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Examining workplace mindfulness and its relations to job performance and turnover intention


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In recent years, research on mindfulness has burgeoned across several lines of scholarship. Nevertheless, very little empirical research has investigated mindfulness from a workplace perspective. In the study reported here, we address this oversight by examining workplace mindfulness – the degree to which individuals are mindful in their work setting. We hypothesize that, in a dynamic work environment, workplace mindfulness is positively related to job performance and negatively related to turnover intention, and that these relationships account for variance beyond the effects of constructs occupying a similar conceptual space – namely, the constituent dimensions of work engagement (vigor, dedication, and absorption). Testing these claims in a dynamic service industry context, we find support for a positive relationship between workplace mindfulness and job performance that holds even when accounting for all three work engagement dimensions. We also find support for a negative relationship between workplace mindfulness and turnover intention, though this relationship becomes insignificant when accounting for the dimensions of work engagement. We consider the theoretical and practical implications of these findings and highlight a number of avenues for conducting research on mindfulness in the workplace.
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DOI: 10.1177/0018726713487753
human relations
Examining workplace mindfulness
and its relations to job
performance and
turnover intention
Erik Dane
Rice University, USA
Bradley J Brummel
University of Tulsa, USA
In recent years, research on mindfulness has burgeoned across several lines of
scholarship. Nevertheless, very little empirical research has investigated mindfulness
from a workplace perspective. In the study reported here, we address this oversight
by examining workplace mindfulness – the degree to which individuals are mindful in
their work setting. We hypothesize that, in a dynamic work environment, workplace
mindfulness is positively related to job performance and negatively related to turnover
intention, and that these relationships account for variance beyond the effects of
constructs occupying a similar conceptual space – namely, the constituent dimensions of
work engagement (vigor, dedication, and absorption). Testing these claims in a dynamic
service industry context, we find support for a positive relationship between workplace
mindfulness and job performance that holds even when accounting for all three work
engagement dimensions. We also find support for a negative relationship between
workplace mindfulness and turnover intention, though this relationship becomes
insignificant when accounting for the dimensions of work engagement. We consider the
theoretical and practical implications of these findings and highlight a number of avenues
for conducting research on mindfulness in the workplace.
Corresponding author:
Erik Dane, Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University, P.O. Box 2932, Houston, Texas
77252, USA.
487753HUM67110.1177/0018726713487753Human RelationsDane and Brummel
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106 Human Relations 67(1)
dynamic environment, job performance, turnover intention, work engagement,
workplace mindfulness
For centuries, sages across many cultures have trumpeted the benefits of mindfulness
– a psychological state in which one focuses attention on events occurring in the pre-
sent moment (Brown and Ryan, 2003; Dane, 2011). While mindfulness is often asso-
ciated with traditions that are more philosophical than scientific, recent years have
witnessed a remarkable surge of research activity surrounding mindfulness across
several fields, including clinical and counseling psychology (e.g. Bishop et al., 2004;
Shapiro et al., 2008), social and personality psychology (e.g. Giluk, 2009; Niemiec
et al., 2010), neuroscience (e.g. Creswell et al., 2007; Davidson et al., 2003), medi-
cine (e.g. Epstein, 1999; Santorelli, 1999), and education (e.g. Burke, 2010; Napoli
et al., 2005). As a whole, this body of work points to a myriad of benefits associated
with mindfulness and supports historically-based claims concerning the merits of
focusing on the present.
The rise of scholarly interest in mindfulness has spawned multiple lines of inquiry. A
sizable body of work in this area focuses on linkages between mindfulness and psycho-
logical and physical well-being. For example, research indicates that mindfulness is
positively related to vitality, life satisfaction, and interpersonal relationship quality and
negatively related to depression, anxiety, and stress (for reviews, see Brown et al., 2007;
Glomb et al., 2011). Accounting for these effects, scholars have argued that mindfulness
permits people to view events more objectively and dispassionately (Shapiro et al., 2006;
Weinstein et al., 2009) and enables them to regulate their thoughts, emotions, and physi-
ological reactions more effectively (Lakey et al., 2007; Masicampo and Baumeister,
2007; Papies et al., 2012). In a different vein, a more limited but expanding body of work
examines the effects of mindfulness on task performance. Through this research, schol-
ars have demonstrated that mindfulness relates positively to judgment accuracy (Kiken
and Shook, 2011), insight-related problem solving (Ostafin and Kassman, 2012), and
academic performance (Shao and Skarlicki, 2009). Such findings resonate with research
indicating that mindfulness enhances cognitive flexibility (Moore and Malinowski,
2009) and promotes executive functioning (Zeidan et al., 2010) – qualities instrumental
to performance across a range of tasks.
Given these research findings, one might assume that mindfulness is beneficial within
workplace settings. Unfortunately, however, evidence for this possibility is limited
because mindfulness has received relatively little consideration in organizational schol-
arship. Although some have argued that mindfulness promotes key work outcomes
(Dane, 2011; Glomb et al., 2011), empirical studies examining this claim are just begin-
ning to emerge (e.g. Hülsheger et al., 2013; Reb et al., 2012). Furthermore, within the
limited body of research on mindfulness in the organizational literature, some work
adopts a collective, rather than individual, level of analysis (e.g. Rerup, 2009; Vogus and
Welbourne, 2003; Weick et al., 1999). While insightful and informative, collective-level
accounts of mindfulness implicate processes and mechanisms (e.g. specific forms of
social interaction) beyond the scope of mindfulness as conceptualized here (see Vogus
and Sutcliffe, 2012, for more detail).
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Dane and Brummel 107
Because empirical research on mindfulness in the workplace is quite limited, key
questions remain unanswered. First, and most directly, it is unclear whether or to what
degree mindfulness relates to work outcomes associated with the domains of mindful-
ness-related inquiry noted above – that is, psychological and physical well-being and
performance-related behavior. While a small body of work suggests that mindfulness
may prove beneficial along these lines – particularly with respect to well-being (Allen
and Kiburz, 2012; Hülsheger et al., 2013; Leroy et al., 2013) – research in this area is
nascent. In fact, very little empirical research has examined the work outcomes of (indi-
vidual-level) mindfulness in a particularly notable context – dynamic work environ-
ments. Dynamic environments require individuals to make a series of interdependent
decisions in real time (Gonzalez, 2005) and, according to some scholars, are the very
type of setting in which mindfulness should be of practical concern and theoretical
import (e.g. Dane, 2011; Vogus, 2011; Weick and Roberts, 1993). As mentioned, how-
ever, empirical assessments of such claims are lacking.
Second, while mindfulness has received relatively little investigation from a work-
place perspective, researchers have hardly overlooked questions surrounding how indi-
viduals attend to and engage with the work they perform. In fact, organizational scholars
have long displayed an interest in the degree to which people are ‘engaged’ (Kahn, 1990),
‘present’ (Kahn, 1992), or ‘absorbed’ (Rothbard, 2001) in their work. Relatedly, scholars
have explored the phenomenon of ‘flow’ – intense concentration and complete engage-
ment with an optimally challenging activity, job, or occupation (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990;
Reid, 2011). Bringing together research along these lines, much recent scholarship
focuses on the concept of work engagement and its dimensions – vigor, dedication, and
absorption (e.g. Bakker, 2011; Macey and Schneider, 2008; Schaufeli et al., 2002).
Because these dimensions are concerned with allocating mental resources to tasks and
events unfolding in the present moment (Schaufeli et al., 2002), they may occupy a simi-
lar conceptual space to that of mindfulness. Researchers have connected work engage-
ment and its dimensions to a number of work outcomes, including job performance and
turnover intention (e.g. Christian et al., 2011; Halbesleben, 2010; Salanova et al., 2005).
From a mindfulness research standpoint, the expanding body of research on work
engagement begs a key question: does mindfulness carry unique variance beyond the
dimensions of work engagement in terms of predicting work outcomes?
To address the questions outlined above, we conducted a study within a dynamic ser-
vice industry context. In this study, we investigated the relationship between mindfulness
and job performance, as well as the relationship between mindfulness and a work out-
come associated with psychological and physical well-being, turnover intention. In
doing so, we examined not only the fundamental relationships between mindfulness and
job performance and turnover intention respectively, but also what happens to these rela-
tionships when accounting for the three dimensions of work engagement noted above.
Collectively, the results reported here inform our understanding of mindfulness in the
workplace and carry a number of implications for theory and practice.
Workplace mindfulness
Perhaps not surprisingly, the growth of scholarly interest in mindfulness has generated
discussion concerning what, precisely, mindfulness is (e.g. Bishop et al., 2004; Brown
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108 Human Relations 67(1)
et al., 2007; Kabat-Zinn, 2005). Drawing together features of mindfulness common
across a number of conceptualizations, Dane (2011: 1000) defined mindfulness as ‘a
state of consciousness in which attention is focused on present-moment phenomena
occurring both externally and internally.’ Similarly, Brown and Ryan (2003: 823) argued
that mindfulness involves ‘an open, undivided observation of what is occurring both
internally and externally.’ As these perspectives suggest, mindfulness may be considered
a unique state of consciousness given its orientation to the present moment and its wide
attentional breadth (Dane, 2011).
While mindfulness is often conceptualized as a state, several studies have revealed
disposition-based differences in mindfulness across individuals (e.g. Baer et al., 2006;
Brown and Ryan, 2003; Lau et al., 2006). These studies indicate that, all things being
equal, some individuals tend to be more mindful than others. In this sense, mindfulness
is analogous to positive and negative affect, which can be conceptualized and evaluated
as both a state and a trait (Watson et al., 1988).
In line with this individual differences perspective, we expect that people differ in the
degree to which they are mindful in their work settings – a concept we term workplace
mindfulness. Though likely tied to one’s dispositional tendency toward mindfulness,
workplace mindfulness may be related to other factors as well. For example, research
suggests that through practice or training individuals can learn to focus their attention
more mindfully within a given performance context (Fehr and Gelfand, 2012; Hülsheger
et al., 2013; Lee, 2012). Thus, some individuals may be more mindful at work than oth-
ers as a result of specific experiences they have accrued. Furthermore, research suggests
that contextual elements of one’s workplace may exert a rather profound influence on
how one behaves at work and, indeed, how one focuses attention within one’s work set-
ting (Elsbach and Pratt, 2007; George, 2009; Zhong and House, 2012). It is therefore
possible that, for some individuals, certain features of the work environment ‘cue’ mind-
fulness. In other words, some people may be likely to focus their attention mindfully at
work owing to contextual stimuli encountered within their workplace. Collectively, these
observations suggest that due to a combination of dispositional, experiential, and contex-
tual factors, individuals may differ, perhaps substantially, in workplace mindfulness. The
arguments and hypotheses that follow build on this premise.
Workplace mindfulness and work outcomes
While a growing body of evidence indicates that mindfulness carries a number of bene-
fits, little empirical research has investigated mindfulness from a workplace standpoint.
It is therefore unclear whether or how mindfulness relates to key work outcomes.
Addressing this oversight, we consider the relationships between workplace mindfulness
and two work outcomes – job performance and turnover intention – associated with the
two broad domains of mindfulness-related inquiry noted previously (task performance
on the one hand and well-being on the other). Drawing on the observation that mindful-
ness is likely impactful in environments that are dynamic (see, e.g. Vogus, 2011), we
situate our arguments and hypotheses in the context of dynamic work environments.
To begin, one of the most theoretically and practically important outcomes in work-
place settings is job performance. While job performance commands much scholarly
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Dane and Brummel 109
attention (see Motowidlo, 2003, for a review), little research has empirically connected
mindfulness to job performance. Nevertheless, an emerging body of research has dem-
onstrated linkages between mindfulness and performance across a number of tasks (e.g.
Ostafin and Kassman, 2012; Ruedy and Schweitzer, 2010; Shao and Skarlicki, 2009). As
research in this vein suggests, mindfulness contributes to performance by improving
cognitive flexibility and alertness (Moore and Malinowski, 2009; Zeidan et al., 2010)
and guarding against distractions and performance blunders (Herndon, 2008). Taken
together, these findings raise the possibility that workplace mindfulness facilitates job
Building on this possibility, we predict that workplace mindfulness contributes to job
performance in dynamic work environments. As noted earlier, dynamic environments
require individuals to make a series of interdependent decisions in real time (Gonzalez,
2005). In such environments, it is critical to attend to a wide range of events because any
given event might bring with it critical information and thus inform one’s decisions
about how to proceed (Dane, 2013; Endsley, 1995). Mindfulness should facilitate perfor-
mance behavior in dynamic environments because it is characterized in part by a wide
attentional breadth – a feature that attunes individuals to a large number of events and
stimuli (Dane, 2011). Furthermore, mindfulness is likely to help individuals avoid the
errors and mistakes that occur when attention departs from present moment events
(Herndon, 2008).
Hypothesis 1: Within a dynamic work environment, workplace mindfulness is posi-
tively related to job performance.
Dynamic work environments tend to be associated with high levels of emotional
arousal and stress – byproducts of the time pressure and unpredictability pervading such
environments (Brehmer, 1992; Klein, 1998). Over time, these pressures may become
difficult to bear, leading people to consider relinquishing their employment in the
dynamic work setting. On this point, research demonstrates negative relationships
between psychological and physiological job-related demands and people’s intentions to
leave their organizations (Begley, 1998; Kemery et al., 1987). With that said, intention to
leave (i.e. turnover intention) is subject to a number of influences, including not only
features of the work context, but also individual-level factors (Cardador et al., 2011;
Meyer et al., 2002). As such, even within the same work setting, people may differ in
their turnover intentions.
Drawing on these observations, we consider whether workplace mindfulness relates
to turnover intention within dynamic work environments. Here, research indicates that
mindfulness leads people to cope with challenging or stressful situations proactively and
adaptively (e.g. Shapiro et al., 2007; Weinstein et al., 2009). In particular, mindfulness
facilitates self-regulation (Atkins and Parker, 2012; Glomb et al., 2011) and enables peo-
ple to respond to potentially stressful events with greater equanimity and less rumination
(Brown et al., 2007; Carlson, 2013; Shapiro et al., 2006). Consequently, mindfulness
may guard against emotional exhaustion at work – a possibility supported by recent
empirical research (Hülsheger et al., 2013). Given these lines of theory and evidence,
mindfulness should enhance one’s ability to cope with the stresses and strains of a
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110 Human Relations 67(1)
dynamic work environment. Accordingly, we predict that those high in workplace mind-
fulness will feel less compelled than others to permanently depart from such an
Hypothesis 2: Within a dynamic work environment, workplace mindfulness is nega-
tively related to turnover intention.
Workplace mindfulness versus work engagement
To merit scholarly attention, the relationships posited in Hypothesis 1 and 2 should
account for variance over and above the performance-related effects of other constructs
occupying the same broad conceptual space as workplace mindfulness. As noted earlier,
recent years have witnessed accelerating interest in concepts comparable to mindfulness
due to a steadily mounting body of research on work engagement (e.g. Christian et al.,
2011; Macey and Schneider, 2008; Rich et al., 2010). Work engagement is often defined
as the extent to which one feels invigorated, dedicated, and absorbed by one’s work (e.g.
Bakker, 2011; González-Romá et al., 2006; Schaufeli and Bakker, 2004). The first
dimension, vigor, reflects the degree to which one approaches work with energy and
mental resilience (Bakker, 2011). The second dimension, dedication, captures the degree
to which one derives a sense of pride, inspiration, or significance from one’s work
(Schaufeli and Bakker, 2004). The third dimension, absorption, concerns the degree to
which one concentrates fully and engrosses oneself deeply in one’s work (Schaufeli
et al., 2002). While some researchers have coupled absorption with the concept of flow
(e.g. Rothbard, 2001; Salanova et al., 2006), flow may represent a specific form of
absorption – one associated with optimally challenging activities and peak performance
experiences (Schaufeli et al., 2002; see also Quinn, 2005, for a detailed discussion of
The decomposition of work engagement into three distinct dimensions has garnered
theoretical and empirical support (Macey and Schneider, 2008) and formed the basis for
several scholarly investigations of work engagement (e.g. Bakker et al., 2005; Bakker
et al., 2012; Salanova et al., 2005; Schaufeli et al., 2008). This research has examined
both antecedents (e.g. job demands and resources – see Crawford et al., 2010) and out-
comes of work engagement. On the latter, research indicates that, among other outcomes,
work engagement is positively related to job performance and negatively related to turn-
over intention (see Halbesleben, 2010, for a meta-analysis involving effects specific to
each dimension of work engagement).
In some respects, work engagement is comparable to workplace mindfulness. For
example, like workplace mindfulness, the dimensions of work engagement lead people
to direct mental resources toward work-related events and tasks (González-Romá et al.,
2006; Leroy et al., 2013). Moreover, foundational research on work engagement empha-
sizes the merits of present-moment attentiveness (e.g. Kahn, 1992; May et al., 2004) – a
key feature of mindfulness. With that said, workplace mindfulness differs from work
engagement and its dimensions in subtle, though potentially important ways. Perhaps
most notably, workplace mindfulness is a cognitive construct concerned with the degree
to which one’s attention tends to be focused on a wide breadth of events unfolding in
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Dane and Brummel 111
one’s work context. By contrast, vigor, dedication and absorption implicate affective
qualities that lack parallel with workplace mindfulness. It is perhaps because of the
affective qualities of these dimensions that work engagement has been compared to
(though differentiated from) attitudinal concepts like job satisfaction, job involvement,
and affective commitment (see Christian at al., 2011; Macey and Schneider, 2008).
When it comes to predicting job performance and turnover intention, we believe these
differences make a difference. Specifically, we expect that workplace mindfulness will
contribute uniquely to each of these work outcomes when controlling for the dimensions
of work engagement. Concerning job performance, researchers have argued that the
effects of work engagement can be understood through a basic observation: engagement
motivates. Insofar as they are invigorated, dedicated, and absorbed by their work, indi-
viduals are likely to exert high levels of effort with the aim of achieving high perfor-
mance (Halbesleben and Wheeler, 2008). That is, work engagement should influence the
‘persistence and intensity with which individuals pursue their task performance’
(Christian et al., 2011: 101). Workplace mindfulness, in contrast, should influence per-
formance through pathways that are more cognitive than motivational. As we have
argued, mindfulness enables individuals to attend to a wide range of potentially critical
stimuli in their work environment and guards against performance-related errors and
mishaps. Therefore, while work engagement facilitates performance via increased effort,
workplace mindfulness may spur performance in dynamic environments through the
wide attentional net it casts across unfolding events.
Hypothesis 3: As a predictor of job performance in a dynamic work environment,
workplace mindfulness accounts for variance beyond each dimension of work
engagement (vigor, dedication, and absorption).
With respect to turnover intention, Schaufeli and Bakker (2004) found in a study of
service organization employees that the degree to which one intends to leave one’s organi-
zation was negatively related to all three dimensions of work engagement. Complementing
this finding, scholars have suggested that engaged employees are highly invested in and
identified with their work (e.g. Bakker, 2011; Halbesleben and Wheeler, 2008). These
employees may be reluctant to abandon their membership in their organization because
this membership provides them the opportunity to perform engaging work. This suggests
that work engagement may influence turnover intention through its effects on organiza-
tional attachment, particularly affective commitment (Macey and Schneider, 2008). In
contrast, and as discussed earlier, mindfulness may influence turnover intention by
enhancing self-regulation and leading people to appraise events with equanimity (Glomb
et al., 2011; Weinstein et al., 2009). As argued, these effects help people cope with the
sources of stress found in dynamic work environments. Therefore, while both work
engagement and workplace mindfulness may be negatively related to turnover intention,
their effects may stem from different mechanisms. This suggests the following.
Hypothesis 4: As a predictor of turnover intention in a dynamic work environment,
workplace mindfulness accounts for variance beyond each dimension of work
engagement (vigor, dedication, and absorption).
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112 Human Relations 67(1)
Research context
To test our hypotheses, we collected survey data from service workers (servers) and
managers in the American restaurant industry. We selected this industry as the context
for our study for several reasons. First, and most fundamentally, the restaurant indus-
try constitutes a workplace domain. This was important because, unlike research on
mindfulness conducted within student and clinical populations, our research required
collecting data from working people. Second, restaurant servers work in a dynamic
environment – the type of environment relevant to our hypotheses. In performing
their work, restaurant servers must pay attention to numerous targets, such as the
customers seated in their sections, the food and drinks consumed by these customers,
and the details of each customer’s order. Moreover, the decisions servers make (e.g.
spending time responding to a customer’s request) shape their subsequent decision
making (e.g. apologizing to other customers for delayed service). Third, although the
overall quality of restaurants in the United States varies widely, the nature of service
work in this industry tends to be relatively similar across many ‘chain-operated’ res-
taurants (see Stamper and Van Dyne, 2001). Thus, we recognized that the common
features of the service work performed within this industry would permit us to com-
bine data from multiple chain restaurants.
Background interviews
To gain a greater understanding of service work in the restaurant industry, the lead
author began this project by interviewing 15 servers (recruited through an industry con-
tact) who worked at a chain-operated restaurant in a large city in the American
Southwest. All interviews were conducted with the voluntary consent of each server, as
well as university-level institutional review board approval, and were transcribed in
their entirety. Sample interview questions included, ‘What are the most challenging
parts of your job?’ ‘What are you paying attention to when you are working?’ and ‘What
makes someone a skillful server?’ These interviews reinforced our perception that res-
taurant servers work in a dynamic environment and highlighted the unrelenting pace of
work in the restaurant industry. Table 1 includes representative quotes that speak to the
dynamism of this line of work.
Besides familiarizing us with the research context, the background interviews helped
us develop survey items to test our hypotheses (see ‘Measures’). For example, in devel-
oping our measure of workplace mindfulness, we selected items that were relevant to the
nature and features of service work performed in the restaurant industry as gleaned from
our interviews. Furthermore, we learned during the course of our interviews that a key
indication of a server’s performance is the size of the section to which he or she is
assigned by a manager. Simply put, managers tend to assign their best servers to the sec-
tions of the restaurant with the most customers (i.e. the busiest sections). Consequently,
we based one of our measures of job performance on this practice of assigning high
performing servers to busy sections.
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Dane and Brummel 113
We collected survey data from 102 servers across seven chain restaurants in the American
Southwest. We selected these restaurants because they had the same general performance
expectations and role responsibilities for their servers. While occupying the same market
niche as the restaurant in which we conducted background interviews, these seven res-
taurants were separate from that restaurant. With the permission of restaurant managers
(who we contacted through acquaintances who worked in the restaurant industry), as
well as university-level institutional review board approval, we approached servers at
each restaurant during shift changes and asked them to complete a survey questionnaire
as part of our study. The largest number of server participants in any of the restaurants
was 18; the smallest was 8. Of the servers who completed our survey, one provided
incomplete responses to the survey questions. Also, we were unable to obtain perfor-
mance data for three servers. Our analyses are therefore based on the 98 servers for
whom we compiled complete data. Of these servers, 43 were male, 77 were white, 24
had a college degree, and the mean age was 26.5.
Table 1. Restaurant service work: A dynamic environment.
There’s a lot of pressure. We’ve got maybe a hundred things to do and a little time to do it in
. . . You’ve got your traffic, you got other servers running around you . . . If we had blinkers it
would be perfect.
– Server 01 (9 years)
You have food ready [to deliver], you have got to bring out drinks, someone wants a straw,
someone wants extra cocktail sauce, someone is ready for their check. How many hands do
you have?
– Server 02 (6 months)
Let’s say I just ran food for somebody else. And that table, their table tells me, ‘Well I need
this, that, and the other. I need extra this and extra that and that.’ And you don’t see the waiter
around, their waiter around. You go get it for them personally . . . But then, in the meantime,
your tables are waiting there for a minute and a half or two minutes by the time you get there.
‘I’ve been waiting here for like three minutes, man – and nobody’s even talked to me.’
– Server 06 (4 years)
A lot of it has to do with time management. Basically you have to re-tea somebody and you’re
pretty sure that the people are ready for their check. You want to make sure that you’ve got
that check with you when you go to re-tea so you can drop it off. And then on your way back
you pick up the check that’s got the credit card in it. And there’s another table that’s done with
their food. You can pre-bus, put that stuff in the back, run your credit card, go back, and have
another check for that table. That is big time.
– Server 08 (4 months)
I still get really, really, really busy . . . It’s challenging because you’re trying to make every single
guest happy all at that one time. So it is still challenging, you know, to try to keep everyone
happy, you know, when everybody’s demanding here, demanding here, demanding here all at
that one time.
– Server 14 (4 years, 2 months)
Note: Years/months refer to work experience within the focal restaurant.
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For each server who completed our survey, we collected performance ratings from
one or more restaurant manager. Eight of the servers in our sample were rated by one
manager, 27 were rated by two managers, 53 were rated by three managers, and 10 were
rated by four managers (within each restaurant each server was rated by all managers at
that restaurant who participated in the study). In total, 18 restaurant managers provided
us with performance ratings. Of these managers, 11 were male, 15 were white, 12 had a
college degree, and the mean age was 39.1.
Workplace mindfulness. Coinciding with the growth of scholarly interest in mindfulness,
researchers have developed a number of self-report measures designed to assess individ-
ual differences in mindfulness (for reviews, see Baer, 2011; Bergomi et al., 2012). One of
the most commonly used measures is the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS:
Brown and Ryan, 2003) – a scale aligned with the conceptualization of mindfulness
advanced here. As opposed to scales developed specifically for use in clinical applications
and interventions (e.g. Walach et al., 2006), the MAAS is geared toward assessing mind-
fulness across a wide range of settings and audiences. While frequently employed in
mindfulness research, the MAAS is not without limitations (Grossman, 2011). For exam-
ple, some of the items that comprise this scale permit very little differentiation across
respondents (Van Dam et al., 2010) and some items may not be relevant to certain respon-
dents or performance settings (e.g. ‘I drive places on “automatic pilot” and then wonder
why I went there.’). These limitations notwithstanding, the items underlying the MAAS
accord with our view that mindfulness entails attunement to present moment events. Fur-
ther, as some have suggested, these items provide a basis for making empirical compari-
sons between mindfulness and other work-related states of consciousness (e.g. ‘mind
wandering’ – see Mrazek et al., 2012). Accordingly, we elected to use items from the
MAAS as a foundation for constructing our measure of workplace mindfulness.
As noted, some of the MAAS items are not relevant to all performance settings. Given
our focus on mindfulness within a specific workplace context, we carefully assessed the
content of each item in the MAAS, considering its relevance to our research context in
light of insights gained through the background interviews described above. For exam-
ple, because many servers discussed work-related errors and mishaps during their inter-
views, we recognized the relevance of the item, ‘I break or spill things because of
carelessness, not paying attention, or thinking of something else,’ and included it in our
workplace mindfulness scale. In assessing and selecting items based on their relevance
to our research context, we ultimately selected seven items by which to assess workplace
mindfulness (see ‘Appendix’ for a delineation of these items and related details).
Consistent with our focus on mindfulness at work – and reflecting the nature of the work
performed by our participants – we added a stem to these questions: ‘When working as
a server’ (e.g. ‘When working as a server, I find it difficult to stay focused on what’s hap-
pening in the present.’). Our measure of workplace mindfulness demonstrated adequate
internal consistency reliability (α = .73).
Work engagement dimensions. We measured three dimensions of work engagement using
a 17 item scale developed by Schaufeli et al. (2002). This measure includes sub-scales that
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Dane and Brummel 115
capture each dimension of work engagement discussed earlier: vigor (6 items), dedication
(5 items), and absorption (6 items). Participants responded to these items on a scale from
1 (never) to 7 (every day). Sample items included, ‘When I get up in the morning, I feel
like going to work’ (vigor), ‘I am enthusiastic about my job’ (dedication), and ‘Time flies
when I am working’ (absorption). As with the reliabilities reported in the scale develop-
ment article (Schaufeli et al., 2002), all three sub-scales demonstrated adequate internal
consistency reliability (vigor: α = .70; dedication: α = .83; absorption: α = .80).
Job performance. Managers rated each server on two performance-related items. First,
managers rated the job performance of the server on a scale from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent).
Second, drawing on a key observation from our background interviews (see above), man-
agers indicated the relative level of section ‘busyness’ they would typically assign to the
server on a scale from 1 (low busyness) to 3 (high busyness). For restaurants in which
multiple managers provided ratings of the same server (six out of seven restaurants; 90 out
of 98 servers), the consistency between managers’ ratings as assessed by intraclass coef-
ficients (ICCs) was generally moderate to high. Thus, we averaged managers’ ratings to
calculate single ratings for each performance-related item. Table 2 provides summary data
for the averaged managers’ ratings – including the mean, standard deviation (SD), and
ICC – of each performance-related item across all seven restaurants. In this table, as well
as the observations that follow, Perform1 refers to the first performance-related item dis-
cussed above (the item based on a 1 to 5 scale) and Perform2 refers to the second perfor-
mance-related item (the item concerning ‘busyness,’ which is based on a 1 to 3 scale).
In principle, the average level of server performance across these restaurants should
be approximately the same because, as previously noted, we purposefully collected all
of our data from restaurants that had the same general performance expectations and
role responsibilities for their servers. Nonetheless, we expected that the mean perfor-
mance ratings – as provided by managers – would vary across restaurants because we
did not have an opportunity to train managers on performance ratings or the patterns of
bias associated with them (e.g. leniency, severity, and central tendency patterns). In
line with this expectation, a one-way ANOVA revealed significant differences in mean
performance ratings across restaurants for Perform1 (F(6, 91) = 4.07; p = .001). Post
Table 2. Summary of manager-based server ratings across restaurants.
Restaurant Servers Managers Perform1Perform2
1 8 1 3.63 0.52 2.38 0.74
2 17 3 3.73 0.76 .81 2.31 0.53 .68
3 16 2 4.16 0.77 .62 2.38 0.59 .73
4 18 3 3.62 0.68 .83 2.44 0.40 .66
5 18 3 3.20 0.63 .76 2.41 0.75 .93
6 11 2 3.31 0.78 .77 2.14 0.55 .33
7 10 4 3.05 0.61 .66 2.08 0.57 .76
Note: The low ICC (.33) for Perform2 in Restaurant 6 results from the two managers’ complete disagreement
for one server (i.e. a server received a ‘1’ from one manager and a ‘3’ from the other manager).
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116 Human Relations 67(1)
hoc comparisons of individual restaurants using the Scheffé correction for multiple
comparisons indicated that the mean rating of Perform1 in Restaurant 3 was signifi-
cantly higher than the mean rating in both Restaurant 5 (p = .020) and Restaurant 7 (p
= .023). While it is possible that the average level of server performance in Restaurant
3 was, in fact, higher than in other restaurants included in our study, it is also possible
that the differences we observed resulted from a leniency bias in Restaurant 3. To
account for this possibility and, more generally, to correct for any possible differences
in how the performance rating scales were interpreted or applied from one restaurant
to the next, we standardized managers’ averaged ratings of Perform1 and Perform2.1
Observing that the standardized ratings of Perform1 and Perform2 are highly correlated
(r = .80), we summed these two variables to create an aggregate measure of job perfor-
mance for each server. The analyses and results that follow are based on this aggregate
measure of job performance.
Turnover intention. We measured turnover intention using a four item scale developed by
Kelloway et al. (1999). Participants responded to these items on a scale from 1 (strongly
disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Sample items included, ‘I am thinking about leaving this
organization’ and ‘I am planning to look for a new job.’ This scale demonstrated ade-
quate internal consistency reliability (α = .88).
Server experience. We included one control variable in our data analysis. Given that
mindfulness may be especially beneficial for domain experts (Dane, 2011), we asked
participants to report the length of time (in months) they had worked as a server for their
employing restaurant as a proxy for expertise within the performance domain.
Construct independence
To examine the empirical distinctiveness of the self-reported focal variables in this
study, we compared three theoretically viable models through confirmatory factor
analysis (CFA). Prior to constructing these models, we created item parcels. Item
parceling can help generate stable and efficient indicators of latent constructs (Little
et al., 2002) and has been recommended for studies that feature a relatively large num-
ber of estimated parameters and a relatively small sample size (Landis et al., 2000;
Williams and O’Boyle, 2008). By randomly assigning each item from a given scale
into a parcel associated with that scale, we created 11 parcels (3 parcels for workplace
mindfulness and 2 parcels for vigor, dedication, absorption, and turnover intention)
consisting of two or three items each.
We assessed the fit of each CFA model in line with standards discussed by Hu and
Bentler (1998). In particular, we looked for a model with a root mean squared error of
approximation (RMSEA) close to .06 and a comparative fit index (CFI) close to .95. In
the first CFA, we tested the fit of a one-factor model, which included all the item parcels.
The fit statistics of this model were poor (χ2(44) = 260.7, p < .001; RMSEA = .224;
CFI = .590). Next, we tested the fit of a three-factor model that treated the three dimen-
sions of work engagement as a single factor. The fit statistics of this model were fairly
poor (χ2(41) = 110.8, p < .001; RMSEA = .132; CFI = .868). Finally, we tested the fit of
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Dane and Brummel 117
a five-factor model that included workplace mindfulness, vigor, dedication, absorption,
and turnover intention. This model exhibited good fit statistics (χ2(34) = 46.8, p = .071;
RMSEA = .062; CFI = .976). Additionally, the five-factor model fit the data significantly
better than the three-factor model (Δχ2(7) = 64.0, p < .001). These results provide evi-
dence for the discriminant validity of workplace mindfulness and support our decision to
include each dimension of work engagement as a separate factor in our data analysis.
Table 3 presents the correlations between all variables included in our analysis. As seen in
this table, the control variable, server experience, is significantly (and positively) related
to job performance (r = .29, p = .004). The positive yet moderate (and, in one case, not
significant) correlations between workplace mindfulness and the three dimensions of
work engagement – vigor (r = .43, p < .001), dedication (r = .33, p = .001), and absorption
(r = .17, p = .103) – accord with our claim that these constructs are related but distinct.
Further examining Table 3, we see that the correlation between workplace mindfulness
and job performance is positive and significant (r = .23, p = .021). In addition, the correla-
tion between workplace mindfulness and turnover intention is negative and significant
(r = -.25, p = .013), as are the correlations between turnover intention and two dimensions
of work engagement: vigor (r = -.23, p = .022) and dedication (r = -.44, p < .001).
Hypothesis 1 proposed a positive relationship between workplace mindfulness and
job performance. We tested this hypothesis through hierarchical regression (Cohen,
2008). In the first step, we entered server experience; in the second step, we entered
workplace mindfulness (see Table 4). This analysis indicates that workplace mindfulness
is positively related to job performance (β = .22, p = .024). Thus, Hypothesis 1 is
Hypothesis 2 posited a negative relationship between workplace mindfulness and
turnover intention. We tested this hypothesis through hierarchical regression, first enter-
ing server experience and then entering workplace mindfulness (Table 4). This analysis
reveals that workplace mindfulness is negatively related to turnover intention (β = -.25,
p = .013). Thus, Hypothesis 2 is supported.
Table 3. Descriptive statistics and correlations.
Mean SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1. Server experience 24.35 29.57
2. Workplace mindfulness 4.38 0.85 .05 .73
3. Vigor 5.87 0.83 −.07 .43** .70
4. Dedication 4.48 1.61 .04 .33** .58** .83
5. Absorption 4.52 1.42 .23* .17 .50** .57** .80
6. Turnover intention 2.51 1.14 .03 −.25*−.23*−.44** −.09 .88
7. Job performance 0.02 1.84 .29** .23*.05 .02 .11 −.20 .89
Note: Internal consistency reliabilities are presented on the diagonal.
*p < .05 **p < .01.
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118 Human Relations 67(1)
Hypothesis 3 maintained that, with respect to predicting job performance, workplace
mindfulness accounts for variance unique from that associated with three dimensions of
work engagement – vigor, dedication, and absorption. To test this hypothesis, we again
used hierarchical regression (see Table 5). In this case, we entered server experience in
the first step and entered the three work engagement dimensions in the second step. In
the third step, we entered workplace mindfulness. As this analysis indicates, workplace
mindfulness is positively related to job performance (β = .25, p = .024) when accounting
for the effects of vigor, dedication, and absorption (as well as server experience). Thus,
Hypothesis 3 is supported.
Hypothesis 4 submitted that, with respect to predicting turnover intention, workplace
mindfulness accounts for variance unique from that associated with each dimension of
work engagement. We tested this hypothesis through the same three-step method of hier-
archical regression described above and found that the negative relationship between
workplace mindfulness and turnover intention becomes insignificant (β = -.12; p = .260)
Table 4. Hierarchical regression analysis.
Predictor Job performance Turnover intention
Step 1 .084** .001
Server experience .28** .04
Step 2 .048*.063*
Total R2.132** .064*
Note: Beta weights are standardized and refer to the full model.
*p < .05 **p < .01.
Table 5. Hierarchical regression analysis.
Job performance Turnover intention
Predictor ΔR2βΔR2β
Step 1 .084** .001
Server experience .27*.00
Step 2 .007 .232**
Vigor −.02 .01
Dedication −.11 −.54**
Absorption .07 .23
Step 3 .049*.010
Workplace mindfulness .25*−.12
Total R2.140*.243**
Note: Beta weights are standardized and refer to the full model.
*p < .05 **p < .01.
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Dane and Brummel 119
when accounting for the effects of vigor, dedication, and absorption (Table 5). Thus,
Hypothesis 4 is not supported. On a final note, it is worth observing that, as shown in
Table 5, dedication is negatively and significantly related to turnover intention (β = -.54,
p < .001).2
Despite surging interest in mindfulness across several fields of study, organizational
scholars have paid little attention to individual-level mindfulness and its consequences in
the workplace. Addressing this oversight, we examined workplace mindfulness – the
degree to which individuals are mindful in a given work context – and investigated its
relations to job performance and turnover intention in a dynamic work environment. We
found support for a positive relationship between workplace mindfulness and job perfor-
mance that remains significant even when accounting for the influence of three dimen-
sions of work engagement on performance. Further, we found support for a negative
relationship between workplace mindfulness and turnover intention, though this rela-
tionship becomes insignificant when the dimensions of work engagement are accounted
for. Finally, and consistent with prior research, we found that a specific dimension of
work engagement, dedication, is negatively related to turnover intention. Collectively,
these findings carry implications worth considering.
To begin, through this study we demonstrated a positive relationship between work-
place mindfulness and job performance. While recent research has linked the mindful-
ness of leaders to the performance of followers (Reb et al., 2012) and connected
mindfulness and job performance through a spirituality framework (Petchsawang and
Duchon, 2012), to our knowledge no empirical research has investigated the effects of
mindfulness on performance in a dynamic workplace context. Addressing this defi-
ciency, our study provides support for the previously untested claim that, in dynamic
work environments, mindfulness facilitates job performance (Dane, 2011). Thus, our
results show why organizational scholars and managers should care about mindfulness
– namely, because it relates to an outcome associated with the bottom line.
In spotlighting performance-related benefits of mindfulness in the workplace, our
study contributes to an emerging body of organizational scholarship concerned with
attention (for a review, see Ocasio, 2011). As such work suggests, various forms of atten-
tion can be assessed in terms of specific qualities or features (Levinthal and Rerup, 2006;
Rerup, 2009; Weick and Sutcliffe, 2006). Mindfulness, for example, is concerned with
attending to the present moment while maintaining a wide breadth of attention (Dane,
2011). While scholars have documented numerous benefits of achieving and maintaining
the qualities of attention that characterize mindfulness (see Glomb et al., 2011), research
indicates that the human mind is prone to wander away from the present and take hold of
any number of objects including memories of the past or thoughts about the future
(Gilbert and Wilson, 2007; Smallwood and Schooler, 2006). In light of the mind’s ten-
dency to wander, we view mindfulness (in the workplace and elsewhere) as a remarkable
feat: situating the mind in present moment time despite psychological pressures to the
contrary. In performing this mental feat in a dynamic work environment, individuals
attend to a number of stimuli and events and, as a result, perform effectively.
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120 Human Relations 67(1)
Buttressing the case for a positive relationship between workplace mindfulness and
job performance, our results suggest that this relationship cannot be dismissed as an
artifact of the link between work engagement and job performance that has been identi-
fied in previous research. As our data show, workplace mindfulness is significantly
related to job performance even when accounting for all three dimensions of work
engagement. This suggests that in at least some work environments, there is value not
only in being engaged by one’s work, but also in focusing attention mindfully. More
specifically, in the context of restaurant service work, mindfulness appears to be an
important (though perhaps unheralded) determinant of job performance – a finding that
challenges the notion that in service work settings (and elsewhere), performance is pri-
marily a matter of enthusiasm, passion, and other manifestations of work engagement
(see Boverie and Kroth, 2001; Robinson, 2009).
That being said, we find it curious that none of the dimensions of work engagement
were significantly related to job performance in our research context, particularly given
previous research findings concerning the engagement/performance link (see Christian
et al., 2011). While discussion along these lines is necessarily speculative, we believe
that certain features of the research context may have contributed to our results. Notably,
as we learned through our background interviews, some aspects of working as a server
may be engaging but not especially relevant to performance. On this point, several serv-
ers mentioned that, while at work, they routinely engage in social activities that are
energizing but not performance related (e.g. gossiping and flirting). This suggests that
within a given job, organization, or occupation, the strength of the link between work
engagement and job performance may depend on how closely tied the activities prompt-
ing engagement are to job performance itself.
It is also worth noting that a specific dimension of work engagement – dedication –
was significantly and negatively related to turnover intention. This result aligns with
previous research findings (Schaufeli and Bakker, 2004) and thus provides some level of
assurance that study participants understood and provided thoughtful responses to the
work engagement items. If this were not the case, the absence of significant relationships
between the dimensions of work engagement and job performance could be explained
and dismissed on methodological grounds. Thus, our results concerning turnover inten-
tion help to rule out an alternative explanation for the job performance results.
From an organizational perspective, our study hints at the importance of helping
workers develop greater mindfulness. After all, our data indicate that workplace mind-
fulness is not only positively related to job performance, but also predictive of the
degree to which individuals are attached to their employer (as measured by turnover
intention). As noted earlier, research suggests that as a result of specific forms of train-
ing, practice, or experience, individuals may become more adept at focusing attention
mindfully within a given performance context (e.g. Hülsheger et al., 2013). In particu-
lar, scholars have demonstrated the utility of meditation-based programs, such as
mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR; see Kabat-Zinn, 2003), designed to help
people focus attention on the present (see Hölzel et al., 2011, for a neural perspective
on mindfulness meditation). Insofar as workplace mindfulness can be improved
through training, this concept differs in notable respects from other individual-level
antecedents to job performance, such as cognitive ability (Kuncel et al., 2004) and
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Dane and Brummel 121
personality (Barrick and Mount, 1991), which are often depicted as relatively stable
and enduring attributes. With that said, consistent with our individual differences per-
spective on workplace mindfulness, we expect that some individuals are more mindful
at work than others owing to dispositional tendencies (see Brown and Ryan, 2003).
Consequently, we see potential in research that examines not only whether or to what
degree workplace mindfulness can be developed through training, but also whether
such training benefits some individuals more than others.
Limitations and future research directions
Given that our results are based on cross-sectional data, questions remain concerning the
causal direction of the relationships between workplace mindfulness and job perfor-
mance and turnover intention, respectively. Although we developed our hypotheses con-
cerning these relationships theoretically, it is possible that these relationships may work
in the opposite direction (i.e. the more strongly individuals intend to leave their organiza-
tion, the less mindful they are). Longitudinal research may help unpack issues concern-
ing causal directionality.
Next, research is needed to determine whether the relationships between workplace
mindfulness and the work outcomes we studied hold in other work settings, including
dynamic environments beyond the restaurant industry, as well as less dynamic – or static
– settings. In carrying out such research, scholars could investigate relationships between
workplace mindfulness and various dimensions of job performance. That is, given that
we used a global measure of job performance in our study, researchers could connect
workplace mindfulness to more specific components of performance, including contex-
tual work performance and counterproductive work behavior (for distinctions, see
Motowidlo and Van Scotter, 1994; Rotundo and Sackett, 2002).
Along related lines, scholars could examine whether or how workplace mindfulness
relates to other work outcomes of interest to organizations and their members. Although
research suggests that mindfulness fosters ethical decision making (Ruedy and
Schweitzer, 2010), enhances creativity (Ostafin and Kassman, 2012), and improves the
accuracy of affective forecasting (Emanuel et al., 2010), little if any research has inves-
tigated connections between mindfulness and these outcomes in work settings. In dem-
onstrating relationships between workplace mindfulness and work-related outcomes
including but not limited to those noted above, scholars could demarcate the range of
outcomes pertinent to workplace mindfulness and illuminate further the benefits – and,
perhaps, the limitations – of mindfulness in organizations.
Finally, while our study assesses workplace mindfulness and its consequences, our
methodology does not permit us to account for why individuals differ in workplace
mindfulness. As suggested above, we believe workplace mindfulness is partially attribut-
able to dispositional differences in mindfulness though, consistent with scholarly obser-
vations (Glomb et al., 2011; Weick and Putnam, 2006), we also believe workplace
mindfulness can also be developed through training. Through future research, scholars
could investigate connections between mindfulness training and workplace mindfulness
and thus examine the degree to which workplace mindfulness, as an intra-person
attribute, is malleable.
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122 Human Relations 67(1)
Although research across several disciplines is rife with interest in mindfulness, research
on mindfulness from a workplace standpoint has lagged well behind other lines of mind-
fulness-related investigation. In examining workplace mindfulness and its relations to
job performance and turnover intention in a dynamic work environment, our study helps
to reduce key theoretical and empirical blind spots in this area and highlights the impor-
tance of conducting further research on mindfulness in work settings. Through such
research, organizational scholars may not only maintain pace with other lines of mindful-
ness inquiry, but also help chart the course of this burgeoning field of study.
For their insightful feedback on earlier versions of this paper, we thank Tammy Allen, Joyce Bono,
Reeshad Dalal, Hannes Leroy, Fred Oswald, Seth Spain, Kerrie Unsworth, and the participants of
the OB Seminar Series at Washington University in St. Louis, USA. We also thank Brandon
Jordan, Andrew Schiller, and Alex Jackson for their assistance with data collection.
This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or
not-for-profit sectors.
1 The correlations between the non-standardized and standardized ratings are .85 for Perform1
and .93 for Perform2.
2 In addition to the analyses reported here, we tested for two-way interactions between work-
place mindfulness and server experience with regard to job performance and turnover inten-
tion. Neither of these interactions was significant. We also tested for two-way interactions
between workplace mindfulness and each dimension of work engagement with regard to job
performance and turnover intention. None of these interactions was significant either. Also,
we should note that, besides controlling for server experience, we included a measure of
conscientiousness in our study (a scale adopted from John and Srivastava, 1999). Perhaps not
surprisingly – given robust support for a link between conscientiousness and job performance
(Barrick and Mount, 1991) – we found that adding conscientiousness to the regression analy-
ses reported here reduces the strength of the relationship between workplace mindfulness and
job performance, such that this relationship becomes statistically insignificant. Of course, as
we have discussed, this study was not intended to show that workplace mindfulness accounts
for variance beyond conscientiousness; rather, our intent was to demonstrate significant per-
formance-related effects of workplace mindfulness over and above the dimensions of work
Workplace mindfulness scale: Restaurant service work
Below is a collection of statements about your work experience. Please answer according
to what really reflects your work experience rather than what you think your experience
should be.
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Dane and Brummel 123
When working as a server . . .
1. I break or spill things because of carelessness, not paying attention, or thinking of
something else.
2. I find it difficult to stay focused on what’s happening in the present.
3. I tend to walk quickly to get where I’m going without paying attention to what I
experience along the way.
4. I forget a person’s name almost as soon as I’ve been told it for the first time.
5. I rush through activities without being really attentive to them.
6. I find myself preoccupied with the future or the past.
7. I find myself doing things without paying attention.
In line with Brown and Ryan (2003), participants responded to these items using the fol-
lowing scale: 1 (almost always); 2 (very frequently); 3 (somewhat frequently); 4 (some-
what infrequently); 5 (very infrequently); 6 (almost never). This implies that an individual
who responds ‘almost never’ to the items listed above is high in workplace mindfulness
and an individual who responds ‘almost always’ to these items is low in workplace
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Erik Dane is Assistant Professor of Management at the Jesse H Jones Graduate School of Business,
Rice University, USA. He received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
USA. His research focuses on cognition in the workplace and addresses topics such as mindfulness,
intuition, and expertise. His work has been published in journals including Academy of Management
Review, Journal of Management, Organization Studies, and Organizational Behavior and Human
Decision Processes. [Email:]
Bradley J Brummel is Assistant Professor of Psychology at The University of Tulsa, USA. He is
also a research affiliate of The University of Tulsa’s Institute for Information Security. He received
his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. His research interests include
training and development using simulations and role-plays, job attitude structure and incremental
validity, and individual differences in the workplace. His work has appeared in journals such as
Personnel Psychology, Journal of Management, Psychologist-Manager Journal, and Science and
Engineering Ethics. [Email:]
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... Evidence (Mahon, Mee, Brett, & Dowling, 2017;Schultz et al., 2015;Silver, Caleshu, Casson-Parkin, & Ormond, 2018) shows that mindfulness training improves self-care and reduces employee stress and burnout in the service industry. Studies (Dane & Brummel, 2014) have also established a negative relationship between workplace mindfulness and turnover intention in the hospitality sector. ...
... Mindfulness can intervene in overcoming this problem (Jang et al., 2020). Dane and Brummel (2014) found evidence to support the claim of a positive relationship between mindfulness at work and job performance through work engagements in the areas of vigour, dedication and absorption. ...
Purpose Mindfulness is gaining popularity in the business world as a way to improve mental health and productivity in employees. However, the application of mindfulness for employees in the hospitality sector is still in its nascent stage. This paper aims to synthesize the evidence on the effectiveness of mindfulness practice on employees in this high-pressure service industry. Design/methodology/approach This narrative review identifies and integrates insights from journal articles researching mindfulness in the hospitality industry. Synthesis and reflective description of the literature reveal an exigent need for practice, policy-making and future research. Findings This review paper describes mindfulness-based interventions used in the literature. It shows how the practice of mindfulness stimulates a culture of well-being and effectiveness at work, consequently having a positive impact on the customer and the organization. It points to the role of mindfulness in helping hospitality employees deal with stress, depression, anxiety, burnout and emotional labor peculiar to this industry, lowering absenteeism levels and turnover intention. Practical implications This paper has implications for hospitality managerial practice, human resource (HR) policy development, employees at all levels in the hospitality industry, business coaches/trainers, educationists, students pursuing hospitality management and researchers. Originality/value This first review article on mindfulness in the hospitality industry lays the foundation to accentuate the need and benefits of prioritizing mindfulness in this sector. It provides directions for future research, application in HR management in hospitality and designing effective interventions.
... Learning mindfulness skills can help reframe issues and find creative solutions because the engineering process is partly a design process. One mindful breath can help workers mentally relax, which can lead to new insights, the desire to take more risks, and the capacity to come up with better solutions (Dane & Brummel, 2014). ...
... By developing the capacity to observe and acknowledge their emotions without judgment, leaders can prevent emotional biases from hindering creative thinking and strategic decisionmaking (George et al., 2018). Mindful leaders are better equipped to embrace and utilize their emotions as sources of insight, fueling creative problem-solving and strategy development (Dane & Brummel, 2014). ...
This chapter explores the integration of mindfulness practices with authentic leadership in diverse industry contexts. It emphasizes the potential benefits of mindfulness, such as enhanced self-awareness and decision-making abilities, for leaders in healthcare, education, technology, creative arts, nonprofit, and engineering sectors. Mindfulness can foster passion, economic stability, and well-being among professionals while addressing unique challenges faced in each industry. Case studies and research provide insights and strategies for leaders to cultivate mindfulness tailored to their industry's requirements and improve leadership effectiveness. This chapter also explores the integration of mindfulness practices with authentic leadership, focusing on the impact of burnout and emotional wellness in new nurses, interpersonal capabilities of middle managers, harnessing emotions for creative thinking and adaptive strategies, and embracing a wise mind for decision-making. The benefits of authentic leadership and mindfulness are shown to improve working conditions, build trust, enhance communication, foster collaboration, and promote employee engagement and well-being. By cultivating mindfulness, leaders can effectively navigate challenges, leverage emotions, integrate rational and intuitive thinking, and foster creativity and innovation. A case study of Steve Jobs highlights integration of Eastern wisdom and Western rationality as a mindful approach to authentic leadership. Jobs' ability to balance intuitive and holistic thinking with rationality and user-centric design played a significant role in the economic success of Apple and its transformative impact on technology and society. His integration of Eastern and Western traditions exemplifies the principles of mindfulness for authentic leadership, blending intuitive insights with rational analysis to drive innovation and create meaningful products.
... Meanwhile, standalone PPIs such as mindfulness positively predict job performance through critical transitions such as downsizing, but mainly in the context of work engagement. The same outcome is expected with constructs such as turnover intention, but less so in the context of work engagement (Dane & Brummel, 2014). The study by Jeffrey Hill et al. (2008) highlights the attributes of work and workplace environments in the pre-pandemic era and proposes that work-from-home arrangements be integrated into organisational culture. ...
There has been an increase in the use of Positive Psychology Interventions (PPIs) in the workplace since the outbreak of Covid-19. In the post-Covid era, there is a dearth of evidence through systematic reviews for the effectiveness and sustainability of workplace PPIs. Even when evidence is present, it lacks contextual considerations for multicultural workplaces. The effectiveness of PPI has been evaluated in the past using frameworks that do not take sustainability into account. In this systematic review, relevant data on the research variables are collected and analysed to close these gaps and improve understanding of the subject. A total of 205 studies were selected using PICO criteria and qualitatively analysed using NVIVO software. The data collected are specific to the post-Covid era and include process and context factors, the dominant PPI theories, and other workplace interventions. This study also follows the long-overlooked recommendation that PPIs should be compared with other workplace behaviour interventions (Donaldson et al., 2019). The findings include the prevalence of multicomponent positive psychology intervention (MPPI) programs over single-theory interventions such as gratitude, optimism and self-compassion. Furthermore, process and context factors such as poor sleep quality and sedentary behaviour strongly moderate the outcome of workplace PPIs in the post-Covid era. By reviewing the selected studies and integrating the collected data into the DIEM framework, this paper provides evidence for the post-Covid effectiveness and sustainability of workplace PPIs. Thus, this study provides a new understanding of the factors that moderate PPIs in the workplace and especially, in multicultural settings.
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O presente estudo analisou, por meio de uma revisão sistemática da literatura, o impacto das práticas de atenção plena (mindfulness) no desempenho e satisfação do trabalho, caracterizando-as e identificando os instrumentos utilizados para avaliar seus resultados. A busca realizada nas bases de dados PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science e Scopus retornou 118 materiais. Após a aplicação dos critérios de inclusão (artigos disponíveis na íntegra, escritos em português, inglês ou espanhol, publicados em periódicos revisados por pares e que investigam a relação entre mindfulness, satisfação no trabalho e/ou desempenho no trabalho), nove foram selecionados para análise integral, e oito artigos compuseram a amostra final. As questões norteadoras abordaram a relação das práticas de mindfulness com a satisfação no trabalho e a maneira como as práticas de mindfulness influenciam os contextos de trabalho. Os materiais analisados evidenciaram uma relação positiva entre práticas de atenção plena, satisfação e desempenho no trabalho, resiliência e bem-estar dos funcionários. Mais especificamente, demonstraram que executar exercícios de mindfulness no local de trabalho pode contribuir para a ampliação da autoconsciência e do estado de alerta dos funcionários, mostrando maior desenvolvimento referente ao foco e a calma no momento presente. A prática de mindfulness contribui para a melhora da autoconsciência, estado de alerta, equilíbrio emocional e físico, concentração, memória, empatia e autoconhecimento. Dessa forma, permite que os indivíduos lidem de forma mais eficaz com os desafios e demandas do ambiente de trabalho, bem como com o estresse, a ruminação e os pensamentos depressivos que podem decorrer desse contexto.
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This study aimed to investigate the current status of the Sustainable Workplace Equality Policy (SWEP) in an emerging country—Kuwait—and how it impacts firms’ financial and market performance. The study included companies listed in the Kuwait Boursa (Boursa Kuwait is the operator of the Kuwait Stock Exchange) in the period between 2012 and 2020. A disclosure index was prepared for SWEP based on guidelines provided by a combination of various sources and standards such as the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) standard, S&P global corporate sustainability assessment, Dow Jones sustainability index, United Nations global compact, and KPMG sustainability reporting standards. Time series regression analysis was used to examine the study hypotheses. The analysis revealed a strong positive relationship between the SWEP disclosure and firm measures of financial performance. The results indicate that SWEP is value-relevant and affects firms’ market value, suggesting that investors should consider firms’ disclosure of the SWEP when making investment decisions. The results of the current study are of interest to several stakeholders, especially investors and policymakers. Specifically, the study is relevant to the Kuwaiti Government, which has defined a clear path for sustainable growth with the Vision 2035/New Kuwait that is aimed at transforming the country into a financial and commercial hub for the region by 2035.
Occupational stress is increasingly recognized as contributing to the deterioration of employees’ productivity and overall performance. Emerging research interest has gained significance in mindfulness in the workplace. Within this body of knowledge, research investigating the effects of mindfulness interventions on employee health and well-being has substantial practical implications for organizations. The current bibliometric study investigates the research landscape of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) in the workplace as a breakthrough in occupational stress. The present research study aims to fill the gap in the literature by conducting a scientific and bibliometric mapping of occupational stress in employees, using a methodological trilogy with the application of SMART, Prisma and R bibliometric tools. The analysis focuses on the different trends implanted in using various keywords, authors and journals. A total of N = 642 data consisting of peer-reviewed articles were retrieved from the Scopus database. Research is carried out based on an average citation of 17.44 per document; the research also shows an average citation of 3.632 per year per document. This study fosters to provide an overview of the trends in journals, popular author keywords, authors and country collaboration with the respective source impact, which helps to provide information for researchers in the field of MBIs at the workplace that will set a futuristic potential to propel further with mindfulness training programmes at workplace, thus mitigating the stress levels and improving the well-being of the employees. Advancing scientific understanding by researching MBIs for occupational stress contributes to the body of knowledge of psychology, organizational behaviour and occupational health.
Mindfulness; It is stated that it is theorized simply as “receptive attention and awareness towards current events and experiences”. This study was carried out to determine the effect of mindfulness on organizational health. Data were collected from 620 actively working white and blue-collar volunteers in Istanbul. The sample was reached through the convenience sampling method. Analyzes were carried out on 615 valid surveys. According to the correlation analysis, a positive, highly significant relationship was found between Mindfulness and Organizational Health (r= 782, p<0.01). As a result of regression analysis; The power of mindfulness to explain organizational health was found to be 61.1%. When the interaction on the basis of sub-dimensions was examined, it was determined that mindfulness had an impact on the sub-dimensions of organizational health. When the analyzes to test the explanatory power and effect are examined; When the β value is examined, it is seen that the independent variable has an effect. When the findings were examined, it was determined that the effect power of the mindfulness dimension was 78.2%. As a result of the regression analyses, it was determined that there was a significant relationship and interaction between the dependent variable and the independent variable. In addition, when this interaction was examined on the basis of sub-dimensions, it was determined that the sub-dimension with the most impact was the general level. As a result of the research, it was determined that as mindfulness increases, healthy perception and attribution of organizations also increases. In fact, it has been determined that employees with high mindfulness consider their organizations to be healthy at a general level. It appears that results are consistent with the literature. When their influence power is examined, it is seen that there are different factors that are likely to affect organizational health. It is recommended that the effect of the personality factor, which may affect the variables of the study, be examined in future studies. Keywords: Organizational Behavior, Mindfulness, Organizational Health.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the magnitude of experience and perception of work, leaving a permanent mark on the fundamental principles of the workplace as information workers still continue to work from home. While the turnover intention of millennials is highest in the I/T (information technology) industry, organizations strive to adjust to the work order that is supposed to be the new normal. This chapter unfolds the mediating impact of employee engagement on the relationship between workplace spirituality and turnover intention of millennials in the post-pandemic era. A cross-sectional study was conducted through an online survey and data were analyzed through the AMOS 20.0 and Hayes Process macro (model 4). To respond to the long-standing problems extended by the pandemic, establishing deep connections with organizational members, and injecting meaning and higher purpose at the workplace may prove to be effective.
Ecosystems across the world are facing catastrophic effects due to high degree of environmental pressures coupled with lack of ecological consciousness among a large section of the society. This is partly attributed to the fact that people tend to equate their well-being with enhanced consumption, and material accumulation, and are reluctant to adopt lifestyle changes toward sustainable consumption. However, a number of recent studies demonstrate that human well-being is rooted in a complex array of psychological factors and sociological influences, rather than material wealth alone. In this chapter we contribute to these existing debates by analyzing how mindfulness can be used as a tool to promote ecological sensitivity and ethical behaviors among practitioners. Based on empirical research among Buddhist and Sikh mindfulness practitioners in India and Vietnam, the study demonstrates how ethical dimensions of mindfulness can help to motivate an orientation toward sustainability and other centeredness. These in turn pay a “double dividend” in terms of contribution to a sustainable way of life as well as a greater sense of well-being.
Drawing from existing theory and empirical evidence on mindfulness, we posit that trait mindfulness is associated with less accurate memories of immoral conduct. We report three studies that provide evidence of this argument. One significant implication of this finding is that it provides a more balanced and complete view of mindfulness. Specifically, while mindfulness is widely promoted for its positive effects for employee well‐being, mindfulness may inadvertently promote a biased moral self‐perception based on inaccurate memories of one's past immoral conduct. In a fourth study, we explore this implication and demonstrate that memory mediates the negative relationship between trait mindfulness and self‐reported immoral conduct. This research contributes to literatures on mindfulness, memory, morality, and to the growing body of work assessing the importance of mindfulness.
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Interest in applications of mindfulness-based approaches with adults has grown rapidly in recent times, and there is an expanding research base that suggests these are efficacious approaches to promoting psychological health and well-being. Interest has spread to applications of mindfulness-based approaches with children and adolescents, yet the research is still in its infancy. I aim to provide a preliminary review of the current research base of mindfulness-based approaches with children and adolescents, focusing on MBSR/MBCT models, which place the regular practice of mindfulness meditation at the core of the intervention. Overall, the current research base provides support for the feasibility of mindfulness-based interventions with children and adolescents, however there is no generalized empirical evidence of the efficacy of these interventions. For the field to advance, I suggest that research needs to shift away from feasibility studies towards large, well-designed studies with robust methodologies, and adopt standardized formats for interventions, allowing for replication and comparison studies, to develop a firm research evidence base. KeywordsMindfulness meditation-Children-Adolescents-Families-Schools
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Consistent with the positive organizational scholarship (POS) focus on positively deviant performance, mindful organizing represents a set of social processes that underlie the near-flawless performance of high-reliability organizations (HROs). This chapter details the foundations of mindful organizing, reviews recent empirical developments, and proposes five potential directions for further theoretical and empirical development, each of which deepens its contribution and connection to POS. The first proposed direction is to conceptually and empirically link both Eastern and Western conceptions of individual mindfulness and mindful organizing. The second is to establish the affective foundations of mindful organizing, namely how emotion affects the relationships between mindful organizing and error-free performance, the discrete emotions that constitute mindful organizing, and how emotional narratives sustain mindful organizing. Third is to examine a broader range of outcomes of mindful organizing, including its effects on employees. Fourth is to better link mindful organizing to leader attributes and leadership processes. Last, the impact of mindful organizing also requires further construct validation, including differentiating it from related constructs and establishing its responsiveness to interventions.
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In this chapter, we argue that state and trait mindfulness and mindfulness-based practices in the workplace should enhance employee outcomes. First, we review the existing literature on mindfulness, provide a brief history and definition of the construct, and discuss its beneficial effects on physical and psychological health. Second, we delineate a model of the mental and neurobiological processes by which mindfulness and mindfulness-based practices improve self-regulation of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, linking them to both performance and employee well-being in the workplace. We especially focus on the power of mindfulness, via improved self-regulation, to enhance social relationships in the workplace, make employees more resilient in the face of challenges, and increase task performance. Third, we outline controversies, questions, and challenges that surround the study of mindfulness, paying special attention to the implications of unresolved issues for understanding the effects of mindfulness at work. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our propositions for organizations and employees and offer some recommendations for future research on mindfulness in the workplace.
High Reliability Organizations (HROs) have been treated as exotic outliers in mainstream organizational theory because of their unique potentials for catastrophic consequences and interactively complex technology. We argue that HROs are more central to the mainstream because they provide a unique window into organizational effectiveness under trying conditions. HROs enact a distinctive though not unique set of cognitive processes directed at proxies for failure, tendencies to simplify, sensitivity to operations, capabilities for resilience, and temptations to overstructure the system. Taken together these processes induce a state of collective mindfulness that creates a rich awareness of discriminatory detail and facilitates the discovery and correction of errors capable of escalation into catastrophe. Though distinctive, these processes are not unique since they are a dormant infrastructure for process improvement in all organizations. Analysis of HROs suggests that inertia is not indigenous to organizing, that routines are effective because of their variation, that learning may be a byproduct of mindfulness, and that garbage cans may be safer than hierarchies.