A study of the perception of the impact of mindfulness on leadership effectiveness

Matthew K Lippincott, University of Pennsylvania


This qualitative research study examined detailed reports by senior organizational leaders linking mindfulness to improved leadership effectiveness. Extensive research supports the existence of a relationship between mindfulness and cognitive, physiological, and psychological benefits that may also have a positive impact on leadership effectiveness. Currently, however, little is known about the processes potentially enabling mindfulness to directly influence leadership effectiveness, and as a result this study was designed to explore this gap in the literature. Data was collected through in-depth interviews with forty-two organizational leaders in North and South America and Europe, many with a history of leadership roles at multiple global organizations. Participants credited mindfulness for contributing to enduring improvements to leadership capabilities, and data analysis revealed new findings clarifying the perceived relationship between mindfulness and tangible results for organizational leaders. Specifically, the results indicate that mindfulness is perceived to contribute to the development of behaviors and changes to awareness associated with improved leadership effectiveness. A potential relationship between mindfulness and the development of emotional intelligence competencies linked to increased leadership performance was revealed as well. The contribution of this study to current literature is also discussed, as are recommendations for future research. Keywords: mindfulness, organizational leadership, emotional intelligence, leadership effectiveness, leadership development, mindful leadership, leader empathy, leader emotional self-awareness, leader emotional self-management, leader social awareness, leader relationship management

Subject Area

Business administration|Organization Theory|Organizational behavior

Recommended Citation

Lippincott, Matthew K, "A study of the perception of the impact of mindfulness on leadership effectiveness" (2016). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI10241984.