What Work Henri Fayo Did In Administrative Management?


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Henri Fayol (1841-1925) was a French engineer who developed a systematic method of management that he insisted could be both taught and learned. Fayol refined his methods while a top manager at Commentary Fourchambault, a large mining company in France that has since been absorbed by Le Creusot Loire. In contrast to Frederick Taylor's approach of examining the organization from the shop level up, Fayol examined the organization from the top down. He believed in the universality of management, feeling that management principles could be applied to all types of organizations, and he argued for a broad, formal management curriculum to train people in the critical skills they would need to he effective managers. Fayol prepared his management theories for publication as early as 1914, but World War I delayed their appearance until 1916. The second and definitive English translation of his book General and Industrial Management was published in 1949, gaining Fayol a much wider audience.

Fayol is best known for his administrative management approach, which stresses the functional aspects of the organization structure. In his view, business activities are composed of basic functions that include technical activities such as production, commercial activities such as buying and selling, financial activities such as optimum use of capital, security activities such as protecting property, accounting activities such as costs and balance sheets, and managerial functions.

Fayol saw management as a five-part function of planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. These functions are the roots of the four-part management process as it is taught today. He also listed 14 rules developed out of his own management experience to help managers run more effective organizations. Although the list was not intended to be rigidly applied or to be exhaustive, Fayol's guidelines set the stage for many later theories and practices.

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