Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 429–444 | Cite as

Developing consciousness in organizations: The transcendental meditation program in business

  • Jane Schmidt-Wilk
  • Charles N. Alexander
  • Gerald C. Swanson
Special Issue Articles


This paper reviews retrospective, prospective, and case research on workplace applications of Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation technique for developing consciousness and human potential. The distinctive psychophysiological state of restful alertness produced by the Transcendental Meditation technique appears to improve employee health, well-being, job satisfaction, efficiency and productivity, in turn influencing organizational climate, absenteeism, and financial performance.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alexander, C. N., Cranson, R. W., Boyer, R. W., & Orme-Johnson, D. W. (1987). Transcendental consciousness: A fourth state of consciousness beyond sleep, dreaming or waking. In J. Gackenback (Ed.),Sleep and dreams: A sourcebook. (pp. 282–315). New York: Garland Publishing.Google Scholar
  2. Alexander, C. N., Davies, J. L., Dixon, C., Dillbeck, M. C., Druker, S. M., Oetzel, R., Muehlman, J. M. & Orme-Johnson, D. W. (1990). Growth of higher stages of consciousness: Maharishi's Vedic psychology of human development. In C. N. Alexander & E. J. Langer, (Eds.).Higher stages of human development: Perspectives on adult growth. pp. 286–341. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Alexander, C. N., & Langer, E. J. (Eds.). (1990).Higher stages of human development: Perspectives on adult growth. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Alexander, C. N., Rainforth, M. V., & Gelderloos, P. (1991). Transcendental Meditation, self-actualization, and psychological health: A conceptual overview and statistical meta-analysis.Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 6(5), 189–247.Google Scholar
  5. Alexander, C. N., Robinson, P., & Rainforth, M. V. (1994). Treating and preventing alcohol, nicotine, and drug abuse through Transcendental Meditation: A review and statistical meta-analysis.Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 11, (1–2), 13–88.Google Scholar
  6. Alexander, C. N., Swanson, G. C., Rainforth, M. V., Carlisle, T. W., Todd, C. C., & Oates, R. (1993). Effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on stress-reduction, health, and employee development: A prospective study in two occupational settings.Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 6, 245–262.Google Scholar
  7. Blanchard, K. (1993, April). Leadership workshop for human resource professionals. Kansas City, MO.Google Scholar
  8. Campbell, D. T., & Stanley, J. C. (1963).Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  9. Cranson, R. W., Orme-Johnson, D. W., Gackenbach, J., Dillbeck, M. C., Jones, C. H. & Alexander, C. N. (1991). Transcendental Meditation and improved performance on intelligence-related measures: A longitudinal study.Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, 12, 1105–1116.Google Scholar
  10. DeArmond, D. L., Alexander, C. N., & Stevens, M. M. (1994).The Transcendental Meditation research project at Puritan-Bennett: Summary of methodology and results. Unpublished manuscript, Maharishi University of Management, Department of Management and Public Affairs.Google Scholar
  11. Dillbeck, M. C. (1982). Meditation and flexibility of visual perception and verbal problem solving.Memory and Cognition, 10, 207–215.Google Scholar
  12. Dillbeck, M. C. (1990). Test of a field theory of consciousness and social change: Time series analysis of participation in the TM-Sidhi program and reduction of violent death in the U.S.Social Indicators Research, 22, 399–418.Google Scholar
  13. Dillbeck, M. C., & Araas-Vesely, S. (1986). Participation in the Transcendental Meditation program and frontal EEG coherence during concept learning.International Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 45–55.Google Scholar
  14. Dillbeck, M. C., & Orme-Johnson, D. W. (1987). Physiologic differences between Transcendental Meditation and rest.American Psychologist, 42, 879–881.Google Scholar
  15. Dillbeck, M. C., Orme-Johnson, D. W., & Wallace, R. K. (1981). Frontal EEG coherence, H-reflex recovery, concept learning and the TM-Sidhi program.International Journal of Neuroscience, 15, 151–157.Google Scholar
  16. Eppley, K. R., Abrams, A. I., & Shear, J. (1989). Differential effects of relaxation techniques on trait anxiety: A meta-analysis.Journal of Clinical Psychology, 45, 957–974.Google Scholar
  17. Frew, D. R. (1974). Transcendental Meditation and productivity.Academy of Management Journal, 17, 362–368.Google Scholar
  18. Frew, D. R. (1977).Management of stress. Chicago: Nelson Hall.Google Scholar
  19. Friend, K. E. (1977). Effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on work attitudes and behavior. In D. W. Orme-Johnson, & J. T. Farrow (Eds.).Scientific research on the Transcendental Meditation program: Collected papers, 1. Rheinweiler, West Germany: MERU Press.Google Scholar
  20. Garfield, C. (1986).Peak performers. New York: William Morrow.Google Scholar
  21. Gelderloos, P., Goddard, P. H., III, Ahlström, H. H. B., & Jacoby, R. (1987). Cognitive orientation toward positive values in advanced participants of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program.Perceptual and Motor Skills, 64, 1003–1012.Google Scholar
  22. Gottwald, F. T., & Howald, W. (1989).Selbsthilfe durch Meditation [Self help through meditation]. Munich, Germany: Moderne Verlagsgesellschaft.Google Scholar
  23. Gottwald, F. T., & Howald, W. (1992).Ayurveda im Business [Ayur Veda in business]. Munich, Germany: Moderne Verlagsgesellschaft.Google Scholar
  24. Gustavsson, B. (1990). The effects of meditation on two top management teams.Studies in Action and Enterprise [No. 1990: 4]. Stockholm, Sweden: University of Stockholm, Department of Business Administration.Google Scholar
  25. Gustavsson, B. (1992).The Transcendent Organization. Doctoral Dissertation, Stockholm, Sweden: University of Stockholm, Department of Business Administration.Google Scholar
  26. Gustavsson, B., & Harung, H. S. (1994). Organizational learning based on transforming collective consciousness.Organizational Learning, 1(1), 33–40.Google Scholar
  27. Haratani, T., & Henmi, T. (1990a). Effects of Transcendental Meditation on health behavior of industrial workers.Japanese Journal of Public Health, 37, 729.Google Scholar
  28. Haratani, T., & Henmi, T. (1990b). Effects of Transcendental Meditation on mental health of industrial workers.Japanese Journal of Industrial Health, 37, 656.Google Scholar
  29. Harung, H. S. (1993). More effective decisions through synergy of objective and subjective approaches.Management Decision, 31(7), 38–45.Google Scholar
  30. Harung, H. S. & Heaton, D. P. (1993, May 25). The significance of higher stages of adult development for improving the effectiveness of knowledge workers and reducing unemployment in society. Paper presented at the World Productivity Congress, Stockholm, Sweden.Google Scholar
  31. Herriott, S. R. (1989). Issues in the definition of the collective consciousness of a corporation. In R.G. Greenwood (Ed.),Proceedings of the 1989 Conference of the Midwest Management Society, (pp. 199–204). Chicago: Midwest Business Administration Association.Google Scholar
  32. Iaffaldano, M. T., & Muchinsky, P. M. (1985). Job satisfaction and job performance: A meta-analysis.Psychological Bulletin, 97, 251–273.Google Scholar
  33. Ivancevich, J. M., & Matteson, M. T. (1990).Organizational behavior and management. Homewood, IL: Irwin.Google Scholar
  34. Ivancevich, J. M., Matteson, M. T., Freedman, S. M., & Phillips, J. S. (1990). Worksite stress management interventions.American Psychologist, 45, 252–261.Google Scholar
  35. Joiner, B. L. (1994).Fourth generation management: The new business consciousness. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  36. Jonsson, C. (1975). Organizational development through the Transcendental Meditation program: A study of relationships between the Transcendental Meditation program and certain efficiency criteria. Master's thesis. In R.A. Chalmers, G. Clements, H. Schenkluhn, & M. Weinless (Eds.),Scientific research on the Transcendental Meditation program: Collected papers, 2. Vlodrop, The Netherlands: MVU Press.Google Scholar
  37. Koestenbaum, P. (1991).Leadership: The inner side of greatness. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  38. Kory, R. B. (1976).The Transcendental Meditation program for business people. New York: AMACOM.Google Scholar
  39. Larsson, R. (1993). Case survey methodology: Quantitative analysis of patterns across case studies.Academy of Management Journal, 36, 1515–1546.Google Scholar
  40. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. (1967).On the Bhagavad-Gita: A translation and commentary, Chapters 1–6. Baltimore: Penguin/Arkana.Google Scholar
  41. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1976).Creating an ideal society: A global undertaking. Rheinweiler, Germany: MERU Press.Google Scholar
  42. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1994).Vedic Knowledge for Everyone. Vlodrop, The Netherlands: Maharishi Vedic University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Marcus, J. B. (1977).TM and business. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  44. Maynard, H. B., & Mehrtens, S. E. (1993).The fourth wave: Business in the twenty-first century. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.Google Scholar
  45. Newman, J. E. & Beehr, T. A. (1979). Personal and organizational strategies for handling job stress: A review of research and opinion.Personnel Psychology, 32, 1–43.Google Scholar
  46. Nicholas, J. M., & Katz, M. (1985). Research methods and reporting practices in organizational development: A review and some guidelines.Academy of Management Journal, 10, 737–749.Google Scholar
  47. Orme-Johnson, D. W. (1987). Medical care utilization and the Transcendental Meditation program.Psychosomatic Medicine, 49, 493–507.Google Scholar
  48. Orme-Johnson, D. W. & Haynes, C. T. (1981). EEG phase coherence, pure consciousness, creativity and TM-Sidhi experiences.International Journal of Neuroscience, 13, 211–217.Google Scholar
  49. Pelletier, K. R. (1974). Influence of Transcendental Meditation upon autokinetic perception.Perceptual and Motor Skills, 39, 1031–1034.Google Scholar
  50. Porras, J. I., & Berg, P. O. (1978). Evaluation methodology in organizational development: An analysis and critique.Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 14, 151–173.Google Scholar
  51. Ray, M. L. (1992). The emerging new paradigm in business. In J. Renesch (Ed.),New traditions in business (pp. 25–37). San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.Google Scholar
  52. Ray, M. L. (1993). Rebuilding the spaceship while it is still in flight. In M. L. Ray & A. Rinzler (Eds.),The new paradigm in business. (pp. 290–293). San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.Google Scholar
  53. Rosen, R. (1989). Healthy people, healthy companies: Striking the critical balance.Advances, 6, 8–11.Google Scholar
  54. Senge, P. M. (1990).The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  55. Swanson, G., & Oates, R. (1989).Enlightened management. Fairfield, IA: Maharishi University of Management Press.Google Scholar
  56. Torbert, W. R. (1987).Managing the corporate dream. Homewood, IL: Dow Jones-Irwin.Google Scholar
  57. Travis, F. (1979). The TM technique and creativity: A longitudinal study of Cornell University undergraduates.The Journal of Creative Behavior, 13, 169–180.Google Scholar
  58. Wallace, R. K. (1970). Physiological effects of Transcendental Meditation.Science, 167, 1751–1754.Google Scholar
  59. Wallace, R. K. (1993).The physiology of consciousness. Fairfield, IA: Maharishi University of Management Press.Google Scholar
  60. Wallace, R. K. & Benson, H. (1972). The physiology of meditation.Scientific American, 226, 84–90.Google Scholar
  61. Wallace, R. K., Benson, H., & Wilson, A. F. (1971). A wakeful hypometabolic physiologic state.American Journal of Physiology, 221, 795–799.Google Scholar
  62. Weiss, C. (1994).Bewusstsein: Schöpfer unserer Wirklichkeit [Consciousness: Creator of our reality]. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  63. Yin, R. K. (1989).Case study research: Design and methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane Schmidt-Wilk
    • 1
  • Charles N. Alexander
    • 1
  • Gerald C. Swanson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ManagementMaharishi University of ManagementFairfield

Personalised recommendations