The 'why' and 'how': a comparative scenario of management landscape
Modern Management is just about 100 years old, and is mostly as per the American context! But, management per se is few thousand years old as postulated by many Indian Luminaries:
The origin of Corporate Social Responsibility can be traced from the Vedic literature such as the Valmiki Ramayana, the Mahabharata (including the Bhagavad-Gita) and the Puranas. The Kautilya’s Arthasastra provides an inside-out approach to CSR, which is the development of the individual leader’s self-conscience, contrary to the western approach that takes an outside-in perspective. The leaders and the roles they play in corporations are crucial in ensuring transparency, good conduct, and governance towards the ultimate aim of achieving CSR"-Balakrishnan Muniapan; Mohandas (2008) Int. J. Indian Culture and Business Management, Vol.1, No.4
The lifestyle of the materially affluent industrialized countries in general and their management style, in particular, cannot be replicated blindly by countries like India which has rich heritage, culture & ethos. Dogma, Obscurantism, Patents, ‘Intellectual capital’, ‘knowledge capital’, Showmanship; me-my-we-us; self-centeredness, material desires, hierarchical needs, zero-base budgeting, MBO, Re-engineering, T- groups, n-Ach, FIROBI, MB tests etc. etc. are anathema to Indian psyche. We Indians believe in Dhyana & Dharma. Zen-the art of Japanese management is actually derived from Dhyan which is the Sanskrit root of Zen. The word dharma is derived from the verbal root Dharayet, that which holds or sustains.
Bhagavad Gita says, ‘swadharme nidhanam shreya, parodhrama bhayavaha, i.e. one’s own allotted duty (Dharma) even if tinged with faults, is better than the duty of another even if well performed. Better death in the performance of one’s own duty, as the duty (Dharma) of another person, is fraught with evil and danger. Hence, it’s the duty of Indian corporate & academia to reinvent our own thousands of years old lore against the modern/young बच्चा management philosophy.
"Prashna (प्रश्न) literally means, in modern usage, question, query, inquiry. Prashna Upanishad consists of six questions and their answers. The questions are not randomly arranged, but have an embedded structure. They begin with macrocosmic questions and then proceed to increasing details of microcosmic, thus covering both universal and particular. It prescribes Ethics before education. The chiefs of corporations should endear themselves to all the people by leading a virtuous life, by controlling their (vasanas) passions, and by pursuing that course of action which is liked by all those who are his followers" - Kautilya’s Arthashastra (translated by R. Shamasastry) 1915, Govt Press
Compare this with Rudyard Kipling's " I keep six honest serving men, they taught me all I knew. Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who."
Managerial or leadership skills do not have to be held hostage to your circumstances or position. You learn to develop art (leadership), science (quant management) by being a 360- degree leader-manager. Some people are good at managing and some at leading. Some lead members of their own team, but they seem to alienate the manager/leader in other departments of the organization. Other individuals excel at building a great relationship with their boss, but they have no influence on anyone below them. A few people can get along with just about anybody and their co-workers love spending time with them, but they never seem to get any work done. On the other hand, some people are productive, but they can’t get along with anybody.
Managing/Leading in every direction-is easier said than done!
"If you deal with today’s students as a marketer, college faculty member, administrator, parent, or high school counselor, this hands-on guide is a necessary addition to your bookshelf. The new, updated edition features the latest data on the Millennial Generation and how they are changing-- and will continue to change- college life. Just as profoundly as their Boomer and Gen-X parents did, college students and their younger siblings have different expectations for their college experience. The ways that they involve their parents in their lives are very different than the relationship between Boomers and their parents. The shift from Boomer to Gen-X parents of college students, is the next big transition on the doorstep of higher education"- Neil Howe, William Strauss, (2009), books.google.com
When everything is subject to money, then the scarcity of money makes everything scarce, including the basis of human life and happiness. Such is the life of the slave - one whose actions are compelled by the threat to survival. Perhaps the deepest indication of our slavery is the monetization of time. - Charles Einstein; Sacred Economics; In this culture of more, more and more money even the idea of happiness has turned into an endless quest for more of it. Neglecting Indian culture and tradition, happiness or bliss is internal to oneself; lead to the present skewed material riches and degeneration. In the face of increasing trans-cultural interactions and relations, springing out of globalization, the indigenous identity and spirit are gradually becoming oblivious.
Indian Business Schools' avowed philosophy should be to offer quality business education sprinkled with ancient Indian lore. MBA, after all, is a Quasi Science; or an amalgam of Science & Art-or-say, a mix of Left Brain(Science) & Right Brain(Art). Left-brain scholastic subjects focus on logical thinking, analysis, and accuracy. Right-brain on the other hand focuses on aesthetics, feeling, and creativity.
The need: From 'left vs right' to 'left and right'
In order to alleviate the millennial graduate problem, it's fit to inject right brain interface thru ancient Indian literature, culture, lore by giving equal weight to analytical, quantitative skills (left brain), the arts, creativity and the skills of imagination and synthesis (right brain).
"Management enables ordinary attempt extraordinary & future to happen now"-Peter F.Drucker.
"Learn to lead with the restrictions others have placed on you"- M.K.Gandhi.
Why? In order to co-produce leader-managers grounded in intellectual humility & ethical profundity, the MBA curriculum must focus on balancing management & leadership skills, that’s “whole-brained” in its orientation. With a fond hope that these millennial management graduates will shed their 'I, me, mine flamboyant attitude' expecting constant praise from others as they’ve been praised all along by their baby boomer parents’, ‘hardly work -play hard’, ‘instant gratification; and adapt 'we, us; simple; swasth; swach, & be-indian-buy-indian; nation first’, ‘unity in diversity' is the question.
How? A Switch to Ancient (Indian) Management in the current context
In order to make better corporate India & better quality living, Dhruva College of Management-Hyderabad has founded AHIMSA (Axis Hyderabad-Indian Management Systems Academy).
Ahimsa's contribution to management Philosophy from India's viewpoint: Ahimsa Paramodharma - according to Indian tradition is The Supreme Principle of Management. A simple translation of Ahimsa is nonviolence. But it has all pervasive meaning in the context of Sanatana Dharma, which is the basis for Indian Ethos & Culture. Ahimsa will not be there without a concept of Himsa (violence). Sage Patanjali says Ahimsayam pratistayam tat sannidhou Vaira Tyagah. Ahimsa percolates not just into words but also thoughts and actions. Every management principle can be right if it’s anchored as a spoke to the hub called Ahimsa. Managers can practice ahimsa with the worker, competitor, colleague, customer, and community at large. A king/leader/CEO is worthy of his position only because of his gunas - not because of his position. Examples galore! Rama, Bharata, Pareekshit and in the recent past, Sri Ashoka, Sri Krishna Devaraya and of our own times Sri Azim Premji, Sri N. R. Narayana Murthy. Therefore, Ahimsa becomes undeniably the core of all management concepts-whether it is occidental or oriental!
AHMISA prefers to bring home to students Game Theory as prescribed by Chanakya, rather than that of John Von Neumann. It elucidates Strategy adopted by Sri Krishna and/or propounded by Chanakya in contrast to modern theories of the likes Richard Pettinger.
Prefer Pancha Kosa to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, Adam Smith’s Division of Labour is OK - but, it was in India that it was practiced 1,000s of years ago, Viz; Chaturanga Bala: Ratha, Gaja, Turaga, Padati; or Chaturvarna. AHIMSA's few more pet theories:
1.Maslow vs Panchakosha
2.Game Theory vs Mahabharata War
3. Adam Smith’s Division of Labour vs Chaturanga Bala
4. Zen vs Dhyana
5. Life Skills Vs Soft Skills
6. Ethics & Morals (Oriental Vs Occidental),
7. Success Vs Satisfaction, Logical Vs Lateral Thinking
8. Road Less Travelled, Questioning Attitude, Don’t Care-Face the Brute
9. Standard of living Vs Quality of living,
10. Sympathy Vs Empathy,
11. Regional parochialism & Linguistic fanaticism; Competition Vs Coopetition
(Cooperate + Compete),
12. Simple Living & High Thinking (Princely without & Sagely within)
13. Defining excellence’,
14. ‘Stretching threshold tolerance,
15. Helping the bottom of the pyramid,
16. Give (a’la Shibi, Karna, Bali, etc); Forgive (a’la Prithviraj Chouhan in recent past; India
pardoning Pakistan army 1971)
17.Truth (a’la Harishchandra)
18. Human Integrity; Structural Integrity is one & same as they both hold one thru 'Hell &
If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India- Romain Rolland.Last Updated - 11 Mar 2019