Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Stephanie Hoon

Abstract

Despite the gap between the demands of the global work environment and the maturity of its leaders, minimal research exists on the trend of the practice of mindfulness meditation and the developmental experiences of leaders, thereby resulting in a growing divide between theory and practice. Consequently, leadership scholars have little understanding of how an increasing number of leaders experience mindfulness meditation. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the perceived impact mindfulness meditation had on leader development for 20 manager-leaders who had a regular (at least 3 days a week) mindfulness-meditation practice. The primary recruitment strategy included outreach to potential participants affiliated with professionally oriented mindfulness groups on the social networking site, LinkedIn (geographic location was not relevant in this study). The primary conceptual framework was Dayâ??s conceptualization of leader development. The central research question addressed leadersâ?? perceptions and experiences of the impact of mindfulness meditation on their development as leaders. A modified Stevickâ??Colaizziâ??Keen data analysis procedure was used in this study. Key results included the identification of 10 core themes and the associated conclusion that leaders who want to contribute solutions to global challenges will have to access more of their potential, which may require consideration of techniques that foster vertical learning. The primary recommendation includes the serious consideration of mindfulness meditation by leaders and organizational decision makers of development investments. This study has implications for positive social change in that a better understanding of how leaders experience mindfulness meditation may provide direction for leaders and organizations about developmental practices that support leadership effectiveness.

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