Mindfulness at work: Studying its mechanisms of action

  • Claúdia Ramos Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal
  • Sónia P. Gonçalves Instituto Politécnico de Tomar

Abstract

The aim of this study is to analyze and suggest an interpretation on the mindfulness mechanisms of action in organizations. Data was collected from 33 employees of a Portuguese organization between March and May 2016. These employees had previously participated in a six-week mindfulness training. 4 of these participants are managers and participated in the present study through semi-structured interviews. The other 29 participants completed an online questionnaire disseminated through Google forms. Results suggest concrete dimensions of mindfulness mechanisms of action in the organizational context and objectively describe each of these dimensions. It is proposed a structured model of mindfulness mechanisms of action in the workplace based on the analyzed data. The research team believes that these results may be relevant to all companies seeking contact with the advantages of implementing mindfulness. Limitations and future research are discussed.

References

›› Baer, R.A., Smith, G.T., Hopkins, J., Krietemeyer, J., & Toney, L. (2006). Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness. Assessment, 13(1): 27-45.
›› Baer, R.A., Carmody, J., & Hunsinger, M. (2012). Weekly change in mindfulness and perceived stress in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68, 755-765.
›› Bergomi, C., Tschacher, W., & Kupper, Z. (2013). The assessment of mindfulness with self-report measures: Existing scales and open issues. Mindfulness, 4, 191-202.
›› Bhikkhu, T. (2010). Satipatthana Sutta: Frames of reference (MN10). Retrieved from http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.010.than.html
›› Bird, T., Mansell, W., Dickens, C., & Tai, S. (2013). Is there a core process across depression and anxiety? Cognitive Therapy and Research, 37, 307-323.
›› Bond, F. W., & Bunce, D. (2003). The role of acceptance and job control in mental health, job satisfaction, and work performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 1057-1067.
›› Brown, K.W., & Ryan, R.M. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 822-848.
›› Cardaciotto, L., Herbert, J.D., Forman, E.M., Moitra, E. & Farrow, V. (2008). The assessment of present-moment awareness and acceptance: The Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale. Assessment, 15, 204-223.
›› Carmody,J., Baer, R.A., Lykins, E.L.B., & Olendzki, N. (2009). An empirical study of the mechanisms of mindfulness in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 65, 613-626.
›› Chaskalson, M. (2011). The mindful workplace: Developing resilient individuals and resonant organizations with MBSR. Oxford, UK: Wiley.
›› Chiesa, A., Calati, R., & Serreti, A. (2011). Does mindfulness training improve cognitive abilities? A systematic review of neuropsychological findings. Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 449-464.
›› Chiesa, A. & Malinowski, P. (2011). Mindfulness-based approaches: Are they all the same? Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67, 404-424.
›› Chu, L. C. (2010). The benefits of meditation vis-à-vis emotional intelligence, perceived stress and negative mental health. Stress and Health, 26, 169-180.
›› Dane, E. & Brummel, B. J. (2013). Examining workplace mindfulness and its relations to job performance and turnover intention. Human Relations, 67, 105-128.
›› Foureur, M., Besley, K., Burton, G., Yu, N., & Crisp, J. (2013). Enhancing the resilience of nurses and midwives: Pilot of a mindfulness-based program for increased health, sense of coherence and decreased depression, anxiety and stress. Contemporary Nurse: A Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession, 45, 114-125.
›› Galantino, M., Baime, M., Maguire, M., Szapary, P. O., & Farrar, J. T. (2005). Association of psychological and physiological measures of stress in health-care professionals during an 8-week mindfulness meditation program: mindfulness in practice. Stress & Health: Journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress, 21, 255-261.
›› Gelles, D. (2012). Mindful work: How meditation is changing business from the inside out. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
›› Glomb, T.M., Duffy, M.K., Bono, J.E., & Yang, T. (2011), Mindfulness at Work, in Aparna Joshi, Hui Liao, Joseph J. Martocchio (ed.) Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, 30, 115-157) Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
›› Good, D.J., Lyddy, C.J., Glomb, T.M., Bono, J.E., Browm, K.W., Duffy, M.K., Baer, R.A., Brewer, J.A., Lazar, S.W. (2015). Contemplating Mindfulness at Work: An Integrative Review. Journal of Management, 1-29.
›› Hart, W. (1987). The art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka. San Francisco: Harper Collins.
›› Hayes, S.C. (1994). Content, context, and the types of psychological acceptance. In S.C. Hayes, N.S. Jacobson, V.M. Follette, & M.J. Dougher (Eds.), Acceptance and change: Content and context in psychotherapy, 13-32. Reno, NV: Context Press.
›› Hayes, S.C., & Shenk, C. (2004). Operationalizing mindfulness without unnecessary attachments. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 11, 249-254.
›› Hoffman, S.G., Sawyer, A.T., Witt, A.A., & Oh, D. (2010). The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78, 169-183.
›› Hülsheger, U. R., Alberts, H. M., Feinholdt, A., & Lang, J. B. (2013). Benefits of mindfulness at work: The role of mindfulness in emotion regulation, emotional exhaustion, and job satisfaction. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98, 310-325.
›› Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catasthrophe living: Using the wisdom of your mind and body to face stress, pain, and illness. New York: Delacorte.
›› Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10, 144-156.
›› Keng, S.-L., Smoski, M.J., & Robins, C.J. (2011). Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: a review of empirical studies. Clinical Psychological Review, 31, 1041-1056.
›› Keune, P.M., & Forintos, D.P. (2010). Mindfulness meditation: a preliminary study on meditation practice during everyday life activities and its association with well-being. Psychological Topics, 19(2), 373-386.
›› Kohls, N., Sauer, S. & Walach, H. (2009). Facets of mindfulness - results of an online study investigating the Freiburg mindfulness inventory. Personality and Individual Differences, 46, 224-230.
›› Lakey, C.E. Campbell, W.K., Brown, K.W., & Goodie, A.S. (2007). Dispositional mindfulness as a predictor of the severity of gambling outcomes. Personality and Individual Differences, 43, 1698-1710.
›› Lau, M.A., Bishop S.R., Segal, Z.V., Buis, T., Anderson N.D., Carlson, L., Shapiro, S., & Carmody, J. (2006). The Toronto Mindfulness Scale: Development and validation. Journal of Clinical Psychology 62(12): 1445-1467.
›› Levinthal, D., Rerup, C. (2006). Crossing an apparent chasm: bringing mindful and less-mindful perspectives on organizational learning. Organization Science 17(4), 502-513.
›› Levy, D. M., Wobbrock, J. O., Kaszniak, A. W., & Ostergren, M. (2012, May). The effects of mindfulness meditation training on multitasking in a high-stress information environment. Paper presented at Graphics Interface Conference, Toronto, Canada.
›› Linehan, M.M. (1993). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of borderline personality disorder. New York: Guilford.
›› Maloney, J. E. (2015). Early adolescents’ evaluations of MindUP: a universal mindfulness-based social and emotional learning program (T). University of British Columbia. Retrieved from https://open.library.ubc.ca/cIRcle/collections/24/items/1.0166337 (Original work published 2015)
›› McCraty, R. M. (2003). Impact of a workplace stress reduction program on blood pressure and emotional health in hypertensive employees. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 9, 355-369.
›› Marlatt, G.A., & Kristeller, J.L. (1999). Mindfulness and meditation. In W.R. Miller (Ed.), Integrating spirituality into treatment, 67-84. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
›› Oman, D., Hedberg, J., & Thoresen, C.E. (2006). Passage meditation reduces perceived stress in health professionals: a randomized, controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74, 714-719.
›› Reb, J. & Choi, E. (2014). Mindfulness in Organizations. The Psychology of Meditation. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School of Business.
›› Reb, J., Narayanan, J., & Chaturvedi, S. (2012). Leading mindfully: Two studies on the influence of supervisor trait mindfulness on employee well-being and performance. Mindfulness, 1-10.
›› Roche, M., Haar, J.M., & Luthans, F. (2014). The role of mindfulness and psychological capital on the well-being of leaders. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.
›› Roemer, L., & Orsillo, S.M. (2003). Mindfulness: A promising intervention strategy in need of further study. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10, 172-178.
›› Roeser, R. W., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Jha, A., Cullen, M., Wallace, L., Wilensky, R., & Harrison, J. (2013). Mindfulness training and reductions in teacher stress and burnout: Results from two randomized, waitlist-control field trials. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105, 787-804.
›› Shapiro, S.L., Carlson, L.E., Astin, J.A., Freedman, B. (2006). Mechanisms of mindfulness. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62(3), 373-386.
›› Walsh, J.J., Balint, M.G., Smolira SJ, D.R., Fredericksen, L.K., & Madsen, S. (2009). Predicting individual differences in mindfulness: The role of trait anxiety, attachment, anxiety and attentional control. Personality and Individual Differences, 46, 94-99.
›› Way, B.M., creswell, J.D. Eisenberger, N.I. & Lieberman, M.D. (2010). Dispositional mindfulness and depressive symptomatology: Correlations with limbic and self-referential neural activity during rest. Emotion, 10, 12-24.
›› Weick, K.E., Sutcliffe, K.M., Obstfeld, D. (1999). Organizing for high reliability: processes of collective mindfulness. In Sutton, R.S., Staw B.M. (eds). Research in organizational behaviour. Jai Press Stanford. Vol 1, 81-123.
›› Weick K.E., Sutcliffe K.M. (2007). Managing the unexpected. Resilient performance in an age of uncertainty, 2nd ed. Wiley, San Francisco.
›› Wolever, R. Q., Bobinet, K. J., McCabe, K., Mackenzie, E. R., Fekete, E., Kusnick, C. A., & Baime, M. (2012). Effective and viable mind-body stress reduction in the workplace: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 17, 246-258.
Published
2017-11-28
How to Cite
RAMOS, Claúdia; GONÇALVES, Sónia P.. Mindfulness at work: Studying its mechanisms of action. Superavit, [S.l.], v. 2, p. 15-26, nov. 2017. ISSN 1646-480X. Available at: <http://superavit.ipt.pt/index.php/superavit/article/view/14>. Date accessed: 06 mar. 2021. doi: https://doi.org/10.26358/srgivol2ar14.
Section
Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)