MINDFULNESS AND MORAL BEHAVIOR IN THE ORGANIZATION: THE ROLE OF AWARENESS OF AND ATTENTION TO MORALITY
Eliseo, Matthew Stewart
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Mindfulness is an awareness of and attention to present events and experiences. This dissertation examines the relationship between mindfulness and moral behavior in employees. I draw on mindfulness theory (Brown & Ryan, 2003; Brown, Ryan, & Creswell, 2007; Glomb et al., 2011; Dane, 2011) to argue that because moral awareness is a matter of presence and attention, mindfulness will lead to moral behavior. More specifically, I argue that the relationship between mindfulness and moral behavior is mediated by moral awareness (Rest, 1986; Reynolds, 2006) and moderated by moral attentiveness (Reynolds, 2008). I also argue that long-term interventions (such as the eight-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes that are now offered by many organizations) significantly increase the moral behavior of employees by increasing their mindfulness. However, after conducting four empirical studies, I discovered limited evidence that mindfulness (as narrowly defined as an awareness of and attention to present events and experiences) leads to moral behavior, or that this relationship is mediated by moral awareness and moderated by moral attentiveness, or that these constructs can be positively affected by mindfulness interventions. I discuss the implications of this lack of evidence for the theoretical development and managerial relevance of mindfulness. I conclude by exploring future directions for research based on the results of this dissertation.
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