, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 166–176 | Cite as

The Wheel of Mindfulness: a Generative Framework for Second-Generation Mindful Leadership

  • Elizabeth KingEmail author
  • Richard Badham


The field of mindfulness research and programs, in the workplace and elsewhere, has been a matter of considerable ambiguity and contestation. Distinguishing between first-generation and second-generation mindfulness-based initiatives has been a useful and positive response to this uncertainty and controversy. Second-generation mindfulness interventions in leadership are defined as going beyond views of mindfulness as a means to reduce the stress inherent in continual change, and as instrumental support for organizational performance in an economy of attention. The purpose of this paper is to build on this work in two ways. Firstly, it acknowledges the contribution of first-generation psychological-therapeutic programs. Secondly, it highlights the value of extending the range and depth of Buddhist-derived interventions beyond such programs and most importantly, also capturing and exploring the value of critical and collective approaches to mindfulness that derive from other traditions and schools of thought. In order to guide such a progression, this paper presents a Wheel of Mindfulness model that captures the different, and inevitably selective, lenses on mindfulness, and provides a generative framework for exploring and building on sources of controversy and debate.


Mindfulness Leadership development Mindful leadership Attention economy Second-generation MBIs 


  1. Beck, D. E., & Cowan, C. (2014). Spiral dynamics: mastering values, leadership and change. Maiden: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  2. Benson, H., & Allen, R. L. (1980). How much stress is too much? Harvard Business Review, 58(5), 86–92.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Benson, H., Proctor, W., & De Munn, J. (2003). The break-out principle. Simon and Schuster Audio.Google Scholar
  4. Bodhi, B. (2011). What does mindfulness mean? A canonical perspective. Contemporary Buddhism, 12(1), 19–39.Google Scholar
  5. Boltanski, L., & Thevenot, L. (2006). On justification: economies of worth. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Brazier, D. (2002). The new Buddhism. London: Palgrave/Macmillan.Google Scholar
  7. Brazier, D. (2013). Mindfulness reconsidered. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 15(2), 116–126.Google Scholar
  8. Buckley, F., & Monks, K. (2004). The implications of meta-qualities for HR roles. Human Resource Management Journal, 14(4), 41–56.Google Scholar
  9. Bunting, M. (2016). The mindful leader: 7practices for transforming your leadership, your organization and your life. Milton: Wiley.Google Scholar
  10. Burgoyne, J., Hirsch, W., & Williams, S. (2004). The development of management and leadership capability and its contribution to performance: the evidence, the prospect and the research needs. London: UK Dept. of Education and Skills, Research Report RR560.Google Scholar
  11. Burke, K. (1984). Attitudes towards history. San Francisco: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  12. Crane, R., Brewer, J., Feldman, C., Kabat-Zinn, J., Santorelli, S., Williams, J., & Kuyken, W. (2017). What defines mindfulness-based programs? The warp and the weft. Psychological Medicine, 47(6), 990–999.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Davenport, T. H., & Beck, J. C. (2013). The attention economy: understanding the new currency of business. Boston: Harvard Business Press.Google Scholar
  14. Desbordes, G., Gard, T., Hoge, E. A., Hölzel, B. K., Kerr, C., Lazar, S. W., Olendzki, A., & Vago, D. R. (2014). Moving beyond mindfulness: defining equanimity as an outcome measure in meditation and contemplative research. Mindfulness, 6(2), 356–372.PubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Farb, N. A., Segal, Z. V., Mayberg, H., Bean, J., McKeon, D., Fatima, Z., & Anderson, A. K. (2007). Attending to the present: mindfulness meditation reveals distinct neural modes of self-reference. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2, 313–322.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Galay, K. (1999). Gross national happiness. Thimphu: Centre for Bhutan Studies.Google Scholar
  17. Gallie, D. (1956). Essentially contested concepts. Proceedings of the Aristotelean Society, 12, 167–198.Google Scholar
  18. Garland, E. L., Gaylord, S. A., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2011). Positive reappraisal mediates the stress-reductive effects of mindfulness: an upward spiral process. Mindfulness, 2(1), 59–67.Google Scholar
  19. Goldstein, J. (2013). Mindfulness: a practical guide to awakening. Boulder: Sounds True.Google Scholar
  20. Green, P. (1999). Building robust competencies: linking human resource systems to organizational strategies. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  21. Griffin, M. A., Neal, A., & Parker, S. K. (2007). A new model of work role performance: positive behavior in uncertain and interdependent contexts. The Academy of Management Journal, 50(2), 327–347.Google Scholar
  22. Harrington, A., & Dunne, J. (2015). When mindfulness is therapy: ethical qualms, historical perspectives. American Psychologist, 70(7), 621–631.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Islam, G., Holm, M., & Karjalainen, M. (2017). Sign of the times: mindfulness as an empty signifier. Organization, November, 1–27.Google Scholar
  24. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living. New York: Delacorte.Google Scholar
  25. Kornberger, M., Clegg, S. R., & Carter, C. (2006). Rethinking the polyphonic organization: managing as discursive practice. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 22(1), 3–30.Google Scholar
  26. McMahan, D. (2008). The making of Buddhist modernism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Mumford, T. V., Campion, M. A., & Morgeson, F. P. (2007). The leadership skills strataplex: leadership skill requirements across organizational levels. The Leadership Quarterly, 18(2), 154–166.Google Scholar
  28. Muyzenberg, L., & HRH the Dalai Lama. (2011). The leaders way: business, Buddhism and happiness in an interconnected world. Boston: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.Google Scholar
  29. Niemiec, R. M., Rashid, T., & Spinella, M. (2012). Strong mindfulness: Integrating mindfulness and character strengths. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 34(3), 240.Google Scholar
  30. Oxford English Dictionary. (1979). Compact edition. London: Complete Text Book Club Associates.Google Scholar
  31. Pedler, M., Burgoyne, J., & Boydell, T. (2010). A manager’s guide to leadership: an action learning approach (2nd ed.). London: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  32. Purser, R., & Loy, D. (2013). Beyond McMindfulness. The blog: Huffington Post, 1.Google Scholar
  33. Rosa, H. (2013). Social acceleration: a new theory of modernity. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Ryle, G. (1949). The concept of mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  35. Shantideva, A., & Batchelor, S. (1981). A guide to the Bodhisattvas way of life. Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Work and Archives.Google Scholar
  36. Shapiro, S. L., Carlson, L. E., & Astin, J. A. (2006). Mechanisms of mindfulness. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62, 373–386.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Shonin, E., & Van Gordon, W. (2015). Managers experiences of meditation awareness training. Mindfulness, 6(4), 899–909.Google Scholar
  38. Shonin, E., Van Gordon, W., Dunn, T., Singh, N., & Griffiths, M. D. (2014). Meditation awareness training for work-related wellbeing and job performance: a randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 12, 806–823.Google Scholar
  39. Shonin, E., Van Gordon, W., & Griffiths, M. (Eds.). (2016). Mindfulness and Buddhist-derived approaches to mental health and addiction. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  40. Siegel, D. (2007). The mindful brain. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  41. Silananda, U., & Heinze, R.-I. (1995). The four foundations of mindfulness. Somerville: Wisdom Publications.Google Scholar
  42. Singh, N. N., Lancioni, G. E., Karazsia, B. T., Myers, R. E., Winton, A. S. W., Latham, L. L., & Nugent, K. (2015). Effects of training staff in MBPBS on the use of physical restraints, staff stress and turnover, staff and peer injuries, and cost effectiveness in developmental disabilities. Mindfulness, 6, 926–937.Google Scholar
  43. Tenney, M., & Gard, T. (2016). The mindfulness edge: how to rewire your brain for leadership and personal excellence without adding to your schedule. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  44. Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., & Griffiths, M. D. (2015). Towards a second-generation of mindfulness-based interventions. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49, 591–592.Google Scholar
  45. Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., Lomas, T., & Griffiths, M. D. (2016). Corporate use of mindfulness and authentic spiritual transmission: competing or compatible ideals? Mindfulness and Compassion, 1, 75–83.Google Scholar
  46. Vogus, T., & Sutcliffe, K. (2012). Organizational mindfulness and mindful organizing: a reconciliation and path forward. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 11(4), 722–735.Google Scholar
  47. Wallace, B. Alan. (2003). Buddhism and Science: breaking new ground. New York; Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Wallace, B. Alan. (2009). Mind in the balance, meditation in science, buddhism and christianity. New York; Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Wallis, J. (2011). The elixir of mindfulness, Speculative-Non-Buddhist.
  50. Weber, M. (1946). Class, status, party. I. In H. H. Gerth & C. W. Mills (Eds.), From Max Weber: Essays in sociology (pp. 180–195). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Weick, K. E., & Sutcliffe, K. M. (2015). Managing the unexpected: sustained performance in a complex world. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  52. Williams, M. (2010). Mindfulness and psychological process. Emotion, 10(1), 1–7.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Wilson, J. (2014). Mindful America: the mutual transformation of Buddhist meditation and American culture. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Macquarie Graduate School of ManagementMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations