Present management practices and theories have evolved from classical management theory created by organisation pioneers, and one such influential pioneer was Henri Fayol. Henri began his career as an engineer in a large French mine and eventually succeeded to become the director, here he realised the lack of resources available to managers for developing management practices.
Fayol’s did not believe in the old ideas of an individual born to rule, he believed that an employee needs to be motivated and among many other things, money is an important variable in motivation. He also said that managers should keep the morale of his employees high and keep them motivated so they can perform at their best. Fayol believed that by focusing on management practises he would minimise misunderstanding and increase efficiency in organisations and started synthesising his 14 principles of management, which are considered as the foundation and essential references for present management practices and theories.
Fayol’s principles of management are still widely used in organisations by management to perform day to day tasks and other functions. His 14 principals acknowledged the importance of management hierarchy and key management process in any organisation. These principles are as follows (Study mode, 2013): 1)Specialisation of labour. Specialising encourages continuous improvement in skills and the development of improvements in methods. 2)Authority. The right to give orders and the power to exact obedience. 3)Discipline. No slacking, bending of rules.
4)Unity of command. Each employee has one and only one boss. 5)Unity of direction. A single mind generates a single plan and all play their part in that plan. 6)Subordination of Individual Interests. When at work, only work things should be pursued or thought about. 7)Remuneration. Employees receive fair payment for services, not what the company can get away with. 8)Centralization. Consolidation of management functions. Decisions are made from the top.
9)Scalar Chain (line of authority). Formal chain of command running from top to bottom of the organization. 10)Order. All materials and personnel have a prescribed place, and they must remain there. 11)Equity. Equality of treatment (but not necessarily identical treatment) 12)Personnel Tenure. Limited turnover of personnel. Lifetime employment for good workers. 13)Initiative. Thinking out a plan and do what it takes to make it happen. 14)Esprit de corps. Harmony, cohesion among personnel.
Out of the 14, the most important elements are specialization, unity of command, scalar chain, and, coordination by managers (an amalgam of authority and unity of direction). All of these principles have an influence in today’s management practices but it would seem that three of these play a major role modern management thought and practice. The three being:
1)Authority 2)Unity of direction 3)Remuneration “Authority” in classic management laid the foundation for present day company structures and practices, which helps present day management with hierarchy within organisations ensuring competent day to day operations between general staff and management. “Unity of direction” is practised as one the most important aspect of management and general staff today, where almost every successful business has a vision for future of their organisation and how each employee and their roles contribute towards the success of this vision. In order for any organisation to achieve their goals (vision), managers today ensure that they employ staffs who are most suitable to the available roles, herein comes “remuneration”, where managers offer employees fair payment and benefits for their services.
This ensures that both parties (managers and employees) are satisfied with the outcome of employment. Fayol’s main contribution to present day management thought & practise will have to be the use of his experiences and observations to create a body of knowledge that included his 14 principles as guide to thinking and practise and elements of management as a description of the functions managers perform to this day. Fayol also brought to attention what he believed to be the relative importance of technical and managerial abilities of employees of different levels of authorities.
This demonstrates that employees at worker level need more technical ability but as the move up the “scalar chain” the importance of managerial ability increase as the importance of technical ability decreases. Fayol’s observation paved the path to managerial studies and gave importance to having the properly trained/educated employee at different levels of the organisation. Fayol was also the first person to identify and describe the elements of a manager’s job and he labelled these elements as planning, organising, command, coordination and control.
These elements formed what is known as the “management process”, this management process help determine what is required from managers and what practises shall be observed by managers. These elements are still key factors in present day manager’s role and responsibilities. The classical management theory of administrative approach concentrates on the total organisation where the emphasis is on the development of managerial principles rather than trying to find the best way to get the most done.
This theory evolved mainly from the contributions of Henri Fayol, which were his 14 principles of management. These principles provide modern-day managers with general guidelines on how a supervisor should organize their department and manage their staff. Classical management theory is an approach to organizing that values productivity, the precision and efficiency that result from a division of labour, a hierarchical chain of command, and tight discipline. Fayol’s principle of division of work defines that work should be divided among individuals and groups to ensure that effort and attention are focused on special portions of the task.
Fayol presented work specialization as the best way to use the human resources of the organization, from this definition it can be seen that Henri Fayol has made a major contribution with his principle of division of labour to the foundation and structure of classical management practices and theory. Henri Fayol’s synthesis of the 14 principles of management made very important contributions to classical management theory and practices. His perception of division of work evolved and helped define classical management.
Fayol’s principles are still practised today by organisations, his ideas can be seen in modern day ideology of management through practises such as staff hierarchy (Division of labour), department managers and board members (Authority), company visions and ideas (Unity of directions) and salary packages including benefits and bonuses(Remuneration). It is obvious that Fayol’s ideas and principles are still in practice today and he can truly be called the father of modern management theory.