© 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.Purpose: Classical assumptions of agency theory (AT) fall short of providing satisfactory answers to modern management and organizational knowledge (MOK) problems, and there is a need for extending the scope of the field. This article aims to compare modern AT assumptions with the agency perspective of Islamic historical political treatises (namely, siyasetnamas) and point out how AT can be furthered. Design/methodology/approach: This article applies content analysis method to find out agency perspectives in Islamic political treatises and then compare them with those of the basic AT assumptions to find out similarities and differences between them in explaining agency problems. Findings: The agency perspective in siyasetnamas are based on the following assumptions which could contribute to the development of AT with their emphasis on (1) responsibilities beyond contracts, (2) entrustment rather than ownership, (3) shared societal responsibility rather than conflicting individual interests, (4) importance of self-control for both principals and agents and (5) trust discourse which emphasizes inner virtues rather than control discourse. Originality/value: Agency perspectives cannot be considered independent of cultural imprints. By introducing siyasetnamas' agency perspective, this article makes an effort to suggest implications for how to further modern MOK based overwhelmingly on individualistic cultural assumptions to rediscuss agency problems from the viewpoint of specifically the emerging markets in which collectivist culture plays an important role in social and economic life. In this respect, siyasetnamas' agency perspective based on the notion of entrustment seems, arguably, to be a better fit to the contextual realities and managerial practices of emerging markets.