Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethical Business Practices was always the core theme of Dr. Sunita Singh Sengupta’s research and training endeavours. The first initiative to bring together scholars, business leaders, government officials and representatives from a wide range of organizations belonging to different parts of world, i.e., USA, Canada, Europe, Africa, Middle East, India, Pakistan etc. took place in 2002 in the form of International Conference on Business Social Partnership: Beyond Philanthropy during December 4-7, 2002 while she was working at Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. The focus of the international conference was the belief that a coherent Corporate Social Responsibility based on integrity, sound values and a long-term approach offers clear business benefits to companies and a positive contribution to the well being of society.
In 2007 Dr. Singh Sengupta took the value based initiatives further in the form of planned series of international conferences on Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership. Her focus is more converged on creating a strength based spirit centric approach towards management. The 1st International Conference on Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership was held during February 7-10, 2007 in Delhi. In 2009 two international events were organized in Pondicherry – International Research Workshop on Spiritual and Ethical Foundations of Organizational Development (during February 5-7, 2009) followed by 2nd International Conference on Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership (during February 9-12, 2009). The enthusiastic response of the delegates and the productive outcome from the deliberations encouraged her to go ahead creating a fully fledged Foundation on Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership.
The experiences of 25 years of my professional life as a researcher, teacher, trainer and consultant suggested that organizations are not able to involve the whole individual to achieve its potential to the fullest and the transactional leadership style is not effective enough to engage the individual’s mind at work. In the absence of purpose driven powerful and principled managerial practice and organizational strategy we find increasing number of cases related to workplace violence and exploitation.
The strategies we employ have not given us the desired results.The relentless pursuit of egoistic gratification has led to the current situation of corporate greed and lack of trust amongst people. The clarion call is to create a morally healthy sustainable environment for social, economical and individual growth. Sustainable development requires strategies that advance the system by which we live on the planet and hence there is a need to incorporate the holistic development of person and society.
Organizations need to develop strength based practices and therefore it should promote leadership that nurtures the spirit of each stakeholder in order to create harmony at workplace and society. The need of the hour is to promote compassion, love and truth at workplace so that non-violent, non-exploitative and sustainable organizations are created.
Modern strategic doctrine mostly fails to include, the person and his aspirations and aims, in the strategic framework. People (employee and investors) are the strength of the organizations and the leader who integrates this understanding creates an environment where people can use their full potential, feel appreciated and grow in the process.
We need to create enabling environment to develop winning minds. There is a need to develop a rhythm between thought, feelings and actions – at individual and organizational level – for prosperity and harmony at workplace and society.
I started a journey to explore the new paths of development of self, organization and society by going back to the various sources of wisdom coming from different faith traditions. The powerful strategy will come from powerful minds. We need to protect the minds from being corrupted so that positive energy is released to realise sarva bhuta hiteh ratah – welfare and good of all human beings.
Hopes of today are the realizations of tomorrow.
Let us join hands!
Sunita Singh Sengupta, Ph.D.