies at the junior-college level or higher and can then strive to become professional dancers. However, compared to other kinds of artists, professional dancers—who rely on physical movements to elicit aesthetic emotions in audiences—have fewer years in which to fully develop and showcase their talents (Kim 2012). In other words, when dancers reach a certain age or are injured, their abilities to express themselves through their bodies are inevitably limited.
The essence of true art is that it can be expressed and perceived through the physical body. Art conveys the dynamic contents of the human psyche, such as the ebb and flow of emotions (Park and Lee 2010). At its core, dance is thus a natural and liberated physical language with an aesthetic sensibility that allows for emotional expression. Moreover, dance can provide both viewers and dancers with a spiritual experience, which is separate from the mundane aspects of everyday life and transcends time and space (Kieft 2014; Williamson 2016).
These peak experiences infuse dancers’ professional lives, helping them cope with the uncertainty and fear of the future that are associated with their shorter career life cycles, described above. In other words, professional dancers’ transcendental or spiritual orientations allow them to perform more positively and fully in the workplace (Flower 2016; Hanrahan and Vergeer 2001; Quiroga Murcia et al. 2010). Many previous studies have found that spirituality (including workplace spirituality) can enhance individuals’ self-esteem and promote mental, psychological, and physical stability (Alsalkhi 2019; Altaf and Awan 2011; Kumar and Singh 2014; Milliman et al. 2003).
Rapid change has been the norm in the 21st century, with successive global, digital, and mobile revolutions (Elliott 2019; Hantrais et al. 2021; Romero Dexeus 2019). In this era of constant upheaval, traditional paradigms and approaches to resolving problems have proven insufficient (Stank et al. 2019; Wadley 2021), including in business management and organizational operations. Therefore, many scholars have recommended applying holistic approaches (Aiginger and Rodrik 2020; Bailey et al. 2019; Kraus et al. 2018; Rahman and Thelen 2019).
In this context, research has empirically shown that workplace spirituality—in which individuals seek greater value from their participation in professional or organizational environments—can positively influence personal, social, and organizational effectiveness (Beehner 2019; Belwalkar et al. 2018; Jena 2021; Sharmaa and Singh 2021). That is, organizational members with a strong sense of workplace spirituality pursue higher meaning through their work and, thus, are more engaged in it. Ultimately, having a strong sense of workplace spirituality helps organizational members to contribute to organizational effectiveness and business performance (Beehner 2019; Belwalkar et al. 2018; Jena 2021; Sharmaa and Singh 2021).
The COVID-19 pandemic induced rapid changes not only in organizations but also in specific cultures, which are a universal feature of humanity (de Lucas Ancillo et al. 2021; Li et al. 2021). Moreover, industries and jobs are quickly evolving as the Fourth Industrial Revolution progresses, and people are redefining themselves professionally as they adapt to the digital age, assume new roles, and perform new kinds of work (Bennett and McWhorter 2021; Lee and Trimi 2021).
In this complex era, rather than forcing organizational members to make sacrifices, healthy organizations emphasize teamwork for accomplishing internal and external tasks and as the economic means to achieve goals (Tannenbaum et al. 2021; Zhao et al. 2022). Previous studies have found that raising the positive psychological capital of organizational members and building team trust are essential in this context (Bulińska-Stangrecka and Bagieńska 2021; Grözinger et al. 2022; Mao et al. 2021; Maykrantz et al. 2021; Pathak and Joshi 2021; Zhang et al. 2021). Furthermore, researchers have noted that, when organizations attend to the inner worlds of each organizational member, it helps the member develop a sense of calling and a greater awareness of the value of their work, beliefs, and behaviors. Organizations can also encourage empathy and a community mindset among organizational members as a way of fostering workplace spirituality and enabling members to achieve self-actualization (Roh and Suh 2014).
In summary, reasons for the recent spike in interest in workplace spirituality are as follows: (1) as the world becomes increasingly industrialized, employees spend more time at work and reflect more deeply on their work environments; (2) as the number of temporary and contract workers has grown and the notion of a lifetime job has disappeared, workplace anxiety has increased; (3) a trend has emerged of employees wanting to discover their own social identities in the workplace (Kim 2020).
Whether workplace spirituality contributes to job (work) performance, then, is a critical question (Daniel 2010; Marques 2005; Prakash 2017; Stoyanov 2018). Research has indicated that workplace spirituality impacts the following four factors in industrial settings: (1) organizational commitment, (2) intrinsic job satisfaction, (3) job engagement, and (4) organizational-based self-esteem (OBSE) (Belwalkar et al. 2018; Hassan et al. 2016; Jeon and Choi 2021; Milliman et al. 2003; van der Walt and De Klerk 2014).
Moreover, organizational members with a strong sense of workplace spirituality tend to be innovative and highly ethical; they also value intrinsic rewards and seek continuous learning (Adnan et al. 2020; Bantha and Nayak 2020; Haldorai et al. 2020; Otaye-Ebede et al. 2020). Studies on positive psychology have shown that workplace spirituality allows employees to overcome negative emotions such as fear, worry, and guilt. Furthermore, highly motivated organizational members, as well as those with high levels of organizational commitment and workplace spirituality, demonstrate improved job (work) performance (Baykal and Zehir 2018; Fry 2003; Marques 2005; Milliman et al. 2003; Weinberg and Locander 2014).
Nevertheless, an insufficient number of studies have empirically investigated the relationships between workplace spirituality, positive psychological capital, team trust, and self-esteem. Moreover, very few studies have examined the influence of positive psychological capital as a parameter for team trust and self-esteem. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many office workers have grappled with uncertainty and fear about the future. Meanwhile, professional dancers face even more anxiety about the future than general office workers (Kim 2012). Accordingly, this study conducts a structural equation model (SEM) analysis to empirically test the influence of female professional dancers’ workplace spirituality on positive psychological capital, team trust, and self-esteem. For this purpose, we formulated the following research questions.
Research Questions
RQ 1. How does the workplace spirituality of female professional dancers influence positive psychological capital, team trust, and self-esteem?
RQ 2. How does the positive psychological capital of female professional dancers influence team trust and self-esteem?
RQ 3. How does the team trust of female professional dancers influence self-esteem?

2. Theoretical Background

2.1. Base Theories

To empirically test the influence of the workplace spirituality of female professional dancers on positive psychological capital, team trust, and self-esteem, this study applies two theories: the self-transcendence theory and immaturity-maturity theory.

2.1.1. Self-Transcendence Theory

Self-transcendence is conceptually related to spirituality and is considered one of the most complex phenomena of the human personality (Fiske 2019; Haugan et al. 2022). Researchers have approached it slightly differently but tend to view it as an experience that arises from an expansion of self-awareness (Miller and Verhaeghen 2022; Verhaeghen 2019). In self-transcendence, the ego expands beyond one’s individual identity, such that an individual recognizes themselves as part of something greater and dedicates themselves to a higher purpose.
As mentioned earlier, the terms “self-transcendence” and “spirituality” are closely related. One of the characteristics of self-transcendence is self-expansion, such that an individual expands from a limited view of the self into something larger and more complex—indeed, something infinite (Mao et al. 2019; Michel et al. 2022). This “something” can have a divine or spiritual nature. While some people experience self-transcendence through their belief in God (Van Nieuwenhove 2022), others embrace alternative spiritual ideas or practices to induce self-transcendence and help them discover the meaning of life (Widodo and Suryosukmono 2021). Self-transcendence arises from self-realization and emphasizes focusing on others rather than on oneself. It also involves defining goals in ways that go beyond self-serving accomplishments (Hwang et al. 2020; Widodo and Suryosukmono 2021).
Self-transcendence can also lead to a peak experience—a moment of absolute happiness or ecstasy that occurs when one is fully absorbed in an experience (Jiang and Sedikides 2022; Kitson et al. 2020; Lin et al. 2020). For example, when a person becomes completely immersed in something they are reading, they forget about their worries and everything around them. In other words, once a person achieves self-transcendence, they can expand their focus beyond their personal concerns and observe events from a broader perspective (Jiang and Sedikides 2022; Kitson et al. 2020; Lin et al. 2020). Thus, self-transcendence can engender positive psychological capital as pleasure, equability, and optimism. Self-transcendence promotes positive emotions and self-esteem by fostering positive values as well as a good-natured disposition, thereby heightening one’s level of conscious awareness (Benish-Weisman et al. 2020; Collins et al. 2022; Dagar et al. 2020; Gardner et al. 2018; Lyu et al. 2022; Navare and Pandey 2022).
In an organization, team members’ self-transcendence can enhance individual self-esteem and solidify team trust through personal and contextual variables as well as through organizational interactions (Behrens 2020; Bruna 2022; Collins et al. 2022; Dagar et al. 2020; Kim and Kim 2021; Pantaléon et al. 2019). Examples of personal and contextual variables include cognitive ability, life experience, spiritual perspective, and social environment (Lin et al. 2022; Worth and Smith 2021; Kim and Park 2020; Kim et al. 2018; Kitson et al. 2020; Lavy and Benish-Weisman 2021).
These personal and contextual variables significantly impact the relationships between self-transcendence, self-esteem, and personal vulnerability, with the variables either strengthening or weakening the relationships (Behrens 2020; Bruna 2022; Collins et al. 2022; Dagar et al. 2020; Kim and Kim 2021; Pantaléon et al. 2019). Spirituality through self-transcendence can be directly related to internal resources, such as an individual’s positive psychological capital. It can also be related to interpersonal and contextual factors, such as team trust within an organization and any other organizational resources or situational factors (Behrens 2020; Benish-Weisman et al. 2020; Bruna 2022; Collins et al. 2022; Dagar et al. 2020; Gardner et al. 2018; Kim and Kim 2021; Lyu et al. 2022; Navare and Pandey 2022; Pantaléon et al. 2019).
Accordingly, self-transcendence offers an experience that is called a “peak experience” (Jiang and Sedikides 2022; Kitson et al. 2020; Lin et al. 2020). With self-transcendence, people can transcend their personal concerns and observe what is happening in the present moment from a broader perspective (Jiang and Sedikides 2022; Kitson et al. 2020; Lin et al. 2020). Furthermore, self-transcendence produces strong positive emotions such as joy, peace, and heightened awareness (Kinjerski and Skrypnek 2006). It allows people to discover their spiritual techniques in order to achieve a higher purpose and idealized self, and increases their psychological well-being by creating a positive environment that promotes workplace spirituality. Furthermore, they intentionally engage in productive activities carried out in creative ways while striving to create something of value, and embracing gratitude (Behrens 2020; Bruna 2022; Collins et al. 2022; Dagar et al. 2020; Kim and Kim 2021; Pantaléon et al. 2019). In other words, these experiential values are related to romantic relationships and appreciating surrounding beauty. Moreover, self-transcendence allows one to protect one’s character and see oneself as valuable during times of hardship, and also serves as an effective way to have more trust in others and gain freedom, understanding, spirituality, and enlightenment (Behrens 2020; Bruna 2022; Collins et al. 2022; Dagar et al. 2020; Kim and Kim 2021; Pantaléon et al. 2019).
In this study, self-transcendence theory provides the theoretical basis for explaining the relationships among workplace spirituality (independent variable), positive psychological capital and team trust (parameters), and self-esteem (dependent variable), as expressed by the path: workplace spirituality → positive psychological capital → team trust → self-esteem.

2.1.2. Immaturity-Maturity Theory

Organizational cultures and personality norms dictate the attributes of mature humans, though few humans may reach full maturity. The immaturity-maturity theory argues that human development does not always culminate in one definitive mature form. Rather, humans develop on a continuum, ever moving toward maturity (Shabannia Mansour and Hassan 2019; Stamatis and Gkoutziamanis 2020). In this context, Argyris studied organizational climate and stressed its relationship to personal development. He claimed that, just as organizational members have different personalities, organizations have distinct characteristics that coalesce into a unique organizational climate (Argyris 1957; Diamond 1986).
Particularly, Argyris investigated how the management style of an organization (worksite) influences organizational members’ development and maturation. Some organizations constrain their members to remain in an immature state, while other organizations encourage members to grow continuously. Ultimately, Argyris emphasized the importance of organizations providing paths for organizational members to progress toward maturity rather than constraining them to remain in immature states. He reported that organizational effectiveness improves when organizations express faith in organizational members, delegate responsibilities to them, and treat them respectfully, as maturing human beings (Argyris 1957; Diamond 1986). Researchers have also reported that, when organizations provide members with a path toward maturity, this increases members’ self-esteem and honors their basic need to feel attachment, respect, love, and trust (Banner and Blasingame 1988; Simon 2022; Srikantia and Pasmore 1996).
In other words, the maturation of an individual is a continuous developmental process. The progression toward maturity involves transitioning from passive to active behavior, embodying a spirit of independence, honoring diversity, maintaining a deep and strong interest, taking a long-term view, maintaining an equal or superior position, developing self-awareness, and exercising self-control (Ann and Carr 2010; Ghrmay 2019; Mansour and Hassan 2018; Shabannia Mansour and Hassan 2019). Hence, it is important to realize an individual’s rules regarding values and meaning that they assign to a job (work) context, that is, the individual’s sense of workplace spirituality, which encompasses their inner awareness, sense of calling, empathy, community spirit, and transcendental consciousness (Prakash 2017; Stoyanov 2018).
In this context, spirituality means something other than transcendence through religious spirituality. It refers to individuals and groups who perform jobs (work) in an organization (worksite), setting intentions (behaviors) for rules regarding values and meaning, and linking those rules to their jobs (work), thus establishing collective values (Lata and Chaudhary 2022; Paul and Jena 2022). Therefore, an organizational member’s journey from immaturity to maturity not only benefits the individual but also supports organizational goals (Argyris 1957; Diamond 1986; Shabannia Mansour and Hassan 2019; Stamatis and Gkoutziamanis 2020). Researchers have highlighted the importance of organizations allowing members to express creativity and exercise autonomy, enabling them to mature (Banner and Blasingame 1988; Smith 1989). Hence, workplace spirituality supports organizational members on their path to maturity, solidifies trust, and ultimately raises members’ self-esteem (Banner and Blasingame 1988; Ilesanmi and Famolu 2016; Srikantia and Pasmore 1996; Stoyanov 2018).
Based on the immaturity-maturity theory, when team members are given the opportunity to grow or mature on the job, they are strongly motivated to achieve their goals and are better able to reach their full potential. Therefore, it is in the best interest of both the organization and the team to nurture team members into more mature individuals and expand the scope of their personal responsibilities (Argyris 1957; Diamond 1986; Shabannia Mansour and Hassan 2019; Stamatis and Gkoutziamanis 2020). By paving the way to maturity, team members can develop workplace spirituality, which, in turn, will raise their team trust and self-esteem (Banner and Blasingame 1988; Ilesanmi and Famolu 2016; Srikantia and Pasmore 1996; Stoyanov 2018). Fundamentally, we can summarize the core of the theory as an individual’s maturation over the course of many years: (1) from passive to active, (2) from dependent to independent, (3) from simple to diverse behavioral means, (4) from capricious and shallow interests to deep and robust interests, (5) from an abridged time horizon of today to a widened time horizon linking the past, present, and future, (6) from a subordinate position to an equal or superior position, and (7) from a lack of self-consciousness to gaining self-consciousness and self-control (Ann and Carr 2010; Ghrmay 2019; Mansour and Hassan 2018; Shabannia Mansour and Hassan 2019).
To summarize, immaturity-maturity theory serves as the study’s theoretical basis for explaining the relationships among workplace spirituality (independent variable), team trust (parameter), and self-esteem (dependent variable), as expressed by the path: workplace spirituality → team trust → self-esteem.

2.2. Workplace Spirituality

Spirituality is the essence of an individual’s core self, consisting of the values, beliefs, attitudes, and emotions that influence behavior (Moore and Casper 2006). In other words, spirituality (1) refers to the belief in a truth greater than oneself (i.e., transcendence), which may not be visible; (2) ensures that one’s characteristics and actions are harmonious, consistent, and unitive (holism and harmony); and (3) involves self-actualization, the progression to a state of the self that is better than the current one (Pratt and Ashforth 2003). In addition, spirituality is (1) a consciousness that perceives inner truth; (2) an awareness of human suffering, life, and death; and (3) the will to live with dignity, a sense of community, and a commitment to social justice (Paul Victor and Treschuk 2020; Rocha and Pinheiro 2021). This study approaches workplace spirituality based on the above definitions. Table 1 presents the conceptualization of workplace spirituality.
Combining the descriptions in Table 1, Roh and Suh (2014) highlighted the necessity of workplace spirituality and characterized it in five dimensions, as follows: (1) cultivating an inner life and self-concept based on one’s existential values and identity; (2) encompassing a sense of calling, in which one’s sense of work extends beyond its instrumental purpose to reveal the meaning of life, with work becoming the process of creating a greater self; (3) involving empathy, or the willingness to shoulder the emotional burdens of others, including colleagues and subordinates; (4) emphasizing a sense of community, or the positive emotional perception of feeling connected to others, and belonging to an organization and a society; (5) involving transcendence, or a state of consciousness in which one seeks to rise above the ego and move toward a higher self by immersion in work and the work environment.
Combining the above characteristics, workplace spirituality is a state of consciousness in which individuals seek meaning, life purpose, and higher existential values in work and organizational environments (Roh and Suh 2014). Those with high workplace spirituality cultivate positive attitudes and relationships and practice altruistic love. Furthermore, they trust their fellow organizational members, rising above their own interests and practicing behaviors that promote the interests of the greater whole, which enhances their self-esteem (Giacalone and Jurkiewicz 2003). This suggests that workplace spirituality can boost one’s self-esteem (attachment, respect, trust, etc.) by strengthening one’s trust in fellow organizational members and increasing one’s positive psychological capital in the forms of pleasure, equability, and optimism (Daniel 2010; Farmanesh et al. 2021; Hassan et al. 2016; Paul and Jena 2022; Rahman et al. 2016; Riasudeen and Singh 2021; Sarkar et al. 2022; Sholikhah et al. 2019; Shrestha and Jena 2021).
Accordingly, workplace spirituality in this study is the degree to which one possesses and cultivates a noble (sacred) consciousness and smoothly harmonizes the values, beliefs, and behaviors related to one’s job (work). Additionally, workplace spirituality can be defined as the degree of joy and transcendence one experiences when immersed in work, which is based on the extent to which one understands fellow organization members, feels responsible for them, and perceives a sense of community with them.

2.3. Positive Psychological Capital

Influenced by positive psychology, Luthans and his colleagues combined the concepts of “capital” and “positive psychology” and proposed the idea of positive psychological capital, defining it as a positive psychological state in which individuals pursue their own development (Luthans et al. 2004, 2007, 2010). They conceptualized positive psychological capital as having four dimensions: self-efficacy, hope, optimism, and resiliency.
  • Self-efficacy: One’s belief in one’s own ability to summon the necessary motivation and cognitive resources and determine a direction of action for completing a specific task in a given situation. Self-efficacy encourages a person to persist in a specific task. People with high self-efficacy accept challenges and motivate themselves to achieve goals (Luthans et al. 2004, 2007, 2010).
  • Hope: A positive psychological state that provides the willpower necessary to pursue goals and to establish a path to achieve them. People with a high level of hope continuously strive to achieve their goals and devise new methods or paths when faced with obstacles ((Luthans et al. 2004, 2007, 2010)).
  • Optimism: An attitude of objectively evaluating the past or present and seeking future opportunities. Optimism is not simply predicting the future in the manner one desires. Optimistic people, as defined in terms of psychological capital, reconstruct not only future but also past and present events from a positive perspective (Luthans et al. 2004, 2007, 2010).
  • Resiliency: The ability to recover from failures and rise to face new challenges and thrive, despite increased pressure from new responsibilities. Specifically, this refers to people’s ability to overcome difficulties while striving to go beyond an equilibrium point. Highly resilient people effectively manage volatile situations and maintain emotional stability by imbuing challenges and novel experiences with unique, positive values (Luthans et al. 2004, 2007, 2010).
Luthans and Avey studied how positive psychological resources can influence organizational members’ motivations and ultimately impact their attitudes, behaviors, and job (work) performance in an organization. This is the core of their approach to positive organizational behavior (Avey et al. 2010a, 2010b, 2011; Luthans et al. 2004, 2007, 2010). They reported that positive psychological capital can promote a beneficial cognitive state and generate the motivation necessary for a job (work) or for achieving goals, thus contributing to job (work) performance. Furthermore, they emphasized the need for personnel management programs that can manage these processes at the organizational level (Avey et al. 2010a, 2010b, 2011; Luthans et al. 2004, 2007, 2010).
In addition, positive psychological capital is a concept that expands upon the previous categories of financial, human, and social capital. More than the value of one’s possessions, knowledge, and relationships, positive psychological capital is an individual’s positive mindset that represents the maximum potential they can realize (Luthans et al. 2004). Positive psychological capital is directly linked to efforts to enhance performance in a reasonable situation within an organization (Darvishmotevali and Ali 2020; Madrid et al. 2018; Shah et al. 2019).
In this context, spiritual education and leadership training to foster positive psychological states are important (Ghasemi-Jobaneh et al. 2016; Wang et al. 2018; Wu and Lee 2020). Going beyond the relationship between positive psychological states and job (work) performance, researchers have also highlighted that utilizing these states as an important psychological resource contributes to intrinsic life values (satisfaction) and self-esteem (Adil et al. 2020; Bajwa et al. 2019; Datu and Valdez 2019; Ko and Choi 2019; Nwanzu and Babalola 2019; Pathak and Joshi 2021; Turliuc and Candel 2022). Accordingly, in this study, positive psychological capital refers to self-efficacy, hope, optimism, and resilience, which differ in some ways but share a positive cognitive basis oriented toward achievement and success.

2.4. Team Trust

Trust refers to a firm belief in something and a reliance on it (Costa et al. 2018). Psychological conflicts can arise when deciding whether to trust, even though it may be relatively easy to believe in something or someone (e.g., an organization, team, leader, etc.) (Beierle and Konisky 2000; Chiocchio et al. 2011; Olson et al. 2007). This is because diverse factors such as a person’s or group’s authenticity, attitude, capability, and experience must be considered when choosing whether to rely on them (Avolio et al. 2004; Gardner et al. 2009; Malik and Khan 2020; Toor and Ofori 2008; Zhang et al. 2012). In other words, a person must believe that the object of their trust will act in ways that promote mutual interests (or the interests of their organization), even if the person does not fully control a decision or situation (Saleem et al. 2020; Yue et al. 2019).
Specifically, organizational members can perform jobs (work) in an organization more effectively in the presence of trust, which facilitates innovating and collaborating, forming partnerships, organizing, recruiting and retaining personnel, engaging employees, and leading change (Braganza et al. 2021; Morgan and Zeffane 2003; Servajean-Hilst et al. 2021; Thomas et al. 2009). Trust amplifies the capabilities of organizational members and generates ripple effects that positively influence not only the organization but also society as a whole. By applying these findings, we can understand trust, in this study, as an organization-wide belief in and reliance on team members, which draws out their active support and acts as a driving force behind continuous value creation. Likewise, it improves the quality of relationships among them. In fact, the power of trust is very strong. Trust enables team members to actively cooperate with one another and achieve the organization’s set goals, and the team trust formed in the process improves the quality of relationships. Highly sustainable organizations are built by leaders and employees who are trustworthy, meaning they understand the value of acting in ways that command respect from others (Byun et al. 2017; Lee 2004; Newell et al. 2007; Shockley-Zalabak et al. 2000). Ultimately, trust is the outcome of many interactions, and the failure to gain or give trust cannot be the fault of a single individual. Feelings of suspicion, then, indicate the failure of a dyad or a group to build trusting relationships (Cristina Costa and Bijlsma-Frankema 2007; Müller et al. 2013).
This study defines team trust in light of the above description. Previous studies have emphasized the importance of the following four factors in team trust: (1) a belief in one’s team members as competent colleagues (Akhtar et al. 2019; Breuer et al. 2020); (2) team members building trust in one another through ethical and moral behavior (Breuer et al. 2020; Dasborough et al. 2020); (3) team members actively helping each other to communicate and mutually develop (Breuer et al. 2020; Morrissette and Kisamore 2020); (4) team members’ beliefs that colleagues will honor their promises at their job (work) (Covin et al. 2020; Curado and Vieira 2019).
Applying these concepts suggests that, when organizational members trust their teammates, their belief in their colleagues does not waver even when this belief makes them vulnerable; they also believe that team members will not engage in opportunistic behavior for their own personal gain (Costa et al. 2018; Rezvani et al. 2018). Therefore, trust is an important aspect of organizational behavior, and it is not an exaggeration to say that trust is both a prerequisite and an outcome of positive organizational behavior (Fulmer and Dirks 2018; Lyndon et al. 2020). This means that, when team trust is strong, job (work) performance improves (Hughes et al. 2018; Rezvani et al. 2018).
For example, when a positive atmosphere inculcates trust, feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability are minimized, and organizational members can channel more energy into their jobs (work) (Feitosa et al. 2020; Sedrine et al. 2020). Trusting one’s team, then, is conducive to job (work) performance (Hughes et al. 2018; Rezvani et al. 2018). Teamwork originates from mutual trust and is fortified by each team member’s self-esteem (Bertucci et al. 2010; Lin et al. 2012). Team members’ mutual beliefs in one another and their ability to tolerate failure are what enables teamwork (McNeese et al. 2021; Shen and Chen 2007). Moreover, an individual’s self-esteem tends to be proportional to their skills, including job (work) and personal skills (Keller et al. 2015; Losa-Iglesias et al. 2017). Positive psychological capital is implicit in these skills. As such, job (work) skills and the positive psychological capital of each team member must be prioritized (Ganotice et al. 2016; Safavi and Bouzari 2019).
In summary, scholars recommend building team trust to enhance performance in collaborative efforts (Hughes et al. 2018; Rezvani et al. 2018). Trust dynamics can impact performance in several ways, and trust between team members can facilitate positive collaboration (Alsharo et al. 2017; Barczak et al. 2010). If team members do not take each other’s words and actions seriously and do not generate new ideas, the team’s overall creativity may decline, which can negatively affect team performance (Barczak et al. 2010; Bidault and Castello 2009; Chae 2016; Hattori and Lapidus* 2004). Accordingly, this study defines team trust as the degree to which team members satisfy each other’s expectations, demands, beliefs, and promises (or shared knowledge about mutual trust between team members).

2.5. Self-Esteem

Self-esteem refers to a person’s assessment of their own global abilities and worth. It is a person’s belief that they are valuable, worthy of love, and capable of achieving meaningful goals. Thus, self-esteem refers to one’s unwavering self-respect, regardless of circumstances (Akgunduz 2015; Anglim et al. 2019; Takhsha et al. 2020; Wang and Xu 2015). In the academic arena, scholars have defined self-esteem as more evaluative and one-dimensional than self-concept, which pertains more to how a person views their roles and characteristics. Meanwhile, the single dimension of self-esteem refers to one’s overall view or evaluation of oneself (Hyseni Duraku and Hoxha 2018; Kawamoto 2020; Machin et al. 2019; Pilarska 2018).
Self-esteem emphasizes efficiency and perceived ability in a specific domain as well as one’s moral values, whereas self-concept relates more to assessing one’s performance in terms of social evaluation, social expectations, and the evaluations of others. Self-esteem, however, relates to assessing one’s own moral position and worth in an organization or on a team based on society’s general standards and moral norms (Borchet et al. 2020; Martínez-Martí and Ruch 2017; Stets and Burke 2014).
In summary, self-esteem is one’s view of how competent and important one is (Burnasheva and Suh 2020; García et al. 2019; Lee et al. 2020). This is only an individual’s self-perception and is completely unrelated to whether an individual is actually competent (ability/capability). However, since people behave based on how they perceive themselves, and behaviors influence social realities, self-esteem has an important influence on organizational behavior (Baumeister et al. 2003; Brown and Marshall 2006; Kawamoto 2020).
Scholars emphasize self-esteem as the key to a company’s sustainable growth. While operating a company called The Human Element, Will Schutz applied positive psychology, diagnosing organizations, conducting training programs, consulting, and so forth, all based on self-esteem, that is, positive self-image and self-understanding (Schutz 2009). According to his research, human desire, anxiety, and interest can be condensed into three factors: self-significance, self-competence, and self-likeability. That is, all humans desire to feel capable, loved, and important as individuals. He maintained that, when these desires are fulfilled, humans can exert their full potential with passion and vigor (Schutz 2009).
One specific type of self-esteem is organization-based self-esteem (OBSE), or the extent to which organizational members regard themselves as competent, important, and valuable (Pierce and Gardner 2004). OBSE arises when organizational members satisfy their own needs by performing diverse roles in an organization. The resulting level of self-esteem is an important factor that can predict organizational members’ attitudes and behaviors toward their job (work) and that is often used as an outcome variable (Azila-Gbettor et al. 2020; Dalgic and Akgunduz 2022; Lin et al. 2018).
In sum, organizational members with high self-esteem consider themselves successful and valuable, and organizations that in turn highly value these members will instill positive attitudes (behaviors) in them (Ko and Choi 2019; Lin et al. 2018; Takhsha et al. 2020). Accordingly, this study defines self-esteem as one’s perceived level of significance, competence, and likability. as well as one’s self-perceived ability to meet the expectations of others, receive evaluations, and accept kindness from others.

2.6. Relationship between Key Variables

2.6.1. Workplace Spirituality and Positive Psychological Capital

The broaden-and-build theory proposed by Fredrickson (2001) argues that positive emotions broaden our life perspective and create resources (e.g., health, relationships, longevity, creativity, etc.) that help us live successfully. Researchers found that organizational members who create positive emotions in an organization develop more positive mindsets and attitudes, implying that these organizational members may gradually embrace spirituality within their organizations (Weinberg and Locander 2014).
For example, in a study on organizational members’ spiritual leadership and job (work) performance, Baykal and Zehir (2018) explored the role of positive psychological capital. They found that organizational members working under spiritual leadership showed improved positive psychological capital, increasing job-related (work-related) achievement. Paul and Jena (2022) proposed that future knowledge-based businesses should strive to develop an agile workforce that engages in organizational citizenship behavior by encouraging organizational members to be open and innovative, to positively perceive life, and to embrace spiritual wisdom in the interest of personal development. In particular, the researchers found that, when the job (work) values of all organizational members matched the organization’s goals, members worked with more optimistic mindsets, strove for excellence in their job (work), and were more active in cultivating a positive atmosphere within the organization.
Additionally, Shrestha and Jena (2021) showed that positive psychological capital could further amplify the effect of workplace spirituality under certain conditions. They considered workplace spirituality as a factor that reduces organizational members’ negative behaviors and attitudes, which can include organizational cynicism, counterproductive work behavior, and turnover intention. Regarding the relationship between workplace spirituality and negativity, the researchers discovered that, when organizational members’ positive psychological capital was high, negativity was further reduced. Combining the above, we formulated the following research hypothesis.
Hypothesis 1.
The workplace spirituality of female professional dancers will positively influence positive psychological capital.

2.6.2. Workplace Spirituality and Team Trust

Workplace spirituality encompasses meaningful work, a sense of community, and organizational values. It provides links to past experiences and strengthens trust among organizational members, leading to a more productive environment. In contrast, the absence of workplace spirituality can detract from the organizational environment and invite difficulties (Hassan et al. 2016). Hassan et al. (2016) discovered that trust positively mediated the interaction between workplace spirituality and job (work) satisfaction, serving as a positive bridge between the two entities. Their findings suggested that workplace spirituality can minimize problems such as stress, absenteeism, and a discouraging organizational environment.
Marques (2005) noted the diverse benefits that workplace spirituality can confer on organizations. Workplace spirituality enhances mutual connectivity and trust among organizational members in job (work) processes, collectively fostering a motivational organizational culture, reciprocity, and solidarity and enhancing overall job (work) performance. All of this ultimately serves as the basis for an optimal organizational culture. Burack (1999) and Marques (2006) claimed that workplace spirituality strengthens mutual connectivity, respect, and recognition among organizational members, releasing them from restricted personal silos in the organization. They also found that workplace spirituality is a major factor in building trust among organizational members who work together regularly or incidentally.
In another example, Daniel (2010) reported that, in a spiritual environment, improved trust caused ripple effects when organizational members engaged more actively in team performance and supported and understood their team members. They concluded that establishing spirituality at various levels within the organization is paramount and that cultivating spirituality in the organizational culture can contribute to member satisfaction and improved job (work) performance. Combining the above, we formulated the following research hypothesis.
Hypothesis 2.
The workplace spirituality of female professional dancers will positively influence team trust.

2.6.3. Workplace Spirituality and Self-Esteem

Workplace spirituality involves organizational members seeking life purpose through their work and developing a strong sense of connectedness, unity, and exchange with other organizational members at their job (work). It also involves maintaining congruence and consistency between one’s core beliefs and the organization’s values, and having self-esteem (Milliman et al. 2003). Researchers also showed that strengthening emotional engagement in a spiritual work environment that provides intrinsic motivation positively influences the lives of organizational members and improves individual job (work) engagement (Fry 2003; Milliman et al. 2003).
Additionally, Kolodinsky et al. (2008) discovered that workplace spirituality in organizations can have a positive impact on member engagement and facilitate constructive relationships. Particularly, they found that organizational members with high workplace spirituality collaborate more in job (work) tasks, meaning that these organizational members regard themselves as highly capable and indispensable to the organization and that they desire recognition. Combining the above, we formulated the following research hypothesis.
Hypothesis 3.
The workplace spirituality of female professional dancers will positively influence self-esteem.

2.6.4. Positive Psychological Capital and Team Trust

Self-efficacy is required to perform one’s job (work), resiliency is needed to handle various workplace problems, and organizational support increases trust among organizational members (Ozturk and Karatepe 2019). Particularly, researchers found that leaders who used their authority to quickly resolve customer problems and who maintained strong relationships with their colleagues contributed to the positive psychological capital of organizational members (Bouzari and Karatepe 2017). Hence, organizational members with high levels of positive psychological capital solidify trust in the organization and build closer relationships with colleagues. Furthermore, organizational members with high self-efficacy and optimism, who believe they can overcome any obstacles, also have higher trust in the organization (Ozturk and Karatepe 2019).
Members with resiliency, which (as a component of positive psychological capital) is the ability to recover from adversity and strive for further achievements within an organization, are more dedicated to an organization and devote more effort to it (Ozturk and Karatepe 2019). Thus, managers can recognize the relationship between positive psychological capital and organizational members’ trust as an important factor in job (work) performance (Clapp-Smith et al. 2009). Finally, Shukla and Rai (2015) also claimed that positive psychological capital had a strong positive relationship with trust in an organization. Combining the above, we formulated the following research hypothesis.
Hypothesis 4.
The positive psychological capital of female professional dancers will positively influence team trust.

2.6.5. Positive Psychological Capital and Self-Esteem

Positive psychological capital focuses on organizational members’ personal strengths and positive qualities, which improve job (work) performance (Luthans et al. 2007). Positive psychological capital can intrinsically motivate organizational members and more strongly influence job (work) performance that is related to achieving goals, rather than to responding to other external pressures (Agarwal and Farndale 2017; Nolzen 2018). Intrinsically motivated organizational members strive to engage their interests and express themselves; they rise to challenges and are curious about their own work and behavior (Adil et al. 2020). Organizational members with high positive psychological capital are aware of their goals and therefore become strongly intrinsically motivated. Those with high intrinsic motivation can achieve better job (work) performance when carrying out tasks, and their self-esteem increases (Adil et al. 2020; Hong et al. 2020; Nolzen 2018; Xu et al. 2021).
Ko and Choi (2019) proposed that organizational members who established a positive work-related identity have high self-esteem. Moreover, social identity theory suggests that organizational members who established a positive work-related identity were likely to experience positive interactions with other organizational members, which significantly impacted their self-esteem (Rego et al. 2011; Tajfel 1974; Tajfel 1975). Therefore, as positive psychological capital increases, organizational members’ attitudes toward their organization improves, resulting in higher collective self-esteem (Ko and Choi 2019). Combining the above, we formulated the following research hypothesis.
Hypothesis 5.
The positive psychological capital of female professional dancers will positively influence self-esteem.

2.6.6. Team Trust and Self-Esteem

A team’s performance varies depending on its organizational members’ interdependency, that is, their level of mutual trust. Team members’ harmonization, integration, communication, beliefs, encouragement, and consideration are especially important factors that can enhance each member’s self-esteem. Furthermore, organizational members’ trusting interactions may strengthen teamwork and amplify team achievements (Chung and Yang 2017; Holton 2001; Sedikides et al. 2015). As such, teamwork originates from mutual trust, and trust arises from each team member’s self-esteem. This is enabled by mutual belief (i.e., trust) between team members who can tolerate failures. Moreover, team members’ self-esteem is proportional to their skills, and team trust is absolutely necessary (Akgunduz 2015; Bao et al. 2016; Bertucci et al. 2010; Tarricone and Luca 2002).
In a service encounter study, Lee and Kim (2013) reported that the proper verbal response of food service workers substantially affected consumer (customer) trust and also increased self-esteem. In terms of consumer (customer) behavior, the verbal communication of food service workers ultimately played a mediating role in strengthening the trust of the consumer (customer) and raising self-esteem. Lee and Kim (2013) also discovered that a service providers’ trustworthy communications directly impacted self-esteem, proving that consumer (customer) trust and self-esteem were highly correlated. Combining the above, we formulated the following research hypothesis.
Hypothesis 6.
The team trust of female professional dancers will positively influence self-esteem.

3. Research Method

3.1. Research Model

This study empirically investigated the influence of the workplace spirituality of female professional dancers on positive psychological capital, team trust, and self-esteem. We also tested the mediating effects of positive psychological capital and team trust. Figure 1 shows the schematization of this model.

3.2. Participants and Setting

The subjects of this study were female professional dancers. We conducted one round of the online survey in the first half of 2022 and another round in the second half of the same year through two global research agencies (“Entrust Survey,”, accessed on 1 March 2022; “Netpoint Enterprise Inc.,”, accessed on 1 August 2022). We conducted the surveys in two countries—the United States and the United Kingdom—and ultimately obtained 441 samples. We conducted surveys in the United States and the United Kingdom for the following reasons. If we take ballet as an example, most of the top ballet schools are either in the U.S. or Europe, whether for aspiring dancers or instructors. In particular, the Juilliard School, the San Francisco Ballet School, the School of American Ballet in the U.S., and the Royal Ballet School in the U.K. are some of the best institutes in the world. The American Ballet Theater in the U.S. and the Royal Ballet in the U.K. are among the world’s top-ranked ballet companies. In addition, dancers worldwide aspire to perform in the U.S. or Europe (e.g., the U.K.), thus raising the popularity of these countries in this regard. Hence, for this study, we limited the survey to English-speaking countries to increase its accuracy, and carried out surveys on dancers in the U.S. and the U.K. Table 2 shows the demographic characteristics of the sample.

3.3. Measurement of Variables

Table 3 shows the survey items for the study. We created the survey items of all the variables with reference to previous studies while modifying and supplementing them according to the purpose of this study. There were a total of 20 survey items, which were measured on a 5-point Likert scale (1 point = not at all, 5 points = very much so). The reliability and convergent validity of the survey items are also shown.

3.4. Data Analysis

We used three statistical programs SmartPLS 3.3.9, jamovi 2.3.15, and GSCA Pro 1.1.8 to conduct the analysis, with the analysis procedure as follows: (1) frequency analysis to examine demographic characteristics; (2) reliability analysis using Cronbach’s alpha to test the reliability of the metrics; (3) factor analysis to test the validity of the metrics; (4) correlation analysis to examine the closeness (i.e., correlation) of the variables; (5) structural equation model (SEM) analysis to examine the causality between the key variables.

4. Results

4.1. Discriminant Validity Analysis

Table 4 shows the results of the discriminant validity analysis (correlation analysis). This study examined whether the average variance extracted (AVE) square root exceeded the correlation coefficient for each variable, and the results indicate that this was indeed the case. We then tested the discriminant validity of the study variables.

4.2. Results of Structural Equation Model Analysis

To test the causality between the variables, the core of this study, we performed a SEM analysis using the three statistical programs SmartPLS 3.3.9, jamovi 2.3.15, and GSCA Pro 1.1.8. Table 5 summarizes the three major SEM approaches: (1) PLS SEM using SmartPLS, (2) generalized structured component analysis (GSCA) SEM using GSCA Pro, and (3) covariance-based (CB) SEM using jamovi. The purpose of this step was to confirm the accuracy and completeness of the research model design and maximize the generalization of the hypothesis test (statistical analysis) results.
With SmartPLS, we performed resampling 500 times using a bootstrapping technique. Bootstrapping is a non-parametric procedure that can test the statistical significance of various PLS-SEM model results, including path coefficient, Cronbach’s alpha, heterotrait-monotrait ratio of correlations, and R² values (Choi 2021; Han and Kim 2021; Jung et al. 2021; Kim et al. 2019, 2020, 2021a, 2021b, 2022a, 2022b, 2022c; Kwak et al. 2019; Lee and Kim 2020). This study examined the influence of the workplace spirituality of female professional dancers on positive psychological capital, team trust, and self-esteem. Table 6 and Figure 2 shows the analysis results, summarized as follows.
  • The workplace spirituality of female professional dancers showed a statistically significant positive influence on positive psychological capital (SmartPLS, GSCA Pro, jamovi). In addition, workplace spirituality showed a statistically significant positive influence on team trust (SmartPLS, GSCA Pro, jamovi). Workplace spirituality also showed a statistically significant positive influence on self-esteem (SmartPLS, GSCA Pro, jamovi). These results support (Hypothesis 1), (Hypothesis 2), and (Hypothesis 3).
  • The positive psychological capital of female professional dancers showed a statistically significant positive influence on team trust. In addition, positive psychological capital showed a statistically significant positive influence on self-esteem. These results support (Hypothesis 4) and (Hypothesis 5). (3) The team trust of female professional dancers showed a statistically significant positive influence on self-esteem (except for jamovi). These results partially supported (Hypothesis 6).

4.3. Test of Mediating Effects

We performed an additional analysis on the mediating effect of two factors (positive psychological capital and team trust) in the relationship between the workplace spirituality and self-esteem of female professional dancers, and Table 7 shows the analysis results: (1) a mediating effect was observed in the path of workplace spirituality → positive psychological capital → self-esteem; (2) a mediating effect was observed in the path of workplace spirituality → team trust → self-esteem; (3) a mediating effect was observed in the path of workplace spirituality → positive psychological capital → team trust → self-esteem.

5. Conclusions

5.1. Summary of Research

Based on the self-transcendence theory and immaturity-maturity theory, this study empirically tested the influence of the workplace spirituality of female professional dancers on positive psychological capital, team trust, and self-esteem. The subjects of this study were female professional dancers. We conducted one round of the online survey in the first half of 2022 and another round in the second half of the same year through two global research agencies. Conducting the surveys in two countries—the United States and the United Kingdom—we obtained 441 samples. To test the hypotheses, we performed SEM analysis using three statistical programs: SmartPLS, GSCA Pro, and jamovi. The analysis results are summarized as follows.
  • The workplace spirituality of female professional dancers showed a statistically significant positive influence on positive psychological capital. These results support the findings of Baykal and Zehir (2018) and Shrestha and Jena (2021), suggesting that workplace spirituality may help female professional dancers develop more positively and more fully express their potential (e.g., their sense of inner life, sense of calling, empathy, transcendence). People usually seek pleasant, positive emotions and avoid uncomfortable, negative ones. Moreover, they strive to become more competent and efficient over time. Through workplace spirituality, people’s efforts to grow and develop help maintain a constant stream of positive psychological capital. Hence, workplace spirituality elevates the level of positive psychological capital and facilitates smooth interactions between people in the organization.
  • The workplace spirituality of female professional dancers showed a statistically significant positive influence on team trust. This result supports the findings of Burack (1999), Daniel (2010), Hassan et al. (2016), Marques (2005), and Marques (2006). That is, workplace spirituality is a factor that can draw out positive attitudes in female professional dancers and strengthen the connections between individual goals and organizational values. Workplace spirituality also promotes the work efficiency of teams and increases flexibility within the organization, thereby playing a central role in team trust. The findings also suggest that members with high workplace spirituality feel a strong sense of gratitude during their daily experiences in the organization and are likely to respond with sensitivity to the emotions and needs of others. Thus, workplace spirituality positively impacts team trust by spurring organizational citizenship behavior, in which individuals seek to assist or encourage others.
  • The workplace spirituality of female professional dancers showed a statistically significant positive influence on self-esteem. This result supports the findings of Milliman et al. (2003). The essence of spirituality is that, as people develop clearer beliefs about the meaning of life, they are more likely to value themselves and perceive themselves as worthy. Applying this idea to the current context and developing it further, we note that the core action of workplace spirituality is examining one’s inner life to know who one is and what one values. Workplace spirituality is about people striving to discover their fundamental life purpose and recognizing themselves as significant beings, which increases the value of their futures. Therefore, workplace spirituality positively influences not only growth of the self but also the harmony between organizational members (working together without conflict). Workplace spirituality significantly impacted self-esteem because female professional dancers felt devoted to the organization and were proud to be members of it.
  • The positive psychological capital of female professional dancers showed a statistically significant positive influence on team trust. This result supports the findings of Ozturk and Karatepe (2019) and Shukla and Rai (2015), suggesting that, when female professional dancers maximize their positive psychological capital to achieve organizational goals and improve performance, they demonstrate job (work) competence and showcase their strengths, which can increase team trust. Hence, job (work) satisfaction in an organization can elevate team trust when both an individual’s positive psychological capital and team members’ virtues are synchronized. Additionally, members with high positive psychological capital understand their own strengths and needs and earn the trust of their team members. In other words, as organizational members exhibit positive psychological capital in their relationships with team members, team trust and interdependence increase.
  • The positive psychological capital of female professional dancers showed a statistically significant positive influence on self-esteem. This result supports the findings of Adil et al. (2020), Hong et al. (2020), Ko and Choi (2019), Nolzen (2018), and Xu et al. (2021). In the current era of rapid change, as people’s futures have become more uncertain, they have become more interested in reflecting on themselves and their lives, and they increasingly engage in action-oriented approaches to self-discovery. Maintaining positive psychological capital is important so that one can persevere in a difficult situation, confidently overcome challenges, and recover from hardships without becoming disheartened. In this study, positive psychological capital helped female professional dancers maximize their potential in both work and life; thus, ultimately, it positively impacted self-esteem. The activated positive psychological capital was a positive burst of energy that emerged from within the dancers and awakened their potential to achieve organizational goals. The newly liberated energy also served as a tremendous source of positivity that infused the workplace culture of the dancers and then spread to their families and to other organizational members. Thus, positive psychological capital significantly affected self-esteem.
  • The team trust of female professional dancers showed a statistically significant positive influence on self-esteem (except for jamovi). This result supports the findings of Akgunduz (2015), Bao et al. (2016), Bertucci et al. (2010), and Tarricone and Luca (2002). That is, trust may decline in a group when female professional dancers are unaware of their team members’ actions and behaviors. To enable cooperation and delegation within a team, members must trust their organization and their fellow team members. In fact, team trust is a basic prerequisite for the team achieving expected outcomes, which depend on everyone diligently performing their jobs (work). Before one can even begin to think about outcomes, the first priority on a team is for members to understand their teammates’ roles, how teammates will fulfill those roles, and whether they are making the necessary efforts to fulfill them. Hence, team trust played a role in enhancing the dancers’ self-esteem because mutual cooperation on the team and within the organization strengthened trust.

5.2. Research Implications

5.2.1. Theoretical Implications

  • This empirical study, which was based on the self-transcendence theory and immaturity-maturity theory, was the first to specifically examine the influence of the workplace spirituality of female professional dancers on positive psychological capital, team trust, and self-esteem.
  • Researchers have found that to perform more positively in the workplace, professional dancers can use transcendental mindsets such as spirituality to overcome the fears about the future that stem from the uncertainty of their professional life cycle (Flower 2016; Hanrahan and Vergeer 2001; Quiroga Murcia et al. 2010). Many previous studies have reported that spirituality (including workplace spirituality) can enhance self-esteem and promote the stability of the mind, psyche, and body (Alsalkhi 2019; Altaf and Awan 2011; Kumar and Singh 2014; Milliman et al. 2003). Therefore, workplace spirituality is a crucial factor influencing organizational behavior. Nevertheless, studies on workplace spirituality have been limited to general entrepreneurs and occupations such as education, medicine, and social welfare. To address this limitation, this study expanded on the results of previous studies and used female professional dancers as the research subjects.
  • To test causality between the variables, we performed SEM analysis using three statistical programs SmartPLS 3.3.9, jamovi 2.3.15, and GSCA Pro 1.1.8. We performed three kinds of SEM analyses: (1) PLS SEM using SmartPLS, (2) GSCA SEM using GSCA Pro, and (3) CB SEM using jamovi. Through these analyses, we confirmed the accuracy and completeness of the research model design and improved our ability to generalize the results of the hypothesis test (statistical analysis).

5.2.2. Practical Implications

  • In this study, the workplace spirituality of female professional dancers positively affected positive psychological capital, team trust, and self-esteem. This suggests that fostering workplace spirituality is imperative for female professional dancers, and we propose five ways an organization can do this: (1) convey the importance of the organizational mission and values to organizational members; (2) increase the decision-making and autonomy of each organizational member; (3) encourage members to strive for continuous self-development and improvement; (4) encourage cooperation among organizational members even as each member operates in their own workplace domain; (5) discourage organizational members from lapsing into a state of moral laxity, in which they neglect responsibilities and resort to egoism. Our findings suggest that, if organizations implement these five measures, they can more fully develop the potential of female professional dancers and dispel fear, distrust, and moral laxity in the organization, ultimately increasing positive psychological capital, team trust, and self-esteem.
  • The workplace spirituality and positive psychological capital of female professional dancers positively affected team trust. This study’s findings imply that, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, if an organization emphasizes the importance of the individual over that of teamwork, a vicious cycle could result. Therefore, the right kinds of attention are crucial such that no organizational member feels excluded from the relationships or team dynamics related to their job (work). The findings also highlight the importance of organizations helping female professional dancers achieve self-actualization by attending to their inner worlds and encouraging constant learning and growth.
  • Organizational members with high workplace spirituality more highly value the intrinsic reward of maturation through continuous learning. Workplace spirituality can provide female professional dancers with a source of strength to overcome negative emotions and develop positive psychological capital, which can foster an atmosphere with high job (work) commitment. This, in turn, helps to solidify organizational members’ self-esteem, or overall evaluation of their abilities and worth. To summarize, workplace spirituality increased female professional dancers’ awareness of their value and strengthened their belief that they could overcome life obstacles. Since workplace spirituality boosted the self-confidence (self-esteem) of the female professional dancers and helped them believe they could achieve success through their own efforts, it is a vital factor for this occupational group.

5.3. Research Limitations and Future Directions

  • This study examined causal relationships among workplace spirituality, positive psychological capital, team trust, and self-esteem. However, the study did not examine workplace spirituality impacts on negative factors such as job stress, job burnout, and turnover intention. As such, follow-up studies are needed to consider negative factors as well as positive ones, and to empirically investigate these factors comprehensively.
  • The subjects of this study were female professional dancers from two countries: the United States and the United Kingdom. Since the generalizability of results based on two countries is somewhat limited, surveying subjects of other nationalities is needed. In other words, the accuracy of the research results could be further improved by conducting surveys and SEM analyses with a more diverse group of subjects in terms of nationality.
  • This study empirically investigated professional dancers, only one of many artistic and physical occupational groups, and studies are needed to survey other occupations and conduct follow-up investigations. For example, other similar occupations to study would be musical occupations (e.g., those who perform musicals, operas, vocal music, etc.); arts occupations (fashion, design, crafts, etc.); and physical occupations (e.g., sports, security, etc.).


This research received no external funding.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Ethical review and approval were waived for this study, because, although it was a human study, it was observational, and the research design did not in-volve ethical issues.

Informed Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study.

Data Availability Statement

Data sharing is not applicable. The data are not publicly available due to participant privacy.

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.


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Figure 1. Research model.
Figure 1. Research model.
Religions 14 00445 g001
Figure 2. Hypothesis test results. Note: Black line: Supported; Note) Black dotted line: Partially supported.
Figure 2. Hypothesis test results. Note: Black line: Supported; Note) Black dotted line: Partially supported.
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Table 1. Components/dimensions and main descriptions of workplace spirituality.
Table 1. Components/dimensions and main descriptions of workplace spirituality.
Component/DimensionMain Descriptions (Concepts/Characteristics)Researchers
Finding meaning in one’s work
Being conscious of being a member of a community
Mirvis (1997)
Interpreting spirituality as a passive and static personality trait that does not easily change over time
Viewing spirituality as dynamic (i.e., manifesting, developing, and able to interact with the external environment)
Emmons (2000)
Immanent: Pursuing status, income, security, and achievement to satisfy ego needs
Transcendent meaning: In work, motivation beyond the self, principle beyond profit, and a force beyond the visible world
Thompson (2000)
calling that has a firm meaning and value in work
Recognizing an organization as a community and perceiving oneself as a member of it (membership)
Fry (2003)
Transcendence involving moving toward a greater self through work
Sense of community as a member of a group
Giacalone and Jurkiewicz (2003)
The degree to which one is synchronized in finding the sacred meaning and purpose of one’s existence
continuum based on the level of consideration of life, from very low to very high
Tepper (2003)
Exploring the inner world of one’s own existence
Discovering meaning through work
Recognizing the workplace as a community
Beyer (1999)
The feeling of being part of a community
Pursuing meaning in the workplace (pursuing purpose and values)
Shaping one’s participation in the workplace to become a part of a greater world
Ashmos and Duchon (2000)
Attitude toward finding value in work
Attitude toward a sense of community
Attitude toward aligning oneself with the organization’s values
Milliman et al. (2003)
Strongly believing in oneself and the ability to contribute to positive results
Perceiving that one is taking good care of oneself mentally, physically, and spiritually in the workplace
Perceiving being interconnected in the organizational environment (including with colleagues)
Marques et al. (2005)
Perceiving that one is doing meaningful work with higher goals and positive emotions (engaging work)
sense of connection with others who share common goals
feeling of being connected to a force greater than oneself (spiritual connection)
powerful experience physically and emotionally (mystical experience)
Kinjerski and Skrypnek (2006)
Table 2. Demographic characteristics (N = 441).
Table 2. Demographic characteristics (N = 441).
EducationHigh school graduate (including junior college graduate)225.0
University graduate (or currently enrolled in university)30970.1
Graduate school graduate (or currently enrolled in graduate school)11024.9
Table 3. Measurement of variables.
Table 3. Measurement of variables.
VariableItemConvergent ValidityCronbach’s AlphaMulticollinearityResearcher
Outer LoadingsComposite ReliabilityAVE VIF
Workplace spirituality1. My sense of inner life is strong.
Example) My inner consciousness (spirituality) is noble and sacred.
0.9020.9570.8180.9443.830Han (2017)
Roh and Suh (2014)
2. My sense of calling for my work is strong.
Example) My work is in harmony with my values/beliefs/behavior.
3. My empathy for my colleagues is strong.
Example) I thoroughly understand my colleagues’ perspectives, and I consider them.
4. My organization has a strong sense of community.
Example) I have a strong sense of responsibility and community.
5. I have a strong feeling of transcendence beyond myself.
Example) When I am immersed in my work, I feel elated and transcend time and space.
Positive psychological capital1. In a given situation, I feel confident and make efforts to achieve positive outcomes.
0.8290.9050.6560.8692.152Lee and Park (2018)
Lim (2014)
2. I persevere and use various methods to achieve my goals.
3. I tend to think positively or have a positive outlook about present and future situations or outcomes.
4. I have a strong will to return to normal, accepting reality and changes and coping with risks and responsibilities.
5. I experience a high positive psychological state (self-efficacy/hope/optimism/resiliency) when pursuing my own development.0.7661.801
Team trust1. Team members—meet my expectations overall.0.8530.9430.7680.9242.637Ahn and Park (2010)
Jeong and Hong (2015)
2. Team members—meet my needs overall.0.8813.178
3. Team members—satisfy my trust overall.0.9123.948
4. Team members—give me their faith overall.0.8923.465
5. Team members—do not disappoint me overall.0.8412.540
Self-esteem1. I think I am an indispensable and important member of my organization, and people around me think the same.
0.8890.9390.7550.9193.273Schutz (2009)
2. I am able to handle anything that happens in my organization.
3. Everyone around me recognizes my abilities.
4. Everyone in my organization likes me.
5. Members of my organization do not talk behind my back in my absence.
Note: Outer Loadings > 0.70; Composite Reliability > 0.70; Average Variance Extracted (AVE) > 0.5; Cronbach’s Alpha > 0.70; Variance Inflation Factor (VIF) < 10.0.
Table 4. Discriminant validity analysis.
Table 4. Discriminant validity analysis.
VariableWorkplace SpiritualityPositive Psychological CapitalTeam TrustTeam Trust
Workplace spirituality0.905---
Positive psychological capital0.5180.810--
Team trust0.5750.7070.876-
Note: The bold diagonal lines indicate the square root of the AVE.
Table 5. SEM summary (comparison).
Table 5. SEM summary (comparison).
SEM based on partial least squares (PLS) such as SmartPLS, VisualPLS, and PLS-Graph.
The statistical program SmartPLS can (1) quickly generate structural equations and path models; (2) easily reflect a formative measurement model and reflective measurement model; and (3) easily analyze mediating effects and moderating effects.
SEM based on GSCA such as VisualGSCA and GSCA Pro.
GSCA SEM is similar to PLS SEM but differs in the following ways.
PLS provides slightly limited information in the statistical analysis results, whereas GSCA provides more extensive information. (2) The concept of overall model fit is not very applicable to PLS. (3) GSCA is more flexible than PLS.
GSCA tends to provide smaller standard errors and confidence intervals. However, PLS and GSCA share the ability to generate similar parameter estimates in one-dimensional, one-way, and unconstrained component models.
CB SEM includes AMOS, LISREL, MPlus, JASP, and jamovi.
JASP and jamovi are open-source statistical packages with a convenient graphical user interface.
Moreover, as they are implemented based on the statistical language R, all of R’s powerful and flexible features are available.
Source: Qtd. in Kim et al. (2022a). Antecedents influencing SNS addiction and exhaustion (fatigue syndrome): Focusing on six countries. Behaviour and Information Technology, p.13 (Online First).
Table 6. SEM results.
Table 6. SEM results.
PathSmartPLSGSCA Projamovi
H1workplace spirituality → positive psychological capital0.51812.2490.000O0.51911.5330.000O0.57111.1800.000O
H2workplace spirituality → team trust0.2866.0960.000O0.2856.0640.000O0.2555.6500.000O
H3workplace spirituality → self-esteem0.1402.9870.003O0.1402.8570.005O0.1222.4900.013O
H4positive psychological capital → team trust0.55812.1090.000O0.56013.0230.000O0.62911.3700.000O
H5positive psychological capital → self-esteem0.4798.4110.000O0.4807.7420.000O0.6278.3100.000O
H6team trust → self-esteem0.1812.9340.004O0.1802.7690.006O0.0791.1200.263X
Note: SmartPLS: NFI = 0.907, SRMR = 0.042; GSCA Pro: GFI = 0.998, SRMR = 0.026; jamovi: CFI = 0.957, GFI = 0.904, NFI = 0.936, TLI = 0.950, SRMR = 0.031, RMSEA = 0.066; H: O = statistically significant, X = statistically insignificant.
Table 7. Mediating effect test results.
Table 7. Mediating effect test results.
PathβtpMediating Effect
1workplace spirituality → positive psychological capital → self-esteem0.2486.7890.000Yes
2workplace spirituality → team trust → self-esteem0.0522.4730.014Yes
3workplace spirituality → positive psychological capital → team trust → self-esteem0.0522.7200.007Yes
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Jung, S.-h. Does Workplace Spirituality Increase Self-Esteem in Female Professional Dancers? The Mediating Effect of Positive Psychological Capital and Team Trust. Religions 2023, 14, 445.

AMA Style

Jung S-h. Does Workplace Spirituality Increase Self-Esteem in Female Professional Dancers? The Mediating Effect of Positive Psychological Capital and Team Trust. Religions. 2023; 14(4):445.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jung, Seung-hye. 2023. "Does Workplace Spirituality Increase Self-Esteem in Female Professional Dancers? The Mediating Effect of Positive Psychological Capital and Team Trust" Religions 14, no. 4: 445.

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