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TSBE Research Seminar | Mindfulness at work - Current issues and future trends



Start Date

12th Oct 2016 12:00pm

End Date

12th Oct 2016 2:00pm

Tasmanian School of Business and Economics Research Seminar Series 2016

Venue: Level 4 Function Space, Centenary Building Sandy bay campus

A light lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to Jacqueline Fox for catering purposes.

Although videoconferencing will not be available, the seminar will be videorecorded and a link to the recording can be made available to anyone unable to attend in Hobart. For enquiries, please contact the Management discipline seminar convenor, Sarah Dawkins.

Event Flyer (PDF 590KB)

Dr Maree Roche, University of Waikato

Mindfulness at work - Current issues and future trends

While the conceptualisation of mindfulness dates back thousands of years, there are a number of differing definitions of mindfulness current today. Discourses, such as the "Eastern" definition drawing from Buddhism, and the "Western" definition within the discourse of social psychology exemplified by the work of Ellen Langer, offer differing conceptualisations and measurement of mindfulness. This presentation, firstly, contrasts the forms of eastern and western measurement, clarifies where issues in mindfulness get muddied, and then outlines three research projects based on eastern informed mindfulness. This research projects outlined include (1) the tole of mindfulness in buffering stress, anxiety and depression in organisational leaders (2) the prominence of mindfulness as a personal resource within the job demands and resources model for workers in emotional labour roles, and finally, (3) the limitations of mindfulness for high-performance sports and business leaders. This review also includes the complicating issue of implicitly learnt skills (Reinvestment Theory) and mindfulness, when competing for "cognitive space" in high performance situations. Finally the presentation alludes to future issues in mindfulness research including objective research designs, interventions and measurement complications.

Dr Megan Woods, TSBE, and
Dr Karen Barry, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (UTAS)

Testing the impact of mindfulness on doctoral student stress management and psychological capital

Doctoral study is acknowledged to be highly challenging and, for some candidates, highly stressful, which impacts on wellbeing and study progress. Better understanding the stress and forms of psychological distress experienced by doctoral research candidates could potentially help institutions and supervisors support the mental health of candidates in two important ways: by potentially reducing the conditions which cause students to experience stress, and by enabling the provision of more effective and accessible support services. To contribute to such understanding, this study investigated the stressors and challenges experienced by doctoral candidates during candidature and the efficacy of mindfulness practices for enhancing candidates' stress management, psychological wellbeing and psychological capital. The study was conducted as a single-blinded randomised control trial of a 30-minute mindfulness intervention based on an existing self-care package (Warnecke et al. 2011) in which 76 PhD students at the University of Tasmania participated. Participants in the intervention group (n-38) completed an 8 week program of mindfulness practices and data was collected from both the intervention and control groups about candidates' doctoral progress, levels of psychological capital, psychological health, experiences of stress, and stress management techniques. This seminar presents the study's findings about the stressors experienced by candidates during doctoral study and the impact of mindfulness practices on candidates' psychological health, psychological capital and stress management