This site is dedicated to developing Bahá'í Inspired Organizational/Team Designs through in-depth
research and collaboration. The design of the organization becomes
critical as it defines the decision-making processes, the roles, rights and
responsibilities of authority positions, and ultimately the nature of the human
relationships at the moments of highest stress. During those critical moments
effective decisions must be made - the core business "fission reactor" must not
In 1947 a believer wrote to the Guardian about how to reorganize their business "along Bahá'í lines. Shoghi Effendi offered these comments about creating a Bahá'í inspired business…
"With regard to your wish for reorganizing your business along Bahá'í lines, Shoghi Effendi deeply appreciates the spirit that has permitted you to make such a suggestion. But he feels nevertheless that the time has not yet come for any believer to bring about such a fundamental change in the economic structure of our society, however restricted may be the field for such an experiment. The economic teachings of the Cause, though well known in their main (1) OUTLINE, have not as yet been sufficiently (2) ELABORATED and (3) SYSTEMATIZED to allow anyone to make an exact and thorough (4) APPLICATION of them even on a restricted scale." (Emphasis added)
- Shoghi Effendi, Directives of the Guardian, pp. 18-20
It is the purpose of the www.NewEra-orgdesign.org website to begin taking the first steps - to engage in the process of "elaborating" and "systematizing" the Bahá'í Teachings on economics and business. Elaboration at this site consists of the ability to submit papers of 1,000+ words on the many topics listed. Papers will be reviewed by the site administrators with the hope that the least amount of editing will be undertaken.
It is anticipated that this project will be a work in progress for some time, building towards offering a range of possible developmental areas, including:
The Bahá'í Revelation offers a unique expansive ocean of new knowledge to draw from. For the first time in human history the Divine Messenger is providing comprehensive guidance regarding the value of work, the development of commerce, the qualities of rulers/leaders/managers, all within a collaborative administrative framework that has been laboriously perfected for over 140 years. The droplets from this ocean below reflect the nature of the material under development at this site. A site overview also follows.
Sacred Value of Work: These three quotes epitomize this exalted theme and form cornerstones for deveolopment:
"O people of Bahá! It is incumbent upon each one of you to engage in some occupation - such as a craft, a trade or the like. We have exalted your engagement in such work to the rank of worship of the one true God. Reflect, O people, on the grace and blessings of your Lord, and yield Him thanks at eventide and dawn. Waste not your hours in idleness and sloth, but occupy yourselves with what will profit you and others."
(Bahá'u'lláh: The Kitab-i-Aqdas, Page: 30)
"Commerce is as a heaven, whose sun is trustworthiness and whose moon is truthfulness."
(Bahá'u'lláh: Trustworthiness, Page: 335)
"Work done in the spirit of service is the highest form of worship...."
(`Abdu'l-Bahá: Education, Page: 313)
Oneness/Unity of Humankind: All members of an organization are:
- Created "Noble"
Therefore, work is a special matrix in which to develop these creative capacities. All members can make valuable contributions in serving the customer or client.
- Created to "know and love God"
- Created to "carry forward and ever advancing civilization"
- Created to expand their knowing and serving capacities
Guidance for Kings and Rulers - Owners and Managers: Exhortations for perfecting ones inner qualities as the foundation for success are extensive. The Sura of Mulk written to the Kings and Rulers is most notable, one quote from which is:
"Shouldst thou cause rivers of justice to spread their waters amongst thy subjects, God would surely aid thee with the hosts of the unseen and of the seen, and would strengthen thee in thine affairs. No God is there but Him. All creation and its empire are His. Unto Him return the works of the faithful."
(Bahá'u'lláh: Gleanings, Page: 234)
Implementing Justice in Organizations: The power of Justice and Wisdom are stated throughout the Bahá'í Writings, elements of justice are defined, but most uniquely, the instruments of justice are delineated vis-a-vie the Bahá'í Administrartive Model, particularly the Local Spiritual Assembly (LSA) that manages affairs at the local level.
Collaborative Organizational Design: The importance of tapping the collective wisdom of the organization through various techniques - Worker Involvement, Quality Circles, Self Directed Work Teams - has greatly advanced in the last 50 years. The Bahá'í Administrative Model addresses new horizions of guiding and disciplining institutions at the "Front-Lines of Operations", as well assisting in role definitions between Owners/Managers and "Collaborative Worker Elements".
Explanation of Menu System
Bahá'í Business/Commerce Texts:
This section is a wide ranging compilation of quotes that begins with specific references to the importance of business activities in the development of civilization, but expands out into how the many elements of the Bahá'í Administrative Order can be applied to organizational design. Thus Implementing Justice and Role of the Covenant become very important. Under Role Definitions the defining relationships between the Guardian, Hands of the Cause of God and Counselors, the Universal House of Justice, NSAs, Auxiliary Boards, Regional Councils, Clusters, LSAs, Individuals and Feasts are listed. The Constitution/By-Laws of the House of Justice, NSAs and LSAs are presented. The relationship between Kings, Parliaments and the Tribunals. Etc., etc. It is anticipated that these will be helpful in guiding thinking on the relationships between owners, managers and front-line employees.(Other selections from the Writings can also be added.)
Building upon the Guardian's remarks, this section begins to mirror the Bahá'í Business/Commerce Text entries with commentary on the topics covered.
Here the Principles delineated in the Bahá'í Text and the elaborative thinking can be distilled to form precise/well documented distinct "Lines of Action".
Application - Bahá'í Business Examples:
Over time links to articles case studying specific Bahá'í related business examples will be developed.
Bahá'í On Web:
Bahá'í based Web resources.
Other Organizational/Work Team Development resources.
Graphic representations of a range of organizational models.
For general questions about the site, or to comment on the site's development, please e-mail to: Questions and Comments