HRM with Islamic Management Principles

A Dialectic for a Reverse Diffusion in Management: Introduction:
In recent past, the Western nations have an increasing interest in Islam. The one feature of this trend is renewal of interest in business and management processes in Arab and Islamic countries and their political and cultural contexts. Due to wake of international financial crisis, a special attention has been given to Islamic economics and Islamic banking. Although they attempted to describe the nature and contexts of management in Arab and Islamic countries but there are credible empirical studies that have examined the practice of HRM from an Islamic management perspective. There is gap between the theory of management in Islam and the practice of management in Arab countries and management literature is limited to expose this gap. The Arab countries use a combination of Islamic and civil laws. There is very little consideration of Islamic management in any of those countries Islamic laws are based on the interpretation of the Quran (words of ALLAH) and Hadith (words of the Prophet Mohamed). And they are called Shari’ah laws. Most Arab countries use Islamic laws confined to specific aspects of life, such as family and inheritance laws, while economics and management are left to civil laws adopted from the West. Managers feel easy to use readymade laws than to develop and implement their own management thinking. But evidences tell that there is a need to understand national context as foreign business ideas do not sit comfortably. But the problem is that management in Arab is influenced by traditional non-Islamic norms. Neither adopted nor traditional norms and values seem to have worked because many of Arab countries are economically and industrially underdeveloped despite their wealth of human and material resources.

Islam and Management in Arab countries:

Studies of Arab management demonstrate the significance of cultural and political influences on managerial behavior and have recognized the importance of Islam, tribalism, state control. There are 22 Arab countries with combined population of 300 million people. 90% are Muslims of this population. Muslims are 25% of the whole world. Despite of population and resources wealth, Arab countries have made a little progress in comparison with other developed countries. Although some of them have better condition but they are dependent on western expertise, management knowledge and technology. The Muslims have all the means for strong economic and political integration but they are divided forever by their government’s personal interests and against their people’s wishes.

Principles and Values of Islamic Management System:
The first principles of an Islamic management system were originally set by Prophet Mohamed in Madina with the establishment of the first Muslim state. This management was foundation of civilization. This management is a model for all because it is according to Quran.

ideas. forgiveness. In new regions. the administration system was left to local people. the sayings and practice of Prophet Mohamed.  Justice (Adl): o Justice is a virtue that every person should develop regardless of whether he/she is a leader or a subordinate. to social sciences. and to arts. It is stated in the Holy Quran: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for God as witnesses to fair dealing and let not the hatred of others to you swerve to wrong and depart from justice…”(5:8). be punished for making unintentional mistakes and should be rewarded or punished for their intended objectives.Later Islam spread East and West. The implications of this principle in HRM is that. North and South. The value of Ehsan is equal to value of Eman. completeness of faith and most important of all. a person will refrain from behaving unjustly and will command his/her soul to move from the state of ammara (the prone-to-evil). The principles of work ethics and management in Islam derive from the Holy Quran. . Prophet Mohamed said: “Actions are recorded according to intention and a person will be awarded or punished accordingly”. All people are equal regardless of their sex. And struggles between good and evil by seeking repentance.  Kindness and care while feeling the presence of ALLAH (Ehsan): o Ehsan has several meanings. every act should be accompanied by intentions. o In Islam Justice is never to be affected by personal interests and other considerations. perfection and amelioration. such as architecture and medicine. He knows what is evil and what is good. such as music and poetry. Muslim scholars from different parts of world gradually developed distinctive Islamic knowledge to cover all disciplines from exact sciences. The main principles of an Islamic management system with significant implications for the practice of HRM are as follows:  Intention (Nya): o In Islam. Later. which is the key Islamic moral character or faith in ALLAH.  Forever mindful of the Almighty ALLAH (Taqua): o When filled with Taqua. such as economics and finance. plans and strategies rather than just for the outcomes of their actions which may be affected by external factors beyond their control. It is alms giving. Today there is well-documented Islamic heritage and a wide literature on Islamic economic system. to the state of lawama (self-reproaching level). to the highest level of mutmainna (the righteous level). doing good deeds. for example. Islamic finance system and Islamic management system but unfortunately neither of them is fully practiced in any of Muslim countries. employers should not. So it was necessary to introduce Islam beyond the land of Arabia.

Breaking one’s word is not Islamic and characterizes a person among the hypocrites. striving to do better all the time requires humans to work harder and improve the quality of their products and services through the learning of new knowledge and skills. Conscientious of self-Improvement (Etqan): o This value implies the continuous struggle within oneself for selfbetterment in order to do better work. therefore. This value is related to a state of passion for excellence (Alfalah) and perfection. Sincerity and keeping promises (Ekhlas): o Keeping to promises is a moral obligation for every Muslim. The Holy Quran states: “O you that believes! Betray not the trust of ALLAH and the Apostle nor misappropriate knowingly things entrusted to you” (8:27). employees should be treated equally. Piety is the only criterion. Hence. Managers should treat their subordinates with respect and courtesy and never look down to them or ignore their views and suggestions. It is a big sin to intentionally fail to meet one’s promises. Truthfulness (Sedq): o The doing and saying what is right to the best of one’s knowledge. o Sincerity. It is forbidden in Islam to lie or to cheat in all circumstances. Consultation (Shura): o To make perfect decisions. The matters which are not clearly stated in the Holy Quran should be decided by consultation or Shura. o In organizations. This principle of Shura teaches Muslim managers to treat their subordinates as their equals to be humble in their dealings with other people. without exception. a Muslim leader is required to seek advice and to consult to others before making decision.      color. care and trustworthiness. wealth. who should respect the trust bestowed on him/her by their superiors and subordinates. o The leader is “ameen” or a trustee. status and knowledge. infuses trust and confidence in an organization and creates a culture of trustfulness and co-operation between employees and employers. so the managers and subordinates are reminded not to be guided by their personal feelings that might divert them from the right path of justice. Honesty and trustworthiness are central to effective management. Patience (Sabar): . and no one but ALLAH knows the level of person’s piety. Trust (Amana): o The concept of trust is a core value governing social relationships as every person is held accountable for his/her doings in the community. profession.

It seems that Islam is misunderstood religion even by those who belong to in. a civilization. spiritual and physical function that is not driven only by earthly objectives. a way of life. Islam.o Patience is the highest level of Eman. then. “To what extent the above principles and values of Islamic management are practiced in Arab countries?”  The answer is that there is very little evidence of such principles being explicitly advanced by Arab managers. the technical and material objectives are very often. By understanding such principles and the distinctive characteristics of each system. patience and humility go hand in hand. though not always. Being patience in making decisions reduces the possibility of making mistakes and increasing the chances of success in negotiations. Discussion: Currently most of the Arab countries suffer from extreme superficial Islamic knowledge which has damaging effects on the management of organization and which has limited the scope for development of an Islamic management system. At the organizational level. Many of the Muslims are Muslims by name only and their knowledge of Islam does not exceed the basic rituals of making ablution and performing the five daily prayers. . a moral.  Now question is that. a cultural system. the most important. it is possible to develop a blend of Western and Islamic management which could be implemented in Islamic and non-Islamic countries. management as a function is a process of coordinating activities according to a set of principals derived from the Holy Quran and Sunnah. is not only a religion. but also by rewards in the after-life. but it is also a set of values that govern various aspects of behavior. rather than just a faith. the moral and spiritual dimension is always the most important in making decision and carrying them out. Conclusion: In Islam. however. Management is. Both parties are responsible before God for their actions. In Western management thinking. where morally and spiritually-based decisions override the materially guided ones. Employment relationships go beyond the written and the psychological contracts between an individual and an employer by having a religious dimension. therefore. In an Islamic organizational context.