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Henri Fayol and his continued relevance in an evolved system - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# Henri Fayol and His Continued Relevance in an Evolved System Born in 1841 of French parents working in Istanbul, Turkey, Henri Fayol is known by many as the father of modern management theory and concept. To this day, text books around the world reference his name when introducing the topic of management and practical management theory…
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Download file to see previous pages This analysis will concur with the latter assessment as it is this author’s belief that although Fayol could probably not have conceived of our current economic system, his functions of management are as essentially relevant to a service oriented economy as they were an industrial economy. Fayol’s functions of management are as follows: 1- To forecast and plan; 2- To organize; 3- To command; 4- To coordinate; 5- To control. As such, consider a business manager today (whether the business be an IT support center, or a steel mill) has very much the same managerial tasks. Imagine the tasks that these managers are responsible for on a daily basis. Though the industries are nearly at the polar opposite ends of the spectrum, management’s tasks remain incredibly similar. The manager must forecast and plan, i.e. the manager must be able to draw inference from incoming inputs and use those inputs to forecast future actions (Amsden et al, 1996). Regardless of the industry, this remains a primary function of management and one that simply cannot be disregarded. Likewise, the manager of both aforementioned firms must organize tasks and employees and teams to complete those assigned tasks. Without organizational skill, direction is lost and management becomes impossible. Accordingly, the ability of a manager to command the progress and workflow remains a vital component of ensuring that the work is performed according to the rubric laid out in the planning and forecasting function. Furthermore, without coordination of people, teams, and workflow, it is nearly impossible to imagine any task (whether at a high end service company or a basic industrial firm) would ever be completed satisfactorily. Lastly, with respect to control, regardless of the type of firm the manager is responsible for governing, he/she must necessarily receive feedback upon the overall process and adjust his/her methods and inputs accordingly. Because these principles of management are so basic, so intrinsic to the overall notion of proper direction in a firm, it is hard to imagine a world in which the guiding principles of Fayol would not be manifest (Gannon et al, 1999). In short, due to the simplicity of these functions, they retain the utmost relevance even in today’s service driven economy. In their work, “Revisiting Fayol: Anticipating Contemporary Management”, Parker and Ritson determined that Fayol’s works were far more visionary and insightful than previously thought. They determined that elements of Fayol’s analysis transcended the boundaries of the era of industrial management which Fayol was speaking. Further, the study uncovered, “traces of ideas and concepts that anticipated aspects of the human relations movement, systems-based contingency theory, the movement towards greater employee involvement in decision-making and elements of knowledge management” (Parker/Ritson, 2005). Rather than Fayol being merely considered as a father of management theory, the analysis gives evidence for the fact that Fayol’s writings, personal background, career, and ideas all lend credence to the fact that he was more forward-thinking and visionary as to the evolution of management than most sources give ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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