COVER SHEET Henri Fayol’s management theories were first proposed in the early 1900s. Despite many criticisms, Fayol’s theories still form the basis of management practices and teachings in the 21st century Some management experts believe that Fayol’s principles of management, which have laid the foundation to management studies during early 1900s, serve more as an administrative function rather than addressing deeper management aspects (Schermerhorn, 2011)…
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The present discussion focuses on identifying and assessing the adoption of Fayol’s principles in contemporary management through distinct examples drawn from modern organizations and their practices. There is no doubt that the contemporary management concepts have evolved from classical theories such as Fayol’s; however, there exists much debate about the influence of classical theories and their application in present management concepts. For instance, Fayol’s principles of management form the core job of managers even today, although the focus is shifted to one or few of these principles at a time. In present-day service industries, the focus usually oscillates between initiative, teamworking, order or efficiency with some other activities such as discipline, equity, division of work etc providing direction to better business management. These focus areas also differ with the type of industry as well as organizational goals. Roethlisberger and Dickson (1939) have argued that the contemporary management concepts have profound impact from studies that emerged from behavioral sciences, especially the human relations movement that resulted from Hawthorne experiments (cited in Allen & Gilmore, 1993). Some management scholars refer to Fayol’s principles as the present-day management functions that correspond to planning, organizing, leading, and controlling (Schermerhorn, 2011). In short, Fayol’s 14 principles include division of work, authority, discipline, unity of command, unity of direction, subordination of individual interests to the general interests, remuneration, centralization, scalar chain, order, equity, stability of tenure of personnel, initiative, and esprit de corps (cited in Allen & Gilmore, 1993). From a manager’s perspective, Fayol’s principles seem to be the most apt and provide a comprehensive understanding to any management personnel, with or without experience. However, differing views of management theories emerged, which consider classical concepts as contradictory. Unlike Taylor’s scientific management concepts that focus on the objective of driving maximum prosperity for the employer along with similar outcomes for the employees (Schermerhorn, 2011), Fayol’s principles can be regarded as completely management focused; this could be one of the reasons for argument/debate that subsequent theorists focused upon (Brunsson, 2008). Fayol’s conceptualization is based on the premise that all organizations are similar and hence the managerial duties are also similar. Brunsson (2008) asserts that this conceptualization compliments the fact that managerial talent can be acquired through training. If this premise were to be true, then all organizations would be performing at the same level and all managers within the organization would produce same outcomes. However, management and organizational outcomes are very different within and outside. Moreover, management styles, patterns, policies, practices, etc. are different in different regions or countries, as proven by Hofstede (1980). Hofstede’
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