Explain And Analyze Henri Fayol's Principles Of Management

3232 words - 13 pages

Jovi Gan, 19107358, MGW 1010In the today business environment, organizations are changing and the role of managers within the organizations is going to be different than what it was a couple of decades ago. One cannot help but wonder whether the elements and principles of management identified by the father of management theory, Henri Fayol is still applicable after all this while.Henri Fayol was born in 1841 and he graduated as a mining engineer in 1860 from the National School of Mines at St. Etienne. Following that, he took up a position as an engineer in Commantry-Fourchambault, a company in the mining industry. Fayol eventually rose to the position of managing director in 1888 and at that time, the firm was on the verge of bankruptcy. However when he retired thirty years later, the company has expanded into as one of the leading mining companies with a long record of profits and dividends (Koontz and O'Donnell, 1955, p23). Fayol wrote as a practical man of business reflecting on his long managerial career and setting down the principles which he had most frequently applied into the fourteen principles of management (Fayol, 1949, p52). One must note that the principles of management are like guidelines to refer to rather than rules which must be enforced. He also identifies five elements of management that all managers perform (Koontz and O'Donnell, 1955, p24). We shall first examine the relevance of Fayol's elements of management in modern day business environment.Fayol regarded the elements of management as functions planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating and controlling. However, these functions have been condensed down to only four basic but very important ones: planning, organizing, leading and controlling (Robbins et al, 2003, p9).Jovi Gan, 19107358, MGW 1010Fayol placed considerable emphasis on the importance of planning (prevoyance in French). He held that management must be able to "assess the future and make provision for it" and he views the "action plan" as the most useful output of the planningprocess (Koontz and O'Donnell, 1955, p26). In the past, it was believed that planning varied by organizational level. That is, top management planned in the longest time horizon and engaged in more strategic planning with middle managers spending less time in planning and are more engaged in operational planning rather than strategic ones. Today, managers at all levels are being asked to participate in strategic planning and all of them are responsible for taking a long term view of the organization as a whole (Buhler, 1998, p17).Under the organizing function, the task of management is to build up an organization that will allow the basic activities to be carried out efficiently and effectively. There must be unity of command and direction, with clear definition of responsibilities and a precise decision making system. Hence, organizational structures in the past tend to be very mechanistic (Pugh and Hickson, 1997, p88). Since then,...

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