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Henri Fayol - Functions of management

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Fayol believed that effective management was the result of knowledge of the business and the ability to motivate employees and manage resources effectively. He set down 14 principles of management which include:

  • Division of labour allowing for specialisation and continuous improvement of skills
  • Authority to carry out the job with a clear downward chain of command
  • Unity of Command ensuring that every employee knows exactly who their line manager is so facilitating clear channels of communication
  • Unity of direction where a single mind creates a single plan
  • Appropriate reward for effort
  • Centralisation of the management functions to ensure unity of purpose
  • Equal treatment of all employees to ensure commitment to the organisation and its goals
  • Esprit de corps through the building of teams and the creation of harmony and shared values

Fayol provided a language to communicate management theory and establish a foundation for management training. However, most of these activities identified by Fayol are task-oriented, rather than people-oriented. His work is often associated with that of Taylor and described as complementary as they both applied scientific techniques to the problems of management.

Fayol's principles describe a vision rather than reality and are based on his own experience not on empirical research. Later studies by Mintzberg and Kotter found that successful managers spend little time carrying out Fayol's activities and rely more on cultivating networks and personal contacts.