The Concept of Dharma
Sri Krishna explains to Arjuna that one's duty is of paramount
importance, for it is the means to fulfill the purpose of life. That which
supports the fulfillment of one's duty is called Dharma. Dharma is not
comparable to religion; it encompasses all the dimensions of life. It
refers to duties done harmoniously, skillfully, selflessly and lovingly. It
supports one in fulfilling the purpose of life and helps one to relate to
others and to society in a harmonious way.
But Dharma does not only mean fulfilling one’s duty. The word Dharma
is derived from the root “Dhr” which means to uphold. Thus Dharma
means to uphold one’s duty, to uphold truth at all times. Thus
whosoever speaks the truth is said to fulfill their Dharma. This one point
is constantly referred in the Mahabharata, where Bhishma Pitama
mentions that those who are on the side of truth in the battle of
Kurukshetra are on the path of Dharma. Bhishma Pitama also
mentions to Yudhistira whatever creates conflict is Adharma
(antonym of Dharma), and whatever puts an end to conflict and brings
about unity and harmony is Dharma.
Dharma therefore means to be on the path of righteousness. Those
following such a path are at all times in sync with the truth. Ideally the
aim of Dharma is to make one reach Moksha or Nirvana or self-
realization and in this process Dharma aims to elevate the characters of
The rules of Dharma have been laid down for regulating the worldly
affairs of men. Dharma is the means of preserving one’s self. If you
violate the law, it will kill you. If you protect it, it will protect you. It is
your soul companion after death. It is the sole refuge of humanity.
Dharma is classified into
• Samanya Dharma
• Visesha Dharma
Samanya Dharma is general and Universal Dharma and Visesha Dharma
is specific and personal Dharma.
Elements of Samanya Dharma
1. Contentment (santosh)
6. control of senses
7. discrimination between right and wrong, as also between the real
and the unreal
8. spiritual knowledge
10. Absence of anger comes under the general or universal Dharma
Visesha Dharma includes duties toward one's birth, age, family, society,
career, job and spiritual life
Thus Dharma shows people the correct path to follow throughout their
lives. It is an unwritten law that guides man in conducting himself with
good behavior. This is why Dharma is so vital. The teachings haven’t
withered with time but the same has only gotten stronger.
Dharma and Karma
We should avoid even the smallest negative actions, and we should
perform even the most insignificant positive actions without
underestimating their value. The reason for this is that the happiness
we all want and the suffering we all try to avoid are produced precisely
by our actions, or karma.
The Dalai Lama, a Flash of Lightening in the Dark of Night
All religions of the world have certain commonalities in them. One such
commonality is not to commit any sort of sins or crimes. Society has
made rules and regulations to ensure that all those committing such
action are going to be met with justice.
Sins are negative actions for which there will be negative repercussions.
Similarly there are positive deeds that one is always expected to do.
Such deeds lead to positive repercussions. They say your action decides
your future. The kind of consequence one faces purely depends upon
their action. Thus the concept of Karma says that one must at all times
continue pursuing what he/she is supposed to do. One must ensure to
try and do things which lead to a positive consequence. Consequences
of actions are known as Karamphala. A positive Karamphala is
Poonya and a negative Karamphala is known as Paap.
According to Hindu Scriptures, the life a person lives is based on his/her
past actions. The present will shape the future. Thus the law of Karma
always advises people to ensure that at all times they’re trying to make
a positive difference in their daily lives by which everyone benefits.
“The concept of Karma makes one fully responsible for what happens to
him/her. One is not subject to the tyranny of destiny or fate. One can
determine one’s own destiny. Action or Karma is the route”
Source: Ethics, Indian Ethos and Management, Page 99
Popularly it is said that one must not worry too much about the results
but must continue doing what they’re supposed to do. Students are
supposed to study, doctors are supposed to diagnose etc. No matter
what the work one has to do, one must make sure that it is done with
utmost sincerity, wholeheartedly and lovingly.
These are the elements of Dharma as explained by Shri Krishna to
Arjuna. This is where Dharma and Karma come together. Where there is
dharma you cannot avoid karma. Karma does not exist independently
of dharma, and only dharma makes karma work. The concept of
karma is that if you go against dharma, you have to pay the price for
Even Gods and kings get affected by their Karma. According to the
Ramayana, the great Ravana, king of Lanka also had to face the
repercussions of his karma. The result of his sins was his death at the
hands of Lord Rama.
Therefore if kings cannot escape the results of their past actions, what
can be said about us mere mortals? The aim of life is to perform your
work in a way by which positive deeds are created. For that to happen
one must at all times be on the path of righteousness. That is Dharma.
Karma bound by Dharma, leads one to happiness and bliss. The
objective is to achieve Moksha or self-realization.
The rest of the world may not know this but Karma can be seen
everywhere. Today, some companies are successful is because they
have done work in the past which has led to positive consequences that
has proven beneficial for companies, stakeholders and society.
• The Tata Group built Jameshedpur and set up industries there,
that was positive Karma.
• Sony made a contribution to change the perception of people in
the 50’s of the brand Made in Japan. This has proven to be
beneficial for Japanese industries. This is also positive Karma.
Companies need to inculcate the teachings of Dharma and Karma in
order to bring scientific changes in their management whereby
performance and behavior of employees is guided by these teachings.
Different people have different duties by virtue of their positions. This
concept is known as Swadharma. This is what companies need to
understand and can be used as a strong HRM tool where by each and
every employee’s role becomes well defined.
Corporate leaders can very well use these concepts of Dharma and
Karma to build characters of their employees. Such concepts can help
companies build on a long lasting reputation in industry and society.
They can position themselves as the company that is on the path of
Ethics, Indian Ethos and Management
Suggest specific strategies to practice DHARMA in
Thanks to an enlightened mindset, the bottom line is not the sole criterion
that fires corporate thinking these days.
There is a clear crosscurrent based on Indian ethos and eastern spiritual
values that's quietly pervading boardrooms across the globe. The grit and
gumption of Oriental nations is creating a strong undercurrent that's holding
back western domination of markets. Japan led the way. Now it is the turn of
China and India…
Modern management is increasingly adopting Vedic precepts to stay in
the race for market share. The Vedas are a systematic and formulated
study of the science of life. Vedanta literally means the end (anta) of
Says Anuj Bahl of Logic Control: quot;Indian ethos is more vital to modern
management than any other management theory for the simple reason that
it takes in to account a 'whole' man rather than approaching man in a partial
fashion as the other theories do. Each and every situation can be met with
effectively if one takes time to reflect over it. Reflection with a tranquil mind
helps in drawing out solutions from within. Such guidance from within, helps
a manager look at the perceived problem situation in a creative manner. It
leads to a more coherent and complete understanding.quot;
Advaita Vedanta (monism) advises us that we should determine our goals,
identify our capabilities and focus our actions upon the goals. Vedanta
identifies key areas where man suffers on various fronts due to the
ignorance of various laws of life and nature. Such ignorance leads to a loss
in physical and mental energies causing tremendous damage in the effective
implementation of the decisions and actions of an individual.
The first point we need to understand is the importance of reducing
the Ego as it fosters self-centered, separatist tendencies. A practical
way to control the ego at the workplace is to emulate what the public
relations company IPAN (Indian Public Affairs Network) does. Here the staff's
visiting cards do not mention their designation, simply the names. This goes
for the CEO, Rajeev Desai too. In this manner a misplaced sense of
hierarchy is discouraged and though every executive handles a certain
number of clients only, each is in principle responsible for all.
As we all know, human desires never end. And as salaries, aspirations,
expectations, workloads, work hours and deadlines rise, the body and mind
of employees across all levels of the spectrum are increasingly coming under
strain. Putting in 16 to 20 hours a day is not uncommon in IT, foreign
banking, advertising, public relations and some segments of the media.
While this may boost company profits, there are unwanted consequences for
management and employees alike. The primary one is that hypertension,
diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, nervous breakdowns, viral
infections, cancer and other stress-induced ailments are making a much
early appearance with more alarming frequency than in previous
quot;External situations only mirror what employees are within.”
If employee lives are unwholesome, distressed, imbalanced, disintegrated
and out-of-sync with the laws of nature, the external situations for
themselves and their organizations cannot be otherwise.quot;
To protect bottom line interests, corporates are hiring consultants to help
safeguard and promote the well being of employees. In tackling stress-
induced ailments, New Age practices such as yoga, meditation, Vipassana
and prayer are finding wide acceptance
Dr. M.B Athreya (management consultant) says that in many companies
these workshops are open to all employees, and even unions.
In fact, sometimes it is the managers and senior executives who are
gyaan paapis (resisting the light of knowledge). quot;The utilization of New
Age principles has brought balance in the minds of union leaders about
their broader responsibility to stakeholders, including society. Thanks to
this thinking, at least some workers refrain from making populist
demands on their representatives. Line executives acquire more
compassion in their human relations. The relationship between line and
personnel managers moves towards cooperation.quot;
Dr. Athreya also says that at the top management level the ideas of
organizational dharma, including social responsibility and good
corporate governance, are finding global favor. Companies using such
principles are the Godrej group, the Vardhaman group, Indian Oil
Corporation, Lupin Laboratories, Excel Industries, Yash Paper, Eicher, et
This is a line echoed by Vikas Malkani spiritual guide and author.
Malkani says that the social aspect is increasingly being accorded more
prominence. Whenever the me-too syndrome has consumers confused
about which brand to opt for, they will gravitate towards companies that
have fostered an image of responsible corporate citizens by supporting
social and environmental issues. What we in India term quot;public servicequot;
promotions. Here, the Tatas, Godrej, the Birlas and others have
exhibited a high level of social and environmental consciousness.
And discounting a popular notion, Athreya says that liberalization since
1991 is changing the rules towards dharma. Companies with
kaushalam, samatva, sevaa and keerti (skill, equanimity, service
and fame) will thrive. Despite rivals sometimes hitting below the belt,
organizations that follow ethical business practices need not suffer a dip
Two companies that have steadfastly promoted and practiced ethical
precepts in management are Wipro Corporation and Infosys Ltd. It's no
coincidence that both have scaled dizzying heights and can proudly
claim the largest market capitalization amongst Indian corporates. The
lesson in the twin success stories is loud and clear: those who take the
long, hard but ethical road to success are assured of long-term
dividends that aren't eroded with the next Union Budget. Short-cut
success is short-lived success.
Athreya insists that to view ethics and business as incompatible is to
take a superficial and cynically convenient view. quot;Long-term, sustainable
profits can only come through dharma. Profit coming from adharma will
disappear due to competition offering better value for money. In a
pluralistic, open economy, dealers, vendors and employees have the
choice of leaving for another organization. Lower tax rates and better
enforcement make compliance and dharma more feasible.quot;
Bhatnagar argues that quot;the correct index of success should not be
money. It should be a 'sense of abundance' that an individual or
organization feels they are enjoying. Again, abundance does not mean
resources, turnover or net profits alone. It means abundance of
everything—peace, happiness and harmony within and without, not just
for the top few but for everybody in the organization. Seen in the above
context, ethical and spiritual principles are not only compatible with the
profit motive, they are the only means to ensure itquot;.
Indeed, this synthesis is imperative for long-lasting success and societal
well being. Corporates have realized that the pursuit of self-interest will
not only destroy the environment, but our social fabric as well. The era
of shortsighted corporate autocracy is gradually coming to an end. If our
country, our planet has to survive, it cannot be otherwise.
Strategies to incorporate Dharma in companies
• Choose your vocation wisely. Follow your swadharma, your
inherent nature. Choose a field of activity that fires your passion and is
compatible with your nature. You will achieve a higher degree of
recognition and success than you would in some other field. And the
best part is that you will get paid for something you love doing!
• The mind-not matter-matters. Ideas make the world go round.
Realizing this truth, even a hardware and appliances giant like Sony is
gearing up to diversify into service-related fields. It was not the steam
engine that changed the world, but the idea that steam could be used
to power the engine. Practical ideas power change.
• Foster team spirit. Control the Ego. The ego has a tendency to
place one apart from the rest of the world. It encourages a self-
centered, egotistical attitude that is detrimental to the common good.
Such a person feels: quot;Only I can do a good job.quot; Life is a game where
teamwork counts. Learn to delegate work. You are not the sole cog in
the wheel. Nor are you indispensable. The graveyards are full of people
who thought they were indispensable.
• Praise counts. When somebody does a good job, say so. Learn to be
stingy in your criticism, generous in praise. However, the praise must
be well deserved and genuine. As Dada J.P. Vaswani said, sex and
money are not the most important things in a person's life. Praise and
recognition are. Human beings thrive on these and redouble their
• Take responsibility. Success has many mothers, failure none. If
things go wrong, stand by your team. Do not duck responsibility or
apportion blame. Take the blow squarely on your chin. Your staff and
peers will respect you for it. And back you to the hilt in future.
• Share the credit. When the cash counter starts jingling, remember
the role of every single player. Don't exult, 'I did it!' Say, 'We did it!' Be
humble in success and you will sow the seeds of repeated success.
• Remember—your team is human. Do not expect every employee
to consistently keep up with the scorching pace that you set. We all
have different levels of tolerance. Genghis Khan once sacked his most
accomplished general. When queried about this strange act, the Mongol
chieftain's answer was enlightening. He was the best, the great Khan
admitted. While on the march, he was oblivious to thirst, hunger or
A good leader must have a firm and fair style. quot;He or she must
follow sresta dharma (best practices) and samathva
It is a must for any corporate to attach importance to customer values,
shareholder values, employee values, societal values and leadership
values, he emphasised. Good corporate governance is the one that
focuses on customer satisfaction. The company must give value for
money to its customers. This ensures a good, mutually beneficial
relationship between the company and its customers.
Insisting that companies should focus on enhancing shareholder wealth,
Dr Athreya said there must be an equitable, not necessarily equal,
distribution of wealth among CEOs, employees and shareholders.
quot;Sustained returns to shareholders and transparency in business
dealings are also equally important,quot; he said.
Today, any management faces many pressing problems to survive and
grow in a competitive world. Even in this environment, corporates must
be whole-heartedly committed to human resource development and
corporate social responsibility.
BUDDHA – DHARMA
Buddha – Dharma does not have any bearing to god or any religion
whatsoever, it is in fact an interpretation of the Dharmic way of life
according to Gautam Buddha and other Buddhist scholars.
Here, Buddha – Dharma does not reflect the personalities of these
leaders rather it signifies the importance of the attitude of mind that
enables a practitioner of Dharma to re-harmonise his personal nature
with the principles of Dharma which will lead him/her towards the
undoing of all egoistical falsehood and ultimately make him achieve
‘Moksh’ or as we would say in English liberation.
Different traditions regard Dharma in a different light. While some
regard it as the ultimate and transcendent truth others who regard
Buddha as an enlightened soul see it as his teachings. Here, it is
important to note that no matter what your personal belief is the
bottom line remains that you should adhere to Dharmic principles and
try and lead a righteous life.
QUALITIES OF BUDDHA – DAHRMA
• Dharma is not a speculative philosophy it is the universal
law found through self – enlightenment.
It deals with moral principles, concentration, self – control, willingness
and wisdom to do the right thing.
• Dharma can be tested by practice alone.
You cannot expect to read up on teachings or listen to others
experiences and hope to experience it yourself. You have to make
a conscious effort to practice the Dharmic way of life to get
• Dharma is able to bestow timeless and immediate results
here and now for which there is no need to wait until the
future or next existence.
Nobody says that you must be Dharmic and only after you reach a
certain level of enlightenment you will be at peace or that if you
are dharmic in this lifer you will reap results in the next. Dharma
like everything else related to spirituality is a state of mind and
comes from within. If you chose to lead a good life the results will
be immediate. There is no ‘conditions apply’ factor present here.
• Dharma welcomes all human beings to put it to the test.
There is no discrimination here. All human beings can strive to
lead a dharmic way of life no matter what walk of life they come
from and reap the results of their efforts.
• Dharma is worthy to be followed as a part of ones life.
Trying to be dharmic is not a short-term practice. To truly lead a
well-balanced and fruitful life we must make dharma a part of
It is said that by knowing these attributes, practitioners of dharma will
attain inner peace and happiness. Each person here is individually
responsible for himself to put these principles into practice.
Here, these leaders who have interpreted Dharma are compared to
doctors whereas the Dharma is compared to medicine. However skillful
a doctor is results will be apparent only if the patient makes efforts to
administer the medicine himself.
In conclusion, we can say that Buddha – Dharma is used to refer to the
teachings of Buddha, not in the context of the words of one man but as
a reflection of a natural law that was re-discovered by this man and
shred with the world. So a person who lives their life with an
understanding of natural law, is a dharmic or righteous person.
How the concept of dharma is useful to practicing
The most central and core concept of Hindu philosophy is known as
Dharma. There is no accurate translation of the word into English but
we may have a glimpse of its vast scope by translating Dharma as right
action, right conduct, virtue, moral law etc. Every form of life, every
group of people has its Dharma, which is the law of its being. Dharma or
virtue is conformity with the truth of things; adharma or vice is
opposition to it.
Dharma is a strategy not a religious thought or superstition. Corporate
image depends upon the dharmic management followed. Dharmic
management becomes a practice in the entire organization right from
CEO to Class-IV employees. Dharma helps managers from becoming
Hippocrates. Managers and management becomes more transparent.
There may be short term losses or loss of profit but in long run firm will
be profitable. Indian Examples: Narayana Murthy, Aziz Premji, TATA’s.
Dharma helps managers to enjoy his work to attain any useful purposequot;,
quot;belief in the conservation of moral valuesquot;, quot; a mode of life or a code of
conduct which regulate a manager's work and activities as a member of
company and as an society to bring about his gradual development and
enable him to reach what was deemed to be the goal of human
scheme or code of laws which bind together managers in the bonds of
mutual rights and duties, of causes-and-consequences of actions arising
out of their temperamental characters, in relation to each other and
company as well as society etc.
In the insolvable problem when a manager faces-
na dharmasaukshmyat subhage vivektutm shaknomi te prasnam imam
quot;I am unable to answer your question because Dharma is subtlequot;
A manager is able to define the boundaries of Dharma through
interactions, discussions, reading of scriptures, the great epics, legends,
mythologies, history, drama and a wide variety of stories heard
throughout the formative years. These experiences help constitute
personal measures and yardsticks that an individual may use in making
decisions throughout the lifetime. In a sense this is the manager's
conscience and it is perhaps the only available light that guides his
actions. There are no other readily available manuals that can serve to
distinguish our actions.
In India it is important for us to profit by modern technical processes
and increase our production but in doing so we must not forget that the
essential objective to be aimed at is the quality of the managers and the
concept of dharma underlying it.
Managers practicing dharmic management will be able to develop
• He who hates no creature, who is friendly and
compassionate to all, who is free from attachment and
egoism, balanced in pleasure and pain, and forgiving. Lord
Krishna enumerates the characteristic feature of a Man-of-
Perfection, and thereby prescribes the correct mode-of-conduct
and way of life for all seekers.
• He by whom the world is not agitated(affected), and who
cannot be agitated by the world, who is freed from joy, fear
He by whom the world is not agitated- a Man-of-Perfection is
one who will not create any agitations in the world around
him.Who cannot be agitated by the world- not only does a Man-
of-perfection queiten the very world around him, into a dynamic
peace, but also the world, however chaotic, revolting cannot
create any agitations in him.He is completely freed from – all the
usual causes for inward agitation such as “joy, envy, fear and
anxiety”. A person ever peaceful with himself and the world, who
rules the circumstances and never yields to be victimized by
them, who has crossed over the usual weaknesses of the mortal
heart is dear to Lord Krishna.
• He who is free from wants, pure, alert, unconcerned,
untroubled, renouncing all
wants(Anapeksah)- An ordinary man discovers his peace and joy
only in the world of ordinary objects available around him. but
through practicing drama a manager can develop his inspiration,
equanimity within himself.“who is pure”(sucih)- dirt has no place
within or without a true and honest manager. It is well known that
the condition of a man’s table can give a great insight into the
mental nature, discipline and culture of that man. “Alert”
(Daksah) - enthusiasm is the key to success in any undertaking.
Managers should be intellectually vigorous. He should be ever on
his toes to take up the activity.” Unconcerned” (Udasinah) - this
means to economize our mental energies. Managers should realize
the importance of difficulties, wants, discomforts arisen in
completion of the project in order to have a positive way to deal
and solve these problems. “Untroubled” (free from trembling)- the
inward tremors are experienced only when any burning desire has
conquered completely. Managers should never allow their inner
person to enter into any such fears or agitations.“renouncing
every undertaking”- Manager should have a strong feeling that he
is beginning an activity for the purpose of achieving a definite goal
whereby he is fulfilling a specific desire or will thereby be gaining
a positive profit.
Managers should follow Hindu of dharma:
quot;O Indra, lead us on the path of Rta, on the right path over
This means the logical progression of an early course of things into an
all encompassing moral order, a path and way of righteousness, an all
encompassing harmony of the universe, in the Vedic of Rta.
• Ethics, Indian Ethos and Management – B.K.Nair
• Human Values – S.K.Chakraborthy
A Few Salient Aspects For Managers In Management:
1. Rights – Orientation Displacing Duty – Orientation: The
need of the hour, on a priority rating is of recognizing the
importance of ‘human duties’ than ‘human rights’. For example,
Only if the teacher does his ‘duty’, are the students’ rights
satisfied, or, Only if the boss does his duty of caring for the
subordinates, can their rights of participation and autonomy be
better taken care of. Indeed, if duty-oriented doesn’t predominate
our endeavors, ugly things will always continue to occur & come
to light. It has been observed that today more intellectuals from
premium Indian institutes migrate outside for the sake of
‘comfortable living’. Their inclination is less for the country and
their duty towards society. Such a change is replacing the
traditionally Indian concept of duty-orientation.
2. Exteriorized Orientation Displacing Interiorized
Orientation: We in India are missing an essential insight of our
inner-self. The eastern temperament is essentially introvert as
compared to the western, who are dominantly extrovert. Though
we show sincerity, goodwill, gratitude, love, but these shouldn’t
be restricted to only flow of words or gesture. We are missing the
realization of our self-sufficiency factor. We depend on others for
our internal satisfaction which is indeed a corruption/vulgarization
of the depth of inner feelings. This is what Viktor Frankl diagnoses
as the ‘gravest’ psychological problem called ‘existence vacuum’,
which alienates us from our inner essence.
3. The Secular Orientation Displacing the spiritual
Orientation: Unfortunately the meaning of both secularism and
spirituality is not clear in our minds today. Maurice Wilkins, a
Nobel laureate regrettably says that today world is increasingly
focusing on the material aspects of life and on technical solutions
to human problems. Further it is observed that how western
youths come to India today to revive the sense of inner meaning
of life, now lost to the West, and laments that due to the current
wave of modernization, India also is in danger of losing this sense
of the sacred the holy, the spiritual in everything.
4. Skills Orientation Displaying Values Orientation: It is not
difficult today to visualize that the mistaken priority of ‘learning to
do’, i.e. skills, is now acknowledged as such, and rectified by
admitting the priority of ‘learning to be’, i.e. values. The chief
hurdles working against excellence on the human side of Indian
organizations don’t seem to be centered around paucity of any
skills. They are primarily centered in values. Quality of products &
services is dependent not so much on the quality circles but on
the quality of the minds of the member of the circle.
5. Quality of Domestic Life Messing up Quality of Work – life:
The Quality of domestic life transmits its inevitable impact to the
quality of work-life. The quality of domestic life lies in a deep and
serene home atmosphere, which should douse the scorching
flames of stress stroked by work – life. Today in Indian scenario,
where both husband and wife work for more than 8 hours, they
hardly get time for each other and their family or their children
who need them the most. This imbalance between the work-life
and domestic-life definitely affects ones inclination towards its
6. The New breed Displacing the Old breed:
Today, there is a clear distinction made in the minds of the two
generations of people in Organizations. Senior professionals see
lack of commitments and values towards a company, in the new
generation of professionals, because these people change jobs
very frequently. Such a thinking is based on no knowledge or
depth of the matter. Hence there needs to be bridging between
the thoughts of the two breeds of people to inculcate co-
ordination and co-operation in organization.
7. Self Actualization Orientation Displacing Self Transcending
Many writings on motivational psychology have drawn our
attention towards knowing Self Actualization. Some writers have
pointed out that self actualization in practice actually coverts most
interpersonal relationships into instrumental transactions for self-
advancement. In Indian scenario, right from a senior professional
to a clerk, the spirit of grievances is identical. They crave for
satisfying their lower-end needs. While there are some people
who are contrary to this. In large, people have an inclination
towards fulfilling their lower-end needs which is called Self
transcendence which will in result into Self Actualization.
8. Uniform Culture ensures co-ordination between
People in an organization, as employees, work for the ultimate
organizational goal. His constant endeavor should be inclined
towards serving the organization first and then personal
objectives. If every employee thinks this way, it would bring
cohesiveness in the different parts of the organization thus
ensuring coordinated effort among all the departments to fulfill
9. Culture avoids conflicts:
We, Indians have the ancient culture of family ties and bonding
among the people. We value relationship forming thus giving
importance to the other person as well. This builds loyalty in the
minds of the other people towards ones relationship, which in turn
reduces conflicts and misunderstandings to a large extent. On the
contrary, the foreign culture believes in ‘hire-fire’ policy, which
doesn’t support the idea of relationships hence work culture
conflicts are seen to a great extent in such case. Thus a healthy
culture avoids conflicts.
10.Importance of Honesty of the CEO:
An organization is largely a reflection of the character and vision
of the leader. His every action is reflected in the results of his
followers. If the leader is honest, actions will taken in the overall
interest of the company and its employees and if not, then wrong/
unethical decisions will percolate down the system thus mainly
affecting the overall goodwill of the company and its workers.
Since a leader is the main representative of the organization, his
honesty is of prime importance.
ACTS OF GOD AND MEN
Mr. Manik an employee of G-four India, exports garments to South
Asian buyers. Among the many third parties the company work with,
there is one named Skanda Garments (SG) in the south. A small
factory, which employs some 80 people. Its owner, Selvan, was
tragically washed away in the tsunami when he had gone to
Nagapattinam to deliver a consignment with three other senior
When the company heard of this, like any company devoted to cost and
benefit, strategy and time planning, it shifted their orders to other
Last month, one of their employees, Lingam, called mr. manik to ask if
G-Four India, would help them. Being a small businessman, Selvan’s
papers were not in order; loans he had taken and those he hadn’t taken
were being attributed to him. His family was in a state of despair. His
father, Arumugam, has to now settle his son’s family, which includes a
daughter, Lata. He decided that the best thing to do was to sell off
Selvan’s business and pay off the bank. Also Lata being a young girl,
who was dark, was taken as a liability and the family was merely using
her to come out of financial crisis by making her get married to her
maternal uncle, Sethu, who was 30 years old and also claimed that his
father owed him some money which he would write off if Lata marries
him and the business operations are given to him.
But there was chaos unfolding at the factor too. Four months after the
tsunami, there was hope that somebody would take up the plant and
run it, bringing back some stability into the workers’ lives. There were
few orders they had begun work on, seeking more time for fulfilment.
But they needed money for raw material, and the clients were unwilling
to help as they claimed that 50 per cent advance had been paid to
During the one year that the whole thing dragged on, the Skanda
Garments factory absolutely deteriorated. The floods that followed the
tsunami did the rest playing havoc on the plant and inventory.
Meanwhile, Sethu began to informally ask the workers to start accepting
pay cuts as he had found girls who were willing to work for less money.
This would result in 40 men losing their job and also women were
exploited in an unethical manner.
Realising the entire scenario which had an impact on several lives, Mr.
Manik decided to approach Mr.Jatin Dayal to provide them with 25 lakh
loan as a part of social responsibility towards suppliers and more
importantly for humanity. A meeting was called for this purpose where
initially only Mr. Manik was fighting against the inhuman approach of
the company towards its suppliers. However, later he was backed by
other employees too.
On the other hand Mr. Jatin here is an adamant person and is purely
business minded. He takes this entire issue as a mere social issue and
he considered it charity and not responsibility to look into the social
problems of his suppliers. He is simply profit oriented and treats
business different from human life. However, at the end of the meeting
Mr. Jatin had no other choice but to agree. However during the meeting
the following issues were discussed which led to a favourable outcome.
1. The issue is not only concerned with Selvan’s daughter and his
deteriorating business operations but it is concerned with his 75
colleagues at Skanda Garments? What happens to the smaller
businesses who supply to SG and their families? What happens to
2. It was only when Lingam informed Mr. Manik about the daughter
that he came to know that there are hundreds of such young girls
out there who are being sold and transacted to repay all kinds of
obligations. Is developing that community not part of their life,
especially since the company has been dealing with that
community? That Rs 25 lakh which it hesitates to spend will mean
that the children of those workers will not go back to school;
hopes that were there will get destroyed; lives which were taking
off will not. But if they can have this money, the process of
education, which was interrupted, will continue.
3. Children have been orphaned, homes have been destroyed, and
infrastructure has been washed away. There is gender
discrimination, gender exploitation, child abuse. So, it is the
corporates who can influence social thinking by helping in areas
that influence business growth and development. For, it is poor
social conditions that are at the heart of low growth, which goes
beyond food, shelter and clothing to respect for life.
4. A business is not only about creating wealth, but also sustaining
the means to do so. A shareholder’s claim to corporate
wealth can be tenable only after the fulfilment of corporate
social duties, not without it. Corporates exist in society; so, at
the heart of any right to lay claim to it lies your corporate
citizenship in a society. Such right to corporate citizenship begs
fulfilment of corporate social duties.
5. As a business justification, it is vendor development; where they
develop vendors and business gets substantive roots. This is not
CSR but good business. The company is furthering strife in the
community which in 5-10 years will affect productivity though the
Companies Act does not permit to a loan. So, call this micro
credit. From a social viewpoint, when we do not help, the
community suffers and when the community suffers, the business
suffers in the long run.
6. We need to see our vendor as our customer and not our supplier.
He is a customer of the relationship we have transacted with him.
This is not about welfare. It’s a case of rights. Suppliers have
rights on the company. Even if rights are infringed, they remain
And thus with the help of the following points it was decided that
Skanda garments would be given 60-75 lakh of loan. The point here is
that it was the understanding and application of dharmic management
that provoked Mr. Manik to approach the issue to the authority. It was
Mr.Manik who knew that the management was completely wrong here
and it was very important to explain them the truth since it had an
impact on the entire community of their suppliers. He did not vision his
business as mere profit oriented but at the same time understood his
social responsibility towards the society and thus took step in favour of
truth against management’s unsympathetic approach.
However, there were many employees who knew that the management
was being insensitive but could not do anything about it. At the end of
the meeting two employees conclude the entire issue saying “Why
don’t these things occur to us naturally? Why do we go through
week-long debates to arrive at a decision that we already know
in our hearts? Is it because corporates are surrounded by rules
and rights and wrongs, dos and don’ts? Or is it simply that we in
our minds separate business from life? We do not think of it as a
part of life… and that’s because our education also separates
work from life.”
However, reading this surely forces us to ponder our attitude too.
Source: business world, case studies Feb. 2006