Critically discuss the extent to which Fayol's classical analysis of the management function has largely been made redundant by the more recent empirical studies of what managers actually do, such as that favoured by Mintzberg.
Henri Fayol, at the age of 19, began working as engineer at a large mining company in France which eventually led to him becoming a director. Through the years that led on to this Fayol then developed his 14 principles of management which he considered to be the most important. According to Fayol, these principles indicate how managers should organise and interact with their peers. Fayol’s analysis is considered to be one of the earliest theories of management that has been created and therefore can be considered to be redundant. The many arguments considered in relation to Fayol have been considered throughout this essay as well as my own argument to gain an overall conclusion as to whether Fayol’s classical analysis of management has been made redundant.
Fayol’s perspective on management
Through personal experience, Fayol distinguished what he thought to be the prime functions of being a manager. It is said that he was the first to illustrate the need for the education of management (Brodie, 1967, in Fells, 2000) and in relation to management; Fayol’s perspective was what managers should do. Through categorising business activities into six activities, technical; commercial; financial; security; accounting and management; Fayol’s work focused on the latter category, management (Fells, 2000, pg.345).
Division of work, discipline, span of control, order and equity are just a few of the 14 principles of management that Fayol constructed from his analysis. He stressed that the number of principles, however, were non-exhaustive and that they are flexible and adaptable to every need (Fayol 1949, Brodie 1967, in Fells, 200, pg.346).
His perspective then developed further where he then acknowledged five “elements” or “processes” (Gray 1984 in Fells, 2000, pg.346) of management (Fells, 2000, pg. 346) and planning, organising, co-ordinating, commanding and controlling are these. Fayol suggested that these principles should be used by people within managerial positions when involved in their own management processes.
Mintzberg’s perspective on management
Furthermore, Mintzberg dismissed Fayol’s concept of management from the start and labelled it “folklore” (Mintzberg, 1975). Unlike Fayol suggesting what managers should do Mintzberg identified ten roles in which he believed a manager should undertake in order to be successful within their managerial position. He suggested within his perspective how managers actually behave. His ten roles were then condensed into three different roles, which are, interpersonal, informational and decisional roles - such as leader, entrepreneur, resource allocator and spokesman.
Reconciliation of the two theories
To an extent, I disagree with the statement...