Bhagavad Gita for Minimizing Dark Side of Leadership

  • Shailesh Rastogi Professor, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Nagpur, Symbiosis International (Deemed University), Pune, India
  • Sunaina Kuknor Assistant Professor, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Symbiosis International (Deemed University). Pune, India
  • Satyendra P. Singh Professor, Alliance School of Business, Alliance University, Anekal, Bengaluru, India
Keywords: Leader-Member Exchange, LMX, Leadership, Spirituality, Bhagavad Gita, Leadership Deficit


The Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) leadership theory emphasizes the dynamic relationship between leaders and followers. Further, LMX differentiation proposes that leaders divide their teams into in-groups and out-groups based on the quality of the relationship. In this process, the criteria for selecting in-group members are majorly based on personal preferences rather than objectivity. Further, the in-group members build confidence in the leader to minimize leader insecurity in the workplace. The out-group members bear the brunch of such an understanding between the leader and in-group members. This situation can be referred to as the Dark side of leadership, where followers are given differential treatment. This study takes insights from ancient scriptures of the Bhagavad Gita (BG), where the leader is seen as a trustee, to reduce this differentiation and increase leader security. The paper attempts to explore and extract the concepts from BG and apply them to leadership theory and practice. It is found that the BG provides solutions to reduce leadership deficit (LD) and have a conducive work environment (CWE), and it does not ask for any financial investments. The paper’s findings facilitate business leaders in reducing in-group and out-group categorizing and leader insecurity leading to effective leadership for better business results.