Date of Conferral







David Banner


Corporate scandals have disrupted the trust and confidence in leaders over the last two decades. Researchers have not addressed the spiritual intelligence of leaders and the role it might play in influencing organizational trust. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the role of spiritual intelligence in leader influence on organizational trust. The research question addressed the role of spiritual intelligence in leader influence on organizational trust within a global insurance company. The conceptual framework was based on intelligence theory, leadership theory, spiritual intelligence theory, trust theory, and servant leadership philosophy. Data were collected using semistructured interviews with a purposive sample of 16 employees from a global insurance company. Participant selection included senior leaders in the organization or employees who reported to one of those senior leaders. Data were coded, analyzed, and interpreted manually to identify 5 themes using the methodological framework of reflective lifeworld research: emotional intelligence, servant leadership, integrity, trustworthiness, and moral compass. Findings showed that spiritual intelligence plays a critical role in leaders' capacity to make good decisions, build relationships, and provide a sense of empowerment. Senior leaders who leverage their spiritual intelligence may create an organizational culture of trust and empowerment, and may become role models for others to follow.