Sa-OR-S110-1 - Mindfulness And Engagement: The Moderating Role Of Dispositional Optimism And Defensive Pessimism

Oral Presentation
Part of:
15 minutes
Intel Theatre
Positive organizational behaviour
Mindfulness and Engagement: The Moderating Role of Dispositional Optimism and Defesive Pessimsim
A. Bunjak 1,*, M. Černe 1
1Department of Management and Organization, Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
The aim of this paper is to examine the interrelationships among mindfulness, optimism, defensive pessimism and engagement. We examine weather heightened awareness (i.e. mindfulness) of mindsets interplays with optimism and pessimism in predicting work and cognitive engagement. Specifically, can higher levels of mindfulness result in increased engagement when moderated by dispositional optimism and defensive pessimism?
We conducted a field study with working professionals (n=291) and an experimental study with students (n=42). In the field study data were analyzed using hierarchical linear regression analysis; data collected through an experiment were analyzed following MANOVA analysis.
The results in the field study indicated a positive interaction between high dispositional optimism and high dispositional mindfulness in predicting employees’ work engagement, whereas in the experimental study, high state mindfulness positively predicted cognitive engagement when dispositional optimism was low. Similarly, high state mindfulness positively predicted cognitive engagement when defensive pessimism was high.
Our cross-sectional design of the field study limits our ability to infer causation. However, mixed-method design alleviates this concern.
Research/Practical Implications
Our results have important implications for bridging mindfulness and positive psychology research. We shed light on the link between trait/state mindfulness and trait/state optimism, with important implications for human resource selection processes and leadership training. The findings provide further support of the practical significance of employees’ mindfulness practice.
This study is the first to investigate differential effects of trait-like and state-like mindfulness in relation to work and cognitive engagement, and how they interplay with optimism/pessimism.

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