Mindfulness at Work
21 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2012
Date Written: December 18, 2012
Mindlessness at work has become a global touchstone of mockery and entertainers have enchanted audiences worldwide with comedies featuring mindless managers (including The Office or Office Space). Steve Currall, playing the role of Michael Scott as Regional Manager of a Dunder-Mifflin branch in Scranton, PA epitomizes mindless behavior which is characterized by a reliance on old, often outdated categories and a reduced awareness of one's social and physical world. While some argue that mindlessness is a necessity in the work environment a closer examination reveals that mindlessness is rarely, if ever, beneficial because it closes us off to possibility, freezes our responses and prevents needed change (E.; Langer & Moldoveanu, 2000; E. J. Langer, 1989). In this chapter I will outline how mindfulness can be beneficial in the work environment and in the organizational context. To do so I will give 1) a brief overview of the mindfulness notions and their convergence; 2) perspectives on mindful management; and 3) highlight organizationally relevant impacts of mindfulness with regard to a) organizational culture, b) learning and innovation, and c) decision-making.
Keywords: mindfulness, mindlessness, culture, decision-making, mindful management
JEL Classification: I00, M00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation