Management History of Management of 'Literature Review' chapter

  • Length: 9 pages
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  • Subject: Business - Management
  • Type: 'Literature Review' chapter
  • Paper: #39689124

Excerpt from 'Literature Review' chapter :

This differentiation refers to the management and administration of the agricultural resources of the kingdom. This in turn involved an organized network of royal foundations. (Wilkinson 116) the second area of administrative concern was the processing of government revenue and "…its redistribution to the various state operations…" (Wilkinson 116) Wilkinson in his book also deals extensively with managements issues in relation to the Egyptian treasury. (Wilkinson 125)

In understanding the background to management in ancient Egypt one has to continually take into account the wide range of concerns and activities that required ordered control and administration. As Erman states in his work Life in Ancient Egypt (1894), "The enormous properties belonging to the temples required of course complicated machinery for their administration & #8230;certain members of the priestly college were deputed to manage the affairs of the treasury, the commissariat and the correspondence…" (Erman 303)

Taking into account the above discussion it is understandable that Ancient Egyptians encouraged the communication of information regarding the function of the government and religion, and the recording of information for posterity. The invention of written scripts with detailed hieroglyphics enabled them to record their stories and transactions. Ancient Egyptian government was based on a monarchical system of pharaohs (kings and queens), who made significant contributions to Egyptian society and many of whom were renowned for military leadership (Ruiz 177). As Ruiz also points out in his work on this subject; "It is at this time that hieroglyphic writing made its first appearance. As the people amalgamated, improved communication was needed to ensure a prosperous harvest for the growing population and the successful administration and development of the country." (Ruiz 10)

Morgen Witzel (2003) in his study Fifty Key Figures in Management provides some important information on this period in terms of management and the evolution of management techniques. In his book Witzel states that the Duties of the Vizier, the first known text that outlines a set out the goals of management and the tasks of the manager, was written over 3,500 years ago during the eighteenth dynasty of ancient Egypt (Witzel 3). Ruiz also emphasises the importance of the vizier in the process of management and administration in ancient Egypt.

The vizier, appointed by the pharaoh and recruited from within royal families, was the highest official and was referred to as the man to whom all was reported… the vizier or Chief Overseer, which the Egyptians called tjaty, answered to no one but the pharaoh, whose orders and decisions he carried out. (Ruiz 84)

The vizier was in close contact with the pharaoh as well as with other officials, such as the high priests and the army. He also was involved with matters of business and legal administration. (Ruiz 84) the vizier's responsibilities included"… the supervision of matters of justice, agriculture, irrigation, building projects and public works…" as well as "…finances, revenue, tax collection and civil order." (Ruiz 84)

The administrative complexity of Egypt can be seen by the fact that during the Second Dynasty, it was divided into various of administrative districts, known as sepat. (Ruiz 84) Each district had own treasury, administrative centre or capital, a hall of justice, an army, and temples dedicated to specific gods .

Priests were also among the most valued and revered leaders and administrators. Since religion was the cornerstone of society, the priesthood was an exclusive profession that garnered prestige from the people and the pharaohs. "Egypt was a theocratic state, partly controlled by the clergy." (Ruiz 84) They therefore formed an important part of the administration and management of the kingdom.

By 2500 BC, Egypt's fourth dynasty was in a golden age called the Old Kingdom. During this time the country enjoyed vibrant commerce, peace, and prosperity. In this dynasty and the ones that preceded and followed it, the massive pyramid tombs were built as lasting public monuments. For a society to have accomplished such an arduous task, the social values and project management must have demonstrated order, organisation, planning, and foresight. Written requests for materials were submitted in order for control to be maintained, and staff were consulted before decisions were made.

The task of constructing the pyramid of King Cheops, incorporating 2.3 million blocks of stone, is an example. The process was for each block to be quarried, cut to the right size and shape, left to harden in the sun, moved into place by a lengthy boat for journey and further transportation, given a number indicating its position, and then adjusted for a perfect fit. The organisation of labour for this enormous task must have been a significant endeavour. It is estimated that it took 20,000 workers at least twenty-three years to finish the pyramid. Quarrying and transportation of the stone alone required more than 8,000 workers and pack animals. A "quarry expedition" may have included 100 army officers, 50 government and religious officials, 200 courtiers as managers, 130 stone masons, 5,000 soldiers, 800 barbarians, and 2,000 bond servants to be used in transportation (Erman 475). Although the use of stone could be said to have created more work, Egyptian religious beliefs attracted the necessary workers since they also had a stake in the afterlife and the power of their god-king. Identification of the pharaohs as deities brought about a closer relationship of the human to the divine. It was also thought that certain working and ruling classes, such as craftsmen and engineers, were endowed with a form of divinity (What Is Civil Engineering). A defined purpose or goal made construction like this more understandable to the average citizen at the time who would have had fewer qualms about being organized as a result.

One should also not exclude the issue of legal administration from an overview of the literature on this subject. As David ( 1996) states, in the New Kingdom, the two main centres of legal administration in Egypt, the High and the local court (Kenbet) were an essential part of the running of the society. (David 77) This placed the onus on effective administration of records. "The legal documents were well preserved; some were the first known examples of their types. (David 115)

3. History of Management of Ancient Greece

The issue of management in the history of Greece is closely aligned with many other prominent aspects of the society; for example, the development of a democratic mode of thought and the relationship between management and philosophy. Therefore, the literature that was consulted with regard to ancient Greece was necessarily wide ranging and inclusive.

The ancient Greeks were aware of and utilised some important management ideas and practises.

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