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Mindfulness as an organizational capability: Evidence from wildland firefighting

Posted date: August 23, 2010
Publication Year: 
2008
Authors: Barton, Michelle; Sutcliffe, Kathleen
Publication Series: 
Miscellaneous Publication
Source: Revue Für Postheroisches Management. 3: 24-35.

Abstract

Mindful organizing has been proposed as an adaptive form for unpredictable, unknowable environments. Mindfulness induces a rich awareness of details and facilitates the discovery and correction of ill-structured contingencies so that adaptations can be made as action unfolds. Although these ideas are appealing, empirical studies examining mindfulness and its effects are limited. This study aims at remedying this situation. We use qualitative and quantitative data gathered from wildland firefighters to empirically examine the extent to which mindful organizing contributes to adaptive performance in these dynamic contexts. The findings appear to support the hypotheses: mindfulness is particularly important for good outcomes when contextual uncertainty is high. We end by examining some theoretical mechanisms through which mindfulness is generated.

Citation

Barton, Michelle; Sutcliffe, Kathleen. 2008. Mindfulness as an organizational capability: Evidence from wildland firefighting. Revue Für Postheroisches Management. 3: 24-35.