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The influence of socio-cognitive mindfulness and resilience on middle managers' stress and thriving during COVID-19: results from two studies

Rachel R. Slaymaker (School of Social Work, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas, USA)
Kristin Koetting O'Byrne (Department of Organizational Leadership, Abilene Christian University, Dallas, Texas, USA)
Peter E. Williams (Department of Educational Leadership, Texas A&M University Commerce, Commerce, Texas, USA)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 27 December 2022

Issue publication date: 26 January 2023

36

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of socio-cognitive mindfulness on resilience, stress and thriving among middle managers in higher education at two separate periods during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Study 1, the authors examined how socio-cognitive mindfulness predicted perceived stress and whether the relationship between mindfulness and perceived stress was mediated by resilience. In Study 2, the authors replicated the first study and further hypothesized that the link between mindfulness and thriving was also mediated by resilience.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted cross-sectional correlational studies to test the hypotheses using data from 163 middle managers in higher education early in the pandemic in Study 1 and 204 middle managers a year later in Study 2.

Findings

Study 1 findings showed socio-cognitive mindfulness predicted perceived stress, and that resilience fully mediated this relationship. In Study 2, socio-cognitive mindfulness did not predict perceived stress, but it did predict thriving, and that relationship was fully mediated by resilience.

Originality/value

This research is the first to address how socio-cognitive mindfulness directly impacts perceived stress and thriving and its impact through building resilience. To date, few studies have focused on stress in higher education middle managers or addressed the importance of building socio-cognitive mindfulness and resilience to thrive amid ongoing challenges. Implications of the pandemic's influence on the results are also addressed.

Keywords

Citation

Slaymaker, R.R., O'Byrne, K.K. and Williams, P.E. (2023), "The influence of socio-cognitive mindfulness and resilience on middle managers' stress and thriving during COVID-19: results from two studies", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 42 No. 1, pp. 54-75. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMD-05-2022-0112

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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