Kautilya’s Arthashastra and Perspectives on Organizational Management

  •  Balakrishnan Muniapan    


This paper explores the Arthashastra of Kaultilya, an ancient Indian literature (4th Century B.C.); and it’s perspectives on organizational management today. Chinmayananda (2003) asserted that from time to time there is a need to look and re-look at the ancient literatures and provide intelligent interpretation and re-interpretation to apply effectively in the context of modern management. The methodology used for this purpose is called hermeneutics; which is a study, understanding and interpretation of ancient text. It is one of the qualitative research methodology used in social science. The foundations of management in organization are revealed from the Arthashastra, which can provide guidance to present managers and leaders of organizations. In his Arthashastra, Kautilya takes an inside-out approach to management, which is self management first before management of every other thing. He advised the future organizational managers and leaders to firstly conquer the enemies within such as desires, anger, greed, arrogance, infatuation, envy, pride or ego and foolhardiness, as it is often said that one who conquers the self, conquers all. The prospects of analysis of Kautilya’s Arthashastra in other areas of organizational management such as strategic management, human resource management and financial management can be considered for future research.

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