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|A study on the implementation of the innovative concept of gross national happiness in a business context within the Kingdom of Bhutan
|Gross National Happiness
Happiness Index Bhutan
GNH of Business
Corporate Social Responsibility
Triple Bottom Line
|The idea of cultural and environmental preservation is perhaps best exemplified in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, where the universal happiness of its citizens is considered of paramount importance, and sustainable socio-economic growth is embraced both in its domestic and foreign policies. While the tiny kingdom may not be usually be associated with innovation, its unconventional development strategy through a human-centered and spiritual approach provides an innovative concept to measuring socio-economic progress. This unique developmental philosophy termed ‘Gross National Happiness’ distinctly focuses on the collective wellbeing of the Bhutanese people, subsequently demoting the significance of Gross Domestic Product. In simple terms, the philosophy of GNH acknowledges that although economic and material progresses are undeniably pivotal towards the overall progressiveness of a nation, it rejects the notion that this is the only path towards achieving national development. Gross National Happiness presents a radical and innovative paradigm shift in development economics and social theory, which can be regarded as the Buddhist equivalent to the more conventional approach to development known as Gross National Product (Tideman, 2011).
This relatively new concept provides an interesting and intriguing opportunity to analyses the unique situation of a country prioritizing the wellbeing of its people over materialistic-based wealth and progress.
Following the abdication of the throne by the 4th King and the establishment of an elected constitutional democratic government in 2008, the Kingdom of Bhutan has only recently opened its borders to international trade and foreign investment. As a result, the industrial sector and economy of the country have witnessed steady economic progress in the following years. It is rather interesting to analyses exactly how the holistic philosophy of Gross National Happiness is adopted within businesses in Bhutan, particularly as the country begins to reel in the impact of globalization and ensues towards the process of economic growth.
This research study aims to analyses how the concept of Gross National happiness is applied and executed within local Bhutanese-based businesses, and to what extent the philosophy has an impact on the owners and how they run their respective businesses. It attempts to understand the potential changes that the principles of the philosophy will have to adopt in order to adapt to the changing economic landscape of Bhutan and seeks to understand if and how the concept is deemed to have a positive impact on the profitability of a business, and on employee satisfaction.
An explorative research method was used for this study by following an inductive approach to look into a topic that is in its preliminary stage of maturity. Subsequently, as this research paper is qualitative in its nature, it is frequently descriptive in its attempt to address the research topic and questions.
Ultimately, the results of the study found that the concept of GNH is yet to be fully incorporated into the day-to-day running of a business organization in Bhutan. While the ethos of the philosophy is engrained in the people through Bhutanese culture, there is no direct GNH enforcing or measuring department currently in existence.
The study is divided into five chapters:
Chapter 1 provides an introduction into the research background, along with the research objectives, the research questions, scope of the study, and its limitations. Chapter 1 also provides a diagram describing the structure of the study.
Chapter 2 gives an overview of the pertinent academic discussion of the relevant concepts in the form of a concise literature review. A research framework is also provided at the end of this chapter.
Chapter 3 outlines the research methodology that the author used for this study, along with the research design, a methodology structure and the data collection process.
Chapter 4 details out the empirical findings and results of the interviews that were based on an interview guideline derived from the literature review.
Chapter 5 concludes the research through a discussion on the findings, and provides recommendations based on these findings.
|Independent Study (M.M.)--Business Innovation, Graduate School, Bangkok University, 2021
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|Independent Studies - Master
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