INTERVIEW WITH LOCAL BUSINESS MANAGER 8
Interviewwith Local business Manager
Interviewwith Local business Manager
Overthe years, religion has played a major role on how people conducttheir business globally. This has drawn attention of many scholarstrying to understand variables and the interdependence of thephenomenon and how religion manifests itself in organization andamong various managers (Schopen,2004).By understanding the various religions, managers will be able tomeasure and adjust to spiritual climate in their organizations aswell as respond constructively to phenomenon of religious valuesglobally. A research done in China in 2005 indicated that people havedifferent religious beliefs including Christianity, Muslim, Taoismand Buddhism with Buddhism being the most dominant. The Chineseculture is therefore deeply rooted into Buddhism beliefs to an extentthat Buddhism is more of a philosophy than religion. This paperfocuses on an interview which was done recently with Doctor QianJianping of Hong Kong, China. Dr. Qian has believed in Buddha formany years and he is a strict follower of Buddha’s teachings. Heprays to Buddha for health, security and fortune and attributes thesuccess of his business to his beliefs.
Q1:What is the unethical behavior in this industry?
Ethicsare important in the society at large and their role in health caresector cannot be underestimated. Ethical behavior in health caresector has been demonstrated to be of benefit to both the patient andthe health care personnel. Unethical behavior comprise of actionsthat interfere with the process of identifying, analyzing andresolving problems of the patients such as leaking healthinformation, lack of informed consent and provision of medicalservices for reasons other than the patients need. Any actioncontrary to the recommended standards is considered to be unethical.However, according to Dr. Qian, unethical behavior is any action thatdisobeys his faith. He would not do anything that will not bepleasant to the Buddha.
Q2:In these recent years, have you experienced or witnessed theseunethical behaviors?
Unethicalbehaviors have very diverse implications in medical field and shouldtherefore be prevented at all cost. There are many situations thatleads in to a state of ethical dilemma or where the only solutionavailable will not be fair to one party. Dr Qian remembers onesituation where his friend was involved. They have been colleaguesfor a long time creating a strong friendship bond. Dr Qian and hisfriend were working in a major hospital where his friend was known tobe diligent in his work. He was a very reliable doctor who you couldhave referred patients for consultation anytime. But he changeddrastically after undergoing a divorce with his wife. The divorcereally affected him. He started drinking heavily and did not reportto work frequently. His drinking really affected his performance ashe would even put wrong entries in the patients’ files which wouldtake time before it was noted. The fact that he had children who wererelying on him made it very difficult to report him as it would haveresulted to immediate sacking and the children would have sufferedmajor consequences. On the other hand, keeping him in the hospitalwas dangerous since for the last one month, his performance haddeteriorated.
Q3:Ifyou were the person involved , how would you handle it?
Suchscenarios are very sensitive and advocating for one-sided solutionwould mean creating more problems. Dr. Qian decided to meet hisfriend in a different environment outside work place and sought toknow what the main issue was. That is when he realized that hisfriend had undergone a divorce. After understanding the issue, heasked his friend what he was planning to do about his situation asremaining in the same situation would negatively affect his careerand consequently his dependents’ life. He made him own the processand come up with solution himself laying down a step by step approachtowards his behavior change and measures to help him cope with thesituation. Dr. Qian was willing to take him through the solutionincluding sending him reminders to execute what he promised to do. Healso informed him that in the meantime he will be supervising hiswork and scrutinizing him closely to ensure that all his assignedtasks were carried on efficiently. Over time Dr. Qian’s friend wasback to his feet.
Q4:Do you think religion can influence your business value? How does itinfluence?
Religioninfluences the way Chinese carries out their businesses. The Buddhismphilosophies to be specific are integrated in their day to day lifewhether in Hong Kong or abroad (Alon,2003).This is more visible due to presence of Buddha statue in the doorsespecially front doors and scroll paintings and calligraphy on thewalls of the hospital buildings, restaurants and Chinese shops. Dr.Qian interprets placing of the statue as a sign of protection wherebythe Buddhists feel more secure and more protected if the statue isplaced on the doors. In his clinic, he has also placed the statue onthe front door. Secondly, the Chinese live in close knit families.This is in accordance to the philosophy in Buddhism that the familiesshould maintain good relationships with one another and with localpeople. To build good relationships, Chinese employers invite theiremployees to enjoy meals with them. They are willing to help eachother with money or other services since they believe that when oneis away from home, he can only rely on friends.
Theimpact of Buddhism philosophies is also eminent in the way Chineseentrepreneurs conduct their businesses. They maintain positiveattitude towards everyone including their customers. They are kind,patient and quiet. Dr. Qian explained silence in Chinese means beingpeaceful and not acting on impulse. Buddhism requires perseveranceand patience which should be practiced among themselves and towardsothers (Schopen,2004).The Chinese people are not supposed to quarrel publicly as this wouldmean losing mutual face and harmony. In addition, the Buddhismphilosophy promotes a saving culture and hard work. Every Chinese isencouraged to work hard and save more (Schopen,2004).They have their businesses open all hours of the day including lunchtime. They do not spend much due to their saving culture andtherefore, send most of their money to their countries to build theirhouses at home
Buddhismpreaches filial piety. This is an important virtue that emphasizesrespect towards the elders and the ancestors. It is a common practicefor younger generations in Chinese families to respect the elders whoare key decision makers. They are also taught to respect the aged/elderly and help the less fortunate in the society. According to Dr.Qian, if a Chinese catches a thief shop lifting or stealing fromthem, they just let them go. Some may opt to tell the thieves toreturn the stolen goods or let them go with them as the Buddha willprovide the owners with more. He emphasizes that same scenariohappens severally in his clinics but he has advised all his employeesthat they should let the petty thieves go with whatever they weretrying to steal instead of quarreling with them. This is in line withthe virtue of silence in Chinese culture. On asking why they do notinform the police, he said that that would ruin the relationshipbetween them and the local people including the thieves.
TheChinese believe that more wealth is created in the societies thatmaintain social harmony. They therefore adore a culture dictated byattributes such as charity towards the less fortunate, compassion forothers, self-control and restrain from violence in order to maintainharmony among themselves. They also allow bargaining in theirbusinesses so as not to embarrass their customers. Dr. Qian insiststhat when he realizes that a customer doesn’t have enough money, hequickly drops the price of his services to a range that the customercan afford in order to maintain a harmonious relationship with thecustomer.
However,Chinese merchants only trust their fellow companions and familymembers. It is very rare for a Chinese to leave his business underthe supervision of someone outside their family ties. Dr. Qianinformed us that whenever he has to leave his clinic, he has to leavesomeone from his family being in charge of his clinic operations.Their culture allows them to trust insiders but not outsiders. Thisis more so because they can only communicate freely with their fellowChinese merchants. They have low educational background and arechallenged by language barriers limiting their ability to communicateand integrate fully with their surrounding communities (Benjamin&Curtis, 2010).The philosophy of silence/ quietness to preserve harmony has alsonegatively affected the Chinese communication ability therebyexposing Chinese businesses to stiff competition. In order, toimprove their businesses, the Chinese people should work on theircommunication skills breaking the traditional rule of silence andinteract with people across the board not only to the local people.They should also encourage feedback from their customers andcolleagues both insiders and outsiders. They should indulge into moremeaningful intercultural dialogue which may even promote sales oftheir visible symbols. By doing so, they will not only boost theirbusinesses locally but also internationally.
Inconclusion, the role played by religion in influencing businessvalues cannot be underestimated as far as the success of any businessentity is concerned. Religion divides people into denominations ofsmall groups characterized by shared trust and commitment. Thisgroups acts as viable grounds for economic development. Studies showthat in the Middle Ages, estates run by the monks performed betterthan estates run by the serfs. This was the case because religioninspired cooperation and frugality leading to a thriving business.Max weber also in his research about ‘The protestant ethic and thespirit of capitalism’ identified Protestantism as providing healthygrounds for entrepreneurship and economic development (Benjamin&Curtis, 2010).In addition, understanding religion and its manifestation indifferent individuals including clients, employees and colleagueswill lead to its integration into work ethics. This integration willbring potential benefits to the business such as inclusion, respectfor the varied religious beliefs and traditions among employees, morefavorable ethics programs in employee engagement, recruitment andretention and avoidance of discrimination and religious harassment.These benefits will improve the business environment making ithabitable for everyone irrespective of their religious believes.
Alon,I. (2003). Chineseculture, organizational behavior, and international businessmanagement.Westport, CT: Quorum Books.
Benjamin,M., & Curtis, J. (2010). Ethicsin nursing: Cases, principles, and reasoning.Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Schopen,G. (2004). Buddhistmonks and business matters: Still more papers on monastic Buddhism inIndia.Honolulu, Hawaii: Univ. of Hawai`i Press.