Henri Fayol was a Frenchman who is credited with the development of the general theory of business administration, which is famously named as Fayolism after him. His efforts and contributions to the field of business earned him the tag of the founder of modern management method.
In a 1949 publication, Fayol presented his theory of management, which was one of the first expansive theories of management. Under this theory, he put forward the idea of five primary functions of management and fourteen principles of management.
Five Primary Functions of Management:
Henri Fayol’s original work was published in French and in its English translation, 5 primary functions of management can be identified:
According to Fayol, planning is the most crucial function of management and requires constant efforts and participation of the whole organization. Planning needs to be a coordinated activity that is worked upon after taking factors like resources into consideration.
As one of the five primary functions of management, planning can help us in many ways:
- Equips us to face the uncertainties in life.
- Can bring down overall costs.
- Exercises effective and complete control.
- Effectively improves employee satisfaction.
- Prevents hasty decisions.
Organizing ensures an authority of order and forms relationships among selected group/groups of people who work together to increase the overall output. Organizing is the function that follows the planning phase and is responsible for putting the action plans for the task.
Organizing can help in:
- Identifying and classifying activities.
- Assigning duties and resources.
- Creating and coordinating responsibilities.
In the modern world, staffing is steadily gaining importance as a managerial function. Just like organizing, the staffing function is put into place to ensure that the resources are directed to the right processes and tasks.
- Staffing is paramount for a guaranteed operational functionality of the organization. It also ensures that the staff is capable and qualified to perform the tasks at hand.
Directing as a function refers to ensuring that the graph of success and productivity is always increasing. It involves managing the employees through direct communications and connectivity. It has strong ties to qualities like leadership.
- As a managerial function, directing plays the role of strengthening the operational capability of the organization on a whole.
Controlling is the final function of management and ensures that all the other functions before it are followed correctly.
The functions of management proposed by Fayol present a structural overview of several tasks needed to be performed by all managers. This gives managers an initial overview of the main duties to take care of in their everyday routine. Each of these functions is about solving potential problems creatively.
Henri Fayol’s 14 Principles of Management include:
- Division of Work
- Authority and Responsibility
- Unity of Command
- Unity of Direction
- Subordination of Individual Interest to General Interest
- Centralization and Decentralization
- Scalar Chain
- Stability of tenure of Personnel
- Espirit de corps
The principles of management proposed by Henri Fayol can be applied to businesses of all sizes. Some features that make them so helpful are:
Promotion of Organizational Hierarchy:
Fayol lays strong emphasis on a solid foundation laid through hierarchy where the top level of the management acts as leadership and decisions are passed on in a top-down manner.
Importance of Team Work:
For the general interest of the company, employees are encouraged to subordinate their personal interests and feelings. This will reduce the individuality and promote environments where groups work together in amalgamation to cover for deficits in skills. ” Espirit de corps” or team spirit, found a special mention in Fayol’s 14 principles of management.
The idea of business leaders fairly compensating their employees gained prominence when Fayolism first gained momentum as a movement. Employees would naturally be inclined to put in more quality work if their hard work was recognized and duly compensated for. It was not just about monetary compensation but Fayol went beyond to mention exemplary services and ways to identify the talent of workers who went beyond expectations.
Even decades after they were first published, the ideas put forward by Henri Fayol remain relevant in the world of business administration and act as a beaming light to guide the basic principles of management.
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