, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 707–716 | Cite as

The Mediating Role of Emotional Exhaustion in the Relationship of Mindfulness with Turnover Intentions and Job Performance

  • Jochen RebEmail author
  • Jayanth Narayanan
  • Sankalp Chaturvedi
  • Srinivas Ekkirala


Mindfulness in the workplace has emerged as a legitimate and growing area of organizational scholarship. The present research examined the role of employee emotional exhaustion in mediating the relationship of mindfulness with turnover intentions and task performance. Drawing on theory and empirical research on both organizational behavior and mindfulness, we predicted that more mindful employees would show lower turnover intentions and higher task performance and that these relationships would be mediated by emotional exhaustion. We tested these hypotheses in two field studies in an Indian context. Study 1 was a field study of call center employees of a multinational organization, an industry in which turnover rates are very high. This study found that mindfulness was associated with lower turnover intentions and less emotional exhaustion, and that emotional exhaustion mediated the relationship between mindfulness and turnover intentions. Study 2 replicated these results in a sample of employees based in major Indian cities and drawn from different industries. In addition, it showed that mindfulness was positively related to supervisor-rated task performance, with emotional exhaustion again playing a mediating role. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of our findings, as well as future research directions.


Emotional exhaustion Job performance Mindfulness Turnover intentions 



The authors wish to thank Lisa Moynihan posthumously for her contributions in conceptualizing an earlier version of this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All studies were approved by the appropriate ethics committee. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lee Kong Chian School of BusinessSingapore Management UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.NUS Business SchoolNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.IMDLausanneSwitzerland
  4. 4.Imperial College Business SchoolImperial College LondonLondonUK
  5. 5.XLRIJamshedpurIndia

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