A Buddhist View of Leadership for Developing Learning in Community Organizations
This study is concerned with the role of leadership in developing learning community organizations in Thailand. While previous studies of leadership have focused on leadership theories influenced by male-dominated North American studies, the present study demonstrates that it is necessary to take the influence of cultural, historical and social structure into account. The aim of the study is to develop a model of leadership constructed through accounts of the leaders and their subordinates. The model of leadership can potentially enable the leaders and their subordinates to have a better understanding of the qualities, structure, boundaries and processes of learning and leadership, which can be useful in testing the application of the model in other settings and contexts. To support the aim, this study uses two main qualitative methods of data collection which are in-depth semi-structured interviews and a focus group. These two methods offer insight and help to explore unexpected phenomena and the complexity of leadership. The results and analysis lead to the conclusion that there are three levels of learning process beginning with the benefits to oneself, the benefits to others and mutual benefits. Also, the stages of leadership involved helping oneself and others. These two stages are not fragmented but are complementary because by helping oneself one helps others, and by helping others, one helps oneself. The study also highlights the influence of Buddhism on the role of leadership in developing learning in community organizations in Thailand.
Keywords: Leadership, Learning, Community Organization, Buddhism
Dr. Suvaroj Kemavuthanon
Lecturer, Business School, University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce