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|The influence of Mindfulness practice at work on Self-Leadership on Thai non-managerial employees: The lived experience in an International K12 education environment
|Given that self-directedness has become a primary expectation of workers in today's workplace and the growing body of literature on Mindfulness benefits in the workplace, this qualitative, exploratory study investigates the influence of Mindfulness practice of non-managerial Thai employees at two educational institutions in the Bangkok area on their work composures with particular focus on Self-Leadership. This research is framed by a scholarly call for more empiric investigation of the influence of Mindfulness at work, the mostly theoretical contention that Mindfulness enables Self-Leadership and the need for improved understand of Mindfulness as an antecedent to Self-Leadership. Applying a phenomenological research approach, this research draws data from 19 in depth semi-structured interviews on the lived experience of non-managerial Thai employees' Mindfulness practice relevant to desired work composures in today's world of work with particular attention to how it enables engagement in various strategies for Self-Leadership. Using the SCK analysis method, the lived experience of the Mindfulness practitioners is presented under the form of 4 findings unites (i.e. Impact, Dysfunctional Composures prior to Mindfulness practice, Experiences and Change) and an appraisal of the potential of Mindfulness practice to be promoted at organizational level as a viable professional development route to benefit employees and the organization. Findings show that Mindfulness practice is experienced as transformative, empowering, positively introspective, and to induce a wide breadth of emotive and behavioral experiences and changes at intra- and interpersonal level in both a personal and professional context, showing Mindfulness to indeed be with the literature refers to as a potential root construct to organizational science. Mindfulness practice is found as potentially pivotal to self-regulation whereby, through the engagement in a comprehensive set of Self-Leadership strategies, internally generated drivers enable the breaking of dysfunctional habitual thinking and behavioral cycles towards self-initiated, positive and productive alignment with one's personal and professional realities and 21st century managerial expectations. This study illuminates the influencing potential of Mindfulness practice, by enabling an agentic nature and stakeholder view, to enable a shift away from external direction towards self-directedness, driven by intrinsic motivational factors stemming from conscious and reflective observance of the self and ones professional and personal context. The study further reports overwhelming support to the roll-out of Mindfulness practice as an organization-wide professional development route towards creating a more pleasant and productive work environment as a result of better emotional management and perspective taking in terms of interpersonal engagements, but also the confidence building and improved personal and professional self-view that Mindfulness practice was experienced to generate. Considering the inherent limitations of qualitative, exploratory research, this study gives cause for future research by replicating the study in different contextual settings for improved generalizability and by drawing antecedents to Self-Leadership as a result of Mindfulness practice based on unearthed themes and progressing these into quantifiable causal instigation of its impact. This study is, to the knowledge of the researcher, the first comprehensive investigation of the lived experience of Mindfulness practice's influence on engagement in Self-Leadership strategies at a non-managerial level.
|Thesis (Ph.D.)--Knowledge Management and Innovation Management, Graduate School, Bangkok University, 2021
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