What Are The Criticism In Henri Fayol Works?


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Criticism of Administrative Theory
Fayol's theory has been criticised on the following grounds :
1. Too formal: Fayol's theory is said to be very formal. However, in any scientific and analytical study facts and observations have to be presented in a formal manner.
2. Vague: Some of the concepts have not been properly defined. For example, the principle of division of work does not tell how the task should be divided. Again, to say that an organisation needs coordina¬tion is merely to state the obvious. In the words of Herbert Simon, administrative theory suffers from superficiality, oversimplification and lack of realism.
3. Inconsistency: Principles of administrative theory were based on per¬sonal experience and limited observations. There is too much generalisations and lack empirical evidence. They have not been verified under controlled scientific conditions. Some of them are contradictory. For example, the unity of com¬mand principle is incompatible with division of work. The theory does not provide guidance as to which principle should be given precedence over the other.
4. Pro-management Bias: Administrative theory does not pay adequate attention to workers. Workers are treated as biological machines or inert instruments in the work process.
5. Historical value:   Fayol's theory was relevant when organisations operated in a stable and predictable environment. It seems less appropriate in the turbulent environment of today. For example, present-day managers cannot depend entirely on formal authority and must use persuasion to get the work done. Similarly, the theory views organisations as power centres and do not recognise the role of a democratic form of organisation.

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