• Jing Li School of Teacher Education, Heze University, 274000 Heze, Shandong Province, China.
  • Soon-Yew Ju Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, City University Malaysia, 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
  • Lai-Kuan Kong Faculty of Business and Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Pahang Branch, Raub Campus, 27600 Raub, Malaysia.


Background and Purpose: The teaching profession is recognized as a high-intensity and high-stress occupation, and teachers’ professional well-being is being greatly challenged. To enhance teachers' professional well-being, researchers have begun to explore influence mechanisms from the perspective of leadership style. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the effect of principals' spiritual leadership on primary and secondary school teachers' professional well-being in the Chinese context.


Methodology: The data in this study was analysed using a cross-sectional survey approach. Questionnaires were distributed to school teachers in Heze City, Shandong Province. Eventually, 380 participants were identified to be suitable for study. The data were analysed using IBM SPSS and SmartPLS software, specifically adopting the partial least squares-structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) approach.


Findings: The results indicated that there was a significant positive relationship between spiritual leadership, career calling, and teachers' professional well-being, and that career calling mediated the relationship between spiritual leadership and teachers' professional well-being.


Contributions: The findings are valuable for school organizational management. It helps to the positive role of spiritual leadership of principals and enhances teachers' calling, thus improving their professional well-being. The study contributes to the body of knowledge by identifying the causal relationships between spiritual leadership, career calling, and teachers' professional well-being.


Keywords: Spiritual leadership, professional well-being, career calling, primary and secondary school teachers, mediating effect.


Cite as: Li, J., Ju, S., & Kong, L. (2024). The effect of spiritual leadership on primary and secondary school teachers’ professional well-being: The mediating role of career calling. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 9(1), 294-319.

Author Biographies

Jing Li, School of Teacher Education, Heze University, 274000 Heze, Shandong Province, China.

Jing Li has earned a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education, and is an associate professor at Heze University. Her research focuses on the quantitative aspects of school education, organizational behavior, and organizational leadership.

Soon-Yew Ju, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, City University Malaysia, 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Soon-Yew Ju has earned a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Environmental Administration, specializing in researching the environmental conduct of public sector employees. His expertise extends to leadership studies, organizational behavior, and quantitative behavioral analysis.

Lai-Kuan Kong, Faculty of Business and Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Pahang Branch, Raub Campus, 27600 Raub, Malaysia.

Lai-Kuan Kong possesses a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the realm of small and medium-sized family businesses. Her focus areas of expertise and research lie in quantitative behavioral studies, small and medium-sized family businesses, and educational research


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