Doctoral candidate Petcharat Lovichakorntikul presenting her paper (co-authored with myself) “Dharma Teaching in a High-Tech Hospital Environment” at the ICGBE International Conference 2013 (Bangkok: February 9th-10th, 2013) earlier today.
As part of a predominantly Buddhist society, Thai people are familiar with the teaching of Buddhist lessons (i.e. Dharma) which are aimed at providing guidelines for living in society and dealing with social relationships, among other goals. In most cases, the experience of receiving Dharma takes place in personal time away from work and the workplace experience was mostly quite removed from the lessons of the monks. However, some organisations have sought to incorporate Dharma teaching into their human resources practices. This is true of certain leading hospitals in central Thailand, where hospital management hopes to inculcate the kind of loving, mindful compassion in its nursing and medical staff that is associated with Buddhist practice. Reports from human resource management suggest that the introduction of such programmes of study and meditation have been well-received and have contributed to the high level of retention of the staff involved. The use of Dharma and related issues is employed in the areas both of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and human resource development, with the former aimed at external stakeholders and the latter mostly at internal stakeholders. This case study examines a leading hospital in Thailand with a view to identifying how the Dharma lessons and related activities have had an impact upon workplace behaviour, productivity and the degree of commitment that workers feel for their work and their employer.
Keywords: Buddha’s Teaching, Dharma, Hospital, Work-life Balance