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Part III Frontiers of the Research in Keiei Jinruigaku

Chapter 9 Management of Secret in Religion and Company

Hiroshi Iwai

Abstract The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibility of utilizing ideas developed in the study of religious organizations for understanding company. Obviously, both religious organizations and companies are socially constructed by human actions. In this sense, these two should be analyzed on the same arena. Therefore, scholars of company may have something to learn from scholars of religion and vice versa. This paper focuses on the management of “secret,” which is a common problem both in religion and company. As a beginning, I examine the characteristics of secrecy as a capital. Next, I discuss the secrecy in religion and company. Then, I propose three strategies to protect their secrets through the comparison between them as follows: involution strategy, hierarchy strategy, and invention strategy. Finally, we can say that carefully balancing the concealment and disclosure of secrets is important for the successful management of religion and company.

9.1 Introduction

The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibility of utilizing ideas developed in the study of religious organizations for understanding company. In general, juxtaposing the word “religion” with “company” conveys an odd image. In fact, relative little scholarship has explored the common ground between religion and company (Demerath et al. 1998). Scholars of religion have ignored the management of company, and scholars of management studies have not paid much attention to religious organizations. There are two factors at play here. First, the word management instantly brings to mind images of “profit making” or “profit seeking.” It is considered an inappropriate expression for religion which is based on the principle of salvation for mankind. Second, the concept of managing a religious organization is inherently different to that of running a business entity. Obviously, however, both religious organizations and companies are socially constructed by human actions. In this sense, these two should be analyzed on the same arena. Therefore, scholars of company may have something to learn from scholars of religion, and vice versa.

This paper focuses on the management of “secret.” It is a common problem both in religion and company. The history of religion proves that secret has played a prominent role in the development of religious thoughts and organizations. On the other hand, for companies, trade secrets have to be protected in order to hold prominent positions in their markets. In this paper, in order to promote the comparative study and interaction between the study of religion and that of company, I will propose the ideas and implications on secret which have been developed in the study of religious organizations.

 
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