Management Theory

Topics: Management, Henri Fayol, Project management Pages: 6 (2109 words) Published: August 26, 2013
Robbins, Bergman, Stagg and Coulter (2006, p. 11) state “The continued popularity of the functional and process approaches to describe what managers do is a tribute to their clarity and simplicity- managers plan, organize, lead and control.” Compare and contrast how the ideas of Fayol and Mintzberg relate to this statement. In your discussion you should refer to a minimum of academic journal articles and also identify and indicate you understand underlying these ideas.

The following essay will compare and contrast the ideas of Fayol and Mintzberg relating to management which have been developed to assist a manger to complete their job of working with and through others so that organisations can achieve goals and objectives efficiently and effectively. This shall be done by using academic sources and reference materials relevant to management. The essay will briefly outline the basis features of Fayol’s theory along with that of Mintzberg. From this, the essay presents evidence of how the theories are both similar and may be different.

For the purpose of this essay, a manager is defined by Robins, Bergman, Stagg and Coulter (2006, p.8) as “someone who works with and through other people by coordinating their work activities in order to accomplish organization goals”.

When explaining the job of a manager, Robbins et al (2006) use Fayol’s view to indicated that “all managers perform five universal or generic functions: planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating and controlling”. Meanwhile, Lamond (2003, p.7) cites Fayol (1949, p.5) who identifies the managerial activities as “concerned with drawing up the broad plan of operations of the business, with assembling personnel, co-ordinating and harmonizing effort and activity”. Furthermore, Lamond (2003, p.7) refers to Fayol (1949, p.5-6) who state that “to manage is to forecast and plan, to organize, to command, to coordinate and to control. To foresee and provide means examining the future and drawing up the plan of action. To organize means building up the dual structure, material and human, of the undertaking. To command means maintaining activity among the personnel. To coordinate means binding together, unifying and harmonizing all activity and effort. To control means seeing that everything occurs in conformity with established rule and expressed command.” After analyzing these functions, they are significant for managers to be aware as they look to undertake the job of manager as their primary role is ensure that the organization achieves its goals and objectives efficiently and effectively while working with and through others. In addition, Carroll and Gillen(1987, p.48) also emphasize the importance of five functions as “the classical functions still represent the most useful way of conceptualizing the manger’s job… The classical functions provide clear and discrete methods of classifying the thousands of different activities that managers carry out and the techniques they use in terms of the functions they perform for the achievement of organizational goals”.

Given Fayol’s five functions, Lamond (2003, p.12) argues that it is surprising to see that Mintzberg (1975/1989, p.9) say, “The ‘principles of management’ school of thought, fathered by Henri Fayol… was concerned primarily wit formal authority, in effect with the role of direct supervision in the organization”. Fell (2000, p.348) points out that Mintzberg develops managerial activities into three groups and then expand into ten management roles. And Robins, et al (2006) consider management roles as “specific categories of managerial behaviour and group Mintzgerg’s ten managerial roles into three as interpersonal relationships, transfer of information and decision making.” Lamond (2003, p.13) refers to Mintzberg (1973, p.3) who defines managers as “those persons formally in charge of organizations or their subunits. This excludes many of this in ‘middle management’” and Mintzberg (1973, p.95-96)...

References: Carroll, S.J. and Gillen, D.J. (1987). Are the Classical Management Functions Useful in Describing Managerial Work? Academy of Management Review, 12(1), 38-51.
Fells, M.J. (2000). Fayol stands the test of time. Journal of Management History, 6(8), 345-360.
Lamond, D. (2003). Henry Mintzberg vs Henri Fayol: Of Lighthouses, Cubists and the Emperor’s New Clothes. Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, 8(4), 5-23.
Lamond, D. (2004). A matter of style: reconciling Henri and Henry. Management Decision, 42(2), 330-356
Parker, L.D. and Ritson, P.A. (2005). Revisiting Fayol: Anticipating Contemporary Management. British Journal of Management, 16, 175-194.
Robbins, S., Bergman, R., Stagg, I & Coulter, M. (2006). Management (4thEd.). French Forest, NSW: Prentice Hall.
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