General And Industrial Management by Henri FayolPublished in French in 1916 and later in English in 1949, this book establishes Fayol’s standing as one of the founding fathers of modern management, expounding in detail what eventually went on to be called as “Fayolism”. The brilliance and pioneering nature of this book and its ideas derive from the fact that although Fayol has a rich collection of the practitioner’s experience, he rigorously creates both the outline and the framework for management as an academic discipline.
With each segment of the book, Fayol addresses a unique dimension of the management function. He begins with a relevant discussion on the need for dedicated management education, explaining in detail the various activities of management as we know them today- technical, commercial, financial, security, accounting, and managerial. It is remarkable to observe that 100 years after his work was first published, management schools continue to offer these very areas as specializations and academic texts on managements continue to study the field through this fundamental framework that he established. He also outlines the “special abilities” such as physical, mental, knowledge and special abilities that go into the making of a worker engaged in any of these activities. Here, it can be observed how Fayol distinguishes between the different activities require varying skills, arriving at the conclusion that at higher grades of employees is the managerial ability. From this point onwards, he creates the edifice on which management education and business schools exist today- by deconstructing a set of myths such as: managerial ability can be acquired by practice only or that technical ability is enough for good managerial decision making. He highlights the vacuum created absence of management theory.
The next section, outlining the 14 principles of management is unarguably the most important piece of text in management literature, taught across all schools and referred to by all writers on management. He makes remarkable points with regard to each-
1. Division of Work- a tool to “produce better work with same effort”
2. Authority & Responsibility- He propound that responsibility is a corollary of authority and that good leadership requires an ability to handle both.
3. Discipline- Fayol describes discipline as respect towards the standard agreement between employees and the organization. Instead of representing it as an iron hand, he shows a deeper understanding of organizational dynamics.
4. Unity of Command- This is a highly important idea from Fayol, that one worker should receive instructions from only one supervisor, the absence of which wreaks havoc through confusion and conflict. Stressing the importance of this rule, Fayol terms it as “principle”.
5. Unity of Direction- This principle stresses the importance of a single action plan across the organization.
6. Subordination of individual interest to general interest- this is necessary for organizational effectiveness, fairness and order.
7. Remuneration of Personnel – Unlike contemporaries, Fayol talks of satisfaction of the worker and the employer with the remuneration. It is remarkable to observe that he mentions cost of living, which may be early for those times. He also mentions ways approaches to wage determination and addresses the issue of profit sharing.
8. Centralization- There is a nuanced understanding of this concept in Fayol’s writings. He says- “The question of centralization or decentralization is a simple question of proportion, it is a matter of finding the optimum degree for each concern”. This idea stays relevant even today as he does not take a dogmatic stance on the issue.
9. Scalar Chain- This concept helps create the pyramidal structure of management as we know it today.
10. Order-Both material and social order are essential for efficiency.
11. Equity- a combination of kindliness and justice, excluding forcefulness and sternness, depending on good sense and good nature that works better in an organization as opposed to the concept of justice.
12. Stability of tenure of personnel- this is the earliest concept and attempt at institutionalizing “job security”.
13. Initiative- Modern management studies talk about the intra-preneurial spirit in each employee, drawing from this first documented ideology of initiative by all employees at all levels of the organization.
14. Espirit de Corps- this principle emphasizes the importance of unity within the organization by virtue of harmony and association.
In this same segment, Fayol presents the functions of management- another of his ideas that continue in management literature, i.e. planning, organizing, command, co-ordination and control.
From here, it is increasingly clear that Fayol’s focus, unlike his contemporary F.W. Taylor, was on management as opposed to the task. While both are considered classical management theorists, it is interesting to observe the differences between them as we proceed in this course from readings on Taylor to Fayol. While both concern themselves with efficiency, Fayol displays greater sympathy for the worker. Another notable difference lies in the perspectives both take on an organization. Taylor’s view is bottom up, his contributions make best senxe when applied to the bottom of the organizational pyramid. Fayol, however, is looking at the organization in a top-down manner. He insists on the efficiencies of the managerial process in contrast with Taylor who insisted on the efficiencies of the worker with regard to production. Finally, the structure propounded by Taylor where more than one individuals supervise the worker, disagrees with Fayol’s principle “Unity of Command”.
It can be said that through his philosophy of administration, Fayol has contributed most widely to both, the theory and the practice of management. He was clearly much ahead of his contemporaraies. On reading this book, it is clear that he advocated the understanding of management not only for those engaged directly in business, its training and research, but also for the layman, the general audience, because according to Fayol, everyone requires managerial skill in everyday activity. In the book, he says: “Everyone needs some concepts of management; in the home, in affairs of state, the need for managerial ability is in keeping with the importance of the undertaking, and for individual people the need is everywhere in greater accordance with the position occupied.”
General And Industrial Management
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This article explains the administrative theory of the 14 Principles of Management by Henri Fayol in a practical way. After reading you will understand the basics of this powerful management tool. In the last century, organizations already had to deal with management in practice. In the early s, large organizations, such as production factories, had to be managed too. At the time there were only few external management tools, models and methods available.