This paper was presented at
Psychology: The Indian Contribution
National Conference on
Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness
organised by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research
at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education
Pondicherry, India, 10-13 December 2004

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Discovering the human side of enterprise by reorganizing Indian organizations

Anand Prakash — University of Delhi, Delhi.

Organizations in the contemporary life of India are basically western human structures in their origin, make, and functioning. They carry within their fold the fundamental assumptions about goals, objectives, human resources, processes, and approaches involved in their workings. These are essentially incompatible with the cultural underpinnings of the context in which they are located, which make these supposedly open systems unnatural and artificially imposed structures. The present paper examines how organizations in their present forms have created an unwitting mismatch between the core of human existence on the one hand, and organizational requirements of a particular kind that are intrinsically entertained by the organization as conceived or stipulated in the western paradigm. Researchers have demonstrated that Indians are predominantly spiritual, religious, hierarchical, context dependent, status conscious, have preference for personalized interdependent relationship in their social dealings, and have difficulty in accepting contractual relations. These defining features of Indian people and the organizational processes do not appear to be natural extensions of life. They, therefore, tend to create many non-negotiable discontinuities and dissociations in the life of individuals thereby raising issues about motivation, cultural fit, and a host of other psychological disparities. Empirical findings from three studies are presented to formulate the necessary backdrop for the aforesaid stipulation. These studies were conducted in the tradition of qualitative inquiry by taking up detailed interviews to map the psychological world of the people participating in organizations as employees. Finally, the potential of integral psychology as a promising approach to create negotiating bridges between existing design of organizations and desirable design has been discussed.

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