The role of mindfulness in the development of resilience in entrepreneurs

RIVOALLAN, Glenda (2018). The role of mindfulness in the development of resilience in entrepreneurs. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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The development of resilience in entrepreneurs is viewed as a potential answer to coping with the increasingly competitive and uncertain environments they operate within. On the premise that resilience can be both taught and learnt, there has been a growth in interest in the role of holistic practices such as mindfulness meditation. Kabat-Zinn’s mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), Teasdale’s mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and Hayes Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) are three of the most commonly used by those seeking to practice, theorise or research mindfulness across multiple contexts. The primary aim of this study was to pilot the effectiveness of an 8-week combined MBSR/MBCT intervention informed by ACT on the psychological resilience of entrepreneurs. From reviewing the literature, the author puts forward the proposal that dimensions of the self (self-awareness and self-knowledge) are the underexplored linkages between both mindfulness and resilience and that these are improved through mindfulness skills building. 19 entrepreneurs participated in a one-day workshop, 8 weekly 2.5 hour sessions and undertook to practice mindfulness daily. They completed pre, during and post intervention measures: The Connor Davidson resilience scale and the Five-facet mindfulness questionnaire. Profile of mood, perceived stress and satisfaction with life were also measured as a means of assessing psychological wellbeing as secondary outcome measures. Findings demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in mindfulness, resilience and aspects of psychological well-being as a result of participation in the intervention. Consistent with other MBSR/MBCT intervention findings (Chaskalson, 2011), this experimental study provides further support for the effectiveness of Kabat Zinn’s (2003) secularised mindfulness intervention protocol for increasing resilience in the entrepreneur as a result of development of the self (self-awareness and self-knowledge). The study also offers preliminary support for the transformational potential of secularised mindfulness programmes informed by ACT in developing virtue ethics through the teaching of the moral foundations inherent in the Buddhist roots of the practice. The development of resilience and mindfulness is important to the entrepreneur in order to help them cope with and manage the complex business environment they operate within whilst maintaining positive mental health. However, mindfulness practice based on a simple input/output model is to denature the practice, thus the development of programmes of mindfulness for entrepreneur’s where the centrality of the ethical dimension is foregrounded is clearly paramount. If the entrepreneur is to gain both individual and social transformation and if we are to avoid a reductionist commodified form of the practice then an educational function of MBIs needs to be in the development of the ethical dimension.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Coule, Tracey
Additional Information: Director of studies/Supervisor - Dr Tracey Coule
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Louise Beirne
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2019 12:55
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:29

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