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The Theoretical Foundation of Buddhist Management Practices

Gabor Kovacs’ paper „The Theoretical Foundation of Buddhist Management Practices” was published in Journal of Management Developmencímű tanulmánya (2014, Vol. 33, No. 8–9, pp. 751–762).

The purpose of this paper is to explore adaptable Buddhist teachings in economic circumstances, and provide a firm theoretical foundation for a possible Buddhist management approach. It aims to show that the application of Buddhist practical wisdom is contributing to achieve more beneficial economic outcome and management practices. The paper is overviewing the Buddhist teachings, which aims at the cessation of suffering. It emphasizes tenets influencing right livelihood and economic practice. Further it investigates the mainstream economic system and Buddhist economics. It compares the two economic approaches by making parallel constructions of them, and reveals the foundation of a new management approach stem from the Buddhist view of economic affairs.

The application of the Buddhist values of mindfulness, non-harming and compassion in management practice serves adequate solutions to the most pressing issues of economics, since it is inherently fair, just and economically efficient. It allows an individually-, socially- and environmentally friendly management praxis by employing a minimizing framework. The evidence that doing business in the Buddhist way is economically efficient is the foundation of an alternative management practice. Thus, managers and entrepreneurs are encouraged to employ a Buddhist way for management. Applying Buddhist teachings to economics alleviates the most pressing problems of the society. It contributes to equality, justice and the cessation of poverty by ensuring basic necessities to people.

The paper sets up a parallel investigation of Buddhism, mainstream economics, and Buddhist economics by making a parallel model of them. It contrasts neoclassical economics with Buddhist economics, and ensures a firm foundation for Buddhist management approaches.