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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Transcendental Phenomenological Study of Reflection through Exercise
by Milligan, Russell W., Ph.D., The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2014, 218; 3642637
Abstract (Summary)

This study explored middle managers' lived experience of exercise-induced reflection to understand if the meaning they ascribed to the lived experience could address their practical problem of not being able to reflect in time-constrained work environments. The study also explored if the lived experience could be linked to another model of reflective learning that does not appear to exist within the study's theoretical framework at the intersections of leadership and reflection, reflection and aerobic exercise, and aerobic exercise and leadership.

To understand the meaning participants associated with their lived experience of exercise-induced reflection, ten employed middle managers were recruited to participate in a series of thirty face-to-face, semi-structured interviews. Analyzing the data through the phenomenological processes of grouping, reducing, clustering, thematizing, and textural-structural synthesis led to the discovery of six core themes. The core themes were the following: the age at which participants first experienced the phenomenon, the aerobic activity that evoked exercise-induced reflection, reflective states, reflection topics, reflection during exercise is productive, and applied learning. These themes revealed how the lived experience of reflection through exercise manifested into three major meanings: a productive haven for reflective thinking, a mind-body connection that stimulates reflective learning, and a therapeutic sanctuary for well-being.

Understanding the meanings participants ascribed to exercise-induced reflection expanded upon the literature within the theoretical framework of the leadership, reflection, and aerobic exercise disciplines. Additionally, the meanings addressed middle managers practical problem of reflection in the time-constrained workplace.

Findings from this transcendental phenomenological study provide a baseline understanding of exercise-induced reflection for future research. Augmenting the baseline findings through mixed methods and medical research studies could provide a deeper understanding of exercise-induced reflection. A mixed methods study could help explore and explain the relationship of exercise-induced reflection to workplace performance and leadership styles. A medical study could expand upon knowledge about the relationship of exercise-induced reflection to human neuro-physiological changes.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Leahy, Martin J.
Commitee: Benesh, Julie, Zullo, James R.
School: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Department: Organizational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 76/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Business administration, Educational leadership, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Aerobic exercise and leadership, Exercise-induced reflection, Leadership, Leadership and reflection, Phenomenology, Reflection and aerobic exercise
Publication Number: 3642637
ISBN: 978-1-321-29660-0
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