Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid
Culture is specific to a set of people and unlike technology, which can be modeled or copied from outside sources; culture is inherited to a great extent. It has to be understood and internalised from a historic perspective based on tradition and values. Management and organisational culture is usually presented as a product of Western world, developed over past few centuries. A careful study of Indian Heritage texts, especially in Sanskrit and Tamil, reveals the fact that management and governance have been in vogue in India for the past 5000 years. A distinct culture evolved in Indian ethos during this long period. Human nature which is the substratum for management activities has been meticulously analysed in these works, upon which a cultural edifice has been built. Unfortunately, information in these texts has not been indexed under specific management heads, since management was not recognised as a specific discipline in those days. Though there is no structured theory of management in a single text, the basic ideas of management and governance are strewn about in this vast literature. Most of these texts have been passed through an oral tradition to posterity. This Indian management culture of millennia had been applied in the great endeavors of the past, like building of the great temples and reservoirs and waging of great battles.
There is close link between the managerial concepts of ancient India and contemporary managerial thought. For instance, from the Artha Sastra, it can be seen that the machinery of the government was surprisingly well organised in the city, the state and the central and interior levels. The manager of the government had to collect and account for taxes, run the many departments that spent the money and even mange the industries that were run by state. This paper is an attempt to collate these ideas, especially in the field of administration and governance and particularly in the areas of knowledge management which is very relevant to the contemporary world.
Abstract | Introduction | Important Heritage Texts | Organizational concepts in Indian Heritage | Conceptual Model of Management | Governance and Administration | Governance and Administration in Tamil Sangam Heritage | Duties of a ruler as in Tamil Heritage Text | Fiscal Administration in Tamil Heritage Texts | SWOT Analysis | Knowledge Management | The learning of attitudes | Leader’s role in learning culture | Learning Models | The need for holistic knowledge | Conclusion | References