On SAGE Insight: Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction for Executives

Article title: Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction for Executives: Results from a Field Experiment 

From Business Perspectives and Research

In this fast-paced world, every individual gets stressed some time or the other. The way each individual copes with stress depends on how he or she perceives stress.  As the demands placed upon executives in high stress jobs continue to mount, the interest in the applications of mindfulness training for this population is timely. Research suggests that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is effective in reducing levels of stress among executives working in high pressure work environments.

This article investigates the use of a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which incorporates elements of cognitive changes as well as meditation-based relaxation techniques using a combination of acceptance and awareness. MBSR falls within the category of secondary intervention since it helps individuals in dealing and coping with stress. For a growing economy like India, it is useful to explore MBSRs and other secondary interventions as a response to increasing stress since primary interventions may be difficult to implement unless the organization is willing to make substantial (and often costly) changes in the job design and organization structure.


Mindfulness-based meditation has been reported to produce positive effects on psychological and physiological well-being, and to reduce stress levels. The present study examined the effects of a 16-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program on stress levels and self-compassion of 22 executives of a large public sector oil company located in the south of India. The study was a pre- and post-test experimental design in which participants were tested for physiological and psychological parameters, both before and after the intervention. Physiological assessment was carried out through the testing of blood cortisol and measurement of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Participants also reported on variables such as self-compassion, and various stress indicators such as physical indicators, sleep indicators, behavioral indicators, emotional indicators, and personal habits. Results from the present study suggest that a 16-week MBSR intervention not only had a positive impact on various stress indicators (physical, sleep, behavioral, emotional, and personal habits) and self-compassion but also reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure and blood cortisol levels. The findings suggest that MBSR can be a useful stress management intervention for addressing the issues of high stress for senior executives in Indian organizations.

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Article details

Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction for Executives: Results from a Field Experiment
Zubin R. Mulla, Kalaiselvan Govindaraj, Srinivasa Rao Polisetti, Elis George, Nagraj Rao S. More
First Published April 19, 2017
DOI: 10.1177/2278533717692906
Business Perspectives and Research

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