14 principles of management – Henri Fayol

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As part of some research for an upcoming whitepaper,  I came across “Fayol’s 14 principles of management”.  He produced these in around 1916!  A century later, I can’t help but comment on their relevance and in many parts how management has struggled to deliver against them.

The wording is of its day (and translated from the original french) and it reflects a command and control style of management that would not be accepted by many in the modern workplace.  But much of it holds, particularly the latter points, and is a good reminder of enduring principles and values that apply to the management of businesses and people.

  1. Division of work -. Fayol presented work specialization as the best way to use the human resources of the organization. [note, historically workers would not specialise in tasks]
  2. Authority-Managers must be able to give orders. Authority gives them this right. Note that responsibility arises wherever authority is exercised.
  3. Discipline-Employees must obey and respect the rules that govern the organization. Good discipline is the result of effective leadership.
  4. Unity of command- Every employee should receive orders from only one superior.
  5. Unity of direction-Each group of organizational activities that have the same objective should be directed by one manager using one plan for achievement of one common goal.
  6. Subordination of individual interests to the general interest- The interests of any one employee or group of employees should not take precedence over the interests of the organization as a whole.
  7. Remuneration- Workers must be paid a fair wage for their services.
  8. Centralization-Centralization refers to the degree to which subordinates are involved in decision making.
  9. Scalar chain-The line of authority from top management to the lowest ranks represents the scalar chain. Communications should follow this chain.
  10. Order- this principle is concerned with systematic arrangement of men, machine, material etc. there should be specific place for every employee in organization
  11. Equity-Managers should be kind and fair to their subordinates.
  12. Stability of tenure of personnel- High employee turnover is inefficient. Management should provide orderly personnel planning and ensure that replacements are available to fill vacancies.
  13. Initiative-Employees who are allowed to originate and carry out plans will exert high levels of effort.
  14. Esprit de corps-Promoting team spirit will build harmony and unity within the organization.




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