Shaping service delivery through faith-based service inclusion: the case of the Salvation Army in Zambia
journal contributionposted on 21.06.2021, 00:00 by Janet Davey, Eldrede Kahiya, Jayne Krisjanous, L Sulzberger
Purpose: While service inclusion principles raise the awareness of scholars to service that improves holistic well-being, little research explicitly investigates the spiritual dimensions of service inclusion. This study, therefore, aims to explore faith-based service inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative case study of the Salvation Army’s Chikankata Services in Zambia was undertaken. Semi-structured interviews with the organization’s leaders and professionals were analyzed thematically. Findings: Service inclusion pillars evince contextualized meaning and priority. In resource-constrained, vulnerable communities, faith-based service inclusion prioritizes two additional pillars – “fostering eudaimonic well-being” and “giving hope,” where existence is precarious, fostering (hedonic) happiness is of low priority. Findings reveal that pillars and processes are mutually reinforcing, harnessed by the individual and collective agency to realize transformative outcomes from service inclusion. Research limitations/implications: This paper provides unique insight into faith-based service inclusion but acknowledges limitations and areas warranting further research. Practical implications: The study yields important managerial implications. Service providers can use the framework to identify the contextual priority and/or meaning of service inclusion pillars and relevant reciprocal processes. The framework emphasizes the harnessing potential of individual agency and capability development for transformative well-being. Social implications: Faith-based service inclusion, predicated on inclusion, human dignity and holistic well-being, has important implications for reducing the burden on scarce resources while building resilience in communities. Originality/value: By examining a faith-based service in sub-Saharan Africa, this paper provides a holistic framework conceptualizing pillars, processes, agency and outcomes to extend Fisk et al.’s (2018) service inclusion pillars and to better understand the shaping of service delivery for service inclusion.