Henri Fayol's Management Principles: Managing Departmental Task Organization

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  • 0:05 From Scientific to…
  • 1:15 Fayol's Principles 1-7
  • 2:25 Principles Explained
  • 6:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kat Kadian-Baumeyer

Kat has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management and teaches Business courses.

Prior to Henri Fayol's development of an administrative theory of management, managers took a scientific approach to work, attempting to maximize productivity by treating their workers like machines. Fayol's 14 Principles of Management focus on the entire organization rather than just the work. This lesson covers the first seven of these principles.

From Scientific to Administrative

Back around 1860, Henri Fayol, a then-young engineer, began working at a coal mine in France. While working at the mines, he noticed that managing the miners was not an easy job. Managing was not as effective as it could be. Managers had few resources and tools to better manage people.

At the time, Frederick Winslow Taylor, founder of the school of scientific management, was making strides in maximizing productivity by focusing on the work and the worker relationship. In other words, Taylor believed that there was a science to work. If workers worked more like machines, there would be increased productivity.

Unlike Taylor's scientific management theory, Fayol believed that it was more than just work and workers. Managers needed specific roles in order to manage work and workers. This became known as the administrative school of management and was founded on the six functions, or roles, of management:

  1. Forecasting
  2. Planning
  3. Organizing
  4. Commanding
  5. Coordinating
  6. Controlling

Principles 1-7

These roles, used as a process, focused on the entire organization rather than just the work. Once broken down into smaller parts, the six functions evolved into Fayol's 14 Principles of Management. In this lesson, we will focus on the first seven principles:

  1. Division of Work
  2. Authority
  3. Discipline
  4. Unity of Command
  5. Unity of Direction
  6. Subordination of Individual Interests to the General Interest
  7. Remuneration

While Fayol's 14 Principles of Management are not as widely used as they once were, it is important to understand how the foundation of administrative management theory was developed to address the needs of the times. This macro approach was the first of its time. Let's not forget, Taylor did not focus on the human element.

His scientific approach to work focused on building a better, stronger, faster and more productive team through physical elements. Fayol didn't see it that way. Fayol saw workers as humans possessing elements that required a more general approach to getting the work done. He saw it as a whole organizational effort.

Principles Explained

Let's take each principle and use examples to better understand how these principles work together to create an administrative management mindset. Let's use Fayol and the Principles, a rock band, to help us better understand the first seven of the 14 Principles of Management.

1. Division of Work: When employees are specialized, output can increase because they become increasingly skilled and efficient.

Fayol and the Principles is made up of four members, including Fayol. Each band member specializes in a specific instrument or talent. Fayol is the lead singer, while the other members play instruments. The band is able to produce quality music because each performs the job in the band that he or she is most specialized in.

If we were to mix it up a bit and put Fayol on bass guitar and another member on singing - neither of whom possesses the skill to perform the job - the sound would be much different.

2. Authority: Managers must have the authority to give orders, but they must also keep in mind that with authority comes responsibility.

Fayol and the Principles understand that they should specialize in their specific areas; however, there needs to be a leader. Fayol assumes the role as leader and gives everyone orders. He says 'Play this. Do that.' But with that comes responsibility. He knows that, whatever task he delegates to the band, he must make sure that the task is completed, that the task is done in a productive way and that it yields results.

3. Discipline: Discipline must be upheld in organizations, but methods for doing so can vary.

From time to time, the band members do not perform to Fayol's standard. Even though Fayol looks at the organization as a whole organizational effort, he also knows that he must administer discipline for ineffectiveness. Two of Fayol's band members decided to take a break from practice to play a competitive game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. He must administer swift discipline in line with the offense. He also knows that there is no one discipline that can be levied against the band members. It must be done on a case-by-case basis. In this case, the two band members were penalized pay for the time spent playing a game when they should have been practicing for their show.

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