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Spiritual-Based Leadership Research Programme


The Global Dharma Center, in partnership with Dr. Peter Pruzan, professor emeritus at the Copenhagen Business School and his wife, Kirsten Pruzan Mikkelsen, a journalist and former editor who worked for almost 30 years at Det  Berlingske Hus, a major publishing house in Denmark, launched this research programme in 2002.


The overall purpose of this research programme is to contribute to the emerging field of, and the consciousness about spiritual-based leadership in work organisations worldwide, by making high quality and reliable data, information, knowledge, and development methodologies about spiritual-based leadership easily accessible.


While consciousness about spiritual-based leadership is relatively new in the work world and as a field of study, we feel it has gained a strength and momentum such that it deserves a focus of research at this time.


A knowledge-base of executive interviews containing 33 full-length interviews with spiritual-based leaders from 6 continents and 16 countries, as well as data collected and sorted by specific search criteria, is now available for researchers, teachers, students, consultants and leaders.

Download our featured SBL interview:


The following are the intentions and rationale that underlie our engagement in this research:

  • Many people are sceptical about the mix of business and spirituality. Some people are positive about business and sceptical about spirituality: “You can’t really be competitive in business if you’re spiritual.” Some people are positive about spirituality and sceptical about business: “Business greed is too corrupting for spirituality to make a difference.” Our intention is to address views such as these by investigating if and how business can be effective while operating from a consciously held spiritual basis.

  • Traditional business goals typically focus on financial/productivity gains. Texts from spiritual traditions worldwide propose that there is a much more profound role for human endeavour – that of selfless service to society and the spiritual upliftment of everyone. Our intention is to help investigate how business goals can be defined and prioritised from a spiritual basis, and how businesses can thrive and evolve from that basis.

  • The students and faculty at universities as well as consultants and organisational leaders require examples of, and knowledge about, spiritual-based leaders in work organisations. Our intention is to provide an easily accessible knowledge base and website, which will include cases, stories, examples, and analytical data for class work, teaching, and publications. 

  • There may be significant, demonstrable differences among spiritual-based leaders in their perspectives, qualities, and attributes. The practices and processes of spiritual-based leaders might also vary depending on the type of organisation (family owned, publicly traded, etc.) and the cultural traditions of the society the organisation operates in. Our intention is to develop a typology for these diverse types of spiritual-based leaders and to identify a framework within which people can consciously develop themselves as spiritual-based leaders.

Distinctive characteristics of this research programme:


  • It is defined from a consciously held spiritual basis.

  • Participation in this programme will be an opportunity for everyone involved to grow in their spiritual character, knowledge, and practice in the world.

  • It will include spiritual-based leaders that are leading in work organisations in a variety of cultures and traditions around the world.

  • The programme directors, researchers, and spiritual-based leaders will contribute their time, energy, and talent on a voluntary basis. All findings, information, and publications (other than published books) will be available at no cost.


Programme Directors:


This programme is the coordinated, volunteer effort of: Debra Miller, William Miller, Kirsten Pruzan Mikkelsen, and Dr. Peter Pruzan. 

Debra R. Miller is co-founder of the Global Dharma Center (USA), which focuses on spirituality and human values as the basis for leadership and work. In 1991 she founded Masterful Mission, a business coaching and consulting organisation where she worked with executives, business owners and entrepreneurs to bring out their deepest values and most natural talents. She is the author of the book “Beyond Motivation” and two coaching methodologies: “Business by Design” and “Spiritual Life-Design”. She has also managed corporate accounting, finance, and information technology departments for two oil and gas firms, and held Certified Systems Professional and Certified Public Accounting certificates.


William C. Miller is an internationally-recognized expert on values-centered innovation. As president of the Global Creativity Corporation since 1987, he has explored with corporate clients, in more than a dozen countries worldwide, how creativity, business, and spirituality are all facets of the same jewel. Two of his four books have been rated among the top thirty business books of the year in the USA. He has been a guest faculty member at Stanford University Graduate School of Business and other business schools in the USA and India. Together with his wife Debra, he lives in India and has co-founded two non-profit organisations.


Kirsten Pruzan Mikkelsen is a journalist and former editor who worked for almost 30 years at Det  Berlingske Hus, a major publishing house in Denmark. She has had assignments in more than 50 countries in Europe, North- and South America, Asia and Africa, reporting on the human aspects of 3rd World development politics as well as interviewing politicians, presidents, kings, business executives, authors, religious and spiritual leaders, and many others. She has been the editor-in-chief of an international magazine, and an editor at the major Danish daily newspaper, Berlingske Tidende.


Dr. Peter Pruzan is professor emeritus at the Copenhagen Business School and is internationally known for his work on values-based leadership and corporate responsibility. He was the president of a successful, international business, has authored 10 books and more than 100 articles in international scientific journals, and has initiated several institutes and associations focusing on corporate values and responsibility. Together with his wife Kirsten, he lives in Denmark and spends half of each year in India, where he is a guest professor at leading Indian business schools. His research goal is to integrate perspectives from management, philosophy and spirituality to develop values-based approaches to leadership.



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This website was last updated  29 December 2019