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Important lessons that managers can learn from the kingdom of Hammurabi

Study guide

“Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” This is Hammurabi’s famous sentence. This king ruled over the Babylonian civilization 4,000 years ago in the region of Mesopotamia (in present-day Iraq). The management laws he established were one of the first مرام‌نامه‌های Morality is a behavior throughout history. His laws were often authoritarian. For this reason, his policy in management schools is very anonymous. In this article, with a new look at the laws of Hammurabi, we will get acquainted with its amazing teachings for today’s managers. Stay with us.

The laws of Hammurabi sought to organize the responsibilities of individuals towards one another. These rules were often very strict but sometimes surprisingly very modern! Hammurabi’s policy has been far more authoritarian than today’s managers can emulate. But he was probably the first king [که علاوه بر حکمرانی], Also led the subjects. Hammurabi was concerned with the welfare of the people and considered himself the shepherd of the people (meaning the caretaker and guide, which is one of the letters of Jesus Christ).

The sixth king of the Babylonian civilization compiled 282 different laws. These rules include three key concepts in management, concepts that are of great interest to today’s managers:

  1. Responsibility (accountability);
  2. Motivation;
  3. Transaction (like justice and fairness).

Hammurabi’s concerns are often the same as those of today’s managers

  • How can [فرهنگ] Established responsibility?
  • How to motivate [در جهت اهداف شرکت] Straightened?
  • How can risks be managed? [مدیریت ریسک]
  • How can standards be taught to others?

Prioritize responsibility

Hammurabi knew the meaning of the phrase “the side of his foot is stuck” before it became a term. Hammurabi realized that in order to maintain the people’s commitment to their agreements, the violators of the treaty must be held accountable! Notice the way his laws regulate the builder of a building:

If a Babylonian construction contractor builds a house with substandard materials and for this reason, the landlord dies due to the collapse of the building, the builder is sentenced to death!

Yes, the punishment for breaking Hammurabi’s laws is very harsh. But the Babylonian architects, aware of this punishment, paid attention to the details of construction and built quality buildings. When the parties to a deal are really stuck, they pay more attention to fairness and results.

Align motivations

Lessons Learners Can Learn From the Kingdom of Hammurabi - Aligning Motivation

The laws of Hammurabi are one of the first human attempts to align motives throughout history. These laws eliminate the incentive for construction contractors to use low-quality materials and low standards. Due to the risk of building collapse [و مجازات اعدام], What motivation could justify underselling? In this way, the contractors also found an incentive to consider the reliability! In addition to taking into account predictable conditions such as strong winds, they also took into account unexpected events such as earthquakes. It was in the best interest of the suppliers (businesses) to anticipate and take into account unexpected events.

Risk management

Lessons Lessons Managers Can Learn From the Kingdom of Hammurabi - Risk Management

Hammurabi understood the dangers of risk. He realized that if people betrayed each other and the moral foundations were weakened, the health of the community would be endangered. In short, he was looking for rules that would guarantee “collective good.” Hammurabi’s laws encouraged suppliers to have a high degree of confidence in their operations, which benefited the community and all parties.

Hammurabi laws of asymmetric nature [و غیر منصفانۀ] Regulated transactions. Housing builders, for example, have more information about the building than buyers. For this reason, housing builders will be tempted if there is no penalty for making a mistake [با پایین آوردن کیفیت،] Reduce labor costs and make more profit.

There are many reasons why today’s financial systems do not recommend that the parties to a transaction have high confidence levels. One of the reasons is hidden motives! Today, penalizing irresponsible institutions has replaced demanding accountability from individuals. Not a single big banker was prosecuted for taking the risk of the catastrophe that triggered the 2008 global financial crisis! Contemporary financial systems encourage circumvention of the law, fraud of partners, reckless risk-taking or illicit earnings against the wishes of customers!

In the “Wells Fargo” scandal (the multinational bank and financial services center, which is the fourth largest bank in the world in terms of capital and the twenty-sixth largest organization in the world in terms of revenue), bank employees reached the bank’s sales targets by opening millions of fake accounts. Has paid $ 2.7 billion in fines and compensation). If we lived by the laws of Hammurabi, such scandals were very unlikely. If people are involved in problems, their risk-taking becomes precise and regular. If the harm of risking is only to others, there is destruction.

Standards training

Lessons that managers can learn from the kingdom of Hammurabi

Perhaps the most innovative feature of Hammurabi’s laws was their simplicity of understanding for individuals. From the clergy to the common people, they easily understood the laws. Legal complexities and confusing language simplified the king’s work laws to punish rebellion and disobedience. But Hammurabi tried to avoid these complications. He engraved the rules on stone tablets and distributed them throughout his realm.

Some of Hammurabi’s laws are progressive. For example, for the first time in history, the issue of “minimum wage” and the concept of “the principle is innocence” is discussed. But definitely no one advises managers to imitate Hammurabi! By the standards of the contemporary world, his laws were extremely strict. However, Hammurabi’s quest for accountability, motivation, risk management, and standards training is instructive for all managers.




Important lessons that managers can learn from the kingdom of Hammurabi

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