Dimensions of Management from Ramayana03/04/2020
The origin of management in the organized way can be traced as back as the origin of human beings. They earned their livelihood by hunting that was carried out in groups. Later possession of land mass became important hence there a rose conflict between the groups. Local conflicts were resolved by power using primitive weapon system. Management practices were undertaken in a scientific way early 18th century when industrial revolution took place. World War I saw a marked development in evolution of management concepts. In India management practices were in existence in Ramayana and Mahabharata periods. People were administered by the state and their needs fulfilled. The king was considered to be the master. Proper executive, judicial, and state affairs were managed in a very disciplined way. Every individual was morally responsible to the master (king/ruler) for the task assigned to him. Chanakya was a pioneer in evolving principles of economics and warfare in particular and efficient administration of the state in general. Various systems evolved in those days can be seen even today. Water supply system to Aurangabad introduced by King Aurangazeb is even visible today. Management of education, eradication of social evils and various religious systems are evidence of existence of proper management. Management as a field of study was considered early 20th century. Management principles like delegation of authority, empowerment, leadership, scalar chain, unity of command and motivation were clearly demonstrated in Roman Umpire and their ability to organize can be seen from its expansion. Shivaji demonstrated above principles in 17th century.
People have displayed tremendous amount of ability and skill in planning, organising, and directing people as to what is to be done, how it is to be done and anticipating future plans. They also evolved various models of controlling the planned work being executed properly. Various wars have been fought where use of human resources, heavy weapon system, its procurement and use and shifting it to various theatres of war based on threat perceptions are the examples of management. Great war of Mahabharata between Pandavas and Kauravas is an example of managing power, confllict situations, human resource training and development and an art of generalship had been practiced in the most scientific manner. Egyptian piramids, Great Wall of China are the tangible examples where hundreds of thousand of people were involved in construction activity over a protracted period of time. Every individual had a chain of command. He knew as to what is to be done, how it is to be done and the time frame within which it is to be
completed. These examples indicate that organizations have been in exixtence for thousands of years and management was being practiced ever since. However, in the past several years, the management has undergone systematic investigation, acquired common body of knowledge, formulated various models to deal with various phenomenon like handling conflict or managing stress and thus became a formal discipline for study. Two landmarks are most important in the Management study. One, publication of classical economic doctrines by Adam Smith in 1776 tittled “Wealth of Nations” in which Smith has argued that the economic advantages the organizations and societies would gain from the concepts are: 1) division of labour that promoted 2) skill development. 3) specialised task allotment. 4) time measurement in relation to the quantum of work performed. Smith concluded that, division of work would benefit in higher quality of work and higher productivity. Two. Indudtrisl revolution of eighteenth century, advent of machine power and subsequent development of infrastructural facilities of rail road transportation, communication network, formation of corporations worldwide promoted requirement of people having increased manegerial skills and formalised management practices, which gave birth to the formal theories of management in early 1900s. The concept of management was not clear till about mid of 20th century. There was a contrast between the thinkers. However, Classical approach of management which propogated Scientific Management and General Administrative Theory was a fabulous development. This followed an intensive research work undertaken by Elton Mayo which is known as Howthrone studies. It was followed by more recent concepts of Operatons Research, process management, systems approach, total quality management and last but not the least the contingency approach. In this chapter let us study various theories as the management progressed.
Management is not new to India. The present perception that Management was introduced by the Westerners is wrong. Management has been described and displayed long back in our epics. Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavad Gita are the greatest contributions to the Indian Management. Few examples from these epics are Lord Rama‟s team building to win over Ravana, Sugreeva making alliance with Rama to get back his kingdom, Lord Krishna‟s preaching Arjuna to be detached while performing duties, etc. As we all know, the irst quality any manager should have is “one must try to manage oneself”. Bhagavad Gita gives the best way to make you perfect. Gita also enlightens us on almost everything that is there in Western Management Thought like – vision, leadership, motivation, excellence in work, achieving goals, giving work meaning, decision-making and planning. But unlike the Western thoughts which are materialistic, Gita‟s thoughts are more at human thinking level. Coming to Ramayana, Lord Rama in Ramayana clariies Vibhishana‟s doubt by saying, strength lies in the clear vision and cause for the ight, but not on the number of soldiers. This clearly states the importance of having vision. He also enlists the weapons – knowledge, strategy, intelligence, skill, commitment and restraint of ego, which help you win the battle. This list gives the importance of strategy and human-resource management for performing any activity. HBR‟s statement which is in line with Lord Rama‟s saying is “you need not analyze and complicate things”. The examples quoted are just a sample of many such available in the great epic. Mahabharata, one of the longest epic in the world also taught us some beautiful lessons of management like beneits of networking, logistics, proper organization, etc. All these are clearly depicted by the way Pandavas had managed to assemble a large army of seven divisions even though they were not in power for 13 years and were also living in exile in the forest for 12 years. The logistics and arrangements were so perfect that today‟s modern military still follows the basic principles laid down by the managers of Mahabharata war.
Be it business or human activity, the act of bringing people together, popularly known as ‘management’, is broadly defined by five functions—Planning, Organizing, Leading, Organizing, and Coordinating.
Management books and journals may appear to be an en vogue trend. However, the actuality of the same finds its roots in eras that epically existed ages ago. Seers like Tulsidas and Valmiki through Ramayana brought sure-shot management lessons to fore for all and sundry in the contemporary entrepreneurial era.
Provide a concrete vision to followers
Like Rama, it is important for all the employers to set and share vision with the followers. This would enable motivation in them to perform because there would be clarity of goals. Even Rama shared vision of bringing Sita back home and for the same he delegated various responsibilities; he sent some as search parties and asked some others to work on the bridge construction.
Believe in the ability of subordinates to achieve an aim and inspire them to do so
Against the sophisticated army of Ravana that had vanquished many kings and celebrated a past of defeating devtas, Rama led a multitude of aboriginal tribes which could not be called anything more than a rag-tag army. Even after the constant mocking and jeering, Rama instilled confidence and sustained faith in his troops against the seemingly impossible-to-defeat demonic fleet of Ravana. A leader’s trust in his team is paramount.
Treat all people equally
Unlike many princes of that time, Rama mingled with everyone alike regardless of the prevalent norms of lower and upper strata. The untouchability issue never touched him and this helped him strike associations among fishermen and tribal folks as well; this brings us to a very important learner tip: Equality results in loyalty.
Stand courageously in the face of great adversity
Following Sita’s kidnap, Rama wandered penniless in the forest. Ramayana speaks of pretty vivid details of Rama’s sadness in Sita’s absence. However, this did not stop him from forging ties with Sugriv and others even in the face of a dilemma when the enemy was unknown.
Stand for morality but do not engage in judgmental posturing
Well known for his moral code, Rama endeavored to stand forth for the values he projected. But nowhere in Ramayana, was he depicted as a blind puritan who only wanted his code of conduct in place and rest all be banished. No! Rama was a person of resolve. He chose to suspend judgment at all times. His value systems were different even from his father; Rama had one wife while many other kings including his own father had several. A leader who gives way to creativity as an open field to his team mates is revered more as ‘suspending judgements’ is still the way to go!
Consult subordinates on important matters and allow them to give their opinions freely
When Vibhishan ratted out on Ravana, Rama vowed to protect him. He consulted his army chiefs and many suggested Rama that a demon is not to be trusted especially when he is the brother to the culprit. Instead of chiding or rebuking their ideas, Rama neutralized their incredulity and convinced them in his favor. This brings out a very important lesson as everybody felt heard. He empowered his subordinates. Reducing the power differential between an employer and an employee can work wonders.
Follow a code of ethics and be ready to sacrifice to follow it
Underpinning the Utopic way of life, Rama chose ethical decision making process in all areas of his life. Many-a-leader build credibility first with sacrifice first to resort to unethical means later. The generation that fought for the nation’s independence degenerated into wheelers and dealers after acquisition of power. The political leaders now continue to speak of their glorious ancestral past while seeking votes. Under the surface of that vote appeal, they always seek to hoodwink the multitude in the name of past sacrifices. Rama never did so. The overconfident Ravana on day one was disarmed by Rama’s chivalry but he was allowed to return safely to his citadel unharmed because Rama believed that an unarmed individual must not be attacked.