Arthashastra of Kautilya and Management

  • N. K. Singh
Part of the Management for Professionals book series (MANAGPROF)


Arthashastra of Kautilya is a comprehensive treatise which gives the structure, group dynamics, systems and norms as well as strategies of statecraft. This has definite managerial implications. The Arthashastra was composed after analyzing various works on statecraft by different masters and numerous dharmashastras to improve the performance or effectiveness of the state and to study norms and strategies of managing the state. It does not necessarily provide norms and strategies of managing the state, nor does it provide a complete picture of the practised management at that time; however, it does give a fair idea of systems, roles and duties as well as values of leadership expected of authority. The title ‘Arthashastra’ means the science of expanding the kingdom or land. It is also the science of material gains, but it does not correspond to economics, as it is understood these days. Although many scholars feel that Arthashastra did not attach any significance to the means to achieve the goals and it lacked any pretence for morality, or altruism, yet Arthashastra depended on situational elements. Arthashastra did advocate a high degree of fairness and justice on the part of the king. It ennobled learning and aggrandized a lot of the good qualities of a leader. At the same time, Arthashastra did not purport to be a treatise on morals or metaphysics. In other words, while addressing itself to the ideals of Vedantic literature, it compromised on practical grounds in situations of exigency and emergency on the standards of morals for the purpose of achieving any expected goal of the state. It has been sometimes described as ‘a school of double standards’. Yet Kautilya in Arthashastra, in spite of the ruthlessness of its pursuit of expansion and growth of kingdom and loyalty to the ruler, advocates all the good virtues which are essential in keeping the society intact. We will examine this point in more detail as we go into the details of its management system. Arthashastra’s system could be analyzed in the following broad categories:


Minimum Wage Fair Trading Precious Metal Material Gain Custom Duty 
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Copyright information

© Springer India Pvt. Ltd. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. K. Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Rajarshi School of Management and TechnologyVaranasiIndia

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