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spiritualisation of management

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  • 1. SPIRITUALISATION OF MANAGEMENT Business is like a spiritual journey.” Don’t be surprised if you hear these words, not from a seer, but a B-school graduate set to enter the corporate world. These prospective managers and entrepreneurs see an essential connect between spirituality and business in today’s world. Students of IIM and other B-schools may not be following a particular spiritual guru, but they acknowledge the advantages the world of spiritualism has. The followers of management philosophy do not shun the parallels drawn between Mahabharata and business world. In fact, they feel there are “several lessons that can be learnt by adopting a spiritual approach to managing corporations” . Following a lecture by the 14th Dalai Lama at IIM-Ahmadabad, the students say spirituality has a significant role to play in the corporate world. According to some, a session on spirituality can do wonders considering the increasing levels of stress in today’s world. Said professor Anil Gupta, IIMA, “Spirituality cannot be taught. It means understanding the deeper meaning to your life. And nobody can teach you that if you refuse to see the mirror yourself. Though a dialogue can certainly help.” Incidentally, their counterparts in IIMBangalore have taken lessons from the Mahabharata. Professor Ramnath Narayanaswamy, IIM-Bangalore , through his elective course—Spirituality for Global Managers—has made students look at Krishna as the CEO, Yudhishthir as the one who binds together values, Bhima for the outcomes, Arjun for learning, Karna for legitimacy , Nakul for process and Sahdev for purpose. He says spirituality enables students “develop life skills and negotiate the world better” .Praveen Krishnan, a second-year PGP student at IIM-B , is a staunch believer in the concept of spirituality. “The company that chases short-term goals lives and perishes in the short term. What the Gita advocates, is an expansion of this measure of time to extend beyond just a few decades. It discusses eternal existence, much similar to the accountant’s principle of a going concern ,” he says. Spiritual awakening is not restricted to IIMs. At the SP Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR) in Mumbai, first-year students can volunteer for a three-day workshop at a spiritual ashram. Anirudh Pawa, final year student of Jamnalal Bajaj Institute Of Management Studies, Mumbai, says, “Spirituality can play an important role in shaping a student’s personality and way of handling stress or negativity . We would love to have such sessions in our college.” With increasing stress on corporate social responsibility (CSR) by businesses, spirituality is a common topic for the HR department in most organizations. The corporate world is encouraging spirituality as a way to boost loyalty and enhance employee morale. Ethics and spiritual values into the workplace can lead to increased productivity and profitability as well as employee retention. It also generates better emotional bonding among employees.”When management students take self-realization seriously, spirituality might become an elixir for the corporate world’s critical problems, the most important of them being stress.

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