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Management Fundamentals in Kautilya’s )HJD=ID=IJH= – VI

Management Fundamentals in Kautilya’s )HJD=ID=IJH= – VI

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Published by: E-gurukul on Jan 02, 2010
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Management Fundamentalsin Kautilyas
 )HJD=ID=IJH=
VI
RADHAKRISHNAN PILLAI
 The Running of anOrganisation
Kautilya emphasises that thefoundation of an organisation isits financial strength, itseconomy. No good organisationor country can run effectivelywithout having its economy ingood condition. Kautilya’s
 Arthashastra
makes many refer-ences to the methods of management of an organisation.They can be broadly classifiedinto three:1.What a leader should know2.Handling the employees/people3.Keeping a good accountingsystem.
1.What a Leader/KingShould Know
 Arthashastra
gives primeimportance to the economicaspect of a state. He says thatwealth is the foundation of anation. Bhishma in the
 Maha-bharata
also says that
artha
is thefoundation of this world, andspirituality is the foundation forthat. Even spiritual organi-sations require the support of strong finances to carry theirnoble messages across the globe.A leader should understand thisfirst.
“The objective of any king(leader) or state (organisation) is tocreate, expand, protect and enjoywealth.”
There are various dimensionsto wealth. It is not enough justto create wealth; a leader shouldalso know how to expand andprotect it. A good businessmanis not satisfied with just whathe gets; he has an industriousspirit to expand what he hasgot. He needs to have the driveto produce more wealth.
The author may be contacted by email atradhakrishnan@atmadarshan.com
 
Next, he should know thatthe wealth earned has to beprotected as well. Otherwise itwould be like a vessel whichhas a hole in its base. We maygo on filling the vessel, but dueto the hole, all that is put in itleaks out. The net result is‘zero’.Having protected the wealthhe earned, he should also knowhow to enjoy it. This is true evenat the individual level. Theprime responsibility of the headof a family is to earn bread and butter for his family. Not stop-ping with that, he has toexpand, that is, earn moremoney for a comfortable livingand the higher education of hischildren. He also needs toprotect his hard-earned moneyin good investments. Finally, hehas to know how to enjoy thewealth he has earned by usingit for himself and others. Spend-ing of wealth in the right direc-tions is as important as earningit. Or else we would just becomemisers, without knowing whatto do with the wealth earned.
“Be ever active in the man-agement of the economy, becausethe root of wealth is economic activ-ity; inactivity brings material distress.Without an active policy, both cur-rent prosperity and future gains aredestroyed” (1.19.35,36)
It is important to be activein the management of the eco-nomy. Activity brings wealth.Can you imagine an organisa-tion that is lazy and also rich?Without continuous activity,whatever is earned will be dis-sipated, without leaving muchhope even for future wealth.
2.Handling theEmployees/People
There can neither be a leaderwithout followers, nor a kingwithout subjects. Having earnedenough wealth and knowing thestrategies of how to handle it,he also has to understand howto handle people.A good leader is first a good‘people’ manager. Withoutknowing how to handle people,he cannot run the organisationproperly. Understanding people
 
is to understand their minds.People have different tempera-ments, attitudes and mindsets.How to handle each one is astudy in itself. Among the mostfamous of Kautilya’s theories isthe one known in today’s cor-porate world as the ‘Theory of Motivation’.
 Theory of Motivation
Saama
counselling
Daana
offering gifts
Danda
punishment
Bheda
separationThis theory is used byKautilya in various areas likethe running of a state, making aplan for warfare, passing judg-ments over criminals etc.Let us see an example tounderstand the application of this theory in today’s corporateworld. You may find that oneof your employees is not work-ing properly. The first step thatyou take is to speak to him andtry to understand him. This is
saama
– counselling, the prelimi-nary round of discussion. Mostof the problems in life start dueto lack of communication. Oncewe sit down across the table anddiscuss things straight, manyissues can be resolved.However, some employeesare such that they never listento good advice. Then we needto use the second method -
daana,
the offering of gifts – ‘If you do this I will give you that.’Incentives, promotions, a goodvacation, raise in pay etc. areoffered by various companiestoday to motivate employeestowards better productivity.Well, some employees do notget motivated by external benefits. The leader now has totake corrective action. He has tostart using punishment. Thishas to be implemented tocontinue to retain control. Thepunishment can be severe ormild, depending on thesituation.If punishment does not yieldthe desired result, one has toresort to
bheda
or separation.‘Divide and rule’ is a very prac-tical and effective way of han-dling certain difficult situations.In the Indian context the phrase‘divide and rule’ has gathered avery negative meaning becauseof its association with the policyadopted by the British to subju-gate India. However, the policyof ‘divide and rule’ can be usedcreatively for the welfare of thevery people concerned. For ex-ample, if two students are verynoisy and troublesome together,the school teacher separatesthem and seats them far away

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