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.

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*Rock tower image credited to Natalie Lucier (CC)


Tweet All About It: Using Twitter as an Inexpensive Communication Tool

Twitter BirdIn recent years, social media has changed the way that companies and customers interact. For many companies, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide new avenues for marketing and customer service interaction at a relatively low-cost. For nonprofits in particular, social media seems to be an effective communication tool to cultivate relationships with stakeholders. In their article, “Twitter as a Communication Tool for Nonprofits: A Study of Sport-for-Development Organizations,” published in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Per G. Svensson of Louisiana State University, Tara Q. Mahoney of State University of New York at Cortland, and Marion E. Hambrick of University of Louisville delve into the ways that nonprofits utilize Twitter to reach out to stakeholders. Analyzing the tweets of nonprofit organizations, the authors set out to identify how social media can be used to promote a call for action among stakeholders.NVSQ_72ppiRGB_powerpoint

The abstract:

Previous research suggests sport-for-development organizations strategically aim to engage people through social media in hopes of generating increased offline support (Thorpe & Rinehart, 2013). Using the framework set forth by Lovejoy and Saxton (2012), the purpose of this study was to explore how nonprofit organizations use Twitter to disseminate information, build engagement, and facilitate action. A content analysis of 3,233 tweets revealed a larger proportion of interactive communication, yet one-way communication was the most common function. Overall, the use of social media to facilitate action among stakeholders was scarce, but the way organizations used Twitter to provide information, interact with followers, and create a call for action varied considerably among them. Interestingly, these differences were not associated with annual revenue, organizational age, targeted social issues, or number of countries of operation. This study has important theoretical and practical implications, and provides a first look at how sport-for-development organizations use Twitter.

You can read “Twitter as a Communication Tool for Nonprofits: A Study of Sport-for-Development Organizations” from Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research from Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

How Do Leadership Perceptions Affect Leader-Follower Exchange Quality?

JLOS_72ppiRGB_powerpoint[We’re pleased to welcome Patrick T. Coyle, who collaborated with Roseanne Foti on the article “If You’re Not With Me You’re . . . ? Examining Prototypes and Cooperation in Leader–Follower Relationships” from Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies.]

I was inspired to study perceptions of leaders and followers in leader-follower relationships because of a wide variety of experience I’ve had in both roles. The findings of this study were somewhat surprising, as we found perceptions of leadership matter to both leaders and followers when evaluating the quality of exchanges within the relationship. For this line of research, the next step is to test this process in a field setting and incorporate other process models involving perceptions of leaders and followers in dyadic relationships. I see this as a productive line of research that will help explain the importance of cognitive processes in the leadership process.

The abstract:

This study investigated how congruence between dyadic partners’ leader and follower prototypes affects leader–member exchange (LMX) quality. Specifically, we examined cooperation as a process variable in the dyadic relationship. Participants in a laboratory setting completed a group task followed by dyadic task in the context of a leader–follower relationship. Observed cooperation mediated the relationship between congruence on leader prototypes and leader assessed LMX quality, and the relationship between congruence on leader prototypes and LMX agreement. As congruence on leader prototypes decreased, leaders were less likely to be cooperative in an exchange relationship. As congruence on follower prototypes decreased, there was a greater chance leaders would cooperate but followers would defect.

Click here to read “If You’re Not With Me You’re . . . ? Examining Prototypes and Cooperation in Leader–Follower Relationships” from Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies. Want to know about all the latest research like this from Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

picture-139Patrick T. Coyle is a doctoral candidate in Industiral and Organizational psychology at Virginia Tech. His research interests within leadership focus on on leader-follower relationships, implicit leadership and followership, and the role of followers in the leadership process.

picture-158Roseanne J. Foti is an Associate Professor of Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on implicit leadership, the process of leadership emergence and shared leadership, and person approaches to the study of behavior.

‘Talking About the Boss’: Gossip and Trust in Organizations

It’s in the news: your coworkers are gossiping about you—but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Understanding the dynamics of workplace gossip can lead to valuable insights about management and organizations. When is gossip more likely to flow? What makes an employee engage in, or avoid, positive or negative gossip?

Lea Ellwardt, Rafael Wittek and Rudi Wielers, all of the University of Groningen, published “Talking About the Boss: Effects of Generalized and Interpersonal Trust on Workplace Gossip” on June 28, 2012 in Group & Organization Management (GOM). This innovative study looks specifically at workplace gossip about managers—both positive and negative—and the role of interpersonal trust in determining gossip dynamics:

The employees’ decision to gossip is guided by the trust embedded in the horizontal and vertical relationships in the triad. The level of trust in the manager influences the tone of gossip (i.e., vertical relationship). Furthermore, employees need to trust that their immediate colleagues will support the gossiper and not leak the information (i.e., horizontal relationship). In brief, we expect negative gossip to increase with the degree of distrust in vertical relationships and trust in horizontal relationships. Positive gossip is less risky and expected to be less affected by trust.

Read the full article here. To learn more about Group & Organization Management, follow this link.

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Relational Damage and Relationship Repair

Tim Jones, Peter A. Dacin and Shirley F. Taylor published “Relational Damage and Relationship Repair : A New Look at Transgressions in Service Relationships” in the August 2011 issue of Journal of Service Research. Dr. Jones kindly provided the following reflection on the article.

Who is the target audience for this article?

Service firms that tend to have repeat customers (i.e., relational services) – especially those in which service employees and customers also have social relationships – perhaps even friendships outside of the service relationship

What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

The idea of multiple relationship roles – the fact that I have moved frequently in the past ten years coupled with my interest in sports (curling, softball) led to this idea.  For each new city, I would find service providers amongst my social ties (e.g., I found my lawyer at the curling club – he was also a member).  This led to the question of – what happens when the interpersonal relationship sours? How does this affect the relationship between the customer and the firm.

Were There Findings That Were Surprising To You?

Yes – Even relatively minor transgressions damaged relationships. This damage is not easily repaired through traditional service recovery efforts.

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

I think there is more work to be done on the effects of service transgressions beyond customer complaining behaviours (e.g., exit and voice) -we conceptualized damage as a loss in commitment – I think there is a corresponding loss in trust/firm credibility that can be explored as well. The notion of customer forgiveness (we provided some evidence of it here) is a new area of research.

How does this study fit into your body of work/line of research?

Our previous work has been on the construct of commitment in service relationships and highlighted the importance of relationship roles in service exchanges.  This research extends this line of inquiry.

How did your paper change during the review process?

Our initial submission was only about damage and we were encouraged to also explore the idea of repair.

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