MUMBAI: How do you inculcate the culture of altruism in a management course that places profit above all? A research by the Shailesh J Mehta School of Management at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay says the answer lies in the ancient Indian practise of yoga.
While little investigation has gone into how to increase altruistic behaviour, the team of researchers proposed yoga-based practices could do so in three ways — by enhancing subjective vitality (SV), self-transcendence (ST), and psychological capital (PsyCap). “A large number of studies have demonstrated the positive impact of psychological capital on individual attitudes, well-being, job performance, creative performance, team work etc. The next obvious question was through what mechanisms and what kinds of training and development can PsyCap be built and sustained?” said Ashish Pandey, associate professor, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay. The starting point of the research was mental health problems among students at postgraduate level.
Pandey, who conducted the study ‘Yoga as the Positive Psychological Tool that Gets One Better Grades As Well’ along with PhD scholar at SJMSOM, Chirag Dagar, and faculty member at IIMJammu, Ajinkya Navare, found regular practice of asanas, pranayam and dhyan could boost psychological capital within three months. The study spanned two years and involved 450 students. After regular practise, the students reported an increase in subjective vitality or positive energy, ability to relate to others, and had increased connectedness (self-transcendence). It was also found students became more helpful toward each other. They reported improved academic grades too. Students were taught as per Ayush ministry protocol. The findings are published in the Journal of Business Ethics, a leading peer-reviewed journal in the field of management.