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Special issue on Mindfulness, reliability and quality in small and large firms

Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

Guest Editor: Professor Nelson Oly Ndubisi, Nottingham University Business School, Malaysia Campus

Achieving reliability and high quality standards is an organizational capability with immense benefits. Achieving high quality standards
and reliable business performance is the focus of many popular routine-based quality and management initiatives, e.g. Six Sigma and ISO 9000, which try to control cost and enhance customer experience and value by eliminating unnecessary variance in the quality of products and services. While such approaches are useful, they tend not to promote highly situated human cognition, which the mindfulness-based approaches see as the solution to individual and organizational reliability problems. Langer argues that a mindful response to a particular situation is not an attempt to make the best choice from among the available options but to create options. Mindfulness-based approaches hold that individuals' and organizations' ability to achieve reliable performance in changing environments depends on how they think: how they gather information, how they perceive the world around them, and whether they are able to change their perspective to reflect the situation at hand (Langer, 1989; 1997).

At the individual-level, mindfulness involves: openness to novelty, alertness to distinction, sensitivity to different contexts, awareness of multiple perspectives, and orientation in the present, paying attention to the immediate situation (Sternberg, 2000). Individuals who are mindfully engaged in a task are both motivated and able to explore a wider variety of perspectives, make more relevant and precise distinctions about phenomena in their environments, enabling them to adapt to shifts in those environments (Fiol and O'Connor, 2003). Researchers interested in quality and reliability have a highlighted preoccupation with failure, a reluctance to simplify, an attention to operations, a focus on resilience, and the migration of decisions to expertise as key aspects of organizational mindfulness (Weick and Sutcliffe, 2001). It is necessary to promote individual and collective mindfulness -- a way of working marked by a focus on the present, attention to operational detail, willingness to consider alternative perspectives, and an interest in investigating and understanding failures (Langer, 1989). Indeed, there is a serious dearth of research on mindfulness-based quality and reliability management in organizations (large or small). Most of the extant literature is on routine-based quality and reliability management. This special issue of IJQRM calls for conceptual, case-based and empirical papers to fill this research gap.

Papers focusing on small or large enterprises, or comparing both, which deal with (but are not limited to) the following topics, are welcome:

  • Mindfulness and product/service quality
  • Mindfulness and product/service reliability
  • Mindfulness and customer service 
  • Mindfulness and relationship quality
  • Mindfulness and entrepreneurship
  • Mindfulness and innovation
  • Mindfulness and marketing ethics
  • Mindfulness, environmental quality and sustainability
  • Mindfulness in B2B
  • Mindfulness, adaptation/personalization vs standardization
  • Mindfulness and market orientation
  • Relational dynamics and mindfulness
  • Mindfulness in international business/markets
  • Mindfulness and ICT
  • Mindfulness, satisfaction and loyalty
  • Mindlessness

Submission Information

The deadline for submission is 31 December 2010

All queries and submissions should be sent to the Guest Editor: 
Professor Nelson Oly Ndubisi
E-mail: [email protected]

Submitted manuscripts should follow the format as indicated in the submission guidelines on the journal web site:

All papers will go through a double blind review process. Please submit all manuscripts as double-spaced MS Word files with all tables and figures at the end of the paper. 

Please note, authors of accepted manuscripts will be asked to upload the final version of their paper to Manuscript Central after acceptance.


Deming, W.E. (1986), Out of the Crisis, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Fiol, C.M. and O'Connor, E.J. (2003), ``Waking up! Mindfulness in the face of bandwagons'', Academy of Management Review, Vol. 28
No. 1, pp. 54-70.
Hannan, M.T. and Freeman, J. (1984), ``Structural inertia and organisational change'', American Sociological Review, Vol. 49,
pp. 149-64.
Langer, E.J. (1989), Mindfulness, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA.
Langer, E.J. (1997), The Power of Mindful Learning, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA.
Sternberg, R.J. (2000), ``Images of mindfulness'', Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 56 No. 1, pp. 11-26.
Weick, K.E. and Sutcliffe, K. (2001), Managing the Unexpected: Assuring High Performance in an Age of Complexity, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA.