Date of Award
© 2022 Autumn A. Straw
Doctor of Education (EdD)
This sequential, fixed, mixed-methods study explores how mindfulness practice by leaders in higher education social work programs influences the leader-employee relationship among a sample of higher education social work department leaders and their faculty. This study was developed out of the intersection of personal, professional, and academic interests in both mindfulness and leadership. Additionally, this study fills a gap in the existing literature on how leaders’ individual mindfulness practice influences the relationship between them and their employees (Reb et al., 2019; Rooney et al., 2021; Urrila, 2021).
The results of this study were that the sample of social work higher education leaders reported an average Mindfulness and Attention Awareness Scale score of 4.16 (out of 6) which indicates a higher than mid-range trait mindfulness but lower than the normative average of 4.2 (Brown & Ryan, 2003). Faculty averaged 5.
The results of this study were that the sample of social work higher education leaders reported an average Mindfulness and Attention Awareness Scale score of 4.16 (out of 6) which indicates a higher than mid-range trait mindfulness but lower than the normative average of 4.2 (Brown & Ryan, 2003). Faculty averaged 5.24 (out of 7)on the Multidimensionality of Leader Member Exchange scale (Liden & Maslyn, 1998), which indicates that social work faculty have a higher than mid-range relationships with their leaders. In a comparative analysis, it does indicate that there is a positive correlation between a leader’s overall trait mindfulness and how employees rate that relationship. Additionally, the qualitative elements showed that leaders who practiced mindfulness felt that they developed more self awareness which allowed them to better be able to build relationships with employees, and that employees found that communication, workplace culture, support, positionality, and the type of leader are crucial elements in developing their relationships with their employees. One groupset showed that a leader’s routine practice could positively impact the leader-faculty relationship.
This study’s findings do indicate that leader mindfulness does positively impact the leader-member relationship, and that routine practice could enhance the relationship even further. These outcomes can be used to support higher education institutions adding mindfulness elements into their leader trainings and development, and encourage leaders to cultivate mindfulness on their own.
Straw, Autumn A., "Mindfulness And Its Impact On Leader-Employee Relations In Higher Education Social Work Departments" (2022). All Theses And Dissertations. 427.