Meditation Awareness Training (MAT) for Work-related Wellbeing and Job Performance: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Abstract

Due to its potential to concurrently improve work-related wellbeing (WRW) and job performance, occupational stakeholders are becoming increasingly interested in the applications of meditation. The present study conducted the first randomized controlled trial to assess the effects of meditation on outcomes relating to both WRW and job performance. Office-based middle-hierarchy managers (n = 152) received an eight-week meditation intervention (Meditation Awareness Training; MAT) or an active control intervention. MAT participants demonstrated significant and sustainable improvements (with strong effect sizes) over control-group participants in levels of work-related stress, job satisfaction, psychological distress, and employer-rated job performance. There are a number of novel implications: (i) meditation can effectuate a perceptual shift in how employees experience their work and psychological environment and may thus constitute a cost-effective WRW intervention, (ii) meditation-based (i.e., present-moment-focussed) working styles may be more effective than goal-based (i.e., future-orientated) working styles, and (iii) meditation may reduce the separation made by employees between their own interests and those of the organizations they work for.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Jacqui Sein for her helpful feedback on previous versions of this article as well as Hattie Wongsutthawat for her assistance with the psychometric assessments.

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There are no conflicts of interest to declare.

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Correspondence to Edo Shonin.

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Shonin, E., Van Gordon, W., Dunn, T.J. et al. Meditation Awareness Training (MAT) for Work-related Wellbeing and Job Performance: A Randomised Controlled Trial. Int J Ment Health Addiction 12, 806–823 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-014-9513-2

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Keywords

  • Work-related stress
  • Meditation
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Job Performance
  • Meditation Awareness Training
  • Mindfulness
  • Buddhism