Machiavelli: The Prince - Lessons in Organizational Structure


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Machiavelli emphasized on building a strong organization structure where responsibilities and accountabilities are clearly defined and offender should be dealt with no mercy. As per him an organization or kingdom can be built on the support of either the people or the nobles.

“A principality is created either by the people or by the nobles, accordingly as one or other of them has the opportunity; for the nobles, seeing they cannot withstand the people, begin to cry up the reputation of one of themselves, and they make him a prince, so that under his shadow they can give vent to their ambitions. The people, finding they cannot resist the nobles, also cry up the reputation of one of themselves, and make him a prince so as to be defended by his authority. He who obtains sovereignty by the assistance of the nobles maintains himself with more difficulty than he who comes to it by the aid of the people, because the former finds himself with many around him who consider themselves his equals, and because of this he can neither rule nor manage them to his liking. But he who reaches sovereignty by popular favor finds himself alone, and has none around him, or few, who are not prepared to obey him. ” ( Machiavelli, Chapter 22)

Machiavelli mentioned throughout his book that the kingdom built on the goodwill and support of people have more chances of surviving for a length of time than one built on magnanimity or benevolence of the nobles. Similarly if the employees, majority shareholders and customers believes in the vision of the leader and don’t betray him then the leader will have far higher chances of survival. As it happened in the recent case of General Motors the CEO able to convince the Board that the company has an ability to turn the business itself rather than making a deal with Nissan. The main backer of the prospective deal – Major shareholder Kerkorian had to eat the humble pie and ended up selling 14 million shares in the open market. If the company had gone Kerkorian way it may have ended up in loosing its freedom and as most experts believe Kerkorian would have been one of the key members in post deal management formation. In such a dire situation the end should justify the means and GM exactly did what Machiavelli suggested listening to the core stake holders rather than nobles who are looking for their own personal benefits and chance to overthrow the Prince.

Andy Mann is a contributing writer for Write Term Papers .com. He did his Master's in Business Management and now consults students on writing business case studies and custom college term papers . You can feel free to contact him at Write Term Papers .com


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