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Carlisle, Thomas William
Effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on psychological, health, social, and behavioral indicators of stress reduction and human resource development in the Indian workplace

Order No. 9605337

Reduction of stress and development of personnel are inseparable and necessary components of organizational effectiveness. However, few interventions simultaneously address what may be the primary impediment and enhancer, respectively, of business success. This dissertation assessed the effects of one such intervention, the Transcendental Meditation® (TM® ) program, on cognitive and affective, physical, relationship, and lifestyle indices of stress reduction and human resource development in the workplace. While several organizational studies have investigated similar changes in Western European and US companies, fewer have looked at stress reduction and development in developing nations, such as India.

The study had a pre and double-posttest design (10-day and 90-day) with 22 experimental subjects (TM practitioners) and 23 posttest-only controls--all equivalent-level managers at a dye-and-cast manufacturing firm in Bangalore, India. Seventy-eight data points combined into five scales or subscales and an aggregate of "lifestyle" behavioral/experience items to create six dependent variables, all but one of which showed significance in the hypothesized direction in one or both posttest periods using multivariate Hotelling's one-sample T2 analyses (10-day: p < .0010; 90-day: p < .0010), followed by paired t-test analyses: Perceived Stress Scale (10-day: p < .0060; 90-day: p < .00001), Occupational Stress Inventory (10-day: p < .0779; 90-day: p < .1187), Lifestyle items (10-day: p < .0063; 90-day: p < .0085), Personal Experiences scale (10-day: P < .0048; 90-day: p < .0004), Hopkins Symptoms Check List (10-day: p < .0008; 90-day: p < .0377), and the Self-Esteem Survey subscale (10-day: p < .0023; 90-day: p < .0377). Further analyses showed large and increasing effect sizes between posttesting periods, "expectancy of benefit" to be a non-significant covariate, and a trend towards ceiling affects that prevented significant change between 10- and 90-day posttesting. These results reinforce previous findings on this procedures efficacy in stress reduction, increased positive experiences/behaviors and fewer negative ones, the development of the health, relationships, self-concept, and psychological well-being of employees, and support its wider implementation.

The findings lay the foundation for a proposed new job stress formulation, the Metapersonal Resources model. Integrating a theoretical orientation known as Maharishi Vedic Science with sixteen contributors to contemporary job stress understanding, it emphasizes the dimensions of psychological non-egocentrism and physiological strain reduction as principal components for both ameliorating stress and producing a state of dynamic quiescence.

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