What Are Henri Fayol's 5 Functions of Management?

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Henri Fayol was one of the first theorists to define functions of management in his 1916 book “Administration Industrielle et Generale”. Henri Fayol identified 5 functions of management, which he labelled: planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating and controlling. Henri Fayol theorized that these functions were universal, and that every manager performed these functions in their daily work. Henri Fayol also identified 14 general principles of management and organizing, which can be read about in the article: What are Henri Fayol’s 14 Principles of Management? In part, these 14 principles give normative guidance on how managers might master and execute their 5 managerial functions effectively.

Below, a short description of the five functions is presented.

Planning
Managers must plan for future conditions, develop strategic objectives and secure the achievement of future goals. Therefore, managers must evaluate future contingencies affecting the organization, and shape the future operational and strategic landscape of the company.

Organizing
Managers must organize the workforce in an efficient manner and structure and align the activities of the organization. Managers must also train and recruit the right people for the job, and always secure a sufficiently skilled and educated workforce.

Commanding
Managers must supervise subordinates in their daily work, and inspire them to achieve company goals. Likewise it is the responsibility of managers to communicate company goals and policies to subordinates. The commanding of subordinates should always be consistent with company policies, and every manager should treat subordinates in line with the standards of the company.

Coordinating
Managers must harmonize the procedures and activities performed by the company, meaning that every activity of each organizational unit should complement and enrich the work of another.

Controlling
Managers must control that company activities are in line...
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