New Research

New doctorate from the Auckland University of Technology: “Ethical Decision-making in Organisations in Sri Lanka: A Buddhist Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis,” by Thushini S. Jayawardena. You can read the abstract and download it here.

How do Buddhist managers participate in ethical decision-making in the organisations where they work? Dr Jayawardena conducted twenty interviews with managers who practice Buddhist meditation in Sri Lanka for her doctoral research, based at the Auckland University of Technology. You can read more about it on here or read her abstract and full doctoral thesis here.

This PhD thesis contributes to scholarship on ethical decision-making (EDM) in organisations by defining what ethical means, through the divine states of Buddhism. The divine states are loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. Sri Lanka was chosen for this research because 70.2% of its population identify as Buddhist. However, it also has a high rate of corruption. Therefore, the aim of this thesis was to explore and understand how Buddhism influences EDM. Twenty interviews were conducted in Sri Lanka with managers who practise Buddhist meditation, regardless of their religion or non-religion.

The findings suggest individuals’ confidence in Buddhism, achieved through the practise of meditation, may influence their desire to cultivate the divine states and thereby their EDM. Secondly, the findings indicate that whether a decision is ethical or not may depend on an individual’s level of awareness, wisdom and insight. Consequently, this thesis suggests that EDM is a holistic approach that combines heart (emotions), mind (cognition) and spirituality (confidence in Buddhism). Furthermore, a new methodology called Buddhist interpretative phenomenological analysis (BIPA) was developed, which is a method of interpreting texts from a Buddhist theoretical perspective.