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How do Mindfulness and Routines Relate? Metacognitive Practice as Resolution to the Debate

Thinking about Cognition

ISBN: 978-1-80117-825-9, eISBN: 978-1-80117-824-2

Publication date: 22 November 2021


Routines are the very material of human organization. But there is little guarantee that routines will be enacted flexibly enough to ensure that organization survives. Mindfulness has been offered as a guarantor of sorts, but it remains unclear exactly what people mean by mindfulness and how mindfulness might relate to routines. This chapter reviews evolving conceptions of mindfulness and routines—from Langer’s early work to routine dynamics to Levinthal and Rerup’s seminal debate with Weick and Sutcliffe. It puts forth the argument that the recent theory of mindfulness as metacognitive practice retains important insights from throughout this conceptual evolution, while resolving ambiguity and debate about the relation between mindfulness and routines in at least four critical areas related to agency, duality, flexibility, and social organization. This resolution, in turn, opens up further avenues to understand the social processes by which people come to understand their minds—and how this understanding embeds within organization itself.



Kudesia, R.S. and Lang, T. (2021), "How do Mindfulness and Routines Relate? Metacognitive Practice as Resolution to the Debate", Galavan, R.J. and Sund, K.J. (Ed.) Thinking about Cognition (New Horizons in Managerial and Organizational Cognition, Vol. 5), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 9-29.



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