According to Henri Fayol, to Manage Is to Forecast and Plan, to Organize, to Command, to Co-Ordinate and to Control. Critically Discuss Fayol’s Perspective.

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Since the beginning of business and organisations, there has been massive controversy over which method is more effective in motivating employees, making them more productive, and in turn making the organisation as a whole more productive and profitable. The early days of organisations brought about the Classical Theorists, who believed that management was a rational activity that could be studied, also known as scientific management. Along with Fayol, the other most well known Classical Theorists were Max Weber of Germany, and Frederick Taylor of the USA. However, as the years progressed, new theorists began to pay more attention to the personal needs of the employee, and they were labelled the Human Relations Theorists. The Human Relations Theorists included reputable names such as Mayo, Herzberg and Mary Parker Follit. Even though Fayol was a highly credited theorist, his views on organisations being very rigid, with a high level of control, does not take into account the personal needs of the employees, and would not results in the businesses workers being more effective and productive.

In the language of Fayol, “control appears as one of the universal activities of all organizations and managing” (Broadbent and Otley: 1995). Control was one of five functions that Fayol decided management consisted of. The other four were, organizing, directing, co-ordinating and prevoyance, which is French for forecasting, which basically includes planning, and determining objectives. Fayol believed that management was a specfic activity that can be studied and developed. This is an accurate point, as management can be developed through study, and with ideas being accumulated, new management styles can be formed in order to suit the type of organization and its employees. However, even though Fayol was right in the sense that management can be developed, he was still heavily criticised as being idealist and ignoring the reality of management, and condoning impersonality towards employees by assuming that they are responsible for all the needs of the organization without any sort of reward or personal benefit.

A theorist who had similar ideas to how an organisation should work was the German, Max Weber. He is known for creating the term Bureaucracy, which he believed was the ideal form for modern day managerial organisations. Weber’s idea of Bureaucracy was simply that there is a main leader, who is set apart from the rest, and the rest of the organisation is formed by a positional hierarchy. The workers in each section of the hierarchy are there because they have certain qualifications for that job, “and there is a set of rules and procedures within which every possible contingency is theoretically provided for.” Weber was predominantly known for his “theory of authority structures, which led him to characterise organisations in terms of the authority relations within them” (Pugh D S & Hickinson: 1983). Weber stated that that the bureaucratic organisation is technically the most efficient form of organisation possible due to the hierarchal structure, and frequently praised it’s effectiveness and unambiguity by using the analogy of a modern machine. However, like Fayol’s view on management, Weber’s Bureaucracy was heavily criticised due its disregard for the worker’s personal needs, and was said to “represent the final stage in depersonalisation” (Pugh DS & Hickinson: 1983)

Another theorist who was heavily criticised because of his thoughts on management, and how his theories affected employees, was Frederick Taylor. Taylor introduced ‘Scientific Management’, also known as ‘Taylorism’. ‘Taylorism’ was a “system of organisation of work in the manufacturing industry in which workers’ jobs were broken down into simple, repetitive tasks, with managers taking primary responsibilities for making decisions” and believed that the “primary motivation of workers was to earn money” (Broadbent and Otley: 1995). The origins of Taylor’s...
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