A Scientometric & Bibliographic Review of Organizational Mindfulness.

AuthorJha, Rashmi


Individual mindfulness (IM) phenomenon is the foundation of 'organizational mindfulness' (OM) and "mindful organizing" (Ray et al., 2011), perceived as "paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally" (Zinn, 1994). The theory and research on IM have two perspectives--"the Western viewpoint" and "Eastern viewpoint". Western viewpoint is mainly derived from E.J. Langer's work (Langer, 1989), and it may be viewed as an "information-processing approach" (Weick & Sutcliffe, 2006). From the Western viewpoint, mindfulness is disseminated through functional differentiation and refinement of existing classifications and variation, making new spasmodic classes out of streams of proceedings and more nuanced enthusiasm for setting an elective approach to managing it. In comparison, the Eastern viewpoint started from Buddhist ideas (Hede, 2010). According to this viewpoint, mindful ness is viewed as a psychological state (Cullen, 2011) portrayed by health, well-being and understanding into the idea of the real world. It very well may be endorsed as regard for and attention of present proceedings and encounters happening inside and outside or moment-to-moment, non-receptive and non-critical mindfulness (Brown & Ryan, 2003). The reason for this interest is simple yet compelling--mindfulness seems to have mainly positive impacts on human functioning (Brown, Ryan, & Creswell, 2007). The mindfulness literature is rapidly evolving, spread across disciplines and journals, all of those pointing to the importance of a critical and scientometric review of mindfulness/OM and its potential impact on organizational processes.

OM is a socio-psychological construct in the field of organizational theory, which is at a nascent stage. The attention mindfulness has received in academic circles resulted in the foundation of new ideas (Weick & Sutcliffe, 2001). In contrast, mindfulness can proactively influence various outcomes of the individual, such as psychological wellbeing, physical wellbeing, and creativity (Langer, 2009). Many significant organizational outcomes such as learning, innovation, safety and improved organizational performances are consequences of mindfulness as researches have shown earlier. As indicated by Vogus and Sutcliffe (2012), OM "refers to the extent to which an organization captures discriminatory detail about emerging threats and creates a capability to act in response to these details swiftly." Ray et al. (2011) clarify the contrasts between individual and or ganizational mindfulness. Three essential characteristics of OM are underlined by Ray et al. (2011) : (1) it arises from top-down processes; (2) it is a relatively enduring property of an organization (like culture) and (3) it creates the context for thinking and action on the operational (front line) level. The objective behind this review is to collect available material in a systematic manner and then evaluate it against predetermined criteria, rather than doing an ad hoc assessment of only a few studies that the researcher deems appropriate. The review notes that while there has been considerable research into health outcomes and HROs (high-reliability organizations), OM research is still developing a comprehensive case for a wider scale application of mindfulness. Therefore, the purpose of the present study is to present a scientometric study of existing articles in OM area and to explore the distribution patterns of articles in the past two decades (2000-2021) to identify the significant future research opportunities in the OM domain. Major research streams and future research directions can be identified in such reviews (Linnenluecke et al., 2017). To achieve the objective of the present work, the following research questions are designed:

  1. What is the distribution pattern of OM articles over the past two decades in various journals?

  2. What are the central themes/core researches issued in OM so far?

  3. Which are the most frequently referred studies on OM?

  4. What are the outlines (citation/co-citation) for all cited works published on OM?

  5. What are the types of research studies conducted so far on OM?

  6. What are the tools/methodologies employed in OM studies so far?

  7. Which industry segments so far have been covered in OM?

Literature Survey

Recently, the idea of mindfulness has been extended from individuals to organizations, specifically high-reliability organizations (Weick & Sutcliffe, 2001). HROs such as naval aircraft carriers, nuclear power generation stations, air traffic control units, "operate in an unforgiving social and political environment, an environment rich with the potential for error, where the scale of consequences precludes learning through experimentation, and where to avoid failures in the face of shifting vulnerability, complex processes are used to manage complex technology" (Weick et al., 1999). According to Becke (2012), OM is not restricted to HROs as depicted in the work of Weick and Sutcliffe (2001); however, it can be stretched out to various associations as well. This perspective is further evidenced by the research of organizational mindfulness that business schools, other organizations, that may not be considered "high reliability" but are similarly "tightly coupled" because of the nature of dynamic environments for which there are no prior interpretations (Ray et al., 2011). Drawing on studies of high-reliability organizations and individual mind fulness literature, researchers have recently begun to develop the idea of mindfulness at macro-levels of analysis, such as business-unit, work-group, and organizations. Literature reviews are published on OM to signify the contribution in the field (Passmore, 2019; Kelemen et al., 2020). In this review, the articles published in the OM domain were searched and collected through various databases at first and then shortlisted for review. Then the bibliometric analysis (BA) and content analysis (CA) were carried out on shortlisted articles using VOS viewer software and MS Excel to find out the publication trends, studytypes, scope of journals, and identification of gaps for upcoming research work.


The study considers "literature review methodology" (Ginieis et al., 2012), which is suitable when the intent is to decide the new pattern of exploration studies and identify the theoretical works for coming up with the future research directions (Jasti & Kodali, 2014). The study comprised searching and collecting articles from various databases, shortlisting for review and then the bibliometric analysis (BA) and content analysis (CA) were carried out on the shortlisted articles using VOS Viewer and MS Excel.

Stage I: Assortment of Significant OM Articles

Notable works on OM began in 1989 (Langer, 1989). For an assortment of OM articles, keywords (KW) such as "orga nizational mindfulness", "mindfulness", "leadership and mindfulness", "strategy and mindfulness" are used. The snowball method is used to identify the articles, including tracking down the extra KW through the KW utilized at first looked through articles. In order to perform BA, the first stage is to decide and collect the data sources which best suit the coverage of the research domain. It is found that the number of bibliographic databases is high (e.g., PubMed, Springer Link, EBSCO, etc.), but not all of them provide information that allows the efficient performance of the BA (Moral-Munoz et al., 2020). Thus, four major academic databases- namely, Scopus, Emerald, Sage journals and Taylor & Francis publishers, are used in this work to identify the journal articles. To gather relevant articles specific to the study's purpose, KW is joined utilizing AND/OR operations in the advanced search option of the database. An aggregate of 155 articles distributed in various journals has been distinguished (Table 1).

Stage II Sorting of OM Articles

Screening of abstracts is carried out to decide the most pertinent articles in the OM field over the past two decades. An aggregate of 155 articles was sorted, out of which 54 articles on OM theme were considered for scientometric review and analysis (Table 1).

Stage III: Literature Assessment

The screened articles are filtered and evaluated to decide the kind of research, the methodology adopted for conducting investigations, and the industry type to determine the important contributions of each study.

Stage IV Bibliometric Analysis (BA) and Content Analysis (CA)

Segregated articles have undergone BA and CA. BA is done with the help of VOS Viewer software, whereas CA is carried out in MS-Excel. BA signifies the year wise and country wise patterns of articles. To help determine the frequency of the co-occurrence of the keywords the KW analysis is also carried out in the BA. CA is conducted in order to classify the articles depending on the research type, the methodology/technique/tools utilized for research analysis, and the industry type where researches were supervised. The outcomes of the analysis are discussed in the subsequent section to identify the study gaps.

Stage V Further Research Recommendations

The research implications, both in terms of theory and practice, future study areas / works recommended based on these gaps are likewise provided in the discussion section.


BA framework is adopted from the earlier work of Merigo and Yang (2017). An aggregate of 54 research articles has been collected utilizing the KW assortment technique.

Fig. 1 exhibits the year-wise distribution of articles related to OM showing the potential this research area as the number shows an upward trend.

BA is conducted to investigate the contribution of articles on OM in respective countries (Table 2). The USA contributed to the highest number of publications with 17 articles followed by Germany, Australia, UK, Saudi Arabia, and India with 6, 4, 4, 3 and 3 articles, respectively.

Fig. 2 captures the statistics...

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