Financial and Strategic Management

What are Fayol’s Principles of Management?

At the beginning of the last century (1916), the French engineer Henri Fayol shelled out the first-ever 14 principles of ‘classical management theory’ formally. Henri Fayol is classified as ‘the founding father’ of a variety of concepts including the line and staff organization. Based on his experience as a thriving director or a mining company, he developed numerous theories that still find their relevance in contemporary times. At the time when Henry Fayol gave such principles, there was no formal training mechanism in existence for managers; therefore, Fayol’s principles were groundbreaking. However, the growing complexity of organizations visibly generated a call for professional management.

Fayol’s propounded the following 14 principles of management:-

1.Division of work – Employees should have complementary skill sets that allow them to specialize in certain areas. This will increase efficiency.

2. Authority – Management needs authority to give employees orders. This authority must be agreed upon. However, authority and responsibility must go together.

3. Discipline – This gets to the idea of employees listening to commands and being disciplined in getting work done. If a manager sets a deadline, an employee should have the discipline to meet it.

4. Unity of command – There has to be unity of command for each employee. Each employee should be under the command of only one boss.

5. Unity of direction – Teams should be striving for common goals. Teams with the same objective should be under the direction of one manager.

6. Subordination of individual interests – The team comes before the individual.

7. Remuneration – There are monetary and non-monetary versions of remuneration. Both are needed to motivate employees.

8. Centralization – There should be a balance between decision-making power. Employees should be closer to the decision-making process.

9. Scalar chain – Each company should have clear hierarchical structures and that should be known to employees.

10. Order – This refers mostly to cleanliness and organization within a workplace.

11. Equity – Employees should be treated well.

12. Stability of tenure of personnel – This principle suggests that businesses should try to limit turnover and keep employees around as they accumulate knowledge and improve. Proper personnel planning should be given priority.

13. Initiative – Employees should share ideas and be rewarded for innovative thinking and taking on new tasks.

14. Esprit de corps – Employee morale matters. This principle suggests that managers should work to keep employees engaged and interested and they should promote team spirit and unity.

While developing fourteen principles of management, Fayol also defined the five core functions of management, which are still used and form the basis of theories developed by other scholars later on.

The five functions are as follows:

  • Forecasting
  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Commanding
  • Controlling

As per Fayol, management is a process, which includes functions such as forecasting, planning, organizing, commanding, and controlling. These functions are the fundamental foundation of setting the relationship between the subordinates and the superior in tune and the five core functions to help the managers to solve troubles/ dilemmas in this relationship or within the organization in a creative and innovative manner.

About the author

Shreya Kushwaha

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