14 Principles of Management Described by Henri Fayol

In the world of supervision, everyone counts on their own strength, developing original rules of the game. The emergence of large corporations led to a revision of numerous administrative theories and concepts. Frenchman Henry Fayol became famous precisely by describing management principles, which have become almost proverbial ones as proved to be effective.

Management Principles Developed by Henri Fayol

The eminent industrialist was the first to lay scientific foundations for regulation. Henri Fayol comprehensively studied the publications and books available at that time, synthesizing reflections into 14 standards. They were set out in his study, published in 1916.

When compiling them, he was guided by the rule of brevity, believing that the list should not be exhaustive. Such a catalog is obliged to suggest thoughts on their usefulness. In addition, correct canons have the flexibility to make timely adjustments. The results of painstaking Fayol’s work are as follows:

1. Division of Workflow

It is not right to give the whole volume of received tasks to one performer. It is much more efficient to break them into pieces, giving the laborer that one most corresponds to his/her abilities or interests. Multiple repetitions of the given algorithm allows you to improve in certain skills and deepen your specialization. Therefore, you get high-quality work, increased production speed and lower costs.

2. Authority and Responsibility

The mentioned rule implies that a worker is able to bear accountable for the consequences of own activities, only if there are sufficient powers. A higher position means not just the ability to control or manage organizations. According to Fayol, an irresponsible header can lead to an irreparable disaster.

Consider the next example. The company’s chief set a goal for the manager to triple sales level for the next year. To successfully accomplish this assignment, the latter should be given freedom in choosing representatives of the firm and advertising campaigns. Without an extension of functions, he is unlikely to cope.

3. Discipline

Guided by administrative management theory, it is associated with respect and observance of accepted norms. An akin principle is established through excellent monitoring, as well as a clear explanation of the rules, together with a system of penalties and benefits. A personal authority also has an enormous significance.

4. Unity of Command

According to it, a wage-earner is assigned to one director. I.e. he or she receives orders solely from one person, not the whole team of leaders. The surplus of superiors may lead to an unpleasant situation when the employee does not know whose order is the priority.

Such turmoil negatively affects the effectiveness of subordinates. After all, each topper perceives own instructions as the most valuable, producing a clash of statuses. Finally, a company is in danger of chaos.

5. Unity of Path

The motion vector of a firm is determined by the only front-runner. It is detailed in the program of action and sent to relevant departments. The staff is obliged to support the formulated strategic purpose. For instance, a chemical firm produces equipment for laboratories and medicines. A separate unit is responsible for each of the goods.

Presented commodities have their market niches and problems of their filling. The sector should form a plan of current processes in accordance with the conditions to achieve maximum indicators. It is necessary to distinguish the unity of direction from the team.

If the first rule means that one manager monitors the implementation of a certain aim, the last precept says that only one person must command the parade. According to Fayol, for the functioning of a company, it is important to be on the same wavelength, while single-handed ruling increases the employees’ motivation.

6. Priority of Common Interests over Personal ones

Needs of the firm are above all. If the department header makes a decision that harms him/her but benefits the company, his/her choice is quite obvious. Conversely, a solution brings profit only to the topper should not be voiced. For instance, the purchasing supervisor must get 50 tons of raw materials. He decides to buy the goods from the son-in-law at a price higher than the market tariff. Of course, this is beneficial for family business, but the company will incur losses.

7. Encouraging Laborers

For mutual understanding between owners and staff, one should remember an incentive system. But remuneration should be paid in accordance with the amount of work performed. If the norm of fairness is not fully observed, workers will begin to perform tasks poorly, slowly and with obvious reluctance.

The number of benefits depends on many factors, such as living standards, the unemployment rate and the average wage level for the region. According to Fayol, you can motivate wage-earners thanks to intangible resources. These include tickets to the gym, discounts on Italian cuisine or corporate leisure.

8. Centralization

This precept does not mean the concentration of all powers in one place. Strategic decisions should be made by the Supreme Council. Managing routine processes is better delegated to responsible subordinates. As a rule, a successful large corporation is based on decentralization, whereas a small business focuses more on its antipode.

The distribution of power will facilitate to reduce a workload, increase the speed of response to some issues and provide staff support. True, excessive centralization is fraught with the following effects:

  • Significant enlargement in working time for directors, which leads to overwork of the body
  • Making the wrong decisions and setting incorrect aims
  • Reducing the trust of subordinates and creating an atmosphere of tension.

9. Scalar Chain

It can be represented as a hierarchical line, directed from high to low positions. Such a sequence must be strictly observed, especially when transmitting information or instructions. Do not skip a single point; otherwise, the task may be misinterpreted. Fayol made only one exception to this rule, namely: to establish communication with the employee in the event of an emergency.

10. Order

A laborer must stay in the workplace and perform own duties accurately. According to Fayol, any company is guided by the availability of material and human resources. Their unifying criterion says “everything has its place”.

The worker in time comes to change, in a sober manner and clean clothes, completely devoting his attention to the proposed project. The equipment is ready for working. The appointed expert checks its serviceability. It should be clarified that the wage-earner should know the source of necessary tools and location of the authorities. This needs to correct the situation at any time.

11. Decency

The indicated principle asserts the staff appreciates the benevolent and impartial attitude of the authorities. Such a behavior fosters a sense of loyalty to the collective. By the way, Fayol believed that there was no difference between a good employee and a lazy bastard since the latter might be just a sensitive person by nature. Perhaps Taylor was right here, introducing the method of differential compensation.

12. Stability of Personnel

Obviously, changing collaborators hurts a company and reflects an incorrect management method. Therefore, the header must form a stable team of competent and proven persons. According to Fayol, the dismissal of workers has a negative impact on the pace of production turnover. Add to this the costs of recruiting and training.

Constant reduction of staff creates a feeling of insecurity in the group. Coworkers begin to look for a new job, reducing the firm’s prestige. In a word, a healthy environment and optimism play an essential role in uniting.

13. Initiative

Fayol expressed absolute confidence that an excellent manager should encourage an initiative of executives, both in the performance of immediate duties and in expressing own opinions. In this way, you can get original ideas and combine several levels of an organization. In order to reach the declared effect, the ruler should give up his/her status.

14. Esprit de Corps

This norm is responsible for the development of team spirit. Replace the pronoun “I” with “we” when talking to the personnel, hold joint events and support colleagues in unpleasant situations. If people trust you, you will be able to implement the last rule.

Thus, your attention was given to fourteen principles of Fayol's management. They are often used not only for supervision but also for forecasting, monitoring and securing subordination. At first glance, their meaning seems simple and obvious. Perhaps, therefore, a lot of companies are still guided by them instead of newfangled trends.