Designing Work to Cultivate Mindfulness: An Attention-Based Approach to Work Design
thesisposted on 06.05.2021, 14:14 by Benjamin R Pratt
In contemporary organizations, managing workers’ attention is more critical to success than managing workers’ temporal location. Mindfulness, which represents an essential dimension of attention, has been associated with many important individual and work outcomes. However, we know relatively little about how mindfulness is cultivated at the individual level, and the little we know places the individual in full control of cultivating mindfulness; implicitly conceptualizing managers as relatively passive characters in the cultivation of worker mindfulness. Integrating the mindfulness literature with work design, I propose an attention-based model of work design, through which key work characteristics are linked to worker mindfulness through the mediating effects of psychological demands and job-based psychological ownership. I test portions of this model with two samples. In sample 1, I use survey data from 555 employees from a regional healthcare system to examine the relationships between key work characteristics and job-based psychological ownership. In sample 2, I use survey data from 211 individuals to test both the proposed job-based psychological ownership path to mindfulness, as well as the proposed psychological demands path to mindfulness. I end with a discussion of the findings, limitations, and opportunities for future research.