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When Every Single Possibility of Misunderstanding Has Been Taken Care of: Fayolism and Its Topicality in the XXI Century Evaluation Essay

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Updated: Jul 20th, 2019

Fayol and What He Had to Say on Corporate Management

Coordinating the work of several hundred employees and making sure that the production processes are running smoothly is not an easy task, especially when the need to solve workplace conflicts and improve relationships among employees arises.

Therefore, for a company manager to get the priorities in line and have a clear plan for the further course of actions in mind, it is crucial to introduce a list of the key management principles.

Unless Henry Fayol had introduced his concept of management in the middle of the XIX century, exercising control over the employees and improving production processes would be extremely complex even in the present-day setting (Oliviera 2011).

Born in Ottoman Empire and raised in France, Henri Fayol was practically destined to bridge people of different cultures, ethnicities and walks of life, and nowhere else this feature of his was as evident as in his management practice.

Organizing the work of more than 10,000 people in Compagnie de Commentry-Fourchambeau-Decazeville mining company, Fayol managed to coin his own unique principles of management, most of which remain topical even in the modern business setting:

  • Management is universal;
  • Being a manager is not an inborn, but an acquired quality;
  • Authorities can be delegated; responsibilities must not be;
  • A manager’s span of control must not be over 6;
  • Each staff member must be assigned with only one piece of work;
  • A clear demarcation of authority from top to bottom must be provided;
  • Each employee must be informed about his/her duties in writing (Singla 2011).

The Tomorrow’s Planet Channel and Its Management Issues

Unfortunately, Fayol’s ideas seem to have been neglected in the organization, which I used to work in several months ago. The Tomorrow’s Planet Channel, which specialized in news reports, seemed to have a rather weird approach towards management issues. One of the basic problems of the company revolves around the management of the remote personnel.

Although Tomorrow’s Planet is quite small yet, the company’s leader is thinking of expanding into the U.S. market, which leads to recruiting people from all over the U.S. As a result, a number of remote employees have been hired.

However, since the management practices have not been changed, the lack of communication between the office and remote employees, as well as between the latter and the company’s managers, has led to a sharp decrease in the company’s performance. Applying Fayol’s principles to the given issue, one must admit that the following changes have to be made:

  • Reducing the managers’ span of control from 4 office employees and 4 remote ones to 3 in both groups;
  • Accepting the fact that being a manager is an acquired quality and improve mangers’ skills in accordance with the new environment (i.e., managing remote employees);
  • Making sure that the remote employees are aware of the authority demarcation;
  • Providing remote employees with written list of their responsibilities (Sundin n. d.).

According to the existing researches, the lack of communication is the key factor that reduces employees’ performance efficiency in case of remote employment:

Interdependencies and interfaces between pieces of work implies a need for communication between team members performing the work. If those individuals are not collocated, you encounter a communication problem due to physical distance. (Stoehr 2012: 81).

Fayol’s Management Concepts and their Introduction into the Tomorrow’s Planet

As one might have guessed, the key problem in the tomorrow’s Planet Company is that it has not changed its management strategies in accordance with the new environment and the new staff, i.e., the people working remotely (Rane & Agrawal 2011).

As a result, Fayol’s first two principles have been broken (Tripathi 2008). In addition, managers were assigned with the supervision of remote employees as well, which raised the span from 6 to 8 people. Consequently, the company needs to recognize the necessity to be more flexible in its management strategies and to adapt towards such innovations as the introduction of remote employment.

Fayolism might be getting old slowly but steadily, with some of its concepts dating or changing under the influence of newer theories, e.g., the concept of centralization, which burdens employees with additional responsibilities, yet the influence of Fayol’s ideas on the development of business cannot be denied.

As the example of the Tomorrow’s Planet shows, the principles introduced by Fayol are still efficient; without Fayol’s ideas, a company is most likely to be facing a trip into a crisis.

Reference List

Oliviera, Nelio (2011) Automated organizations: development and structure of the modern business firm. Brazil: PUC Minas.

Rane, Abhijeet and Agrawal, Tavishi (2011) The future of workplaces [online].

Singla, Neeraj (2011) Principles of management. India: FK Publications.

Stoehr, Thomas (2012) Managing e-business projects: 99 key success factors with 12 tables. New York, NY: Springer.

Sundin, Kirsten (n. d.) [online].

Tripathi, Prasad (2008) Principles of management. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill.

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