Initiative: Fayol's Principle, Overview

Instructor: Ashley D. Manker
In this lesson, we will review Fayol's 14 management principles. We will also focus on a specific principle, initiative, and how it can contribute to a successful management technique.

Fayol's 14 Principles of Management

Henri Fayol (1841-1925)
Henri Fayol  (1841-1925)

Henri Fayol gained a lot of experience working as a CEO, and he developed his own ideas about managing. He believed that all supervisors, from foremen to CEOs, should receive some type of managerial training. He developed a list of principles of management. While Fayol believed that there were more than fourteen of them, he chose to focus on those he found to be the most useful in his own career. The fourteen principles that Fayol concentrated on were:

  • Division of work
  • Authority and responsibility
  • Discipline
  • Principle of one boss
  • Unity of direction
  • Subordination of individual interests to the general interest
  • Fair remuneration
  • Centralization and de-centralization
  • Scalar chain (the chain of management from highest to lowest rank)
  • Order
  • Equity
  • Stability of tenure of personnel
  • Initiative
  • Esprit de corps (building harmony and unity)

Initiative Principle

Initiative is the eagerness to start actions without being told to start them. For example, when you were a young child, your mom and dad probably had to constantly tell you to clean your room. As you continued to grow and became a teenager, you probably started cleaning your room without being told to do it. You obtained the initiative to clean your room.

Purpose of the Initiative Principle

According to Fayol, under this principle, successful management provides an opportunity to its employees to suggest new ideas, experiences and more convenient methods of work. Fayol believed that employees should be encouraged to take the initiative in the work assigned to them. Workers can be encouraged with the help of monetary or non-monetary incentives. In other words, Fayol believed that you should encourage employees to 'think outside the box' by rewarding them with more money or a perk, such as leaving the office early on Fridays. He also believed that employees who have been doing the same job for many years are the best ones to ask about a process and that managers should seek their advice before making drastic changes.

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