Life and Works of Henri Fayol

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Topics: Management
Introduction
This topic paper covers the overview of the life of management theorist, Henri Fayol, the development of his key works, and looks into the environment which influenced Fayol’s development of theories. This paper also gives a review of relevance of his theories in today’s context.

Biography
Born in 1841 in Istanbul, Turkey, Henri Fayol received his education at a mining school at Saint Etienne and graduated in 1860. He started off as an engineer in a mining company, Compagnie de Commentry-Fourchambeault-Decazeville in Commentry. He was later appointed as the Director in 1888 (Wren & Bedeian 2009).
Fayol realized managerial ability was required for businesses to succeed and should be taught in schools. He therefore developed management ideas through personal experience as Chief Executive, and wrote ‘elements’ of administration in “Administration Industrielle et Generale”, which was published in 1961 (Wren & Bedeian 2009).

Key Works
Managerial abilities that he felt were essential in a manager include physical, mental and moral qualities, general education, specialized knowledge and experience (Wren & Bedeian 2009). The absence of management training in schools made Fayol see the need for management theory and identified fourteen principles of management (Fayol, 1949) to serve as guidelines to help managers resolve work problems.
Fayol was the first person to identify the functions of a manager's job. The "management process" was represented by five elements: Planning, organizing, command, coordination and control (Wren & Bedeian 2009). Planning was one of the most important elements in ensuring business success as it predicts future events that determine the next move of the company. Organizing involved ways which organizational structure is developed as well as the flow of communication and authority. Commanding is how managers direct employees through effective communication and the use of discipline and remuneration. Coordinating is the process of

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