Henri Foyal, Mary Parker Follett and Chester I. Barnard in Administrative Principles Approach

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The administrative principles as an approach to management was very powerful and gave organisations fundamental new skills for establishment high productivity and effective treatment of employees (Samson & Daft, 2005). This essay will discuss some theories from contributors to this approach included Henri Fayol, Mary Parker Follett and Chester I. Barnard. It will also examine how they are applied in a New Zealand organisation which is called Fisher & Paykel. Firstly, this essay will show two of Fayol’s 14 general principles which are ‘scalar chain of authority’ and ‘initiative’, and how the organisation has utilised this concept. Secondly, Follett’s enactive approach will be examined. Lastly, this essay will take a closer look at how ‘zone of indifference’ and ‘acceptance theory of authority’ (both are Barnard’s theory) applied in Fisher & Paykel. Looking in detail at the applications of these three contributors’ theories, this essay will suggest that administrative management has contributed the most to contemporary organisational practice. As one of New Zealand’s largest organisations, Fisher & Paykel is a successful and innovative manufacturer of household appliances, that has grown significantly since its humble beginnings in 1934 (Hansen & Hunter, 2005). Overall, this essay will discuss how administrative management is applied in Fisher & Pakel, and why it has been believed in contributed the most to contemporary organisational practice.

The roots of modern-day organizations can be traced back at least 2000 years to models of Chinese military hierarchy. However, one of the first people to capture on paper the processes and practices of organisations was Henri Fayol (1841–1925), a mining engineer and manager by profession (Middleton, 2002). Fayol defined the nature and working patterns of the twentieth-century organization in his book, General and Industrial Management, published in 1916. In it, he laid down what he called 14 principles of management. Fayol’s concept of a Scalar chain is in essence an established hierarchical structure incorporating all employees of an organisation (Samson & Daft, 2005). This principle is extremely relevant to Fisher and Paykel who have unmistakably established a Scalar chain of authority. The 2008 Organisational chart for Fisher and Paykel (Finance) includes every employee and each employee only has one boss. This relationship runs throughout Fisher and Paykel Finance from the workers in the call centre to the Managing Director Alastair Macfarlane (F&P Finance org chart, 2007). Henri Fayol based his administrative principles largely on past experiences (Samson & Daft, 2005). He saw the need to allow workers and managers the freedom to think for themselves and to show initiative, within the constraints of discipline (Knights & Willmott, 2007; Miner, 1995). Hansen and Hunter (2005) describe a situation back in the 1950’s where Fisher & Paykel realised the potential of allowing initiative to grow. For the first time, in 1950, Fisher & Paykel decided to employ their own talented local engineers. Although this may have seemed to be a risk initially, within a short period of time, these engineers had designed their very own product as well as upgrading the existing conveyor belts to maximise efficiency. This simple example illustrates that allowing workers the freedom to express their inner ability and think creatively can lead to great success. Therefore, ‘scalar chain of authority’ and ‘intiative’ are applied in Fisher & Paykel and they are great contributions made by Henri Foyal to the organisational practice.

Mary Parker Follett (1868-1933), a relatively unknown pioneer of management, had some extraordinary insights into the idea that managerial action is central to the whole process of managing organizations (Rodrigo, 2004). The idea is centred upon the notion that action implies ‘enaction’. In other words, when we do something we immediately create something else and that...
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