- Henri Fayol
Henri Fayol "(1841 in
Istanbul– 1925 in Paris)" was a French managementtheorist.
Fayol was one of the most influential contributors to modern concepts of management, having proposed that there are five primary functions of management: (1) planning, (2) organizing, (3) commanding, (4) coordinating, and (5) controlling (Fayol, 1949, 1987). Controlling is described in the sense that a manager must receive feedback on a process in order to make necessary adjustments. Fayol's work has stood the test of time and has been shown to be relevant and appropriate to contemporary management. Many of today’s management texts including Daft (2005) have reduced the five functions to four: (1) planning, (2) organizing, (3) leading, and (4) controlling. Daft's text is organized around Fayol's four functions.
Fayol believed management theories could be developed, then taught. His theories were published in a monograph titled "General and Industrial Management" (1916). This is an extraordinary little book that offers the first theory of general management and statement of management principles.
Fayol suggested that it is important to have unity of command: a concept that suggests there should be only one supervisor for each person in an organization. Like Socrates, Fayol suggested that management is a universal human activity that applies equally well to the family as it does to the corporation.
Fayol has been described as the father of modern operational management theory (George, p. 146). Although his ideas have become a universal part of the modern management concepts, some writers continue to associate him with
Frederick Winslow Taylor. Taylor's scientific management deals with the efficient organisation of production in the context of a competitive enterprise that has to control its production costs. That was only one of the many areas that Fayol addressed. Perhaps the connection with Taylor is more one of time, than of perspective. According to Claude George (1968), a primary difference between Fayol and Taylor was that Taylor viewed management processes from the bottom up, while Fayol viewed it from the top down. George's comment may have originated from Fayol himself. In the classic "General and Industrial Management" Fayol wrote that "Taylor's approach differs from the one we have outlined in that he examines the firm from the "bottom up." He starts with the most elemental units of activity -- the workers' actions -- then studies the effects of their actions on productivity, devises new methods for making them more efficient, and applies what he learns at lower levels to the hierarchy...(Fayol, 1987, p. 43)." He suggests that Taylor has staff analysts and advisors working with individuals at lower levels of the organization to identify the ways to improve efficiency. According to Fayol, the approach results in a "negation of the principle of unity of command (p. 44)." Fayol criticized Taylor’s functional management in this way. “… the most marked outward characteristics of functional management lies in the fact that each workman, instead of coming in direct contact with the management at one point only, … receives his daily orders and help from eight different bosses…(Fayol, 1949, p. 68.)” Those eight, Fayol said, were (1) route clerks, (2) instruction card men, (3) cost and time clerks, (4) gang bosses, (5) speed bosses, (6) inspectors, (7) repair bosses, and the (8) shop disciplinarian (p. 68). This, he said, was an unworkable situation, and that Taylor must have somehow reconciled the dichotomy in some way not described in Taylor's works.
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