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The origins of a number of modern
management concepts and practices are
traceable to ancients.
Solomon, the famous biblical ruler,
directed the establishment of elaborate
trade agreements, construction projects
and peace agreements in the tenth
Some of the earliest documents found in the
Sumerian civilization of five thousand years
ago, are evidences of managerial control
Through their vast tax system, Sumerian
temple priests collected and managed
tremendous amounts of goods including
flocks, revenues and estates.
These priests were required to give an account
of their stewardship to the chief priest- a
managerial control practice.
Sumerian priests used to manage the wealth
and operations of a religious organization.
They developed a system of writing or keeping
account of all transactions made by many
priests in the religious “corporation”.
Because these Sumerian people recognized the
need for managerial control, the earliest
written documents in the world are the fivethousand-
year-old accounts of their
Structure: The building of the pyramids
expressed the managerial and organizational
abilities of ancient Egypt from 5000 to 525 B.C.
Labor of over one hundred thousand men for
twenty years required a managerial task of a
The managerial concepts and techniques were
born for exercising the planning, organizing
and control in this undertaking.
The managerial planning of where the
stones to be quarried, when and how to
be transported required the practice of
Transportation took place during annual
flood season to minimize land transport.
All blocks were cut to shape and
numbered before being put into position.
Writings: many instances are found in Egyptian literature
of management thought, posed as advice from father to his
The book of instruction of Ptah-hotep was composed in
2700 B.C. It was reedited in 2000 B.C. and it was used in
schools in 1500 B.C.
The following instructions were recorded:
1. Seek good deeds and avoid wrong deeds
2. Understand that truth is effective and ever lasting
3. Wrong doing never yield desired result
4. Listen as it has therapeutic value
The Egyptian managers recognized the value of planning
and staff advice as indicated from the manuscript from a
father to his son.
Government: the study of the Egyptian government through
the periods of the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom and the
New Empire recognized the principle of control through a
From 2160 to 1788 B.C. the government was highly
decentralized and tax commission was the only lie between
central government and sub-states.
Loose control resulted in revenue loss and the rulers of the New
Empire around 1600 B.C. began to recentralizing by means of a
Egyptians recognized that dispersed holdings requiring a
decentralized government was an effective form of managerial
organization only if effective central controls were establised.
Centralization of government was
accomplished during the rule of the Hyksos,
who drove out the foreign invaders in the
provinces and assumed complete control.
The Egyptians also recognized the importance
of specialization in organization indicating that
no tradesman could peruse any trade save that
handed down by his parents.
Hammurabi: the Code of Hammurabi
was the most significant contribution of
the Babylonians to management
thought. Hammurabi was the ruler for
period between 2000 and 1700 B.C. This
code is one of the oldest known codes of
law in the world. The experts illustrated
about minimum wages, control and
Nebuchadnezzar: Nebuchadnezzar became
king in 604 B.C. The textile mills of his period
were examples of production control and
incentive wage payment. Color was used as a
control means for yarn entering the mill each
Wages were paid in the form of food, the
amount depending on the individual
production of each worker.
The ancient records of Mencious and
Chow( 1100 to about 500 B.C) indicate
that the Chinese were aware of certain
priciples on organizing, planning,
directing, and controlling.
Chow: The constitution of chow, written about 1100 B.C. is a
directory of all civil servants to the empeor, from the prime
minister down to the household servants, with their job and
duties. It recorded the following things.
Eight things he holds to help the king handle his numerous
The first is rank that controls their distinction.
The second is emolument that controls their wealth .
The third is favor that control their fortune.
The fourth is appointment that controls their conduct.
The fifth is attention that controls their blessing.
The sixth is confiscation that controls their poverty.
The seventh is removals that controls their failings .
The eighth is death that controls their excessiveness.
Mencius: he believed that laws along were
insufficient for business - that every going
concern should adhere to a standard of
operation which was ordained by the
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Civilizations, Babylonia, Ancient Egypt, Sumer, Management, Babylon, Ancient history, Xenophon, Ur, Greeks, Greece
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