The Buddhist Perspective of International Labour Management: A Case Study of Laotian, Myanmar and Cambodian Labour in the Service Industry in Thailand


Putthithanasombat, Phramaha Min and John Walsh, “The Buddhist Perspective of International Labour Management: A Case Study of Laotian, Myanmar and Cambodian Labour in the Service Industry in Thailand,” paper presented at the SIU International Conference (January 30-31st, 2013).


It is important to note that managing an international workforce requires teamwork, especially when there are multiple ethnicities, nationalities and representatives of different cultures working together on the same project. Not only is it necessary to consider the principles of general management in this respect but also international labour analysis and good governance policy will be required in order to implement management systems properly Moreover, abiding by the laws and regulations in a particular country in a transparent manner, following the principles of morality and ethical practices and providing the international workers with a chance of participating in decision-making and taking responsibility for the organization are also vital factors in international labour management. In one particular organization in Thailand, international workers from Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia are Buddhists. Data from focus groups, interviews and direct observation indicated that the ability and willingness of the business owners to provide an appropriate level of remuneration, full service room and board and other necessary facilities including supportive efforts from entrepreneurs will all have an impact on the performance of employees. Getting these issues right is likely to lead to the inspiration of loyalty and commitment from employees which will increase their competencies and their performance at work as a whole. This paper reports on research conducted into the international labour management system evident in a service industry organization in Thailand according to the Buddhist perspectives basing on Sanghavutthudhamma 4 and Disa 6, which are foundational principles of basic Buddhism in living and working together. The findings from this study will be drawn upon and recommendations made as a result for good governance in human resource management.

Keywords: Buddhist perspective, labour management, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia


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