Henry Fayol 14 General Principles Of Management - My Study

Henry Fayol 14 General Principles of Management – My Study

Article related to 14 General Principles Of Management by Henry Fayol full brief details.

Management of business has become very complex these days. Managers are expected to deal with a number of problems in their day-to-day working Scene guidelines are needed which will help managers to run their concerns smoothly and efficiently. Principles of management are such guidelines which come to the help of managers.

According to Breach. “A principle means a fundamental truth on the basis of reasoning, a primary element of general law. “Every social science bat developed its own principles. Some principles have been developed by experts in management These principles are the revolt of various problems faced by professional people and then the solutions derived by them to meet with those situations.

Principles of management are not like principles of physical sciences. The principles of arrangement are general guidelines and they cannot be mechanically applied. The individual factor plays an important part in using managerial principles. Some of the principles of management have been applied in actual practice from times immemorial.

The division of Hindus into various castes was the application of principle of specialisation. Chinese used principles of division of labour as back as 1644 B.C. In 1832, Charles Babbage wrote about the principles of specialisation F.W. Taylor is credited with the principles of scientific management.

Henry Fayol 1414 principles of henri fayol General Principles Of Management – My Study

Henry Fayol suggested 14 General principles of management for running the business efficiently. These principles are studied as follows:

  1. Division of Work (Specialisation)

Division of work implies division of the total task in order to lighten the total burden and promote specialisation in such a way that one person does only one thing rather than doing everything himself. This helps to avoid the waste of time and effort caused by changes from one work to another. In the words of Fayol, “The worker always on the same post, the manager always concerned with the same matters will acquire an ability, sureness and accuracy which increases their output.”

Fayol has opined that this principle of division of work and specialisation should be applied to all kinds of work-technical as well as managerial.

2. Parity between Authority and Responsibility

This principle states that authority and responsibility should go side by side. A person can be accountable for certain activities only if he has been given authority for getting the work done. Responsibility and authority should be commensurate with each other. Payol viewed that people seek authority and fear responsibility, but a good leader must have courage to accept responsibility. Authority without responsibility leads to irresponsible behaviour while responsibility without authority makes a person ineffective.

3. Discipline

Discipline means obedience, respect of authority and observance of the established rules. In the words of Fayol, “Discipline is in essence obedience, application, energy, behaviour and outward marks of respect observed in accordance with the standing agreements between the firm and its employees.” Discipline is essential for the smooth running of business and without it no business can prosper. According to Fayol good supervision at all levels, clarity of rules and built in system of reward and punishments help to maintain discipline.

4. Unity of Command

This principle states that one person should receive orders from only ne superior, in other words, one person should be accountable to only one boss. If one person is under more than one boss then there can be contradictory orders and the subordinate fails to understand whose orders to be followed. Fayol states, “An employee should receive orders from one superior only, as soon as two superiors will execute authority over the same personnel, uneasiness makes itself felt, the disorder inceases.”

If the principle of unity of command is not observed, the authority is undermined, discipline, loyalty divided and confusion and delays are caused.

5. Unity of Direction

The principle of unity of direction implies that there should be “one head and one plan for a group of activities having the same objective.” In other words, each group of activities having the same objectives must have one plan of action and must be under the control of one manager or superior. An organisation or group having different plans and more than one head cannot achieve the desired results. Fayol observed, ‘without unity of direction, unity of action, co-ordination of strength and focussing of effort cannot be achieved.”

Difference between the principle of ‘Unity of Command‘ and ‘Unity of Direction’.

unity of direction my study level
unity of direction my study level

The principle of unity of command should not be confused with the principle of unity of direction as both do not mean the same thing. The principle of unity of command is concerned wit functioning of people while unity of direction is related to the activities. There cannot be unity of command with unity of direction, but it does not automatically follow from the latter.

6. Subordination of Individual Interest to General Interest

It is an essential function of management to make people realise the objectives of the group and direct their efforts towards the achievement of these objectives. The interest of the group must always prevail over individual interest. This principle implies harmony of personal interest and common interest.

Fayol is of the opinion that the interest of one employee or a group of employees should not prevail upon the interest of the enterprise as a whole. When the individual interest and the common interest differ, it is the duty of the management to reconcile them. In order to achieve this, managers must set a good example and must be firm but reasonable in dealing with subordinates. Fair agreements with subordinates and constant supervision are essential to prevent promotion of individual interest at the cost of general interest.

Workers should always be just and fair and should afford maximum satisfaction to both employees.

7. Fair Remuneration to Workers

Fayol was of the view that the remuneration paid to the and the employer. The management must ensure fair reward for the work and decide the most equitable method of calculating wages. The rates of wages depend upon a number of factors such as the cost of living, the demand for labour, general economic conditions, the current state of business and the value of the employee. It should provide sufficient incentive to the well directed effort but over-payment beyond reasonable limits is undesirable.

8. Effective Centralisation

Centralisation means concentration of authority in the hands of few, i.e. top management. Every thing which goes to increase the importance of subordinate’s role is decentralisation and everything which goes to reduce it is centralisation.

Fayol was of the opinion that centralisation and decentralisation is a simple question of proportion and this proportion of finding the optimum degree should be decided keeping in view the circumstances of the particular case. The degree of centralisation may be different in different cases, but a balance must be maintained between centralisation and decentralisation of authority to attain the best possible results.

9. Scalar Chain

Scalar chain refers to the chain of superiors ranging from the ultimate thority to the lowest ranks. Fayol felt that a hierarchie channel called the scalar chain is necessary to ensure unity of command and effective communication. Communication should follow through the established chain of command. However, a gang plank’ may be created by passing the established lee of authority, to facilitate quick communication. Fayol illustrates his point with the help of the following example:

Suppose, the scalar chain in an organisation is represented by the double ladder GAQ. Any communication from F to P will flow upwards A through ED, C and B; and then downwards through L, M, N and 0. It will obviously take a long time. Hence, in order to minimise the delay involved in communication, a gang plank between P and P may be created as shown by a dotted line.

However, Fayol was of the opinion that the gang plank should not be a normal practice as it undermines the established lines of authority. But whenever it is necessary to do so in order to avoid delays and distortions, the subordinate should use the gang plank.

Scale chain my study level
Scale chain my study level

10. Order

The principle of order implies right man in the right job and right material in the right place. Fayol was of the opinion that there must be material and social order in an enterprise. Material order means, “a proper place for everything and everything in its right place.” In the same manner, social order implies,” a place for everyone and every one in his appointed place.” Each employee should occupy that place wherein he or she can render the best possible service. Right man in the right job and right material in the right place would ensure effective utilisation of the available resources in an organisation.

11. Equity

Equity means justice and kindliness. Fayol was of the opinion that to encourage workers to fulfil their duties with devotion and loyalty, management should deal with employees with equity based on kindliness and justice. There should neither be nepotism nor favouritism and all should be given just and fair treatment. However, Fayol says that equity does not mean a total absence of force or harshness. He rather suggests that these might become necessary sometimes for the sake of equity itself.

12. Stability in the Tenure of Personnel

Stability in the tenure of personnel is very essential because it takes time to get used to a job. Fayol was of the view that instability of tenure of personnel is both the cause and effect of bad management. A very high rate of labour turnover or change of personnel increases costs of selection and training and creates a bad name for the organisation. It also causes instability and insecurity in the minds of the workers. To secure loyalty of workers, it is very essential to provide security of service to the workmen.

13. Initiative

Initiative implies the power of thinking out a plan and ensuring its successful implementation. The manager should encourage or inspire the confidence of his subordinates so that they show initiative. For this, Fayol suggests that the manager should sacrifice his own vanity. Initiative is a powerful motivator of human behaviour and a source of strength for the organisation.

14. Esprit-de-corps

This principle implies that there should be co-operation and team-work among the members of an organisation. Literally speaking, esprit-de-corps means the spirit of loyalty and devotion to the group to which one belongs. The manager must always make a constant effort to ensure harmony, cohesiveness and esprit-de-corps among his subordinates to ensure unity and high morale which is very essential for the success of an enterprise. Fayol suggested to discard two temptations for this (i) to divide and rule and (f) abuse of written communication. Divide and rule policy is self-defeating policy and oral directions and instructions given to subordinates make for harmony, speed and clarity.

In addition to these principles, certain other principles have been given by authors like Money and Reiley, Lyndall Urwick, R.C. Davis. V.A. Gralcunas and others. Some of these principles having wide acceptance are given below:

1. Principle of Objective

There must be a business objective for the achievement of which everybody in the organisation should work. The business goals should be known to everybody that all energy is channelised to attain them. According to Koontz and O’Donnel, “The organisation as a whole, and every part of it must contribute to the attainment of enterprise objectives.”

2. Principle of Co-ordination

The Co-ordination of various activities of the business is another important principle of management. In the absence of co-ordination, there is a possibility t setting up of different goals by different departments. There should be an orderly arrangement of group effort and unity of action in the pursuit of a common purpose. According to Mooney, The purpose of organisation per se, as distinguished from the purpose of the undertaking is, to facilitate co-ordination: Unity of effort.”

3. Principle of Span of Supervision

Every person has a limited capacity to supervise and control people. No one can control or supervise other persons beyond a certain limit. According this principle, a superior should supervise only that number of subordinates which he can properly supervise. The number of persons to be supervised will depend upon the type and nature of work.

4. Principle of Planning

Proper planning is a pre-requisite for effective management. The goals and policies should be predetermined and ways and means should be decided to execute them properly. Carlee L. Burgess states, “Planning is one of the comer-stones upon which successful enterprise depends.”

5. Principle of Motivation

Motivation is the psychological process of creating urge among the subordinates to do certain things or behave in the desired manner. The principle of motivation implies that performance of a worker depends upon his ability and motivation. A sound motivational system must be productive, competitive, comprehensive and flexible, and it must consider the psychological, social safety, ego and economic needs of the workers.

6. Principle of Exception

The founders of this principle advocate that the managers should not be burdened with all kinds of routine matters, rather only condensed reports requiring their attention must be sent to them, particularly at higher levels of management. 7. Principle of Participation. This principle has acquired much significance these days. The employees participation in decision- making is the outcome of principle of participation.

Not only the supervisors but workers should also be consulted while taking important policy decisions. The process of participation will ensure smooth implementation of various decisions.


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