How can mindfulness enhance moral reasoning? An examination using business school students

Business Ethics: A European Review 27 (1):56-71 (2018)
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Abstract

Given the comprehensive influence of mindfulness on human thought and behavior, and the importance of moral reasoning in business decisions, we examine the role of mindfulness as an antecedent to moral reasoning through two studies. In Study 1, we propose and test a theoretically derived model that links mindfulness and moral reasoning, mediated by compassion and egocentric bias using a survey design. In Study 2, we examine whether mindfulness training enhances moral reasoning using an experimental design with graduate students of business management. The findings of Study 1 substantiate the positive association of mindfulness with moral reasoning. We found that this relationship is fully mediated by compassion and egocentric bias. The results of Study 2 suggest that mindfulness meditation training has a positive impact on individuals' states of mindfulness, compassion, and moral reasoning, and decreases egocentric bias. We relate the findings of the study with contemporary neurological research and discuss the theoretical, pedagogical, and managerial implications.

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