Ancient Ethics and Contemporary Systems: The Yamas, the Niyamas and Forms of Organization

  • Andrea Hornett


The ethics of yoga (yamas and niyamas) are ancient ideas, perhaps 5,000 years old, roots of Hindu and Buddhist philosophies, but universal and eternal in sentiment and appeal. This article matches each of these ten ethics with modern management or leadership theory. Then, systems theory is considered, specifically Boulding’s (Boulding 1970) three types of organizing systems (Threat, Exchange, and Integrative) to determine which of the yamas and niyamas might function where. Finally, the yamas and the niyamas are reviewed in the context of types of power and organizing systems. The yamas and the niyamas have a place in contemporary management systems. Therefore, this article contributes to the leadership and management literatures’ considerations of power by examining the ethics of yoga from an organizing systems perspective.


Ethical Leadership Leadership Transformation Organizational Ethic Workplace Spirituality Legitimate Authority 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fox School of BusinessTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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