Call for Papers: Organizing mindfulness across organizations, networks, and clusters (EURAM 2015)

T_06-01: Organizing mindfulness across organizations, networks, and clusters
SIG: Innovation

Organizing mindfulness across organizations, networks, and clusters

The concepts of mindfulness and mindful organizing have proved to be beneficial for explaining how to manage unexpected events as a specific domain of uncertainty (Argote, 2006; Weick & Sutcliffe, 2007). Mindfulness seems to enhance change readiness and the capacity to sense and seize opportunities in an uncertain environment (Gärtner 2011, 2013). Existing research on mindfulness has mostly studied the individual or group level and is rooted in psychological accounts of mindfulness. This literature conceives of mindfulness as cognitive differentiation and conceptualizes knowledge and learning in terms of mental cognition (Vogus & Sutcliffe, 2012). Only a few studies take the level of organizations as collectives of groups or interorganizational networks as unit of analysis (Sydow, Müller-Seitz, & Provan 2013). While there is apt evidence that individuals, groups and organizations do not work in isolation, there is little research about the interrelations between organizations and the ‘higher’ analytical levels of networks and clusters (Gittell & Weiss 2004). Thus, we know little about how mindfulness can be established across organizations, networks and clusters in order to harness the opportunities of uncertainty.

Considering other forms of ‘knowledge’ (e.g., rules, routines, tools and technology) seems to be useful in order to explain how organizations, networks and clusters screen their environment and benefit from uncertainty (see Becker & Knudsen 2005; Salvato & Rerup 2011; Antonacopoulou et al. 2012). For example, research in the field of innovation management advocates tools like technological forecasting or roadmapping to remain sensitive about technological trends and developments that might impact corporate, network, or cluster strategies (e.g., Reger 2001). Other research has documented the importance of regional embeddedness for knowledge creation, spillovers, learning and harnessing opportunities of temporary or permanent disruptions (Cooke 2001; Audretsch, Hülsbeck, & Lehmann 2012; Berthod, Müller-Seitz, & Sydow 2014).

The aim of this track is to foster exchange of theoretical ideas and empirical insights that might be conducive to further understand multi-level mechanisms of organizing for mindfulness. It seeks to bring together researchers who study organizational and interorganizational sensemaking, distributed knowledge and learning, as well as mindful decision making in organizations, networks, and clusters.

Possible topics for contributions include, but are not limited to, the following issues:

  • Conceptual and/or empirical analyses of multi-level perspectives on mindful organizing, for example, building an overarching theoretical framework for how mindfulness emerges across multiple levels of analysis and how this differs from mindfulness on the individual- or group-level
  • The interplay among sensemaking and/or decision making processes between different levels of analysis
  • The role of socio-cultural and economic institutions as initial conditions for coping with and harnessing opportunities of uncertainty
  • Forms of organizational, inter-organizational and inter-cluster responses to unexpected events and their development over time
  • The role of (distributed) knowledge and knowledge flows between (organizational) actors in a cluster in order to harness opportunities of uncertainty
  • The different types of tools and their role in mindful organizing and managing uncertainty


Antonacopoulou, E., Güttel, W., Kaiser, S., Macpherson, A., Mèric, J.; Müller-Seitz, G. (2012).: Strategic Organizational Learning in Turbulent Times: Ambidexterity and Absorptive Capacity (book), Publisher: International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies, 5 (1/2), 2012

Argote, L. (2006). Introduction to mindfulness. Organization Science, 17(4), 501-501

Audretsch, D. B., Hülsbeck, M., & Lehmann, E. E. (2012). Regional competitiveness, university spillovers, and entrepreneurial activity. Small Business Economics, 39(3), 587-601.

Becker, M. C. & Knudsen, T. (2005). The role of routines in reducing pervasive uncertainty. Journal of Business Research, 58(6), 746-757.

Berthod, O., Müller-Seitz, G., Sydow, J. (2014). Out of nowhere? Interorganizational assemblage as the answer to a foodborne disease outbreak. sbr, 16.

Cooke, P. (2001). Regional innovation systems, clusters, and the knowledge economy. Industrial and Corporate Change, 10(4), 945-974.

Gärtner, C. (2011): Putting new wine into old bottles: Mindfulness as a micro-foundation of dynamic capabilities. Management Decision, 49(2), 253-269.

Gärtner, C. (2013). Enhancing readiness for change by enhancing mindfulness. Journal of Change Management, 13(1), 52-68.

Gittell, J. H. & Weiss, L. (2004). Coordination networks within and across organizations: A multi-level framework. Journal of Management Studies, 41(1), 127-153.

Müller-Seitz, G. (2014). Practising uncertainty in the face of large-scale disease outbreaks. Journal of Management Inquiry, 23(3), 276-293.

Weick, K. E. & Sutcliffe, K. M. (2007). Managing the unexpected: Resilient performance in an age of uncertainty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Reger, G. 2001. Technology foresight in companies: From an indicator to a network and process perspective. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 13(4), 533-553.

Salvato, C. & Rerup, C. (2011). Beyond collective entities: Multilevel research on Organizational routines and capabilities. Journal of Management, 37(2), 468-490.

Sydow, J., Müller-Seitz, G., & Provan, K.G. (2013): Managing uncertainty in alliances and networks – From governance to practice. In: Das, T.K. (eds.): Managing knowledge in strategic alliances. IAP. Greenwood, Conn., 1-43.

Vogus, T. J. & Sutcliffe, K. M. (2012). Organizational mindfulness and mindful organizing: A reconciliation and path forward. Academy of Management Learning & Education 11(4), 722-735


Christian Gärtner (Helmut-Schmidt-University)
Iain Munro (Newcastle Business School)
Gordon Müller-Seitz (TU Kaiserslautern)
Marcel Hülsbeck (University of Witten/Herdecke)

Further information