Collective mindfulness has mainly been empirically studied in large, well-established organizations while few researchers have looked at collective mindfulness in non-permanent organizations. We addressed that gap by conducting an ethnographic study of the regeneration of the Crowd Safety Organization at Roskilde Festival, an annual outdoor music festival. Our findings show that the Crowd Safety Organization regenerated a mindful organization consisting mainly of volunteers by establishing clear roles across four hierarchical layers of the organization and clearly communicating and enforcing role expectations. Furthermore, we found that Weick and Sutcliffe's (2015) five subprocesses of collective mindfulness were unequally distributed across the four hierarchical layers of the Crowd Safety Organization. In particular, at the bottom of the organization we found no evidence of mindfulness in three of the five subprocesses, including reluctance to simplify interpretations, commitment to resilience and deference to expertise. Collective mindfulness is often conceptualized as a stable phenomenon but scholars have suggested that collective mindfulness varies over time and space. By studying collective mindfulness in a non-permanent organization, we cast further light on how organizations manage variations in collective mindfulness.
Bibliographical notePublished online 18 November 2019.
- Collective mindfulness
- Organizational mindfulness
- Regenerating, scaling and temporary organizations