Henri Fayol’s Management Theory The twentieth century has brought in a number of management theories which have helped shaped our view of management in the present business environment. Henri Fayol’s management theory is pioneer in its own right, outlining clear and distinct duties and roles of management and his theory is by far the most relevant in today’s management style. Plan, Organize, Command, Co-ordinate, and Control are the five core issues of the Henri Fayol’s management, which have made the theory more practical over the contemporary management theory.
Henry Fayol presented 14 principles of Management, many of which are still widely used in organizations by management to perform day to day tasks and many other functions. Some of his principles which form the structural dimensions of today’s organizations and their management are: Unity of Command, Division of work on the basis of specialization, Centralization, Order, Discipline and Unity if direction.
Other than this, two more important aspects that he introduced and we find in today’s management practice are the need for initiative on part of the employees and letting the employees contribute to decisions and other tasks and delegating on the management’s part. In his principles, he also stated that an employee needs to be motivated and among many other things, money is an important variable in motivation. He also said that the management should keep the morale of its employees high and keep them motivated so that they can perform at their best.
Fayol believed by focusing on managerial practices he could minimize misunderstandings and increase efficiency in organizations.  He enlightened managers on how to accomplish their managerial duties, and the practices in which they should engage. In his book General and Industrial Management (published in French in 1916, then published in English in 1949), Fayol outlined his theory of general management, which he believed could be applied to the administration of myriad industries.
His concern was with the administrative apparatus (or functions of administration), and to that end he presented his administrative theory, that is, principles and elements of management. His theories and ideas were ideally a result of his environment; that of a post revolutionized France in which a republic bourgeois was emerging. A bourgeois himself, he believed in the controlling of workers in order to achieve a greater productivity over all other managerial considerations.
However, through reading General and Industrial Management, it is apparent that Fayol advocated a flexible approach to management, one which he believed could be applied to any circumstance whether in the home, the workplace, or within the state. He stressed the importance and the practice of forecasting and planning in order to apply these ideas and techniques which demonstrated his ability and his emphasis in being able to adapt to any sort of situation.
In General and Industrial Management he outlines an agenda whereby, under an accepted theory of management, every citizen is exposed and taught some form of management education and allowed to exercise management abilities first at school and later on in the workplace. “Everyone needs some concepts of management; in the home, in affairs of state, the need for managerial ability is in keeping with the importance of the undertaking, and for individual people the need is everywhere in greater accordance with the position occupied. – excerpt from General and Industrial Management During the early 20th century, Fayol developed 14 principles of management in order to help managers manage their affairs more effectively. Organizations in technologically advanced countries interpret these principles quite differently from the way they were interpreted during Fayol’s time as well. These differences in interpretation are in part a result of the cultural challenges managers face when implementing this framework.
The fourteen principles are: (1) Division of work, (2) Delegation of Authority, (3) Discipline, (4) Chain of commands, (5) Congenial workplace, (6) Interrelation between individual interests and common organizational goals, (7) Compensation package, (8) Centralization, (9) Scalar chains, (10) Order, (11) Equity, (12) Job Guarantee, (13) Initiatives, (14) Team-Spirit or Esprit de corps.