Henri Fayol was a French mining engineer who’s now known as the founder of modern management methods. In his 1916 work,  Administration Industrielle et Générale, he laid down five functions and 14 principles of management under the theory of Fayolism.

What began as the insights of a French mining engineer soon became widely accepted guidelines for managers everywhere. Even in the modern workplace, some of Henri Fayol’s 14 principles of management are recognized as intrinsic to managerial roles.

  1. What Are The Functions Of Management?

  2. Henri Fayol’s 14 Principles Of Management

What Are The Functions Of Management?

Before we dig deeper into the 14 principles of management, let’s take a look at Fayol’s five functions of management. These set the pace for administrative methods, simplifying daily managerial activities.

  1. Planning

For effective management, managers have to plan for contingencies to tackle setbacks or challenges. Market changes, technological advances and workforce are some factors that need to be accounted for while strategizing. Managers are responsible for making sound strategies that can absorb changes in demand or supply. This is one of the most effective ways to achieve organizational goals.

  1. Organizing

Organizational behavior is what defines employee behavior within the context of the organization. Managers must understand their workforce and assign tasks, structure roles and align goals effectively. As a manager, you need the insight to assess different levels of skills and abilities. Only then can you train employees to give their best. Learning and development, recruitment and employing the right workforce fall under organizing.

  1. Directing

Regardless of the organizational structure, managers have to communicate organizational goals, roles and responsibilities to the rest of the team. They have to tell employees what to do, how to do it and when. Setting deadlines, goals and communicating internal and external policies fall under the scope of directing. Directing should be built on mutual respect and understanding.

  1. Coordinating

In the context of an organization, tasks can’t exist in isolation. From its people to the work they do, everything is interdependent. It’s a manager’s duty to align daily functions and performance. Complementary activities and accomplishments should be the ultimate goal for any organization. Even within teams, you must try to get everyone on the same page. If even one employee is not well-versed about the big picture, it can break down the functioning of the organization.

  1. Controlling

Staying on track and picking on cues where things are deviating from the plan are also part of a manager’s role. Organizational policies, team norms and goals must be kept in mind at all times to achieve success. This way managers can encourage and guide their teams to the finish line without any setbacks. Keeping everyone on the same page, monitoring their progress and navigating conflicts fall under this function of management.

These five functions by Henri Fayol have guided managers in their roles and continue to do so even today. It’s important to note that they may be modified to suit different organizational structures. Whether it’s a top-down approach or a horizontal structure with flexible decision-making, there’s always that one person who has the final say. Let’s explore Henri Fayol’s principles of management to understand Fayolism better.

Henri Fayol’s 14 Principles Of Management

Fayol’s principles of management are not only helpful for managers (with little to no experience) but they also act as guidelines for seasoned leaders. These 14 principles by Henri Fayol can be considered as general administrative guidelines for managers to do their jobs effectively.

At the end of the day, a manager’s role is to lead people to success. If you want to do a good job, you may find some of these 14 principles of management to be of good use!

  1. Division Of Work

What makes an organization? It’s the people and the teams or departments they form. Managers have to know how to manage their teams effectively and delegate work based on individual skills, experiences and motivations. As the first step in the 14 principles of management, division of work is the foundation on which other principles stand. It’s important to have the insight to divide work efficiently among teams and create departments that lead the organization to success.

  1. Authority And Responsibility

Striking a balance between the authority and responsibility of a manager is a safeguard against misuse of power. This is important if organizations want to assure employees of their interests against potential abuse. Managers must align their responsibilities with their authority to lead effectively—without mistaking their responsibility as their prerogative.

  1. Discipline

Discipline or decorum is about respecting the rules, policies or regulations of any organization. Whether it’s a manager’s self-discipline or external obedience to organizational rules, it’s important to maintain the code of conduct. Every organization operates differently, so managers have to communicate this code of conduct to employees and follow it themselves.

  1. Unity Of Command

According to the unity of command, every employee should report to only one manager or senior. To avoid conflict, managers should guide and overlook individual teams and departments. This helps organizations decentralize power.

  1. Unity Of Direction

There may be a flat structure within a team but it should come from one place and lead to one destination. If you’re working in the accounts team then all related functions should be managed by one person. The goals for the team should be the same as well, regardless of functions. This helps organizations streamline functions and track progress without losing sight of the actual goal.

  1. Subordination Of Individual Interest To General Interest

For an organization to be successful, individual employee goals need to align to larger organizational goals. If an employee’s vested interests don’t match with the team’s or organization’s, it may work against managerial efforts.

  1. Remuneration

Remuneration includes salaries, benefits and anything in return for an employee’s service to the organization. The remuneration must be fair across departments and levels to keep employees motivated. Unequal distribution may cost the organization their workforce. Remuneration should be in line with industry standards and must work within the rights of an organization.

  1. Centralization/Decentralization

Whether authority is concentrated in a few hands or several is determined by centralization and decentralization, respectively. In every organization, there are decision-makers who oversee operations at a larger scale. There may be open channels of communication, but the authority to sign off on decisions resides with the final authority or head of the department.

  1. Scalar Chain

The chain of command differs between organizations. Some follow a vertical—upward or downward—chain of command while others follow a horizontal chain of command. This determines how communication flows in an organization.

  1. Order

Order refers to ‘a place for everything and everyone’. Each employee, materials and machine must have their own place in their organization to simplify processes. This also helps establish a sense of belonging and decorum in the workplace.

  1. Equity

Fayol’s principles of management also talk about equity. Equity is different from equality. Equality means to treat everyone the same way irrespective of differences. Equity means to treat these differences with respect and consideration. All employees in the organization must be treated with equity or fairness. It’s important to note differences in work styles or abilities to maximize efficiency and increase job satisfaction.

  1. Stability Of Tenure Of Personnel

Supporting a stable group of personnel or workforce is important for efficiency. High employee turnover could be unfavorable for organizations trying to achieve their goals. Employees should be given enough time to settle into their roles and get used to their responsibilities.

  1. Initiative

Rather than treating employees like cogs in a machine, encouraging them to take initiative and giving them the authority to make decisions is important. Employees are bound to put in more effort when they have the room to take action without waiting for approval.

  1. Esprit De Corps

Team spirit is one of the 14 principles of management. Ultimately, organizations that are high on team spirit or ‘esprit de corps’ stand the test of time. It’s important to encourage employees to identify with their teams, managers and coworkers. Not only does this allow them to act on their own but also pushes them to give their all to organizational goals.

If not all, some of these 14 principles of management are still valid in today’s workplace. Communication, team-building and teamwork are the pillars of an organization. A manager’s role is critical to maintaining these pillars. Fayol’s principles of management set the tone for how managers would behave for years to come. They may have evolved with time to suit the needs of the new workplace, but they still hold true to a certain extent.

Learn more about applying Fayol’s principles of management in the workplace with Harappa’s Managing Teamwork course. Leadership is about people management and how well you can lead your teams to success. Navigating conflicts, understanding different perspectives and assigning tasks fall under the scope of management. With the Social Styles Model, you’ll learn about four unique work styles and how to manage them. The Skill-Will Matrix is helpful in determining employee strengths and weaknesses. Equip yourself with the right mindset and tools to establish effective teams.


Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics related to the COLLABORATE Habit such as What is TeamworkFunctions of Management, Stages of Strategic Management and Elements of Total Quality Management and manage teams efficiently.

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