Conceptualizing the relationship between Spiritual and Entrepreneurial Orientation in developing sustainable enterprises


  • Eshani Wickramasekera
  • I.K. Peiris
  • R. Ulluwishewa



Entrepreneurship is considered a critical element that promotes the development of an economy and the society of a country. At the organizational level, the Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO) of decision-makers is recognized as a key driver in the entrepreneurship literature that propels firms to act ‘autonomously’, ‘innovate’, ‘take risks’, and be ‘proactive’ relative to marketplace opportunities. However, the current EO literature is evolving and has not explored its impact on developing sustainable operations. This paper intends to bridge this gap by introducing a concept of Spiritual Orientation (SO) playing the role of a mediator to explain the association between EO and sustainable operations. We argue that spirituality fortifies entrepreneurs’ commitment to developing sustainable business entities, by empowering firms to be adaptable and creating a pro-social business model with a sense of interconnection with the community and natural ecosystem. Thus, it is important to understand the spiritual development of entrepreneurs, because it leads entrepreneurs to exhibit fairness, kindness, and improved awareness of other people’s needs and thereby be sensitive to the alterations in the natural ecosystem. This paper argues that Spiritual Orientation leads entrepreneurs to exercise greater ‘autonomy’ as a result of seeing the interconnectedness of their actions. A spiritually oriented entrepreneur would place emphasis on the ethics, principles, virtues, values, and be sensitive to emotions, which will lead to taking proactive actions. As such, spirituality elucidates how business visionaries continue despite challenging situations by expanding their ideas of future-oriented sensemaking. This paper theorizes how a spiritually driven EO will lead to sustainable business ventures that focus on people, profit, and the planet. We assert that entrepreneurs must develop the spiritual maturity to create the right balance of EO dimensions, thus leading to creating sustainable organizations.


Entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurial Orientation; Spirituality; Spiritual Orientation; Sustainability; Triple Bottom line