Born into a middle class French family in 1841 and educated at the Lycee at Lyons then at the national School of Mines at Saint-Etienne. Consider the father of Management Henri Fayol rose to succession quickly after entering the work force. At the ripe age of 19, Henri graduated from the National School of Mines at Saint-Etienne being named as of its outstanding students.
In 1861 Henri was employed by Commetry-Fourchambault Company to help solve the problem of underground fires as written by his son. (Focus on Management History). Henri remained at Commentry-Fourchambault Company until his retirement in 1918. He was considered a very successful man whilst working at Commetry, at the age of 25 Henri became manager of Commentry pits, then to manager of the group coal minds at the age of 31. At the age of 47 Henri gained the position of Managing director and remained as its chief executive until his retirement.
Throughout his time at Commentry he became critical of higher management’s practice of letting the sale of coal drive its production. Fayol sought to solve this problem by preparing sales and production plans with records of inventory that sales people could use to guide their selling. Henri was choosen by the board to oversee this dissolution. Accepting this Henri spent 4 months to develop a complete plan to present to the board. (Daniel A. Wren 2001, p. 477)
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Retirement didn’t stop Fayol from continuing in succession. Moving on to further ventures, Henri set up a Centre for Administrative Studies (CAS). The centre held regular meetings attended by leaders from professional fields such as writers, philosophers, engineers, public-sector officials, the military and industrials. The centre helped in the overall effort for Henri to develop and popularize his theories of management. Through presentation of his key disciples through lecture, pamphlets and articles, Henri furthered on his principles by taking consultancies and investigations on behalf of the government. Essentially Fayol had four careers: mining engineer, geologist and geological researcher, industrial leader and a management philosopher, writer and teacher.
Henri won many awards in his career which were all accored in recognition to both of his technical contributions to geology and metallurgy and contributions to the field of management. (Lee D, Parker, Philip A. Ristson 2005, p. 179)
Fayol portrayed as a pioneering figure who helped lay the foundations of contemporary management theory. His ideas have been acknowledged and critiqued by management text authurs and teachers to several generations of managers in business and government. Best remembered for a three-fold contribution to management thought. First, Fayol is credited with the belief that organizational and business life was an amalgam of six activities. Second, Fayol is said to have identified five key functions or elements that comprised managerial activity. And thirdly Fayol is said to have advocated four- teen principles designed to guide the successful manager.
Henri’s fourteen principles of management are his most frequently citied contribtion to the management literature. Based on the Six Administrative activities: Technical, Managerial, Commercial, Financial, Accounting and security Henri developed the fourteen management principles:
1. Division of Work – When employees are specialized, output can increase because they become increasingly skilled and efficient. 2. Authority – Managers must have the authority to give orders, but they must also keep in mind that with authority comes responsibility. 3. Discipline – Discipline must be upheld in organizations, but methods for doing so can vary. 4. Unity of Command – Employees should have only one direct supervisor. 5. Unity of Direction – Teams with the same objective should be working under the direction of one manager, using one plan. This will ensure that action is properly coordinated. 6. Subordination of Individual Interests to the General Interest – The interests of one employee should not be allowed to become more important than those of the group. This includes managers. 7. Remuneration – Employee satisfaction depends on fair remuneration for everyone. This includes financial and non-financial compensation. 8. Centralization – This principle refers to how close employees are to the decision-making process. It is important to aim for an appropriate balance. 9. Scalar Chain – Employees should be aware of where they stand in the organization's hierarchy, or chain of command. 10. Order – The workplace facilities must be clean, tidy and safe for employees. Everything should have its place. 11. Equity – Managers should be fair to staff at all times, both maintaining discipline as necessary and acting with kindness where appropriate. 12. Stability of Tenure of Personnel – Managers should strive to minimize employee turnover. Personnel planning should be a priority. 13. Initiative – Employees should be given the necessary level of freedom to create and carry out plans. 14. Esprit de Corps – Organizations should strive to promote team spirit and unity.
Beyond defining general rules, Henri Fayol has also conducted groundbreaking work on continuous improvement and operational excellence, arguing that progress is a vital necessity for companies in maintaining their competitiveness. He may even be considered as a forerunner of lean management, when he defends the need to combine theoretical teaching and shopfloor learning-by-doing, favors direct cross communication, denounces cumbersome organizations and hierarchical inconsistencies, highlights the importance of personnel commitment and initiative, and stigmatizes losses related to the lack of storage, order and cleanliness. (Henri Fayol Institute École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne)
Haven’t found the author and date, Henri Fayol, Henri Fayol Institute École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne, viewed 5 October 2013,
Fayol initiated a ‘here manager’ or ‘quasi-autobiographyical’ approach to management theorizigin that remains an element of management literature to this day. Fayol relied upon his opinion, judgeent and experience to ground his ideas.
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