Mindfulness Leads to Positive Outcomes at Work

3752743934_586c123f3c_zMindfulness training can help individuals increase their attention and awareness, but how can this present-centered mindset help in the workplace? The recent article published in Journal of Management entitled, “Contemplating Mindfulness at Work: An Integrative Review” from authors Darren J. Good, Christopher J. Lyddy, Theresa M. Glomb, Joyce E. Bono, Kirk Warren Brown, Michelle K. Duffy, Ruth A. Baer, Judson A. Brewer, and Sara W. Lazar delves into the applications of mindfulness at work. Their findings suggest that mindfulness training can have a broad, positive impact across key workplace outcomes. The abstract from the paper:

Mindfulness research activity is surging within organizational science. Emerging evidence across multiple fields suggests that mindfulness is fundamentally connected to many aspects of workplace functioning, but this knowledge base has not been systematically integrated to date. This review coalesces the burgeoning body of JOM 41(3)_Covers.inddmindfulness scholarship into a framework to guide mainstream management research investigating a broad range of constructs. The framework identifies how mindfulness influences attention, with downstream effects on functional domains of cognition, emotion, behavior, and physiology. Ultimately, these domains impact key workplace outcomes, including performance, relationships, and well-being. Consideration of the evidence on mindfulness at work stimulates important questions and challenges key assumptions within management science, generating an agenda for future research.

You can read “Contemplating Mindfulness at Work: An Integrative Review” from Journal of Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from  Journal of ManagementClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

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*Rock tower image credited to Natalie Lucier (CC)

 

John Paul Stephens on Aesthetics in Design Thinking

[We’re pleased to welcome John Paul Stephens of Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Stephens recently collaborated with Brodie J. Boland, also of Case Western Reserve University, on their paper entitled “The Aesthetic Knowledge Problem of Problem-Solving With Design Thinking” from Journal of Management Inquiry.]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointIn attending the 2010 “Convergence: Managing + Designing” workshop at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, we were struck with a particular question. Isn’t “managing as designing” (or “design thinking” for some folks) simply all about aesthetics? If so, what does this mean for managers and their organizations?

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?

In researching for this essay, we were struck by the mix of opinions and research on how well managers and organizational systems could rely on “design” and using non-rational forms of problem-solving. More recent thinking has suggested that organizations today really need to incorporate novel, less-familiar ways of defining and generating solutions for problems.

But there are also arguments that the management education and the reward systems in organizations are all set up to focus on rationally getting to the bottom-line through selecting from pre-determined options. Also, even though design thinking seems to be a pretty popular way to approach problems in organizations these days, it still hasn’t been defined clearly, and is still limited to only a few key adopters. We tried to take in all perspectives saying that 1) we agree that new ways of seeing problems and their impacts are needed 2) using art-based forms of defining problems and generating solutions provides insight into things that are usually hard to see and talk about 3) this relies on aesthetic knowledge – or the ‘feel’ of a problem for the people involved – and therefore on engaging our bodily senses and 4) not very many organizations are set up to draw on this kind of knowledge based in what we see, hear, touch, smell, and even taste.

  • How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

We hope that our research into this provides a more concise and meaningful definition of design thinking. We believe that at its core, design thinking is about generating and using aesthetic knowledge to define a problem and generate appropriate solutions to it. This means that when designers try to translate their practice for managers, they need to be up front about how important the body and its senses are for problem-solving. This also means that managers and the entire organizational system need to acknowledge where the body gets devalued or is made invisible at work. If an organization wants to adopt design thinking, then it needs to lay a lot of ground work to do so successfully. For organizational researchers, this means that it is important to focus on the body when trying to study complex problem-solving and decision-making. At some level, we all study what is meaningful for the human beings who make up organizations, and how people use their bodies will always be an important aspect of that meaning-making.

You can read “The Aesthetic Knowledge Problem of Problem-Solving With Design Thinking” from Journal of Management Inquiry for free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research like this from Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

jps136John Paul Stephens is an assistant professor of organizational behavior at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. He pursues research on the felt experience of organizing, in terms of the emotional characteristics of high-quality relationships at work and the aesthetic experience of coordinating as a group. He received his PhD in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan.

picture-40800Brodie J. Boland is a management consultant based in Toronto. His research interests are primarily in the areas of institutional change, social movements, and ecological sustainability. He earned his PhD in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University.

Albert Bandura Responds to Commentaries: “On the Functional Properties of Perceived Self-Efficacy Revisited”

JOM 41(3)_Covers.inddIn his paper entitled “On the Functional Properties of Perceived Self-Efficacy Revisited,” Albert Bandura discussed the functional properties of perceived self-efficacy. He concluded with an invitation to readers to submit commentaries on his article. Since the paper made its appearance in the January 2012 issue of Journal of Management, this call was answered by Jeffrey B. Vancouver; Joshua J. Jackson, Patrick L. Hill, and Brent W. Roberts; Gillian B. Yeo and Andrew Neal; and Ronald Bledow. Dr. Bandura recently published a response to these commentaries in the OnlineFirst section of Journal of Management entitled “On Deconstructing Commentaries Regarding Alternative Theories of Self-Regulation.”

The abstract:

The present commentary addresses issues raised in four replies to my editorial on the functional properties of perceived self-efficacy (Bandura, 2012). In my comments on the paper by Jackson, Hill, and Roberts (2012), I discuss the arbitrary nature of “disposition” and question whether an essentially atheoretical computer-structured inventory based on a mixture of superficially assessed habitual behaviors constitutes a theory of personality. In another set of comments, which speak to the paper by Vancouver (2012), I identify two major flaws in Powers’ (1991) perceptual control theory and document experimental compromises in Vancouver’s efforts to demonstrate that goals and self-efficacy operate counteractively. My comments on the Yeo and Neal (2013) paper center on their unsuccessful efforts to explain and verify the proposition that general and specific self-efficacy work at cross-purposes. In response to Bledow’s (2013) entry, I address the conceptual ambiguity of his theory of unconscious self-motivation, misconstruals of the role of self-efficacy in the process of change, and marginalization of the functional role of consciousness in human behavior.

You can read “On Deconstructing Commentaries Regarding Alternative Theories of Self-Regulation” from Journal of Management free for the next 30 days by clicking here. Interested in reading the original and commentaries as well? Click here to view the collection. Want to know about all the latest research and commentaries like this from Journal of Management? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Stewart Clegg on Relationships in Organizations

valentines-day-theme-1-1413274-mStewart Clegg, widely acknowledged as one of the most significant contemporary theorists of power relations, recently collaborated with Miguel Pina e Cunha, Arménio Rego, and Joana Story on their article “Powers of Romance: The Liminal Challenges of Managing Organizational Intimacy” from Journal of Management Inquiry.

The abstract:

Problematic organizational relationships have recently been at the core of highly visible media coverage. Most analyses of sexual relations in organizations have been, however, JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointsimplistic and unidimensional, and have placed insufficient systematic emphasis on the role of governmentality in the social construction of organizational romance. In this article, we proceed in two theoretical steps. First, we elaborate a typology of organizational romance that covers different manifestations of this nuanced process. We think of these as organizational strategies of governmentality. Second, we elaborate and identify liminal cases that fall into the interstices of the four predominant ways of managing sexual relationships in organizations. We think of these as vases of liquid love and life that evade the border controls of regulation by governmentality. Finally, we relate these issues to debates about the nature of the civilizational process and suggest hypotheses for future research.

You can read “Powers of Romance: The Liminal Challenges of Managing Organizational Intimacy” from Journal of Management Inquiry for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research like this from Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!