Episode 6: Sumantra Ghoshal
A street typist in Calcutta, India
We regret that Sumantra Ghoshal has died - however, his books and theories are still highly influential, and for that reason this webpage and the radio programme about him have been left in their original format.
For his popularity and influence among the leaders of business,
The Economist magazine recently named Ghoshal as one of the Eurogurus.
Ghoshal believes that big corporations have emerged as perhaps
the most important social and economic institutions in our modern
society. They are much more than money-making machines. They are
what holds society together and provide it with the means of progress.
The problem is that their managers don't always understand this
bigger role and, if they do, they don't always like all that it
Ghoshal thinks it is crucial for our societies that the managers
wake up to their new role and, more than that, that these
giant organizations learn how to re-invent themselves so that they
can go on producing wealth and driving progress for us all.
Ghoshal sees the new philosophy of management being focused
not on the management of financial capital but on human capital.
Human capital is not just the knowledge and skills that individuals
bring with them, it also means what he calls 'social capital' the
relationships in the organization, and the 'emotional capital',
the motivations and emotions that govern so much of what
It's not enough to think of employees as assets. Perhaps
we should think of them as volunteer investors, choosing to invest
their talents in the organizations they have joined.
Of all our gurus he is perhaps the most international, the one best
equipped to carry ideas across borders. Let's hope he does,
because there may well be as many insights to be found in
his native land of India as in the countries of the West.
Our next guru is also international, although Japanese by birth.
He is Kenichi Ohmae.
Read Sumantra Ghoshal's