Source: E-mail dt. 11.8.2011


Construct formulation by Management Musings

- A case of management thoughts from Avvaiyar of Chola era.


B Prasanna Soundari 

Assistant Professor

GRD Academy of Management

Coimbatore – 641 014


The western world has popularized the concept of management, but when one traces the history of management chanakya’s arthashastra around 300 BC lead the list. Today the global corporate scenario dictates managerial skills to be complemented by soft skills or life skills. It is a clear indication of reinventing the wheel. Where else? But in India do we have a plethora of information on how to win work & ultimately life.  Bahavat Gita, Thiru kural, Panchatantra are great literature treasures which provides insight on management. Let us not forget that Aaathichudi of our dear Avvai  patti, with whom we felt an instant connection  in our Tamil classes of child hood days is an eye opener on personality development.


Simplicity was the way she presented any concept an   innate criteria of knowledge management that is much talked about today. Her “Akkam  Surukael” –never  cheat on quantity of item you sell is the first step to entrepreneurship. Her vision on globalisation is clearly understood from “oorudan Pagaikkin Verudan Kedum” –hostility with the society/ country will destroy everything one has right from the root. Ideas on international business are not new; it is we who have lost track. If Aathichudi we learnt during kindergarten days throw light on management, Why not Moothurai?


karpiLavOdu oppar kayavar kadunchinaththu
porpiLavOdu oppArum pOlvArEvirpidiththu
nIrkizhiya aidha vaduppOla mArumE
cIr ozhugu chandrOr sinam


The wicked people do not unite due to anger and this may be compared to split stone. Though divided, there are people who unite, similar to the split gold fusing back. But the anger of the people of high character is linked to that of an arrow sent from a bow into water, wherein the division is repaired immediately. Anger management may be a buzz word among soft skill trainer but our Tamil literatures   inculcates these values during our formative years.  In fact you cannot take right decision when in a state of anger.   


If Avvai spoke on anger management, strategy is not far behind. One should not react at all times for anyone and everyone, but at the right time give a fitting reply for the right type of enemy.


Adakkam udaiyAr arivilar endreNNi
Kadakka karudhavum vEndA
Madaiththalaiyil Odu MIn Oda uru MIn
VarumaLavum vAdiyirukkumAm kokku


Management by exception, Management by objective & Management by walkthrough are much talked about. If coining a jargon is all that matters to western world then the reflections from our cherished literatures can be called as “Management by Musing”. All our literature does converge when it comes to defining how a leader or a manager ought to be. A leader should be humble, peace loving, committed, team player and loyal. Do these natures sound synonymous with a spiritual person? May be spirituality and management are related! It could form a hypothesis for research study. On deeper thought, the Indian literatures act as secondary data and help us built a construct for research that is “Spirituality”.


Management is as old as the hill, but we keep it alive by doing things differently.




  1. To my mother and teachers who nurtured a feeling of love towards Avvai.
  2. for translation of avvaiyar’s padal.