Henry Fayol: Management and Principles of Administration [Part 2]

Elements of Management

Fayol identified, as we have seen earlier, five elements of management viz., planning, organisation, command, coordination and control which are discussed below.


Fayol used the French term Prevoyance which in French means to ‘foresee’, to ‘anticipate’ and to ‘make plans’. The administration’s chief manifestation and most effective instrument, to Fayol, is the plan of action. Planning enables the separation of the short-run events from the long-range considerations. It endows forethought to the operations of an organisation. Fayol considers that experience is an asset in drawing a realistic plan. To him, unity, continuity, flexibility and precision are the broad features of a good plan of action.


To organisation an industrial firm or a government agency is to provide it with everything required for its functioning: raw materials, tools, capitals, personnel, etc. Fayol classifies these activities into two categories: the material organisation, and the human organisation. The latter includes personnel, leadership and organisation structure. Every organisation has to perform the following managerial functions.

1. Ensure that the plan is judiciously prepared and strictly carried out;

2. See that the human and material organisation is consistent with the objectives, resources and requirements of the concern;

3. Set up a single, competent, energetic guiding authority;

4. Harmonise activities and coordinate efforts;

5. Formulate clear, distinct, precise decisions;

6. Arrange for efficient selection and appropriate placement of the employees;

7. Define duties clearly;

8. Motivate employees to show initiative and demonstrate responsibility;

9. Reward employees in a fair manner for services rendered;

10. Make use of sanctions against irregular and unethical conduct;

11. Provide for the maintenance of discipline;

12. Ensure that individual interests are subordinate to the general interest;

13. Pay special attention to unit of command;

14. Supervise both material and human organisation;

15. Provide for appropriate controls; and

16. Prevent excess of regulations, red tape and paper controls.


The art of command, according to Fayol, rests on certain personal qualities and knowledge of the general principles of management. Its degree of proficiency differs from unit to unit. Fayol claims that the manager who has to command should:

1. Have a thorough knowledge of his personnel;

2. Eliminate the incompetent;

3. Be well-versed in the arrangement binding the business and its employees;

4. Set a good example;

5. Conduct periodic audit of the organisation and use summary charts;

6. Bring together his chief assistants by means of conferences, at which unit of direction and focusing of effort are provided;

7. Not become engrossed in detail; and

8. Aim at making unity, energy, initiative and loyalty prevail among the personnel.


It consists of working together and ‘harmonizing’ all activities and efforts so as to facilitate the functioning of the organisation. Essentially, the objective of coordination is to ensure that one department’s efforts are coincident with the efforts of other departments, and keeping all activities in perspective with regard to the overall aims of the organisation.


Its objective is to obtain conformity with the plan adopted, the instructions issued and principles established. In the process, weakness and errors have to be rectified and their recurrence prevented. For control to be effective it must be done within a reasonable time and be followed up by sanctions. He uses the term control in the wider French sense of watch, monitor, check, audit and obtains feedback.

Attributes of Manager

Fayol suggests that Managers should have the following attributes :

1. Physical : Health, vigour and appearance.

2. Mental : Ability to understand and learn, judgement, mental vigour and adaptability.

3. Moral : Firmness and willingness to accept responsibility.

4. General Education : General acquaintance with matters not belonging exclusively to functions performed

5. Special Knowledge : Special knowledge of the functions being handled – be it technical, commercial, financial or managerial,

6. Experience : Knowledge arising from the work proper.

Principles of Administration

Fayol Principles of Administration

Henry Fayol states that the principles of administration / management are not rigid. On the contrary, they must be capable of adaptation to various enterprises and settings. Fayol derives fourteen principles viz.:

1. Division of work : Specialisation of labour produces more and better work with the same effort.

2. Authority and responsibility : Authority should be commensurate with responsibility. In other words, the occupant of each position should be given enough authority to carry out all the responsibilities assigned to him.

3. Discipline : Obedience should be observed in accordance with the standing agreements between the firm and its employees.

4. Unity of command : For any action, an employee should have only one boss.

5. Unity of direction : One head and one plan for each activity.

6. Subordination of individual interest to general interest : The interest of one employee or group should not prevail over that of the total organisation.

7. Remuneration of personal : The remuneration paid for services rendered should be fair and afford satisfaction to both personnel and the firm.

8. Centralisation : The degree of initiative left to managers varies depending upon top managers, subordinates and business conditions.

9. Scalar chain (Hierarchy) : The line of authority of superiors ranging from the ultimate authority to the lowest ranks.

10. Order (Placement) : Once the basic job structure has been devised and the personnel to fill the various slots have been selected, each employee occupies that job wherein he or she can render the most effective service.

11. Equity : For the personnel to be encouraged to fulfill their duties with devotion and loyalty there must be equity based on kindness and justice in employer-employee relations.

12. Stability of tenure of personnel : Suitable conditions should be created to minimise turnover of employees.

13. Initiative : The ability to think afresh would act as a powerful motivator of human behaviour.

14. Esprit de corps : Harmony, union among the personnel of an organisation is a source of great strength in the organisation.

Need for Administrative Training

Fayol is a pioneer in suggesting the need for systematic training in administration. He criticises civil engineering colleges in France for excluding administration from their syllabi. Fayol stresses on administrative training in the following words:

Everyone needs some concepts of administration; in the home, in affairs of State, the need for administrative ability is in proportion to the importance of the undertaking and for individual people the need is everywhere greater in accordance with the position occupied. Hence, there should be some generalized teaching of administration: elementary in the primary schools, somewhat wider in the post primary schools, and quite advanced in higher social educational establishments.

Fayol suggests that training is a continuous process, starting from the school and covering in-service training of the employees within an organisation. He considers every superior officer in an organisation as a teacher to his immediate subordinates.

Also Read | Henry Fayol: Gangplank and Criticism [Part 3]

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