Hindu Mommy

November 2, 2006

Karma Capitalism

Filed under: Hinduism,India — hindumommy @ 3:01 pm

The Bhagavad Gita is the new in-style management book with Krishna being the top management expert. 

The ancient spiritual wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita seems at first like an odd choice for guiding today’s numbers-driven managers. Also known as Song of the Divine One, the work relates a conversation between the supreme deity Krishna and Arjuna, a warrior prince struggling with a moral crisis before a crucial battle.

One key message is that enlightened leaders should master any impulses or emotions that cloud sound judgment. Good leaders are selfless, take initiative, and focus on their duty rather than obsessing over outcomes or financial gain.

There are also parallels between Indian philosophy and contemporary marketing theory, which has shifted away from manipulating consumers to collaborating with them. “Marketing has tended to use the language of conquest,” says Kellogg professor Mohanbir S. Sawhney, a Sikh who discusses the relevance of the Bhagavad Gita to business on his Web site. Now the focus is on using customer input to dream up new products, Sawhney says, which “requires a symbiotic relationship with those around us.”

Top business schools have introduced ‘self-mastery’ classes that use Indian methods to help managers boost their leadership skills and find inner peace in lives dominated by work

The main reason may be the high percentage of professors from Indian descent in the top B schools – About 10% of the professors at places such as Harvard Business School, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business, and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business are of Indian descent — a far higher percentage than other ethnic groups.

Another reason is the need for most companies to have a more gentler, more empathetic ethos in the post-tech-bubble, post-Enron world.

About time !

Looks like Indian born strategists are impacting the global economy in a big positive way and transforming the way Big Business operates.

But to be honest, I don’t know how long “servant leadership” and “emotional intelligence” will last before being overtaken by newer buzz-words

For more, see Business Week’s The Dharma Dons and Tech Titans and Rediff’s How Bhagvad Gita charmed US corporates



  1. Recently Boston Globe also mentioned how Bhagvad Gita is making inrods into the business community.

    Comment by Anonymous — November 4, 2006 @ 12:06 pm | Reply

  2. Human Values in Management
    (Extract) SKC

    A content analysis of the responses shows that the most frequent item figuring in almost all of the course participants’ plan of action is the resolve to practice the mind-stilling and breathing exercises taught in the course as an essential experiential practice for Chitta-Shuddhi and for communion with the higher Self. Its enthusiastic reception may have also been prompted by the urgent need for maintaining a calm mind in the tension ridden life of practicing managers.

    The next most common resolve relates to the practice of a cluster of values and value-principles emphasised in the course. It includes, (i) cultivation of values related to higher self and suppression of disvalues associated with lower self, (ii) practice of nishkam karma (self-less action) in work-life as well as personal life, (iii) practice of giving model of life based on the concept of five fold debts (deva rin, rishi rin, pitririn, nri rin, and bhuta rin) (iv) cultivation of satwaguna over rajoguna, and (v) introspection to examine, and to rearrange one’s career goals, life styles, attitudes and value systems in the light of the above noted paradigm of higher values.

    Some responses indicate a desire to propagate and share the ideas learnt in the course with members of the family as well as members of the work-group. A smaller number of responses show the desire to learn more about these ideas by reading the sacred wisdom literature of India, like Gita, Upanishhads, writings of Vivekanand, etc.

    One can conclude from this content analysis that the value concepts of Indian psycho-spiritual tradition have been well received. They have had a positive impact on the participants as indicated by their resolve to internalise them and to use them as a basis for self-development.

    Comment by swaralu — November 8, 2006 @ 6:02 am | Reply

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