Fayol and Mintzberg

Best Essays
Topics: Management
Introduction

Since Fayol left his general manager office, separated management from business operation and studied it, management has become an independent subject. A number of academics and entrepreneurs are desirous to find what management is and how to be a successful manager. Therefore, through varied approaches, many different views about management has been appearing such as Fayol’s function theory (1949) which based on his owe managing experience and Mintzberg’s 10 roles theory (1973) which came from observing five chief-executive officers. Furthermore, Mintzberg regarded Fayol’s theory as “folklore”. It seems that Fayol’s theory has been made redundant by Mintzberg’s study. The purpose of this paper, however, is to present that Fayol’s administrative theory still has a practical significance and has not been eliminated by Mintzberg’s view because their conceptions are compatible instead of conflicting (Garolland and Gillen, 1987).

This essay will begin with a brief review and analysis of Fayol’s and Mintzberg’s managerial theories. Then, make a critical comparison between their conceptions. Finally, a conclusion will be drawn which will summarize that Fayol’s classic analysis of the management function still has a great influence now and is not made redundant much by the modern study of management which is Mintzberg’s.

Brief review of Fayol and Mintzberg’s managerial theories

Nearly 60 years ago, since Fayol’s ideas (1949) about what managers should do appeared in English version and published as General and Industrial Management, debates about his theories have never stopped. Fayol is incontestable one of the most significant classical organisational and management theorists. Used to be a successful Managing Director in a French mining and metallurgical company, from 1918 to 1925, he summarized his amazing achievements on the basis of his 30 years career and devoted to perfect and disseminate these administrative theories (Fayol, 1949). According to



References: Archer, E.R. (1990), “Toward a revival of the principles of management”, Industrial Management, Vol.32 No. 1, January-February, pp. 19-22. Brodie, M.B. (1967), Fayol on Administration, Lyon, Grant and Green, London. Caroll, S.J. and Gillen, D.J. (1987), “Are the classical management functions usdful in describing managerial work?”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 38-51. Drucker, P.F. (1981) Behind Japan’s Success, Harvard Business Review, [Online] Available at: < http://hbr.org/1981/01/behind-japans-success/ar/1> [Accessed 15 November 2013] Duncan, W.J Fayol, H. (1949), General and Industrial Management, Sir Isaax Pitman & Sons Ltd., London, (translation by Constance). Hales, C March, J. and Simon, H. (1993), Organizations, 2nd ed., Blackwell, Cambridge, MA. Mintzberg, H. (1973), The Nature of Managerial Work, Harper & Row, New York, NY. Perrow, C. (1973), “The short and glorious history of organizational theory”, Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 2-15. Smith, I. and Boyns, T. (2005) "British management theory and practice: the impact of Fayol", Management Decision, Vol. 43 Iss: 10, pp.1317 – 1334. Tsoukas, H. (1994), “What is management? An outline of a metatheory”, British Journal of Management, Vol. 5, pp. 295-296.

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