Raghuram Rajan has observed that contemporary practices evolve rapidly, undergoing constant evaluation and transformation. Even though the best practices may be optimal for a limited period, this dynamism remains characteristic of our times. While in the past, practices took centuries to change, today’s society witnesses shifts within years. Humanity’s insatiable nature drives continuous improvements in methods and practices to achieve goals.

The historical effectiveness of practices, such as the division of labor, has waned in the post-modern era. Current best practices in business involve engaging efficient workers who may currently feel alienated. Although challenging, effective management plays a crucial role, especially during testing times. Recognizing and rewarding talented individuals, fostering vulnerability in leadership, and prioritizing direct relations with workers are emerging as valuable but not universally accepted practices.

Examining historical instances, the USA experienced a decline in production after World War I, prompting a reevaluation of Frederick Taylor’s scientific management theory. Elton Mayo’s Hawthorne study revealed the importance of direct relations between management and employees, leading to the development of the human relations theory as an improvement over scientific management.

In the realm of governance, the World Bank and UNDP outlined essential elements for efficient administration and welfare delivery in developing countries. Legal sanctions, accountability, transparency, and information and communication form a blueprint for governance. Regular monitoring and evaluation are key to achieving and maintaining best practices.

Raghuram Rajan, in his book ‘The Third Pillar,’ emphasizes a balance among the state, market, and community for societal well-being. Neglecting community relations has led to disruptions in social life and frequent social movements. Balancing power and respect among communities can help regulate market excesses, fostering harmony among the three pillars.

Bhanu Pratap Mehta advocates for democratic political systems and capitalist economic structures to ensure balanced social relations. Democracy and capitalism, intertwined with free expression of views, contribute to a healthy social life, preventing imbalances.

In the modern age, rationality, guided by rules, defines societal structures. Max Weber’s theory of bureaucracy as an effective rational organization underscores the importance of rules. While rules must be followed for good results, flexibility is necessary in emergencies to address human needs, as seen in hospitals.

Critics argue that modern society, shaped by capitalism, can be inhumane. However, the quest for better practices, rather than the best, offers possibilities for addressing societal issues. Human beings perpetually seek improvement, and the rapid pace of change in the 21st century has spurred endeavors to identify better practices across various domains.

Despite potential threats, the overarching goal should be human happiness and the fulfillment of human creativities. As Bertrand Russell suggests, while modern society is commendable, investing more in humanity and humanism remains essential for a truly positive and sustainable future.

Anonymous Changed status to publish March 11, 2024