Humanistic Corporate Management: A Buddhist Approach with a Biblical Appraisal

Dong Zhao

Buddhist wisdom offers a pragmatic and humanistic perspective or guidance on the positive organizational management practices in the contemporary society. Buddhist Sangha Communities prove to be organizations that excel in managerial skills. Buddhist concepts such as moderation, impermanency, no-self, precepts, eightfold path, mindfulness, mutual respect, etc. could manifest themselves in a number of different aspects of modern corporate management. These Buddhist concepts and practices can contribute to modern management in terms of interpersonal relations, team building, leadership, conflict management, goal setting, performance management, and simply put, managing people at work.
To break new grounds in this generally acknowledged and much studied field of Buddhist management, this paper tries to provide a theoretical foundation for a possible Buddhist management approach with a Christian comparison, complementation and appraisal. It aims to show that, with Biblical insights of a unitary God, God-Satan dualism, the chosen status, salvation through the Messiah, apostolic church, and the Armageddon & Great Judgment, Buddhist managerial wisdom could contribute to more beneficial and effective corporate management practices. A Biblical understanding of leadership, management as well as dealing with business competitors, derived from the Old and New Testament segments of the Bible, serves as a perspectival remedy or enhancement to the Buddhist approach to management and organization.
The paper reexamines key Buddhist teachings on management, compares, or rather combines two religious management philosophies by making parallel reconstructions of them, and reveals the possibility of a new composite management approach, or an alternative management practice. Thus, managers and entrepreneurs will be encouraged to take on a Buddhist-Christian dual lens for management. In sum, the originality of this paper lies in its setting up a parallel investigation of Buddhism and Christianity by merging them into a parallel and complementary model of corporate management. It minimizes the inherent Chinese Buddhist fluidity and flexibility in terms of organizational management and business deals with the faith-based Biblical concept of covenant or contract; it tries to guide management away from total reliance on a sage or Bodhisattva leadership and close to an ultimate reliance on a transcendental authority or ideal.