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Literature Review – Henri Fayol Essay

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Updated: Apr 3rd, 2019

Henri Fayol is a prominent theorist in the realms of management and other related fields. He proposed a conceptual model widely applied in organizational and business management.

In his book of “Administration Industrielle et Generale,” Fayol described an array of management principles that have immensely contributed in the organizational management (Brunsson 2008, p. 35).

Precisely, despite various criticisms that have been elicited from different theorists and scholars, Fayol models are still widely used. Established and well-performing businesses and organizations have attributed their effective performance and success to the Fayol principles.

In his theory, Fayol outlined five basic functions inherent to management. The basic management functions described by Fayol in his theory include planning, organizing, and commanding.

Additionally, Fayol identifies coordinating and controlling as other basic management principles. According to Fayol, outlined functions remain universal to all organizations.

He stipulated that all managers have to carry out these described functions in every day working environment. In addition to these, Fayol outlined other fourteen overall management principles.

Indicatively, the 14 principles provide normative guidance regarding the manner in which manager may implement the basic five managerial roles in an effective manner (Sapru 2008, p. 33).

There is great importance in outlining these basic principles identified by Fayol regarding managerial roles.

Particularly, this examination is important during this era of globalization, which has led to a remarkable increase in organizational and business competitiveness.

Fayol describes the basic principles of management. Planning is one of the highlighted roles of management. As Fayol outlines, managers have to conduct basic planning roles.

This is applicable for the future conditions. The development of strategic objectives is objectively important for proper organizational performance. This is particularly in order for organizations to secure the accomplishment for the future organizational objectives.

Therefore, as Fayol indicates, it is important for all the managers and other organizational leaders to evaluate their potential for future achievements.

Future contingencies likely to influence organizations and consequently transform their operational and strategic orientations are important. Consequently, these must be well planned for.

Organizing is another critical management role as described by the Fayol’s theory (McLean 2011, p. 32). The organizational leaders have to organize its personnel in an effective way. The streamlining of organizational activities and other work processes is important for effective performance.

Generally, as evidently described by Fayol, a well planned and organized organization leads to adequate and successful performance. Proper organization remains vital even during recruitment processes. For effective performance, the managers have to recruit the right personnel for specific duties.

Securing the highly skilled and learned human resource is a vital organization role that must be conducted by the managers. Commanding is another critical management role proposed by the Fayol’s theory.

Ideally, current organizations face stiff competition and high employee demand. In order to remain within the competitive organizational and business mainstream, the outlined Fayol’s theories remain largely applicable.

Effective supervision and motivation of workers is crucial within organizations (Wren & Bedeian 2009, p. 56). Evidently, most successful organizations have attributed motivation to their innovation and novelty.

Effectively supervised and motivated workforces remains dedicated and compete constructively to accomplish outlined goals and delegated duties.

Subordinates must be adequately supervised in their daily work processes. This should be accompanied with their motivation to achieve the organizational goals. Motivation enhances innovation as well as novelty.

Adequate communication and feedback mechanisms are vital within an organization. These processes are basically oriented in the command system. They help in the articulation of company goals and policies to all members. This also includes the subordinate staff.

The commanding structure and system utilized by the managers must be in compliance with the inherent company policies. This is important to avoid the instances of confusion or conflict of interest emerging from different factions within the organization (Parker & Ritson 2005, p. 188).

As notable within the present day organizational management, there must be an outlined command system within all cadres. This management role outlined by Fayol is crucial because it supports the work processes within an organization.

Another important management role is coordination. The organizational leaders and managers have to streamline the processes and procedures undertaken within the organization.

Basically, the implication is that all the organizational units must be complementary and enriching to the work f one another.

The last management role outlined by the Fayol’s principles is the act of control. Various managers must observe control in order to succeed in their respective organizational activities (McLean 2011, p. 33).

Generally, the organization’s processes and operations must be controlled. This initiative ensures that these processes remain in accordance to the general organizational policies as well as strategic objectives.

Various organizational control mechanisms have been presently adopted by various managers in organizations. For instance, monitoring and evaluation remain as critical component of the controlling function of management within all organizational processes.

Fayol indicates that it is the obligation of all the relevant managers and leaders to note and report all the cases of deviations. Therefore, this management role requires a keen observation of the plans, objectives and basic missions.

Developing corrective initiatives for these deviations include another critical undertaking within the controlling role of management.

The application of Fayol’s principles in management practices still remains eminent. The Fayol’s principles are presently applied in various learning institutions to explain the basis of management and organizational administration (Wren 2001, p. 479).

In addition, its practice within various successful corporations and organizations is eminent. Observably, these outlined five functions within the theory assume the normative as well as functional approach to management.

There have been reiterations that this theory might not comprehensively cover the evident managerial intricacies that most managers are presently encountering in an alarming rate.

The failure of these theories to outline or elucidate on how the leaders are supposed to impart motivation as well as innovative performance of their subordinates are important.

Observably, although these outlined management roles might be widely applicable, they also have their inherent limitations (Wren 2001, p. 480). For instance, the principles might not comprehensively represent the overall intricacies that managers encounter during their duties.

This is, particularly, within the presently globalized and highly competitive organizational environment. However, it is vital to note that these outlined roles described by Fayol’s theory provide a general structure for the diverse functions.

These functions are specifically for the managers. The present organizations are in pursuit of more strategic approaches to management and general organizational administration.

It is evident that the increasing organizational competitiveness has also imparted significant pressure on employees’ engagement and welfares. Therefore, the available HR has become competitive to hire and maintain.

For these reasons, organizations are more skewed towards the utilization of comprehensive approaches to management and practice. In this demand, the Fayol’s principles have increasingly become pertinent and applicable in both management practice and teaching (Wren & Bedeian 2009, p. 43).

However, due to more complicated management situations, most organizations also apply this principle in combination and synergy with other effective management theories.

The interaction of the management with the other staff including the subordinate workers in an effective manner as stated by Fayol is a critical component in organizational success. This is because presently, the employees are regarded as the first fundamental stakeholders within all organizations.

This is because they are the sole implementers of organizational policies and objectives. Therefore, their welfare has remained largely profitable and advantageous for organizational performance.

Apart from these management roles described by Fayol, it is vital to discuss the basic 14 management principles. Fayol recognized the need for division of labor.

He argued on the importance of dividing roles among personalities as well as teams. In the present day, division of labor is widely practiced. This is largely due to its advantages related to the efficiency within organizations.

In his arguments, Fayol potentiated the importance of specialization (Sapru 2008, p. 54). The theory presents specialization as the most preferable method of utilizing the workforce within an organization. The proposition has been widely applicable in increasing the responsibility and accountability of individuals to basic roles.

Fayol observed the close association between authority as well as responsibility. In his argument, Fayol indicates authority as the competency to provide directives and exact obedience from the followers or subordinates. On the other hand, responsibility entails the act of being accountable.

According to Fayol, these two elements closely relate to each other. Any manager with authority has to exercise certain levels of responsibility (Wood & Fields 2007, p. 269).

The Fayol principles of management also indicate the importance of discipline. Indeed (even presently), it is notable that most successful organizations have to exercise a lot of discipline in order to attain good results.

With the era of increasing organizational competiveness, discipline must be given a priority within all organizations. The entire workforce must have a collective focus and determination. Fayol also reiterated on the need for rational discipline of deviant workers within organizations.

These concepts are widely applicable within most highly performing organizations presently. Unity in command as well as direction is other important management considerations as indicated by Fayol.

There must be a properly defined and communicated protocol of receiving orders. Generally, employees are preferably ordered from one point to another by a specific manager (Parker & Ritson 2005, p. 187).

In addition, the whole corporation must move to a collective aim and in one direction. These observations help to keep the organization’s activities in the right track. Additionally, they have been applied to prevent the high cases of internal or external conflicts that have been presently incurred by organizations.

The principles examine the conflict of personal and the general organizational interests. Generally, there is an indication that individual interest must never assume priority over other important general interests of the entire organization.

The importance of consideration of underlying factors during the remuneration processes is eminent. According to Fayol, diverse factors like the life standards, presence skilled human resource as well as the business environment must be considered.

Presently, the increasing life standards and globalization have affected employees’ welfares considerably. As a result, organizations endeavor to apply concerned directives under Fayol’s remuneration principles to enhance their employees’ welfare (Parker & Ritson 2005, p. 189).

Concurrently, the importance of centralization is discussed in the principles of Fayol. He referred to centralization as the process of lowering the significance of subordinate functions. He observed the importance of decentralization and the performance of the subordinate.

Perhaps, this illustration explains the reason behind formation of various line manager units within present organizations. Fayol also noted the importance of scalar chain and its consequent observation within all organizations.

In his principle, he denoted that the line or ground managers should be reporting to their immediate supervisors or bosses. This flow of protocol helps in enhancing the communication as well as feedback mechanisms within organizations.

Equal treatment of all persons (employees) in an organization is critical. This sentiment has been outlined clearly within the Fayol’s concepts of management. Present organizations have drawn the necessary guiding policies on material use and handling.

This directly indicates the critical observation of Fayol’s principles (Pryor & Taneja 2010, p. 500). Fayol’s equity principle of management has been widely applicable within present organizations to overt discriminations based on gender, age or race.

Managements have presently endeavored to obtain and competitively retain the adequately performing human resources. This reiterates the Fayol’s principle regarding the stability of tenure of the human resource. Work initiative must be motivated by the management in order to enhance organizational performance.

ESPIRIT DE CORPS is the last management principle eminent within the Fayol’s concept (Wood & Fields 2007, p. 270).

According to this principle, the management must motivate peace and inspire workers to stay in a state of good feeling. Generally, it is notable that the Fayol principles on management have been widely applied within present organizations.

List of References

Brunsson, K 2008, ‘Some Effects of Fayolism’, Int. Studies of Mgt. & Org, vol. 38 no. 1, pp. 30-47.

McLean, J 2011, ‘Fayol – standing the test of time’, Manager: British Journal of Administrative Management, vol. 74 no. 1, pp. 32-33.

Parker, L & Ritson, P 2005, ‘Revisiting Fayol: Anticipating Contemporary Management’, British Journal of Management, vol. 16 no. 1, pp. 175-194.

Pryor, M & Taneja, S 2010, ‘Henri Fayol, practitioner and theoretician – revered and reviled’, Journal of Management History, vol. 16 no. 4, pp. 489 – 503.

Sapru, R 2008, Administrative theories and management thought, PHI Learning, New Delhi.

Wood, S & Fields, D 2007, ‘Exploring the impact of shared leadership on management team member job outcomes’, Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 2 no. 3, pp. 251-272.

Wren, D & Bedeian, G 2009, The evolution of management thought, Wiley Publishing, Hoboken, NJ.

Wren, D 2001, ‘Henri Fayol as strategist: a nineteenth century corporate turnaround’, Management Decision, vol. 39 no. 6, pp. 475 – 487.

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