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Schmidt-Wilk, Jane D.
The Maharishi Corporate Development Program: growth of experience and understanding in international top management teams

Order No. 9703935

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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