Quality management is key to organizational success, and as certain management style shows its effectiveness, more people tend to explore and learn about it. For example, great interest exists among managers from around the world to learn about Japanese management because of the great success of the Japanese companies.
Throughout history, various schools of management have succeeded one after another in attracting the attention of the world’s management readers.
In this column, we will try to shed some light on a relatively obscure management school that far outperformed, more than its contemporaries, and left indelible marks on the minds of innumerable researchers, leaders and managers that followed.
The success of the early Muslims was achieved so rapidly, yet many of its legacy are lasting until today. This historically unique success induced many western scholars to acknowledge Prophet Muhammad as the most influential man in history.
Islaam is a universal religion for all mankind. It is, therefore, not restricted to any nation, race, or gender. Moreover, human beings are social by nature. They need to cooperate with one another in order to be able to survive. Islam stresses cooperation and the sense of collectiveness.
As a matter of fact, Islaam cannot be practiced by any individual in isolation. Islaam is indeed a collective religion. The Qur'an either addresses the Muslims as a group or addresses all mankind. Reading the Qur'an, we find a multitude of expressions like 'O you who believe.... or O Mankind! ….
Islaam requires Muslims to be united together and warns against division: "And hold fast, all together to the rope of Allaah, and be not divided among yourselves…” (Q3[Aal-Imraan]:I03)
Muslims have to work in organized groups for the collective effort of a group of people is always better and more effective than the arithmetic sum of their individuals. "The hand of Allaah is with the group." (Tirmidhi) This hadeeth further lends support to the importance of achieving a certain goal, otherwise it loses its raison de 'etre.
When A1laah orderd Muslims to form a group 'or an organization from among them. He specifies the purpose of the organization, which was calling for good enjoining right and forbidding evil, Allaah says: "let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is evil.... "(Q3[Aal-lmraa]: 104)
Stoner and Freeman defined an organization as two or more individuals that work together in a structured way to achieve a specific goal or set of goals. In the 15th century CE, Al-Qurtubi stated in his explanation of the Quran that the ummah or community is a group of people with a mission and he suggested that a nation without a mission couldn't call itself an ummah.
Daft defined an organisation as a group of people working together to achieve common goals. Stressing the importance goals, Morehead and Griffin stated: "The definition of purpose gives the organization reasons to exist. In effect it answers the question "what business are you in."
With this understanding of the importance of the purpose, we can conclude that collective work, or organized work, is a means of the purpose and that it is not an end in itself. An organization pools together resources and skills that would otherwise be incapable of producing the desired results.
Gibson, lvancevich and Donnelly stated: "Organsation exist for one reason: they can accomplish things that we cannot accomplish individually. Thus, it matters little whether the goal is to make a profit, provide an education, foster religion, improve health care, put a man on the moon, the organisation should get the job done.
Organisations are characterized by their goal or a set of goals and while they are made of a group of people and their future goals. This is because organizations create a setting in which we spend most of our lives. Organisations have provided great services to humanity. Most of the services and product that are available to us are outcomes of organizations.
Education, transportation, food, clothing, appliances, housing, and entertainment are all outcomes of organsations. Without organsations, humanity would not be able to afford the comforts that it is enjoying now.
Generally, the more people get organized, the more productive a country becomes. Nevertheless there are many organizations that have caused a lot of harm to humanity, such organizations include fascist and racist organizations, drug traffickers and other criminal organizations.
Islaam forbids individual or collective cooperation for a wrong goal. Islaam commands us to cooperate together only on beneficial endeaveours. Allaah said: ".Help one another unto righteousness and pious duty. Help not one another unto sin and transgression, but keep your duty to Allah is severe in punishment…. " (Q5[Maidah]:2)
Organisations should have plans or specific courses of actions to achieve their objectives and goals. Further, pursuing plans require the organizations to have certain internal processes and certain authority relationships. The pillars of any collective effort are authority, responsibility and accountability. However, the real foundation of any organisation is its culture.
Frorn Islaam & Management
by Naceur Jabnoun
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited