Principles of Management as Prescribed by the Mahabharata

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  • Topic: Krishna, Arjuna, Mahabharata
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  • Published : December 1, 2010
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ed by the Mahabharata
INDEX

1. Corporate Objective

2. Management Principles
a) Honor thy competitor
b) Business consideration above personal consideration c) Adaptability
d) Utilization of available resources
e) Attitude towards work
f) Work commitment
g) Motivation- self and self-transcendence
h) Work culture
i) Manager’s mental health
j) Management needs those who practice what they preach

3. Conclusion

Introduction

1.Corporate Objective :
Corporate objectives whether profit maximization or wealth maximization is being questioned today. Western management philosophy may have created prosperity – for some people for some time at least - but it has failed in the aim of ensuring betterment of individual life and social welfare. It has remained by and large a soulless edifice and an oasis of plenty for a few in the midst of poor quality of life for many. It does not give a sense of fulfillment what an individual desires at the end. (Aids Foundation of Bill Gates may be an example.) Mahabharat depicts a path of Dharma as the sole objective, be it individual or corporate, since the same ensures maximization of happiness of all groups. An unholy desire to achieve results by any means often becomes counterproductive in the long run for the corporation and the country as a whole. Hence, there is an urgent need to re-examine prevailing management disciplines - their objectives, scope and content. Management should be redefined to underline the development of the worker as a person, as a human being, and not as a mere wage-earner. With this changed perspective, management can become an instrument in the process of social and indeed national development. Gita however talks about Nishkam karma which helps one to achieve results more effectively in the long run by pursuing a path of Dharma. The two main pillars of Gita are abhyas (practice) and tapasya (penance). Going by this the corporate sector should continue doing the right thing ceaselessly by adopting the right means with a single-minded objective in mind ( Abhyas) and should not get swayed under any temptations or distraction and bear the hardships in the short run( Tapasya). With these two principles results will automatically come which will bring satisfaction to all groups be it customers, shareholders, vendors, workers, etc.

2. The Management Principles:

Now let us re-examine some of the modern management concepts in the light of the Bhagavad Gita which is a primer of management-by-values. Mahabharat is not plainly the story of a war or a source of wisdom for philosophers. It exposes the secrets of leadership and the path to success. Mahabharat can be considered equivalent to other management bibles. Whether it is man management, human/organisational behaviour, game theory, management by objectives, all aspects of modern management can be discovered in various characters and episodes of the great epic.

Bhishma, an honest manager caught in diametrically opposed clashes, who was forced to take wrong decisions by forces beyond his power. Yudhisthira is a flawless example of managerial acumen. Karna, a manager who fought his way up the ladder but could not keep up with the pressure and tensions and met a tragic end. Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna, a daredevil leader without a business-plan of escape. He fought his way into the chakravyuha, but failed to come out and was brutally cornered and killed by Drona and others. Draupadi is the typical model of a woman powerhouse who kept others motivated till the goal is achieved. And Lord Krishna is the ideal example of a leader-manager who kept his eye on the target till the desired outcome was achieved.

i) Honor Thy Competitor
The Mahabharata tells us that one should never humiliate his competitors. Competitors should be treated with dignity. The great Kurikshetra War itself could be avoided...
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