Fayol's Management Functions and Its

Topics: Management, Goal, Organization Pages: 3 (952 words) Published: September 10, 2010
Fayol’s Management Functions and its
Relevance Today
According to Henri Fayol, ‘planning, organising, co-ordinating, commanding and controlling’ (Fell 2000, p. 345), are the core functions behind successful management. At present, these functions have been condensed to four: plan, lead, organise and control. There is great debate as to the relevance of these functions in modern management theory. Fells (2000, p. 345) maintains that these functions have ‘stood the test of time’; and are ‘appropriate to contemporary management’. While others such as Henry Mintzberg have said ‘Fayol’s fifty year description of managerial work is no longer of use to us’(Stephen J. Carroll and Dennis J. Gillen, 1987). ‘Management is the planning, organising, leading and controlling of human and other resources to achieve organisational goals effectively and efficiently’ (Waddell, Devin, Jones, George, 2008, p.519). This definition is from a contemporary text book, which shows the use of Fayol’s functions in modern management teachings. While looking at the management functions shaped by Fayol, some of his functions are no longer seen as useful in modern day management. Planning is a key process for any organisation, as it allows management to determine suitable goals and the most appropriate course of action in achieving these goals. Planning (Fayol, 1949, p. 43): ‘means both to assess the future and make provisions for it’. Without any form of a plan, an organisation lacks direction and unity, which will hinder the future success of the organisation. Fell (2000, p. 346) highlights ‘Fayol discusses the feature of a good action plan and highlights: unity, continuity, flexibility and precision’. The need for management to have a plan is crucial when dealing with employees and developing strategies to integrate and co-ordinate activities. Organising in an integral part of any organisation, as it structures working relationships in a way that allows employees to work collectively to...

Bibliography: Fayol, H, 1949, General and Industrial Management, Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Ltd, London.
Fells, M.J., 2000, ‘Fayol Stands the Test of Time’ Journal of Management History, Vol. 6, 8, pp. 345-360.
Raymond E. Miles, Charles C. Snow, Alan D. Meyer and Henry J. Coleman, Jr., 1978, ‘Organizational Strategy, Structure, and Process’, The Academy of Management Review, Vol 3, 3, pp. 546-562.
Stephen J. Carroll and Dennis J. Gillen, 1987,’ Are the Classical Management Functions Useful in Describing Managerial Work?’, The Academy of Management Review, Vol 12, 1, pp. 38-51.
Waddell, Devin, Jones, George, 2008, Contemporary Management, McGraw-Hill Irwin, North Ryde.
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