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Buddhism and Organizational Management: A Review


T.D. Weerasinghe ,

University of Kelaniya, LK
About T.D.

Department of Human Resource Management,

Faculty of Commerce and Management Studies

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T.J.R. Thisera,

University of Kelaniya, LK
About T.J.R.

Department of Human Resource Management,

Faculty of Commerce and Management Studies

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R.H.G.W.P. Kumara

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About R.H.G.W.P.
Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce
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Organizational Management is one of the exciting themes in modern economies nowadays. An organization is a collection of people working together towards a common target. The basic building block of any organization is its people; employees. Managing an organization is ultimately getting things done through employees. Hence, more humanistic and pragmatic ways of organizational management which excel in managerial competencies are needed to sustain in this modern turbulent environment. It could be seen that Buddhist 'Sanga Communities' were organizations which excelled in managerial skills. Buddhism offers a pragmatic and an interesting perspective on the proper application of modern organizational management practices. This conceptual paper is done with the objective of exploring the implications of Buddhist perspectives such as moderation, impermanency, the belief in no-self, five precepts, eightfold path, mindfulness and self-discipline, collectivistic view of team building, value of self-sacrifices for the common good, mutual respect, seven reconciliation rules and four bases of sympathy could manifest themselves in a number of different aspects of modern organizational management. This paper explores the application of those Buddhist concepts and practices in areas of organizational management including interpersonal relations, ethical behavior, emotional intelligence, team building, communication, leadership, conflict management, personal development, good governance, group harmony, goal setting, performance management, knowledge management, and in broader sense managing people at work. The paper suggests that Buddhist concepts and practices are effective to be applied in organizational management and that those concepts and practices have more universal application which could improve the organizational productivity as the end result. It is recommended for modern managers to be mindful, compassionate and flexible, open minded, and recognize that nothing is permanent. In conclusion the Buddhist perspective of organizational management is about accepting change, creating harmony among employees and treating all with dignity and respect to achieve the ultimate goals of the organization.

The Kelaniya Journal of Management, Vol. 3(2); 2014: 93-112
How to Cite: Weerasinghe, T.D., Thisera, T.J.R. and Kumara, R.H.G.W.P., 2015. Buddhism and Organizational Management: A Review. Kelaniya Journal of Management, 3(2), pp.93–112. DOI:
Published on 29 May 2015.
Peer Reviewed


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