How to Account for Happiness

How to Account for Happiness

For more than six decades, the mountainous South Asian nation of Bhutan has followed a development policy inspired by the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH).

Now, prime minister Tshering Tobgay wants to see whether fostering and measuring a higher level of happiness can help business as well.
As he wrote in the special report, The World in 2018:
     "The idea is to make businesses simultaneously accountable to their shareholders, customers, 
     employees, the community and the environment."


While these goals are lofty, and laudable, the question for accountants is one of measurement. How to hold Bhutanese businesses, as the prime minister suggests, accountable?

The government has created a certification process which will collect data on "nine domains of Gross National Happiness," including employee well-being, community vitality and ecological diversity.

They have their work cut out for them. Hopefully the results will show an ever-increasing level of happiness, and perhaps even create a model for businesses worldwide to follow.

Peter
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