Reconceptualizing Profit-Orientation in Management: A Karmic View on 'Return on Investment' Calculations

Thomas Köllen

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


From the perspective of the present day, Puritan-inspired capitalism seems to have succeeded globally, including in India. Connected to this, short-term profit-orientation in management seems to constrain the scope of different management approaches in a tight ideological corset. This article discusses the possibility of replacing this Puritan doctrine with the crucial elements of Indian philosophy: Karma and samsara. In doing so, the possibility of revising the guiding principles in capitalist management becomes conceivable, namely the monetary focus of profit-orientation and its short-term orientation. This perspective allows a detachment of the concept of profit from the realm of money, as the seemingly only objectifiable measure of profit. Furthermore it allows a removal of the expectation that every investment has to directly pay off. A karmic view offers management a possible facility for being more caring about the needs and fates of other stakeholders, as profit-orientation would no longer be attached as a factual constraint to merely accumulate money.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7 - 20
JournalPhilosophy of Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502022 Sustainable economics
  • 603119 Social philosophy
  • 504030 Economic sociology
  • 502026 Human resource management
  • 502009 Corporate finance
  • 504025 Sociology of religion
  • 504 not use (legacy)
  • 603118 Philosophy of religion
  • 502048 Business ethics

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