Strengths and weaknesses of Henri Fayol’s theory
Firstly, Fayol’s theory include modern phenomena(Brooks, 2009), such as teamwork, authority, hierarchy, command etc. In recent decades, authority, hierarchy all involve and appear in the modern organization and that is what an organization really matter about. Therefore, Fayol’s model is plausible and it is still relevant to today’s organization although he did his study almost 100 years ago.
Furthermore, Henri Fayol was a pioneer of management theory(Pryor & Taneja, 2010), therefore a lot of people may follow his classical view. In addition, Fayol have devoted 30 years in leading a French mining company, which means he has 30 years experience of dealing with supervision and managing lower layer of staff(Fayol,1949), so his classical management theories are built upon his own experience and can still applied in today’s management. Therefore, these ideas are not build up by his imagination and without substantial evidence, but it is based on his own management experiences.
Nonetheless, Henri Fayol’s theory and principles tend to be criticized by many author. For example: March and Simon(1993) argue that Fayol’ idea is contradictory; Clegg and Dunkerley(1980) asserted Fayol’s management ideas is lack of coherence and accuracy; Mintzberg(1973, 1975, 1989) even describe his ideas as “folkore”. Likewise, Archer(1990) mentioned that the classical theory was criticized by academic in the US in the 1940s. In addition, the recognition and incorporation of Fayol’s work is no longer widespread in contemporary MBA textbooks(Archer,1990). In fact, Fayol’s classical theory focused on the functions of management, and ignores the behavior of mangers. In Fayol’s theory, he assumes labour are compliant, they do what the manager expected and taught. In fact, labour always influenced by the real condition and working environment. For example: labour may easily affected by their mobile phone, the boredom of work and...
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