Type: Exploratory
Pages: 5 | Words: 1327
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It is impossible to obtain a deep understanding of a particular field without the knowledge and thorough analysis of its roots. Nowadays, when students study management theory, they usually pay little attention to the most fundamental works of early scholars. However, it is essential to have a complete understanding of this field and all its components from the early stages in order to realize the large scale of our intellectual heritage. Learning from the past helps to see the whole concept that is formed throughout many years with the help of diverse experiences, reflections, etc.

According to the majority of scientific sources, there are four classical theories of formal organization that reflect the early stage of knowledge development in the field. The fundamental aspects of the classical/formal organization theory lie in the formal structure in design and technical rationality of the processes of organizations toward maximizing internal efficiency while maintaining administrative control over organizational members and operations. 

Administrative Theory as a Part of the Management Theory

Henri Fayol’s administrative theory is surely an inevitable part of the management theory, and he certainly made a significant implication in this field. He is believed to be the first person to write systematically on the subject of management. Fayol General and Industrial Management remains a classic-a standard reading in introductory management courses in private and public administration. The classical management movement is generally understood to have begun with Fayol.

Fayol never purchased shares in the company for which he worked so many years, believing that his personal convictions should never be confused with the goals of the firm. This is an example of his subordinating his personal interests to those of the common good, one of the “principles of good character” he put forward in his writing.

Fayol was the first to realize that there are transferrable principles that apply to any administrative endeavor. His primary contribution to the literature on administration is to have articulated this basic truth, to have set out the first list of those principles, and to have pointed to the necessity for teaching them generally. According to Fayol, the essential principle of the Administrative Theory is the “great importance of management, and this importance increases with the size of the undertaking” (Fayol, 1949). Foyal also states that no “enterprise can be successful without good management, and every enterprise, which is poorly managed, is doomed to failure”.

Fayol was the first of the management theorists who differentiated what managers do from the activities of production. Industry, for him, consisted of six sets of activities: technical, commercial, financial, security, accounting, and managerial. He viewed managers chiefly as planners, who organize, coordinate, and controll organizational efforts. Such managerial skills, Fayol realized, were universal, if not universally needed. Thus, Fayol is associated with his principles of management and his conviction about the universality of management.

Principles of Management

Fayol identified fourteen principles of the management role. He did not use the word “principle” to mean rule or law, but as an axiom or precept. Indeed, he used the term reluctantly, because he hoped that the principles would be signposts on the road to a complete theory of management. Fayol did not believe his list was exhaustive, but he did believe that a list of a dozen or so principles should be developed and discussed generally, from which theory could be developed.

Fayol popularized a number of management concepts. Along with the scalar chain, the idea that similar levels of administration in an organization carried similar weights of responsibility was “Fayol’s bridge”. He stated strongly, almost sarcastically, that an organization could waste itself into failure by forcing employees to relate to peers in other parts of the firm only by way of the management ladder. Instead, management should encourage “bridges” between people at similar levels, saving time and money, and encouraging responsibility and resourcefulness. His speech, “The Administrative Theory in the State,” presented in 1923 to the Second International Congress of Administrative Science at Brussels and reproduced by Gulick and Urwick, represented his definitive application of management principles to public administration.

Fayol’s underlying purpose for delineating principles of management was to provide a basis for the teaching of managers. The entire first part of General and Industrial Management is a defense of the necessity of teaching management. In his view, there were no schools of management, because there was no management theory. He railed against courses of study that were exclusively technical.

Henri Fayol, the originator of the scientific study of organization, defined management as consisting of five, or rather six, functions: forecasting, planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, and controlling. The term used by Fayol involved the conceptions of both forecasting and planning. It is important to keep these two concepts absolutely distinct while learning management theory. It is one thing to try to arrive at a calculated estimate of what is likely to happen in the future. And. it is another to make arrangements of men and materials designed to meet such projected events. To conclude that the population of a particular sales area is likely to increase by 50 percent in the next five years is one kind of decision; to project an increase of the sales force in that area by 10 percent per year and corresponding increases in manufacturing facilities is a decision of a different order (Narayanan & Raghu, 1993). It is difficult to state whether both forecasting and planning should be included under directing is a matter of taste. According to Fayol, planning so frequently precedes organization. There is no point in building up organization unless and until there is a plan to do something with it. This shows that it is desirable to treat planning and directing as separate activities.

Administration Industrielle Et Generale

The original title of Fayol book in French was “Administration industrielle et generale”, and it was first published as a paper in “the Bulletin de la Societe de l’industrie minerale”, in 1916(Narayanan & Raghu, 1993). But Fayol had outlined his theory of administration as early as 1900 in a paper to the Congres des mines et de la metallurgie. There is no word in the French language exactly corresponding with the English term “management”(Fayol, 1949). But it is clear from his context that Fayol meant by administration exactly what Anglo-American writers of today mean by management.

French theorist Henri Fayol extended the principles of management to fourteen, all in structural and functional lines. The formal theories of organization were highly preoccupied with the central concepts of structure, managerial control, efficiency, and work deskilling by excessive work standardization. As such, they were managerially biased and reflected the social and political movements of the early twentieth century in which industrial workers played a significant role. During that time, rapid industrialization and the rise of corporate capitalism required “organizational personality” for maximizing rationality. The rise of the large-scale corporate bureaucracies was inevitably accepted as a “necessary evil” because of their ability to bring food to the market during times of need.

The result was bureaucratization of society and dehumanization and alienation of workplace bureaucratic organizations with social, economic, political, and psychological consequences. Both corporate capitalism and socialist states achieved a high degree of rational accomplishments during this period, but both systems have failed in improving human conditions. Both contributed to the rise of the bureaucratic state dominated by a centralized, inner circle elite with an interlocking network of political, economic, and administrative memberships – an iron web of formidable power blocs that has masterfully utilized psychological, political, and economic tools of human manipulation to maintain and enhance its interests. Having lost in the global competitive struggle, the socialist states have virtually paved the way for capitalist power elites to dominate globally with little or no challenge. The new organizational elite will play a more leading global role of structural integration and administrative domination.

As a conclusion, it should be said that Henri Fayol made a significant implication into management theory, and his administrative theory is used till nowadays as one of the most detailed and grounded works.

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