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Meditation, learning, organizational innovation and performance

Li‐An Ho (Department of Educational Technology, Tamkang University, Tamsui, Taiwan, Republic of China)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 1 February 2011




This study attempts to investigate: the effect of meditation experience on employees' self‐directed learning (SDL) readiness and organizational innovative (OI) ability as well as organizational performance (OP); and the relationships among SDL, OI, and OP.


An empirical study of 15 technological companies (n=412) in Taiwan is conducted, utilizing the collected survey data to test the relationships among the three dimensions.


The results show that: the employees' meditation experience significantly and positively influenced employees' SDL readiness, companies' OI capability and OP; and the study found that SDL has a direct and significant impact on OI, and that OI has direct and significant influences on OP.

Research limitations/implications

The generalization of the present study is constrained by: the existence of possible biases of the participants; the variations of length, type, and form of meditation demonstrated by the employees in these high tech companies; and the fact that local data collection in Taiwan may present different cultural characteristics which may be quite different from those in other areas or countries. Managerial implications are presented at the end of the work.

Practical implications

The findings indicate that SDL can only impact organizational innovation through employees openness to a challenge, inquisitive nature, self‐understanding, and acceptance of responsibility for learning. Such finding implies better OI capability under such conditions, thus organizations may encourage employees to take risks or accept new opportunities through various incentives, such as monetary rewards or public recognitions. More specifically, the present study discovers that while administration innovation is the most important element influencing an organization's financial performance, market innovation is the key component in an organization's market performance.

Social implications

The present study discovers that meditation experience positively affects SDL readiness, and OI ability and performance. The finding implies spiritual practice improves individual capability (i.e. in learning), as well as organizational capability (i.e. in innovativeness), which consequently enhances the outcomes of organizations.


Existing studies prove the benefits of meditation on both spiritual enlightenment and clinical psychology. Existing research documents that meditation practice helps relieve pain, improves physical health, reduces stress, and supports relaxation. No direct evidence shows the effect of meditation on SDL and OI, and only some evidence supporting the influence of meditation on OP. Nevertheless, the finding on the effect of the meditation experience in a work setting adds values to the current literature.



Ho, L. (2011), "Meditation, learning, organizational innovation and performance", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 111 No. 1, pp. 113-131.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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