Close menu


Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Exploring the limits of mindfulness during the COVID-19 pandemic: Qualitative Evidence from the African context

Alo, Obinna (2023) Exploring the limits of mindfulness during the COVID-19 pandemic: Qualitative Evidence from the African context. Exploring the limits of mindfulness during the COVID-19 pandemic: Qualitative Evidence from the African context. pp. 1-31. ISSN 0268-3946

Item Type: Article


Purpose: This paper is one of the first studies to examine specificities, including limits of
mindfulness at work in an African organisational context, whilst dealing with the ongoing COVID�19 pandemic. It specifically addresses the role of organisational and managerial support systems in
restoring employee wellbeing, social connectedness, and attachment to their organisations, in order
to overcome the exclusion caused by the ongoing pandemic.
Design/Methodology/Approach: The study uses a qualitative research methodology that includes
interviews as the main data source. The sample comprises of 20 entrepreneurs (organisational
leaders) from Ghana and Nigeria.
Findings: We found that Covid-19-induced worries restricted the practice of mindfulness, and this
was prevalent at the peak of the pandemic, particularly due to very tough economic conditions
caused by reduction in salaries, and intensified by pre-existing general economic and social
insecurities, and institutional voids in Africa. This aspect further resulted in lack of engagement
and lack of commitment, which affected overall team performance and restricted employees’
mindfulness at work. Hence, quietness by employees even though can be linked to mindfulness
was linked to larger psychological stress that they were facing. We also found leaders/manager’s
emotional intelligence, social skills and organisational support systems to be helpful in such
circumstances. However, their effectiveness varied among the cases.
Originality: Our paper is one of the first studies to establish a link between the Covid-19 pandemic
and mindfulness limitations. Moreover, it is a pioneering study specifically highlighting the
damaging impact of Covid-19-induced concerns on leader-member exchange (LMX) and team�member exchange (TMX) relationships, particularly in the African context. It further brings in a
unique discussion on the mitigating mechanisms of such Covid-19-induced concerns in
organisations and highlights the roles of manager's/leader's emotional intelligence, social skills,
and supportive intervention patterns. Finally, we offer an in-depth assessment of the effectiveness
of organisational interventions and supportive relational systems in restoring social connectedness
following a social exclusion caused by Covid-19-induced worries.

AAM. JMP 2023.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (566kB) | Preview

More Information

Uncontrolled Keywords: Africa, Covid-19, Emotional Intelligence, Leader, LMX/TMX, Mindfulness, Organisational Support Systems, and Relational Support Systems.
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Obinna Alo


Item ID: 15872
Identification Number:
ISSN: 0268-3946
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Obinna Alo: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2023 12:11
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2023 12:00


Author: Obinna Alo ORCID iD
Author: Obinna Alo
Author: Ahmad Arslan
Author: Anna Yumiao Tian
Author: Vijay Pereira

University Divisions

Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism > Sunderland Business School


Business and Management > Human Resource Management

Actions (login required)

View Item (Repository Staff Only) View Item (Repository Staff Only)