The administrative management theory by Henri Fayol


Date Posted: 8/15/2018 10:48:18 AM

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During the period of the industrial revolution, countries were undergoing massive growth and expansion. During the same period, production shifted from homes to industries. This created the need for efficient management to combine worker productivity and raw materials in an efficient manner to achieve the goals of the various organizations. Scholars therefore came up with various theories to address this problem.
This theory was advanced by Henri fayol. Fayol was a French who had worked in a coal industry for over thirty years. This theory focuses on the organization as a whole. In his book, Henri identified five key functional areas which include; controlling, coordinating, planning, organising and directing. Planning refers to the selection and sequential ordering of tasks to be performed aimed at achieving the goal of the organisation; organising refers to putting the resources of the organisation into gainful use; directing is the process of leading and motivating employees so as to influence their behaviour to achieve the goals of the organization while controlling involves measuring the performance of the organization, comparing it with the set standards, identifying the deviations from the proposed plans and taking the necessary corrective actions to ensure that events conform to the plans. This theory attempts to come up with fundamental rules and principles to serve as guidelines for managers. These principles are not exhaustive but are aimed at acting as guidelines for managers towards more efficient services.

Division of labour. This theory proposes that job activities should be divided into specialized units. A proper division of labour would be to divide a complex task as narrowly as possible. This is advantageous in that it reduces inefficiencies through less wastage, increased output and simplifying the task of job training for current employees and new recruits. This is also advantageous since the person performing the

specialized task develops a level of expertise in the task. This thus leads to increased performance in the task leading to better performance of the whole organization. This principle applies to both managers and employees. In the case of managers, division of labour would lead to narrower spans of control. Narrow spans of control allow close supervision and control of the activities of the subordinates.

Authority: This refers to the right to give orders and power to exact obedience. Authority in most organizations is vested in the position held by the incumbent. This authority is referred to as positional power and is defined as the discretion to make decisions without having to obtain permission from any other member in the organization. This power is also referred to as decision making authority. This authority enables managers to get all activities under their jurisdiction done so as to achieve the objectives of the organization. Fayol suggests that if employees are granted some form of formal authority in their area of specialization then would feel part and parcel of the organization. This authority produces further responsibility. Responsibility is the obligation to undertake job activities given by the employer and accepted by the employee satisfactorily. Further responsibility results in higher worker efficiency and better performance of the organization as a whole.

Discipline: According to this theory, poor discipline results from poor leadership. On the contrary it views that good leadership exists where both the managers and employees adhere to all the policies, rules and regulations governing all the activities of the organization. This principle views managers in their capacity as leaders as the moral compass of the organization. The employee in most cases will emulate the behavior of their managers. It therefore goes without saying that a trustworthy manager cannot supervise a dishonest group of employees and vice versa. Therefore good discipline in the organisation can exist when good leadership is in place.

Stability of tenure: This principles urges that staffing should be done under proper human resource planning. Human resource planning refers to the process of analysing the human resource needs of an organization under changing conditions and developing the necessary activities to satisfy the needs. Human resource planning is important since it helps the management to recruit and retain personnel in terms of quality and quantity, minimize employee turnover and fill up the consequent vacancies, make the best use of human resources and develop the staff on clear career paths.

Remuneration: Remuneration refers to rewards given to the employees of an organization for all the services rendered to the organization. Remuneration takes the form of salaries and wages, bonuses and allowances. Remuneration is given as an appreciation for the effort put by the employees in making sure that the organization achieves it objectives and also as a way of motivating them to offer even better services. This theory proposes that remuneration be offered to all employees fairly.

Equity: According to this principle, managers should deal with kindness with all their employees. They should also practise fairness and justice when making decisions on issue that affect the welfare of individual employees in the organization. All decisions made should be based on facts and evidence. This therefore necessities managers to conduct investigations into the matters presented before them before giving a way forward. They should also put aside friendships, blood ties or any underlying biases that they may old when making decisions that have far reaching implications on the welfare of the organization.

Centralization of decision making authority: Centralization of decision making authority refers to a situation where authority is retained within the top management in an organization. The opposite is decentralisation which is a situation where the same authority is delegated to subordinates. Fayol views that centralization or decentralisation of decision making authority depends on various factors such as the size of the firm and the philosophy of the top level managers. He also concludes that large firms effectively make use of centralization of authority in comparison to their smaller counterparts.
Other factors that fayol suggests include subordination of personal interests, initiative, scalar chain, teamwork, unity of direction and unity of direction. Subordination of personal interests involves the interests of the organization prevailing over the personal interests of the managers. Initiative is a principle that encourages employees to solve any problems that they may encounter on their own while scalar chain suggests that all the positions in the structure of a organization should be linked through chain of command. Under the principle of teamwork, fayol advises managers to encourage their employees to work together to enable the organisation to achieve its goals. He also suggests that all activities aimed at achieving the same goal should be placed under the same manager in the principle of unity of direction. In addition he proposes that one single individual should be supervised by not more than one superior as this would create interpersonal conflicts in the principle of unity of direction. These principles have been incorporated in the practise of management in modern times for more efficient services.

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