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PhD Dissertations

PhD dissertations by students in the MUM Business depatment.

Stress management and organization development

Effects of TM on psychological, physiological, and organizational variables at the worksite

Broome, J. R. N. (1995). Stress management and organization development: Effects of Transcendental Meditation on psychological, physiological, and organizational variables at the worksite. University of Cape Town (South Africa). Dissertation Abstracts International (58-09A, p. 3592).

Abstract

This study evaluated the effectiveness of a stress reduction intervention (SRI) offered to employees at one worksite where 80 were employed. 41 Volunteers (aged 21-65) participated in Transcendental Meditation® (TM), and 18 (aged 19-46) in Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). Two groups did not attend the SRI. These were 11 non-volunteers for the SRI (aged 25-58) who served as on-site controls, while 16 outside attendees (aged 27-44) of a personal productivity workshop served as off-site controls. All subjects completed a standardised stress symptoms questionnaire (SCL-90-R) before and after the SRI. On-site subjects also had blood pressure, heart and breath rates measured by a trained nurse and completed a company climate questionnaire–before and after the SRI. Structured interviews were conducted at three-year follow-up. The hypothesis that test groups would show significant reductions in psychological stress symptoms was supported at 6 weeks.

The Transcendent Organization

Gustavsson, B. (1992). The Transcendent Organization. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract

Organizations are human constructs, and unless the organizational analysis takes into account a wider discussion of the relationship between the subject and the object the analysis ends up in relativism, anarchism, and confusion. There is a danger when we make the organization objective to such extent that it is viewed as an entity outside ourselves. Understanding of an organization is a collective phenomenon given by the prevailing fundamental assumptions in society, and is transferred by symbols, including language.

It is argued that there is a need to go beyond, to transcend, the objective understanding of the organization. To transcend the objective status of the organization does not mean to replace one objectification with another, but to transcend to more abstract and holistic levels in consciousness. It is suggested that pure consciousness, the most fundamental and abstract level of consciousness, is fundamental and common to all humans and also unites mind and matter, as some quantum physicists suggest. The existence of a collective consciousness is also shown, as indicated by the so-called field-effects of consciousness in several studies. Collective consciousness is defined as the average degree to which the individuals in a group reflect pure consciousness. It is argued that collective changes in the in the behavior and perception in groups of people are possible.

The general perspective of consciousness and collective consciousness is applied more specifically to organizations. The Transcendent Organization exists — beyond the concrete objects we call organization — in the collective consciousness of the members of the organization in the dynamic interplay between the knowers, known, and process of knowing. The meanings expressed in the goals, visions, and “culture” of the organization form a particular collective consciousness of the organization. It is also argued that the level of the collective consciousness of the organization determines the quality of its behavior in terms of adapting to the environment, creativity, and the members? autonomy.

Some of the suggestions of the Transcendent Organization are studied empirically on managers and employees practicing meditation in two top management teams and in one company. The results illustrate that the taken for granted notions of organizations were transcended, that change processes coming from within the organization were started by raising the level of consciousness, and that field-effects of consciousness were indicated in small groups.

Elements of entrepreneurial success

The links among inner competencies, inner development and success

Herriott, E. M. (2000). Elements of entrepreneurial success: The links among inner competencies, inner development and success. Dissertation Abstracts International, (60, no. 12B, 6398).

Abstract

This exploratory study inquired into the link between changes associated with personal development and competencies relevant to business success in a group of entrepreneurs in Fairfield, Iowa. The Fairfield entrepreneurs are part of an entrepreneurial community in the rural Midwest, which has enjoyed considerable success. In addition, the vast majority of the Fairfield entrepreneurs are long-term practitioners of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation (TM) and TM- Sidhi® program, two well-documented techniques for facilitating stress management, promoting health, and fostering personal growth.

The study sought to assess whether the entrepreneurs exhibited any common inner competencies, which had played a role in their success, and whether any of these competencies were linked to the inner growth the entrepreneurs had enjoyed as a result of the TM and TM-Sidhi practice. To answer the research questions, an exploratory qualitative study was conducted using the techniques of grounded theory.

The results of the study suggested that a number of the competencies widely thought to be linked to success might be developed and/or augmented through the practice of the TM and the TM-Sidhi program. This suggests that many, if not all, of these competencies are not fixed, in-born personality features, but might instead be part of an inherent developmental potential.

The results further indicated that the TM® technique develops a number of qualities not commonly observed in the literature. These included superior stress management skills, which seemed to derive from an expansion of the internal resources that the person had to draw on. Many interviewees also exhibited a type of functioning, which appeared to go beyond the ‘normal’ range of human experience. All study participants reported frequent use of intuition; a sense of being in tune with a cosmic stream of evolution; and awareness of a more holistic, all-encompassing level of truth and reality. This in turn was expressed in more universal values, which embraced the wider interests of employees, community, or environment as a whole.

Based on the findings of the study, a theory of the nature and origin of competencies was presented. Source: DAI, 60, no. 12B (2000): p. 6398

The impact of the TM practice on medical expenditures

Herron, Robert Emmanuel. (1993). The impact of Transcendental Meditation practice on medical expenditures. Dissertation Abstracts International, (53, no. 12A, 4219).

Abstract

Despite attempts to contain health care spending, these costs have continued to grow rapidly. Consequently, new strategies are needed. In response to this need, this research evaluated the impact of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation (TM) program on medical expenditures. Over 500 studies conducted worldwide indicate that TM practice produces a unique state of restful alertness that improves mental and physical health. Biochemical and psychological research shows that TM practice also eliminates stress that degrades the immune system and increases disease susceptibility. Previous cross- sectional research (Orme-Johnson, 1987) found that TM practitioners have lower medical care utilization than nonmeditating control groups. This longitudinal study evaluated the possible effect of TM practice on medical expenditures as measured by payments for physicians’ services. In 1991 meditators in Quebec, Canada were mailed questionnaires that asked for their health insurance number that enabled the government to retrieve the monthly physicians’ expenses from 1981-1990 for 599 subjects. A mail survey of nonrespondents was also conducted. The data was controlled for age, sex, inflation (physicians’ fee index), year-specific variation and season, and was analyzed three years before and after subjects started TM practice. During the pretest the physicians’ expense differences were nonsignificant between TM subjects and the averages of all enrollees of the same age and sex in the Quebec health insurance plan. During the posttest TM subjects’ real (inflation adjusted) expenses declined 12.4% annually over three years (cumulative change: approximately 36%). The sample was subdivided to analyze those who incurred high costs in the pre-TM period regardless of age. During the posttest high-cost cases exhibited real expense declines that averaged 18% annually. This effect is not due to regression to the mean. Subjects over fifty years old were also analyzed, and their real expenses declined 19% annually over three years. There is no evidence of nonresponse bias. A thorough examination of threats to validity did not support an alternative hypothesis. These results support the hypothesis that TM practice reduces medical expenditures. When compared with the cost effectiveness of other health promotion and disease prevention interventions, the TM technique showed superior medical expense reduction capability. Consequently, the Transcendental Meditation program is recommended as a strategy for reducing health care expenditures in high-cost groups that incur the majority of expenses in most populations. ftn Orme- Johnson, D. W. Reference. (1987). Medical Care Utilization and the Transcendental Meditation Program. Psychosomatic Medicine. 49:493-507. Source: DAI, 53, no. 12A, (1993): 4219

Self development and the spontaneous expression of leadership behaviors

McCollum, B. C. (2000). Self development and the spontaneous expression of leadership behaviors. Unpublished dissertation, Department of Psychology, Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, IA. Dissertation Abstracts International, (61, no. 04A, 1509).

Abstract

Efforts to develop leadership consistently fall short of the hopes and needs of students, trainers, and society. One approach to achieving larger gains in leadership development is to develop the leader from within, to develop the leader’s consciousness, the leader’s underlying basic awareness.

Although anecdotal evidence supports the value of personal development for leadership development, little systematic research has documented its effectiveness. However, in an eight- month pretest-posttest control group study in one company, fourteen employees including both managers and subordinates, learned a standard self development program, the Maharishi Transcendental MeditationÎ program. Results indicated that the practitioners of Transcendental MeditationÎ grew significantly more than ten employee controls in their expression of leadership behaviors (all ps < .05). This growth was measured by the Leadership Practices Inventory and was expressed in individual and group interviews. The Leadership Practices Inventory measures five leadership behaviors: Challenging the Process, Inspiring a Shared Vision, Enabling Others to Act, Modeling the Way, and Encouraging the Heart.

The conclusion of this study indicates that individuals can develop leadership behaviors easily, spontaneously, and quickly through the Maharishi Transcendental Meditation program. This growth was experienced by employees at all levels of the organization indicating that this technology is a powerful means for developing leadership throughout an organization. The theoretical consequences of this study are that leadership may be easier to develop than previous experience has shown. Further research is needed to explore the practical consequences of this Consciousness-BasedSM approach to leadership development. Source: DAI, 61, no. 04A (2000): p. 1509

The Maharishi Corporate Development Program

Growth of experience and understanding in international top management teams

Schmidt-Wilk, J. (1996) The Maharishi Corporate Development Program: Growth of experience and understanding in international top management teams. (Dissertation abstract, Maharishi University of Management). Dissertation Abstracts International, (57-09A, 4031).

Abstract

Popular reports indicate that training in meditation is being introduced into corporations worldwide, yet systematic analyses of such programs are rare. Three case studies document the experiences and perceptions of members of top management teams who learned the Maharishi Transcendental MeditationÎ technique in the context of corporate-supported programs. The cases were generated using semi-structured interviews based on open-ended questionnaires conducted with 24 persons in managerial positions from a Norwegian company in the oil and gas industry, a British computer sales subsidiary, and a Swedish firm in the field of power transmission, and their consultants.

The study revealed the series of decisions that the managers undertook in authorizing and sponsoring the Maharishi Corporate Development Program and in their personal decisions and strategies about when, where and how often to practice the Transcendental Meditation technique and how to interpret its effects. The managers indicated that (1) their personal experiences resulting from practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique and (2) systemic development of the management team were important factors in their decision to practice this technique on a regular basis.

Individual-level changes reported across the three cases included improved mental functioning, health and health-related habits, work relations, and performance, emotional growth and more enjoyable family life, which contribute to development of the management team. Team-level changes reported across the three cases included improved communication, increased mutual acceptance and awareness of company needs and values, fewer arguments, move to fact-based decision-making, greater trust, openness, and happiness, and greater team cohesiveness and alignment.

The personal outcomes reported by the managers are consistent with extensive published findings on the Transcendental Meditation program in the general population and indicate that the Maharishi Corporate Development Program meets the criteria described in the management literature for an effective leadership and team development program. According to Maharishi’s Absolute Theory of Management, these comprehensive changes spontaneously result from unfolding the organizing power of Natural Law in the awareness of the manager through practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique.

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