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Management Essay

5509 words - 23 pages

Fayol stands the test of time
Henley Management College, St Peter Port, Guernsey
Keywords Management, Model, Planning, Organizing, Co-ordination Abstract Planning, organising, co-ordinating, commanding and controlling ± these are the elements of management according to Henri Fayol. Less known, but no less important, are Fayol's principles of management. Fayol was born in 1841 and died in 1925. His Administration Industrielle et Generale was published in French in 1916 but was not translated into English until   1929. Fayol's work is often quickly rejected either because of its age or because it is believed to have been superseded by observational findings. However, Fayol's work was based ...view middle of the document...

Fayol (1949) argued that all industrial undertakings precipitate activities that can be categorised into six groups: technical, commercial, financial, security, accounting and management. Fayol's work focused on the latter category, management. Frederick Taylor (1856-1915) was a contemporary of Fayol. Although Taylor's work is sometimes compared with Fayol's, it is important to realise that the focus of each is quite different. Wren (1994) notes that Fayol's work was overshadowed by Taylor's, even in France. But Fayol always argued that the two works were complementary. Wren observes that Fayol viewed management from the executive perspective while Taylor focused on the other end. For example, the foundation of Taylor's scientific management was time study. Fayol's classical model This section summarises the ``principles'' and ``elements'' propounded by Fayol. These are amplified later (in the section titled ``A closer look at Fayol's ideas'').
Journal of Management History, Vol. 6 No. 8, 2000, pp. 345-360. # MCB University Press, 1355-252X

JMH 6,8


Fayol (1949) enumerated and discussed 14 ``principles'' of management. Specifically, these concerned: (1) division of work; (2) authority and responsibility; (3) discipline; (4) unity of command; (5) unity of direction; (6) subordination of individual interest to the general interest; (7) remuneration; (8) centralisation; (9) span of control; (10) order; (11) equity; (12) stability of tenure of personnel; (13) initiative; and (14) esprit de corps. Fayol stressed that the actual number of principles was arbitrary and the list non-exhaustive (for example, Brodie, 1967; Fayol, 1949). He asserted that the principles should be flexible and adaptable to every need. Fayol (1949) also identified five ``elements'' or ``processes'' (Gray, 1984) of management, which constituted his ``rules of his administrative doctrine'' (Brodie, 1967). These processes are: (1) Planning: examining the future and laying out the actions to be taken. (2) Organising: laying out lines of authority and responsibility. (3) Co-ordinating: laying out timing and sequencing of activities; binding and harmonising all. (4) Commanding: putting the plan into action. (5) Controlling: monitoring and adjusting; ensuring conformity with rules. According to Fayol, principles should guide the execution of these management processes. The question of currency As intuitively appealing as it may seem, the classical work of Fayol (1949) tends to be quickly rejected by many authors (for example, Kotter, 1982; Mintzberg, 1973). It has also been noted that recognition and incorporation of Fayol's work is no longer widespread in contemporary MBA textbooks (Archer, 1990) as was once thought (Caroll and Gillen, 1987).

However, this researcher believes that the Fayol model is relevant and Fayol stands the appropriate to contemporary management. Hales (1986) argues that if the test of time classical theories are viewed as theories of...

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