Sri Sathya Sai expounds on A Manager's Responsibility

There is a very thin dividing line between responsibilities and rights. Where are the rights? Everyone should know this clearly. If enquired properly, no one has rights. Not aware of this, you may assert for rights. You get rights only when you are prepared to shoulder responsibilities. Responsibility is like the raw fruit and right accrued thereof is like the ripe fruit. Similarly, rights and responsibilities should go hand in hand and not to the exclusion of the other.

What purpose do these industries and products serve? In industries, there is unrest and frustration. Due to centralised control, industries have declined. Even in Russia and China, industries have experienced bottlenecks due to absence of decentralisation. In India, when people apply for a bank loan, there would be some time gap before one gets it in hand. There would be so many hurdles/challenges that people have to go through before they actually receive the loan amount. Due to these unfavourable conditions, the growth of industries has received a jolt. But at the same time, some industries have grown so big that they are able to control the government. Governments are able to dictate terms only to small industries, while the big ones are allowed to go their own way. Owing to the under-performance of industries, people had to face employment problems, which is why there is unrest among educated youth in the country today. How can the economy grow when industries register poor performance? The industrial situation, even now, is very gloomy, though it is not revealed. The root cause for this sad state of affairs is the absence of spiritual values.

Moral Principles

If businessmen are aware of moral principles and ethics, and follow them scrupulously in their day to day business transactions and practices, there will be no scope for unethical practices in business. Though normally it is thought that business cannot be carried out devoid of cheating or exploitation, yet one should be able to carry out business without these two. There should be no cheating and exploitation. This is the first principle. When you eat in excess, you will not be able to digest it and it could be painful. When you eat less, you feel hungry. So, you should eat moderately. Likewise, in business, if cheating and exploitation are not there, you will be relieved of unnecessary complications. Today, for the sake of money, people resort to shortcuts such as cheating and exploitation. Such money does not confer happiness and comfort on account of absence of balance. If a person loses his individuality, he cannot show his face outside. So, individuality is one that commands respect. Respect cannot be purchased by money. We should earn respect by virtue of work. Some rich people assume that they can pay money and purchase respect like any other commodity. Many workers are paid high salaries and therefore, they respectfully address them as, “Sir, sir, sir”. That is not genuine respect. It is overt/explicit respect symbolically exhibited owing to an understandable obligation. However, we should get respect from the source and not by force (official obligation). Respect that comes from the source is that which people show to others by volition, for it springs sincerely. What is the source? It is the one that exists inside and not outside. That is truth, which is also known as Conscience.

Source: Social Culture and Management: National and International Perspectives, Chapter 18, Man Management: A Values-Based Management Perspective – Based on the Discourses of Sri Sathya Sai Baba


  1. Very informative. Can you please post more of Swami's discourses on business by ethics



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