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Relationship between ethics, religion and business

By Gokullnath.R (12MBAA14)

Debashis Chatterjee Director, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Kozhikode, Kerala talked to Business Line about on his book Timeless Leadership, 18 Leadership Sutras from The Bhagavad Gita and what the corporate world can draw from what the Gita has to offer

Important points from that interview

The corporate world is rocked by a crisis in ethics and values. In this context, does a study of the Gitas tenets offer some relevant lessons?
Mr. Chatterjee: The Gita is a text for the foundational values of life. Its not just a book of skills. The corporate world has a preponderant emphasis on skills without the discretion that must go behind these skill sets leaders need to have a sense of what corporate dharma is

So, what learnings can corporate executives draw from the Gita?
In the Gita, Krishna is telling Arjuna, Dont be worried so much about your role as a part. As long as you connect to the whole, the part is taken care of. Chairman of Hindustan Lever, Vindi Banga, used to say that whatever is good for Hindustan is good for Hindustan Lever.

Narayana Murthy says whatever is good for India is good for Infosys.
. Why are they saying this? Because they are saying the same thing that the Gita is: what is good for the large is good for the small.

So, shorn of all the religiosity, the principles of the Gita you say are universal?
First of all its not meant to be a religious text but a way of living. Its one of the works of psychology, depending on how you look at it. Its a primary work, and my work is to interpret it for the corporate sector,

Do you see Indias corporate leaders using these principles of the Gita?
If you see the top 100 wealth creators in India, 80 will swear by it, that their basic manual will be theGita

With all the turmoil and scams in the corporate world, can B-schools inculcate values and ethics in B-school to your students?
The first point of ethics and values is that they are very subtle in nature. They dont lend themselves to just teaching and talking like you teach time management. It is a different category, its very layered. So, ethics and values are caught rather than taught. They have to be built into the DNA of the organization.


Thank you