Organizational Behavior Research


Higher development, brain integration, and excellence in leadership

Harung. H.S., Travis, F., Blank, W., & Heaton D. P. (2009).

Management Decision, 47 (6), 872-894.


This paper reviews research linking leadership to a key and previously under explored variable — the level of integration of psycho-physiological functioning or the leader’s degree of self-development. A model of human development is presented, which covers the psychological, physiological, and sociological dimensions of leadership. Three research projects on world-class leaders, including top-level managers, support our hypothesis that leadership ability is closely related to self-development — we found that higher integration of the electrical brain activity, more mature moral reasoning, and more frequent peak experiences characterize the more accomplished performers. The Brain Integration Scale presented here may be a reliable objective instrument for assessing an individual’s leadership and performance capacity. The high frequency of peak experiences and their relationship to top performance make such gratifying inner experiences important for the business community. This research suggests that practical methods for psycho-physiological refinement — such as the widely researched Transcendental Meditation technique — can be useful in developing more effective leadership.

Spiritual dimensions of entrepreneurship in Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program practitioners

Herriott, E., Schmidt-Wilk, J. and Heaton, D. (2009).

Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion, 6, 195-208.

A qualitative study explored features of personal development in a group of entrepreneurs who were long-term practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program. Subjects reported that their meditation practice enabled them to cultivate inner experiences, which they described as being anchored to an unshakeable, transcendental inner spiritual core. These entrepreneurs reported that this inner experience led to enhanced intuition and to broad awareness that embraced the wider interests of the community and environment. Findings are discussed with reference to prior scholarship about spirituality in entrepreneurs. This exploratory study contributes to understanding the mechanics through which spiritual values and behaviors might become more fully realized in the workplace.

Worksite stress reduction through the Transcendental Meditation Program

Broome, R., Orme-Johnson, D., & Schmidt-Wilk, J. (2005).

Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 17(1), 235–276.

A prospective experiment on stress reduction using the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique and Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) was conducted at a South African firm with 80 employees. Psychological stress decreased significantly over 5.5 months for the TM group (p<.0002) with 73% of the decrease in the first two weeks; for the PMR group (p<.03); and for on-site controls at 5.5 months (p<.034). Six weeks of TM practice produced greater reductions in psychological stress than six weeks of PMR (p<.034). Off-site active controls who received business skills training showed non-significant decreases; posttest stress levels were higher than for on-site groups (p<.04). Blood pressure decreased at 5.5 months by 3 mm Hg systolic (p<.05) and diastolic (p<.04) for the TM groups but not significantly in PMR or on-site controls. Subjective reports and changes in company climate generally supported the results, which are discussed in terms of the theory of collective consciousness from Maharishi Vedic Science.

Transcendental Meditation and postconventional self-development: A 10-year longitudinal study

Chandler, H. M., Alexander, C. N., & Heaton, D. P. (2005).

Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 17(1), 93–121.

The present study explored the effects of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique on self development as measured by Loevinger’s Washington University Sentence Completion Test of ego development, McAdams’ measure of intimacy motivation, and Rest’s measure of principled moral reasoning. Ten-year longitudinal data indicated that TM subjects increased markedly in ego development in contrast to three control groups matched for gender and age over the same time period (N = 136, p = .0000004). At posttest 38% (N=34) scored at or beyond the Autonomous level versus 1% of controls (p < .0001). TM subjects also increased to very high levels of principled moral reasoning (p = .002) and intimacy (p = .02). The findings suggest that postconventional development is stimulated by systematically transcending representational thought to experience pure consciousness.

TQM And The Transcendental Meditation Program In A Swedish Top Management Team

Schmidt-Wilk, J. (2003).

The TQM Magazine, 15, 4, 219–229. Full text (PDF) Republished courtesy of Emerald. This article is not to be made available for re-sale, reprinting or any other commercial purposes without the specific permission of the publisher.

Drawing on a case study of a Swedish top management team whose members were practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique, this article argues for developmental maturity as an important causal factor for effective TQM behaviors and success. It suggests that (1) increased maturity permits expression of more effective cognitive, affective, and team TQM behaviors, as indicated by improved team functioning and successful TQM planning, and (2) practice of the TM technique promotes the psychological maturation that allows a greater range of appropriate TQM behaviors. Thus, the inner development provided by the Transcendental Meditation program has practical value for managers engaged in TQM implementation.

Consciousness-based management development: Case studies of international top management teams

Schmidt-Wilk, J. (2000).

Journal of Transnational Management Development, 5, (3), 61–85.

Training in meditation is being introduced into corporations worldwide, yet analyses of programs are rare. Case studies document the experiences of members of three top management teams who learned the Transcendental Meditation® program in corporate-supported programs and suggest a new trend in management development: Consciousness-BasedSM Management Development. This psychophysiological approach, which allows managers to access inner latent capacities, appears to meet criteria described in the literature for an effective management and team development program. The comprehensive changes reported are said to result from unfolding the organizing power of Natural Law in the awareness of the manager.

Leadership development and self development: An empirical st

McCollum, B. (1999).

Career Development International, 4, (3). 149–154.

This paper explores, theoretically and empirically, some relationships between self-development and leadership development. A theory about consciousness and leadership practices will be presented drawing from both modern science and the oldest texts on consciousness, the Vedas. Empirically, in a small, preliminary eight-month pretest-posttest control group study in one company, 24 subjects who learned a standard self-development technique, Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation, grew more in their expression of leadership behaviors, measured by the Leadership Practices Inventory, and expressed in individual and group interviews (0.05 and 0.01 significance).

Peak performance and higher states of consciousness: A study of world-class performers

Harung, H. S., Heaton, D. P., Graff, W. W., & Alexander, C. N. (1996).

Journal of Managerial Psychology, 11, (4), 3–23.

Developing consciousness in organizations: The Transcendental Meditation program in business

Schmidt-Wilk, J., Alexander, C. N., & Swanson, G. C. (1996).

Journal of Business & Psychology, 10, (4), 429–444. Full text (PDF)

This paper reviews retrospective, prospective, and case research on workplace applications of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation technique for developing consciousness and human potential. The distinctive psychophysiological state of restful alertness produced by the Transcendental Meditation technique appears to improve employee health, well-being, job satisfaction, efficiency and productivity, in turn influencing organizational climate, absenteeism, and financial performance.

Introduction of the Transcendental Meditation program in a Norwegian top management team

Schmidt-Wilk, J., Alexander, C. N., & Swanson, G. C. (1995).

In B. Glaser, (Ed.), Grounded Theory: 1984-1994. (pp. 563–587). Mill Valley: CA: Sociology Press.

Effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on stress-reduction, health, and employee development: A prospective study in two occupational settings

Alexander, C. N., Swanson, G. C., Rainforth, M. V., Carlisle, T. W., Todd, C. C., & Oates, R. (1993).

Stress, Anxiety and Coping, 6, 245–262.

Despite the high cost of occupational stress, few studies have empirically documented effective methods for alleviating stress and promoting employee development. This three-month prospective study evaluated the effects of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique on stress reduction, health and employee development in two settings in the automotive industry: a large manufacturing plant of a Fortune 100 corporation, and a small sales distribution company. Employees who learned TM were compared to controls similar in worksite, job position, demographic, and pretest characteristics. Regular meditators improved significantly more than controls (with irregular meditators scoring in between) on multiple measures of stress and employee development, including: reduced physiological arousal (measured by skin conductance levels) during and outside TM practice; decreased trait anxiety, job tension, insomnia and fatigue, cigarette and hard liquor use; improved general health (and fewer health complaints); and enhanced employee effectiveness, job satisfaction, and work/personal relationships. Principal components analysis identified three factors underlying this wide range of improvements through TM: ?occupational coherence,? ?physiological settledness,? and ?job and life satisfaction.? The ?effect size? of TM in reducing skin conductance, trait anxiety, alcohol/cigarette use and in enhancing personal development (relative to control conditions) in these business settings was substantially larger than for other forms of meditation and relaxation reported in four previous statistical meta-analyses.

Transcendental Meditation. Self-actualization and psychological health: A conceptual overview and statistical meta-analysis

Alexander, C. N., Rainforth, M. V., & Gelderloos, P. (1991)

Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 6, 5, 189-247.

Effects of Transcendental Meditation on mental health of industrial workers

Haratani, T. & Henmi, T. (1990).

Paper presented at 63rd Annual Meeting of Japan Association of Industrial Health, Japanese Journal of Industrial Health, 32, 7, 656.

Transcendental Meditation and productivity

Frew, D. R. (1974).

Academy of Management Journal, 17, 362–368.

Theoretical Papers

An Eastern approach to the global problem of corruptibility

Heaton, D. P. and Subramaniam, R. (2011, in press).

In C. Wankel and S. Malleck (Eds.), Handbook of research on ethical models and applications of globalization: Cultural, socio-political, and economic perspectives. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.


At its basis, ethical performance in business depends on the development of personal character which will resist opportunities for selfish gain through fraud, theft, or poor corporate citizenship. This chapter presents an explanation from Eastern psychology of higher levels of adult development in which the individual gains a sense of self-identity and contentment which is independent of possessions. We argue that advanced development toward the higher states of consciousness depicted in Eastern psychology provides a theoretical and practical approach toward realizing “incorruptibility”, defined as “a firm resistance to all the enormous temptations of power, a continuing and inflexible dedication to the public good rather than benefits for oneself or one’s group” (Dahl, 1998, p. 73, cited in Scherer, Palazzo, ? Matten, 2009).

Maharishi on management: Transcending, balancing, enlightening, and harmonizing

Heaton, D. P. (2011).

Paper Roundtable, MSR Interest Group, Academy of Management Annual Meetings, 2011, San Antonio, Texas.

The theme of the 2011 Academy meeting invites us to look beyond Western societies to management theory and practice from the East. The present paper summarizes contributions to management from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, around the concepts of transcending, enlightening, balancing, and harmonizing. These concepts are presented through key expressions from Vedic literature which Maharishi had cited, and related to research findings informed by Maharishi’s theory. This Eastern perspective brings to the field management an emphasis on experientially developing the conscious capacity of the mind as a foundation for performing in harmony with natural law for greater success with least strain and problems.

Harmonizing Stability and Change by Enlivening Creative Intelligence

Heaton, D. P. (2005).

Management and Change (India).

Exploring the Frontiers of Environmental Management: A Natural Law-based Perspective

Steingard, D. S., Fitzgibbons, D.E., and Heaton, D. (2004).

Journal of Human Values, 10, 2, 79–97.

Constructs, Methods, and Measures for Researching Spirituality In Organizations

Heaton, D. P., Schmidt-Wilk, J. & Travis, F. (2004).

Journal of Organizational Change Management, 17 (1), 62-82. Special Issue: Organizations and Spiritual Values.

Towards a Transcendent Epistemology of Organizations: New Foundations for Organizational Change

Gustavsson, B. (2001).

Journal of Organizational Change Management, Special issue on New Paradigm Possibilities for Organizational Change Management, 14, 4, 352–378.

Towards a Synthesis of the Classical and Quantum Paradigms: Vedic Science as a Holistic Approach to Organizational Change

Druhl, K., Langstaff, J., and Monson, N. (2001).

Journal of Organizational Change Management, Special issue on New Paradigm Possibilities for Organizational Change Management, 14, 4, 379–407.

Vedic Education as the Fulfillment of Postmodern Education: Consciousness, Meditation, and 'Heaven on Earth'

Steingard, D. S. & Fitzgibbons, D.E. (2001).

Comportamento Organizacional E Gestao, 7(1), 125–129.

Introducing executives to the Transcendental Meditation program

Stevens, M. M. (2000).

In S. R. Cook-Greuter & Melvin E. Miller (Eds.) The Journal of Adult Development, A life of integrity and wisdom; A journal issue in honor of Charles (Skip) Alexander, 7 (4), 283–284.

A unified theory of leadership, Part I

Harung, H. S., Alexander, C. N., & Heaton, D. P. (2000).

Ledelse i Dag (Denmark), Summer.

A unified theory of leadership, Part II

Harung, H. S., Alexander, C. N., & Heaton, D. P. (2000).

Ledelse i Dag (Denmark), Fall.

Evolution of organizations in the new millennium

Harung, H. S., Alexander, C. N., and Heaton, D. (1999).

Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 20, (4), 198–206.

The Vedic Management of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: Enlightening human resources for holistic success

Heaton, D. P. & Harung, H. S. (1999).

Chinmaya Management Review, III, 1 (issue on Spirituality at Work), pp. 75–84.

The conscious organization

Heaton, D. P. & Harung, H. S. (1999).

The Learning Organization: An International Journal, 6, (4), 157–162.

Beyond the current paradigm in management thought: Alignment with Natural Law through Maharishi Vedic Management

King, Kurleigh D., PhD, and Scott R. Herriott, PhD

Modern Science and Vedic Science. Vol. 7, no. 1, 1997, pp. 225-237.

A unified theory of leadership: Experiences of higher states of consciousness in world-class leaders

Harung, H. S., Heaton, D. P., & Alexander, C. N. (1995).

Leadership and Organizational Development Journal, 16,(7), 44–59.

Total management: integrating manager, managing and managed

Harung, H. S. (1995).

Journal of Managerial Psychology, 11, 2, 4–21.

Organizational learning based on transforming collective consciousness

Gustavsson, B., & Harung, H. S. (1994)

Organizational Learning, 1(1), 33–40.

More effective decisions through synergy of objective and subjective approaches

Harung, H. S. (1994).

Management Decision, 31, 7, 38-45.

Maharishi’s Vedic Management

Herriott, S. R. (1992).

Maharishi’s Vedic Management. Management, 11, 5, 10–12.

A theory of consciousness as the basis of rational decision making and ethical behavior in business

Baxter, M. J. (1992).

Journal of Ethical Studies, 7, 221–229.

Unified field based economics

Hagelin, J. & Herriott, S. R. (1991).

Modern Science and Vedic Science, 4, (2) 72–95.

Unified field based management: Research and theory

Heaton, D. P. and Herron, R. E. (1988).

Modern Science and Vedic Science, 2, 2, Summer, pp. 222–240.

Conference Proceedings

Achieving excellence through full development of human potential: From task-based, to process-based, to values-based in the twentieth century to consciousness-based in the twenty-first century

Harung, H. S., Heaton, D. P., & Alexander, C. N. (1999).

Proceedings of the Eleventh World Productivity Congress, Edinburgh, Scotland, October.

The enlightened business of tomorrow

Heaton, D. P. (1999).

1999 Business Research Yearbook, Best Paper Presentations at the 1999 International Association of Business Disciplines, Chicago, IL, March 25–28.

As organizations evolve, what’s next?

Harung, H. S., Alexander, C. N., & Heaton, D. P. (1999).

1999 Business Research Yearbook, Best Paper Presentations at the 1999 International Association of Business Disciplines, Chicago, IL, March 25–28. 25–28.

Exploring the frontiers of environmental management: A Natural Law based perspective

Steingard, D., Fitzgibbons, D. & Heaton, D. (1998).

Proceedings of the 1998 Conference, International Association of Business Disciplines, El Paso, Texas.

Within the organization and management disciplines, there is growing recognition of the imperative to address ecological concerns. But leaders within the environmental management movement are also recognizing that management — measuring and manipulating the environment as an abstract, objectified economic resource — has been the very cause of ecological degradation. The term environmental management (EM), then, seems to be an oxymoron. Is it possible to manage the environment in a way that moves from disrupting to restoring the natural balance in eco-human relations? Natural Law-based Environmental Management (NLBEM) is offered as a rebalancing complement to the incomplete paradigm of EM.

We present the viewpoint that Natural Law, the intelligence which maintains order and progress in the physical world, is inherent in our own consciousness. The complementary paradigm of NLBEM, when enlivened in the consciousness of the EM manager or researcher, enables him or her to spontaneously promote balance and sustainability in eco-human relations.

The objective approach of modern science has been successful in gaining knowledge about various parts of the multifarious yet integrated workings of nature. Objective science has given us technologies that achieve specific ends but necessarily, because they are based on partial knowledge, produce unfortunate side-effects. Because of the far-reaching and potentially irreversible impacts of technology, at this time in the world it is essential that objective science be complemented by subjective science, which provides knowledge of the holistic value of Natural Law.

In the sections of this paper that follow, we first analyze how environmental management inherits from the management disciplines a dualistic separation of organization and environment. We then review recent thinking at the frontiers of environmental management that reaches beyond this division toward a new paradigm of unity of humankind and nature. Integral to this new thinking is the notion of a change in consciousness — more than a change in what we know — rather, a change in how we know. This sets the stage for explaining how the integrated wholeness of Natural Law is available in consciousness. We present a vision of how the holistic knowledge of Natural Law, gained subjectively from within, can complement the specific objective knowledge of managers and technologists, enabling them to grow in the creative intelligence of nature, which creates progress without pollution.

A preliminary investigation into the subjective states of peak performers

Harung, H. S., Heaton, D. P., Graff, W., & Alexander, C. N. (1996).

Proceedings of Midwest Academy of Management Conference, South Bend, IN, April.

Heightened awareness and peak performance

Harung, H. S., Heaton, D. P., Graff, W., & Alexander, C. N. (1995).

Proceedings of the Ninth World Productivity Congress, Istanbul, Turkey, May.

Developing corporate consciousness: A literature review on the Transcendental Meditation program in business

Schmidt-Wilk, J. (1994)

Proceedings of the 15th Annual IOOB Graduate Student Conference, Discovering Corporate Consciousness, DePaul University, Chicago, IL. March 4-6. pp. 135–136.

Creating a learning organization by developing the learner

Schmidt-Wilk, J. & Swanson, G. C. (1993)

In Thomas C. Head & Ralph Katerberg (Eds.) 1993 (36th Annual Meeting) . Proceedings of the Midwest Division, Academy of Management, Indianapolis, IN. April 15–17. pp. 119-120.

The Transcendental Meditation program in two business settings

Alexander, C. N., Swanson. G. & Heaton, D. P. (1990)

Proceedings of the Midwest Business Administration Association, Special Topics Division, Chicago, March 15, 1990.

Transforming human resources for the twenty-first century

Schmidt-Wilk, J. & Heaton, D. P. (1990)

In T. Head and K. R. Thompson, (Eds.) 1990 (33rd Annual Meeting) . Proceedings of the Midwest Division, Academy of Management, Milwaukee, WI. April 18–21. pp. 85-90.

The intelligence model of organizational effectiveness: Its implications for enhanced productivity

Herron, R. E., and W. W. Graff. (1990)

Proceedings of the 1990 Annual National Conference of the Association of Management, Orlando, FLA. pp. 286–290.

The concept of collective consciousness

Heaton, D. P. and Hoffman, J. W. (1989)

In R. G. Greenwood (Ed.), Proceedings of the 1989 Conference of the Midwest Management Society, a Division of the Midwest Business Administration Association, Chicago, IL.

Collective consciousness and organizational performance

Herron, R. E. (1989)

In R. G. Greenwood (Ed.). Proceedings of the 1989 Conference of the Midwest Management Society, a Division of the Midwest Business Administration Association. Chicago, IL.

Issues in the definition of the collective consciousness of a corporation

Herriott, S. R. (1989)

In R. G. Greenwood (Ed.), Proceedings of the 1989 Conference of the Midwest Management Society, a Division of the Midwest Business Administration Association. Chicago, IL.


The 108 Skills of Natural Born Leaders

Blank, W. (2001).

The 108 Skills of Natural Born Leaders.

American Management Association: New York, USA

The 9 Natural Laws of Leadership

Blank, W. (1996)

The 9 Natural Laws of Leadership

American Management Association: New York, USA

Ayurveda im Business: Gesundheitstraining für Körper, Persönlichkeit und Unternehmen.

Gottwald, F.-T. and Howald, W. (1992).

Ayurveda im Business: Gesundheitstraining für Körper, Persönlichkeit und Unternehmen.

[Ayurveda in Business: Health Training for Body, Personality, and Enterprise].

Munich, Germany: Moderne Verlagsgesellschaft mbH.

Enlightened Management: Building High Performance People

Swanson, G. & Oates, R. (1989).

Enlightened Management: Building High Performance People.

Fairfield: MIU Press.

Book chapters

Awakening the leader within: Behavior depends on consciousness

Heaton, D. and Schmidt-Wilk, J. (2008).

In J. Biberman and L. Tischler (Eds.) Spirituality in Business: Theory, Practice, and Future Directions. pp. 125-140. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.

A human resource development program to foster individual moral development in Indian corporations: Aligning corporate governance with Natural Law

Heaton, D. P., Carlisle, T., & Brown, I. (2002).

In J.B. Kidd & F.-J. Richter (Eds.), Corruption and Governance in Asia. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

The problem of corruption can be approached from each of three sets of factors that influence ethical behaviour in organizations — individual characteristics, organisational factors, and opportunity. This paper emphasises individual characteristics — in particular development of the consciousness of the individual, including the individual’s level of moral development. We review these stages of moral development, as identified by psychological research. At preconventional stages individuals are tempted by opportunities for personal gain. In conventional stages, individuals may go along with corruption to fit in with the norms of their social group. At postconventional stages individuals have the independence of character to resist corruption and to act according to what they hold to be universal principles of right and wrong.

Awakening creative intelligence for peak performance: Reviving an Asian tradition

Heaton, D. P. & Harung, H. S. (2001).

In J. Kidd, Xue Li, and F.-J. Richter (Eds.), Human Intelligence Deployment in Asian Business: The Sixth Generation Project. London and New York: Palgrave.

Holistic health for holistic management

Heaton, D. P. (2000)

In G. Biberman & M. Whitty (Eds.) Work and Spirit: A Reader of New Spiritual Paradigms for Organizations. Scranton, PA: University of Scranton Press.

Holistic health means not just an absence of disease, but optimal balance, vitality, happiness, and mental clarity. Holistic health has its basis in the inner intelligence of nature, which is latent in the consciousness of every individual. This same inner intelligence is also the wellspring of holistic management, which is characterized by maximum achievement with least effort; spontaneous and frictionless coordination; doing well by doing good; and harmony with the natural environment. Practices that promote holistic health for the individual also unfold the capacity to achieve increasing degrees of fulfillment, good fortune, and positive social impact in one’s work.

Advanced human development in the Vedic Psychology of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: Theory and research

Alexander, C. N. Heaton, D. P. & Chandler, H. M. (1994).

In Miller, M., and Cook-Greuter, S. (Eds.), Transcendence and Mature Thought in Adulthood, pp. 39–70, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.