Spiritual Intelligence And Work Engagement: A Study Of Royal Malaysia Police


Spiritual intelligence is an important element to police officers as it drives them into a service task such as participating in organisational citizenship behaviour. This study examines the association between the spiritual intelligence and work engagement among 372 Royal Malaysia Police officers in five states of Malaysia including Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Sarawak and Sabah. Hypothesis testing was analysed using PLS-SEM analysis. The results of the study indicate positive relationship between three construct of spiritual intelligence including transcendental awareness (TA); personal meaning making (PMP); and critical existential thinking (CET). The study identifies non-significant relationship one dimension of spiritual intelligence consisting of conscious state expansion) (CSE) with work engagement. The findings demonstrate that the spiritual intelligence is important factor for police officer in increasing their work engagement and subsequently increase the loyalty of the police officers to their contingent. Practically, the result of this study show that leadership of police officer in Malaysia cannot neglect the importance of the spiritual aspects to their officers.

Keywords: Spiritual intelligencework engagementpolice officers


The spiritual concepts in the workplace are increasingly gaining attention among researchers (Altaf & Awan, 2011; Karakas, 2010; Petchsawang & Duchon, 2012). Spiritual intelligence is an important element in the development of a person's soft skills development and complementary part of intelligence to humans (Khorshidi & GanehEbaadi, 2012; Suppiah, et al., 2014). Spiritual intelligence makes the individual an intellectually, emotionally and spiritually complete person (Zohar & Marshall, 2001). Therefore, it is complementary in the effective functioning of emotional intelligence and intellectual intelligence. While, work engagement are often linked to the key to success and competitiveness of an organization (Gruman & Saks, 2011; Macey et al., 2009). Workers who have work engagement will be more energetic, giving a positive impact on cognitive and absorptive aspects and effective interaction with routine tasks (Rich et al., 2010; Schaufeli & Salanova, 2007).

According to Zohar & Marshall (2000), spiritual intelligence can be defined as an individual intelligence, which assists individual in healing and developing themselves in a more holistic manner. Work engagement refers to the aspect that embodies positive emotions and overall engagement in the work, which is characterized by three dimensions including absorption of work; dedication; and vigour (Schaufeli et al., 2002).

Problem Statement

Literatures reveal that police officers has been found to be lacking in commitment due to dissatisfaction on with the goals and values that have been practiced in their organization particularly in terms of employee’s well-being, which have not been given attention by their organizations; issues related to salary and promotion; issues in employees’ job equipment; isues in management style of the organizations; and recognition and reward systems by the organizations (Parsons et. al., 2011).

The literatures on the link between spritual or religious element with work engagement’s variables are lacking and rarely studied by scholars (Torabi & Javadi, 2013). However, several studies had examined the relationship between the abovementioned variables (e.g. Bickerton, 2013; Miner et al., 2015; Rothmann & Buys, 2011; Saks, 2011; Torabi & Javadi, 2013). Saks (2011) argued that spirituality in the workplace can be a powerful predictor of work engagement. Whereas according to Rothmann and Buys (2011), individual with strong faith and approached God to seek guidance, strength and support is predicted to be more psychological prepared and engaged to their work. Milliman et al., (2003) suggested that spiritual intelligence in the workplace (among individuals, groups and organizations) are closely linked with the five elements in organizational behaviour including organization-based self-esteem (OBSE); job engagement; intrinsic job satisfaction; less intention to quit; and organizational commitment.

Research Questions

  • Does critical existential thinking (CET) among police officers influence their work engagement?

  • Does personnel meaning making (PMP) among police officers influence their work engagement?

  • Is there a relationship between transcendental awareness (TA) and work engagementamong police officers?

  • Is there a relationship between consisting of conscious state expansion) (CSE) and work engagement among police officers?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to examine the linkages between the four dimensions of police officer’s spiritual intelligence including consisting of conscious state expansion (CSE); transcendental awareness (TA); personnel meaning making (PMP); and critical existential thinking (CET) and it relationship with work engagement.

Research Methods

This study uses a quantitative approach in the the form of surveys that involve collecting data through questionnaires distributed to respondents. This study used purposive based samlpling techniques. The selection of respondents is based on their State postings, due to the number of records of disciplinary action, which is higher, compared to the other State contingents. The states chosen are five different states. The respondents composed of policed officers who serve in the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) in the State contingents of Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Sarawak, and Sabah. A total of 1000 questionnaires were distributed to the samples on the abovementioned states after obtaining permission from the management of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM). The study utilizes survey instrument as the main tool for data collection (Ibrahim & Jaaffar, 2017). Measurement of the variables such as spritual intellingence and work engagement used in this study was adopted from the masurements that have been developed in English language by previous scholars and translated into Bahasa Malaysia using backtranslation technique. The measurement instrument for sprititual intelligence construct is adopted from King’s (2009) Spiritual Intelligence Self-Inventory (Bisri-24) containing 24 items divided into four coponents of spiritual intelligence construct including:1) CET (7 items); 2) PMP (5 items); 3) TA (7 items); and 4) CSE (5 items). The measurement instrument for work engagement construct is adopted from Saks’s (2006) Job Engagement Scale which consisted of 5 items.


From the total of 1000 questionnaire distributed to police officer from the abovementioned states in Malaysia, a total of 402 questionnaires were return indicating 40.2 percent rate of return. However, only 372 from 402 of the returned questionnaires can be used for data analysis because the remaining did not fill in the questionnaire completely. The majority of respondent in this study were male (84.1%) while the rest are women. Most of the respondents were aged 26-35 years (38.2) percent). The majority of respondents were Malays (72.8 percent) and were Muslims (80.9 percent). While more than half of the respondents has obtained SPM (Malaysian Certificate of Education) as their highest academic qualification (59.9 percent). Majority of respondents were married (77.4 percent). With regard to the ranking of police officers, the police officers from the rank of Corporal represent the majority (37.4 percent). Most of respondents have service experience of 11-20 years (26.6 percent) and has salaries below than RM3000 (45.5 percent) as well as based in Selangor (25.5 percent).

Data for the study for spiritual intelligence construct and work engagement construct was analyzed using PLS-SEM via SmartPLS 2.0 software. The data was assessed in a two-step process. The first step is the measurement model and the second step is the structural model (Hair et al., 2014). Based on Table 1 , generally the items in the measurement model exhibited loading that exceed 0.5 (recommended value) ranging from a lower bound of 0.637 to an upper bound of 0.912 after four items have been deleted (TA4SQ, TA5SQ, TA7SQ and CSE5SQ) because these items have value below than the recommended value (Hair et al., 2014). Meanwhile, for composite reliability value for each construct ranging from 0.867 to 0.959 which exceed the threshold value of 0.7 (Hair et. al, 2014).

Table 1 -
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For the structural model analysis, the bootstrapping function generated 5000 samples from 372 cases. The validity of the structural model was assessed using the coefficient of determination (R2) and path coefficients. Figure 1 demonstrates the bootstrapping of path coefficient of each constructs. Based on Figure 1 , majority of the direct relationship between each constructs has positive significant relationship except CSE→WE, which found otherwise. Thus, four research hypotheses were supported in this study and only one hypothesis was rejected for the direct relationship for each constructs.

Figure 1: Bootstrapping of Path Coefficients (Direct Relationship)
Bootstrapping of Path Coefficients (Direct Relationship)
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Table 2 below shows the summary of hypotheses testing that was carried out in this study.

Table 2 -
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Table 3 -
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While, Table 3 shows the analysis of R Squared (R2) and Effect Size (f2) for each studied constructs. Based on Table 3 , the coefficient of determination R2 value for each constructs fall within moderated level based on the rule of thumb which categorized value 0.75 (strong), 0.50 (moderate), and 0.25 (weak) (Hair et. al., 2014). While for the computation process of Effect Size (f 2), Cohen (1988) has categorized f 2 value to f2 < 0.019 = No Effect; 0.02 <f 2< 0.149 = Weak Effect; 0.15 < f 2< 0.349 = Moderate Effect; f 2 > 0.35 = High Effect.


The results of the study indicate the three components of spiritual intelligence such as critical existential thinking (CET), personal meaning making (PMP) and transcendental awareness (TA) play important role in increasing the work engagement of the police officer. Nevertheless, one of the component of spiritual intelligence, conscious state expansion) (CSE) have not significantly related to work engagement indicated that the ability of the police officers to remain stay calm and focus on challenging environment in order to fulfil their responsibility. The results of this study have proved that police officers need to have spiritual intelligence in order to engage more in their organization.


The researchers thank to Universiti Tenaga Nasional for funding this research under the Human Resource Training Budget


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31 July 2018

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Jaaffar, A. H., Baker, R., & Ibrahim, H. I. (2018). Spiritual Intelligence And Work Engagement: A Study Of Royal Malaysia Police. In N. Nadiah Ahmad, N. Raida Abd Rahman, E. Esa, F. Hanim Abdul Rauf, & W. Farhah (Eds.), Interdisciplinary Sustainability Perspectives: Engaging Enviromental, Cultural, Economic and Social Concerns, vol 44. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 457-463). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.07.02.49