Henri Fayol was born in Istanbul in 1841. When he was 19, he began working as an engineer at a large mining company in France. He eventually became the director, at a time when the mining company employed more than 1,000 people.

Through the years, Fayol began to develop what he considered to be the 14 most important principles of management. Essentially, these explained how managers should organize and interact with staff.

In 1916, two years before he stepped down as director, he published his "14 Principles of Management" in the book "Administration Industrielle et Generale." Fayol also created a list of the six primary functions of management, which go hand in hand with the Principles.

Fayol's "14 Principles" was one of the earliest theories of management to be created, and remains one of the most comprehensive. He's considered to be among the most influential contributors to the modern concept of management, even though people don't refer to "The 14 Principles" often today.

The theory falls under the Administrative Management school of thought (as opposed to the Scientific Management school, led by Fredrick Taylor).

Henri Fayol's "14 Principles of Management" have been a significant influence on modern management theory. His practical list of principles helped early 20th century managers learn how to organize and interact with their employees in a productive way.

Although the 14 Principles aren't widely used today, they can still offer guidance for today's managers. Many of the principles are now considered to be common sense, but at the time they were revolutionary concepts for organizational management.


The 14 principle of Henry fayol

  1. The 14 principle of Henry fayol
    1. Division of work: This principle is the same as Adam Smith's 'division of labour'. Specialization increases output by making employees more efficient.(book1) Robbins, et al page 67
      The work in an organization must be divided among individuals and departments. Division of work leads to specialization. It results in accuracy, speed and neatness in work. Specialization also leads to innovation.
      Henri Fayol advocated division of work, because every change of work requires adaptation or adjustment which reduces output. However, division of work has it own limits which should not be exceeded.

    Sources;  (web 2)


    1. Initiative: Employees who are allowed to originate and carry out plans will exert high levels of effort.(web 3)
      The superior must sacrifice his own vanity to encourage and inspire those under him to show initiative. Subordinates should be given freedom to come up with suggestions and ideas. This will not only add to the success of the organization but will also boost the morale of the subordinates.

    Sources; (book2)  (by (John R.schermerhorn,JR)

    3. Authority & Responsibility:

     Managers must have the authority to give orders, but they must   also keep in mind that with authority comes responsibility.(web 1)

    • Authority is the right to command to get the work done and responsibility is the accountability of authority so that the official authority is not misused.
    • Responsibility goes with authority.
    • The two are co-extensive, as responsibility is a natural consequence and a corollary of authority.
    • Wherever authority is exercised, responsibility arises.

    Sources;  (book 1) Lalin9/25/06 page 48

    4. Esprit de corps: Teamwork is fundamentally important to an organization. Work teams and extensive face-to-face verbal communication encourages teamwork. Web 3/

    • This refers to harmony and mutual understanding among the members of the organization.
    • Management should not follow the policy of ‘divide and rule’ and people should be made to work in teams
    • Rather it should strive to maintain team spirit and cooperation among employees so that they can work together as a team for the accomplishment of common objectives.
    • Unity among the personnel can be developed through proper communication and co-ordination.Sources; (web 4)


    5. Discipline. Employees must obey and respect the rules that govern the organization. Good discipline is the result of effective leadership, a clear understanding between management and workers regarding the organization’s rules, and the judicious use of penalties for infractions of the rules.

    Sources; (Book1)(page;(49)..Gareth R. Jones/Jennifer M. George/Charles W.L. Hill)


    6. Centralization: The objective of centralization is the best utilization of personnel. The degree of centralization varies according to the dynamics of each organization. 
    Sources; (book1)( Ellen A. Benowitz, M Ed) page13

     There must be a good balance between centralization and decentralization of authority and power. Extreme centralization and decentralization must be avoided.

    Sources; (book2)( Prof. NSR Murthy)  page7

    7. Scalar chain: this principle, sometimes referred to as “the hierarchy principle,” suggests that communication in organization should be basically vertical; that a single, uninterrupted chain of authority should extend from the highest level to the lowest position in the organization. And there should be horizontal communication only when the need arises and permission from superiors has been obtained. Fundamentally the principle aims to facilitate formal organizational controls.
    Sources; (book 3)(Carl A. Rodriguez) page 880

    the line of authority from top management to the lowest ranks represents the scalar chain. Communications should follow this chain. However, if following the chain creates delays, cross-communications can be allowed if agreed to by all parties and superiors are kept informed.

    Sources; (web 4): Robbins,

    8. Unity of Command: all subordinates should receive orders from one boss and only one boss, thus the organization following this concept will secure the maximum contribution from each employee, so under the concept of Unity of Command the employee will always report to his immediate superior in the hierarchical ladder who alone will shoulder all the responsibility, accommodate the ideas, and command alone. And as we all know “Two captains can’t steer a ship”, this proverb supports the concept of Unity of Command.

    Sources; (Web 1)(web 2)(book 1(G. Bedeian and John D. Breeze

    9- Unity of Direction: Henry Fayol advocates ‘’one head and one plan’’ which means that group efforts on a particular plan be led and directed by a single person, it is known that Unity of Command does not exist without Unity of Direction but not necessarily flow from it. But in my personal opinion I think that unity of direction is not a correct concept generally, for example this principle doesn’t apply to units with multiple products. Also, many of the US’s organizations are currently multi- industry conglomerates, multi- product manufacturers, with matrix organizational structures containing functions with multiple bosses, this proves that the concept of ‘’Unity of Direction’’ isn’t “generally”  correct.

    Sources; (Web 3/web 4/web 5/book 2(Carl A. Rodriguez)

    10. Subordination of Individual Interests to General Interests: The interest of one employee or group of employees should not prevail over that of the entire organization. In other words this principle states that the interests of all employees should be linked with organizational objectives, so if there was any conflict between the two interests, the interest of the organization prevails over the individual interest. Thus we know that the interests of any one employee or group of employees should not take precedence over the interests of the organization as a whole.

    Sources; (Web 6/web 7/web 8

    11. Order: For the sake of efficiency and coordination, all materials and people related to a specific kind of work should be treated as equally as possible. (Web1). Both material order and social order are necessary. The former minimizes lost time and useless handling of materials. The latter is achieved through organization and selection. (Web2). Both material order and social order are necessary. The former minimizes lost time and useless handling of materials. The latter is achieved through organization and selection. (Web 3)


    12. Equity: All employees should be treated as equally as possible. (Web 4) in running a business a 'combination of kindliness and justice' is needed in treating employees if equity is to be achieved.(web 5). Equality of treatment (but not necessarily identical treatment)(web 6).

    13. Remuneration ; Managers should consider variables such as, costs of living, personal qualifications, success of business and many others when determining the wage should be paid to a worker(web 1 by Cutajar, Maureen). The amount of money paid to the worker or the staff is a big motivator to get them to work but it should be fair for both sides. (web 2 by Schmik)


    14. Stability of personnel tenure; Managers should give workers or employees time so they can adapt and learn how to do their job efficiently. (web 3/ by Cutajar, Maureen) It is very important because it helps the employees to get used to the atmosphere of the work place and develop the skills needed. Sources; (web 4/ by Jarvis, Chris)




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