Henri Fayol’s Management Theory

Background information

Henri Fayol is a French scholar, theorist, and academician who contributed to development of a theoretical framework that guides management with regard to organizational entities (Brunsson 2008). He developed a general theory of organizational management. Although this theory does not satisfy scientific considerations, it influences organizational management in contemporary society (Brunsson 2008).

It espouses diverse features regarding strategic and dynamic organizational management. According to Fayol, managers should hone skills that accentuate overall desire for success within organizations. Through scholarly efforts, Fayol developed fourteen principles of organizational management. An example of such principles is division of work in the workplace. Fayol argued that specialization creates impetus for positive action among employees. This principle recommends that employees focus on specific roles within the workplace. Authority is another principle that suffices within organizations. This principle proposes that individuals should have authority that is commensurate with roles they undertake within organizations (Brunsson 2008).

This gives them an upper hand in executing recurrent duties and responsibilities. Discipline, unity of command, unity of direction, subordination of individual interests, fair remuneration, scalar multiple, order, equity, spirit of cooperation, and initiative are examples of principles that guide management (Bagad 2008).

Besides principles of organizational management, Fayol formulated functions of management that suffice within corporate entities. According to this functional model, managers should invoke relevant strategies that complement overall desire for success within organizations. Forecasting is an example of principles that guide organizational leadership and management. According to this premise, managers should set goals that reflect specific institutional ideals and aspirations (Bagad 2008).

They should also evaluate and facilitate regular appraisal to determine efficacy with regard to application of policies within organizations. Control is also an important function of organizational management. This paradigm accentuates implementation of objectives within organizations. Other functions of organizational management include coordination, planning, and command. The aforementioned functions are important with regard to actualization and propagation of corporate ideals in contemporary contexts (Bagad 2008).

Relevance of Fayol’s Management Theory

Fayol’s Theory of Management is an important component with regard to leadership in contemporary organizational entities. Managers should internalize inherent aspects that embody this management premise. As earlier mentioned, this theory comprises five functions and fourteen principles of organizational management (Crainer 2003). Functions of management are integral to realization of goals that suffice within organizations. For instance, they enable evaluation of progress in organizations. Contemporary organizational entities require proper planning to enhance performance in diverse areas of interest (Crainer 2003).

In absence of such efforts, it is difficult for managers to guarantee efficient delivery of services within corporate contexts. Functions of management are important because they enable contemporary managers to set achievable goals. They facilitate appraisal that seeks to determine extent of adherence regarding set goals within organizations (Crainer 2003). After evaluating performance, managers take appropriate action in order to institute remedies in areas that require adjustment (Crainer 2003). Functions of management also enable managers to coordinate activities within corporate jurisdiction. Coordination ensures that employees understand individual and collective responsibilities that suffice at the workplace (Crainer 2003).

This promotes focus and dedication towards realization of the aforementioned responsibilities. Through functions of management, managers divide tasks depending on individual ability and competence. Managers also use this paradigm to appoint subordinates who perform managerial tasks within organizations (Crainer 2003). Subordinate officers oversee such tasks and report to senior departmental heads (McLean 2011). This guarantees acquisition of relevant skills that facilitate realization of corporate ideals and aspirations. It is important to recognize the integral role of managers in ensuring performance with regard to organizational entities. However, managers cannot fulfil their mandate in absence of requisite leadership skills (McLean 2011).

Functions of management enable managers to understand their duties with regard to initiation and propagation of policies within organizational contexts. Through this theoretical framework, managers delegate duties to junior employees. This creates room for improvement and creation of structural avenues that ultimately lead to success and innovation within corporate entities (McLean 2011).

On the other hand, Fayol’s Principles of Management contribute to performance in organizations. Through these principles, managers learn the importance of division of work and role specificity (McLean 2011). Specialization is important because it enables employees to master specific roles within the workplace. This promotes efficiency and ultimately leads to higher output. It also contributes to effective management of resources and proper utilization of human resource (Miller 2014).

Fayol’s principles of management also promote authority and responsibility in organizations. This premise gives employees responsibility over their actions in diverse areas of engagement within organizations. Responsible employees engage in appropriate actions because they are usually aware of negative implications that could arise from inappropriate conduct within the workplace (Miller 2014). Principles of management also enable managers to instil discipline among employees. This means that employees are sincere and forthright regarding responsibilities in the workplace (Miller 2014). Discipline and sincerity enhance performance and proper utilization of available resources.

Principles of management also create room for appropriate interaction between managers and employees. This is an important aspect with regard to organizational leadership because it ameliorates performance and enhances unity of purpose (Miller 2014). Principles of management support fair remuneration with regard to employees. Managers should ensure appropriate compensation in order to guarantee motivation and willingness to pursue organizational objectives (Miller 2014). Motivated employees perform better as compared to those who feel oppressed and unfairly compensated. Generally, Fayol’s theory of management is relevant with regard to organizational management in contemporary settings (Miller 2014).

Evaluation of two Functions and three Principles

As earlier mentioned, Fayol’s Management Theory is an important premise with regard to organizational leadership in contemporary society. It relates to realities that manifest within contemporary corporate settings (Pryor & Taneja 2010). The theoretical premise espouses vital ideological thresholds that support realization of progress within organizations. However, it is important to note that the theory has advantages and disadvantages. Managers should understand positive and negative implications that emanate from application of this theoretical discourse (Pryor & Taneja 2010). This section will analyze two functions of management and three principles of management as articulated in Fayol’s management theory. The analysis will look at relevant and irrelevant aspects of both components of Fayol’s management theory.

Coordination and command are two examples of Fayol’s functions of management. It is important for managers to understand implications that arise due to their application in corporate contexts (Pryor & Taneja 2010). For instance, Coordination is relevant in contemporary organizational management because it enhances initiation and propagation of goal congruence. Goal congruence is important because it motivates employees to pursue collective organizational objectives (Pryor & Taneja 2010).

Ultimately, such practices bolster performance and productivity within corporate settings. Therefore, coordination is relevant in contemporary organizational settings because it portends positive implications. On the other hand, coordination is irrelevant because it bears negative implications that affect productivity (Pryor & Taneja 2010). For instance, goal congruence leads to abandonment of individual goals and motivations. It is important for employees to pursue individual goals and motivation within organizational settings (Pryor & Taneja 2010). In absence of individual motivation, employees feel disillusioned and unworthy. The Command principle is relevant in contemporary organizational settings because it enables managers to relay instructions in the workplace (Pryor & Taneja 2010).

Through this function, managers consolidate gains that emanate from authoritative control and dominance. This facilitates timely and resourceful delivery of services within organizations. It also facilitates delegation of duties and responsibilities (Pryor & Taneja 2010). This increases efficiency and productivity. However, command is irrelevant and disadvantageous because it blurs inherent structures of authority within organizations. If managers utilize command as a function of management, they risk losing control and authority over employees (Pryor & Taneja 2010).

Division of work, discipline, and unity of direction are three examples of Fayol’s principles of management. These principles are relevant with regard to contemporary managerial undertakings. However, they are also irrelevant because they bear negative effects that ultimately undermine progress within organizations (Rodrigues 2001). Division of work is relevant because it promotes specialization among employees. Specialization enables employees to master specific roles within the workplace. This promotes efficiency and ultimately leads to high output. It also contributes to effective management of resources and proper utilization of human resource (Rodrigues 2001).

However, this principle is irrelevant and disadvantageous because it limits employees to narrow areas of interest within organizations. Managers should discourage application of this principle because it discourages innovation. Discipline is another example of Fayol’s principles of management (Rodrigues 2001). Disciplined employees engage in appropriate actions because they are usually aware of negative implications that could arise from inappropriate conduct within the workplace. This principle of management enables managers to instil discipline within organizations (Rodrigues 2001). This means that employees are sincere and forthright regarding their responsibilities. Discipline and sincerity enhances performance and proper utilization of available resources. However, this principle is irrelevant because it intimidates employees (Wren 2001).

Most employees feel threatened by procedural realities that instil and propagate discipline in the workplace. This affects morale and employee motivation towards realization of relevant goals and aspirations. Unity of Direction is the third example of Fayol’s principles of management (Wren 2001). This principle is relevant because it enhances focus and dedication among employees. Application creates impetus for collective efforts that seek to entrench organizational values (Wren 2001). Managers should apply this principle because it portends positive implications with regard to employee motivation and empowerment (Wren 2001). However, this principle is irrelevant and disadvantageous because it limits employees with regard to areas of engagement. Managers should avoid this principle because it does not promote success within organizational entities (Wren 2001).


Organizational management is a complex undertaking that often requires knowledge regarding realities that manifest within corporate contexts (Sapru 2013). It is important for organizational leaders to demystify challenges that suffice within organizational entities. They cannot deal with such issues in absence of knowledge regarding their initiation, manifestation, and propagation. Fayol’s management theory guides managers on various best practices that enhance success within organizations (Sapru 2013).


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