Buddhist monks in China to become top managers - 12 September, 2005

Eighteen Buddhist monks at the Monastery of Nephritic Buddha in Shanghai have started learning an international MBA program in order to become efficient managers.

During a six-month module the monks will acquire knowledge of corporate strategy, and the promotion of philosophical concepts and products for carrying out religious rites.

“By studying this program we want to know how to manage a secular world,” one of the monks was quoted as saying by Interfax citing Xinhua.

Van Fanhua, head of the business school, said that the monks should mingle with the outside world “because they can not live in a vacuum,” as he put it.

“All that they eat, wear and use on a daily basis are the products of the market economy. They need to figure out how to manage human resources,” said Mr. Fanhua.

Two hundred and eighty monks live the monastery founded 100 years ago. Each of the Buddha statues at the gate has names of the persons who donated $1.2 thousand. There are posters hanging on the walls of the monastery. The posters show the pilgrims a number of services available in the monastery e.g. car sanctification, laundry etc.

“It is hard to avoid commercialization though we focus our efforts on running the temples as nonprofit organizations,” Newsru.com quoted Van Fanhua as saying.

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