Fayol's "14 principles" were first published in 1914, but are still relevant to today's managers.
Today's managers have access to an amazing array of resources which they can use to improve their skills. But what about those managers who were leading the way forward 100 years ago?
Managers in the early 1900s had very few external resources to draw upon to guide and develop their management practice. But thanks to early theorists like Henri Fayol (1841-1925), managers began to get the tools they needed to lead and manage more effectively. Fayol, and others like him, are responsible for building the foundations of modern management theory.
Henri Fayol was born in Istanbul in 1841. When he was 19, he began working as an engineer at a large mining company in France. He eventually became the director, at a time when the mining company employed more than 1,000 people.
Through the years, Fayol began to develop what he considered to be the 14 most important principles of management. Essentially, these explained how managers should organize and interact with staff.
In 1916, two years before he stepped down as director, he published his "14 Principles of Management" in the book "Administration Industrielle et Generale." Fayol also created a list of the six primary functions of management, which go hand in hand with the Principles.
Fayol's "14 Principles" was one of the earliest theories of management to be created, and remains one of the most comprehensive. He's considered to be among the most influential contributors to the modern concept of management, even though people don't refer to "The 14 Principles" often today.
The theory falls under the Administrative Management school of thought (as opposed to the Scientific Management school, led by Fredrick Taylor).
Fayol's principles are listed below:
Fayol's six primary functions of management, which go hand in hand with the Principles, are as follows:
Henri Fayol's "14 Principles of Management" have been a significant influence on modern management theory. His practical list of principles helped early 20th century managers learn how to organize and interact with their employees in a productive way.
Although the 14 Principles aren't widely used today, they can still offer guidance for today's managers. Many of the principles are now considered to be common sense, but at the time they were revolutionary concepts for organizational management.
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