Explain and analyze Henri Fayol's principles of management

Essay by syt0311University, Bachelor'sA-, August 2007

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Jovi Gan, 19107358, MGW 1010

In 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 1010

Fayol placed considerable emphasis on the importance of...