14 Principles of Management by Henri Fayol with Examples & General Administrative Theory

Henri Fayol, a French mining engineer, mining executive and director of mines, is the father of modern management. Fayol's contribution to management is immense and unforgettable. He was born in France in 1917. 

He developed a general theory of administration (Fayolism). He has mentioned 14 management principles for business and industry in his groundbreaking book, General and Industrial Management. These principles have been adopted in various organizations as the basic principles of management.

What Is Administrative Theory?

Fayol wrote about his experiences managing a workforce in his 1916 book. Fayol's book, along with his 14 Principles of Management, contributed to the development of Administrative Theory. It takes a top-down approach to the organization, laying out methods for managers to get the most out of staff and operate a corporation efficiently.

The Fourteen Principles of Management of Henri Fayol:

1/ Division of Work

The division of labour or work recommends that the work of employees should be divided and specified and different people are to be assigned different tasks based on their expertise in different areas. 

Work is simplified and more efficient when it is divided into sections. It also aids the individuals in improving their performance, speed, and accuracy. Specialization leads to increased efficiency and cost savings. 

As a result, every employee and executive can acquire specialized knowledge in the workplace. The more specialized a person is, the more efficiently he will be able to perform his duties.

2/ Authority and Responsibilities

Managers and executive officials should be given legitimate power to carry out their responsibilities. In addition to delegating authority to employees to perform duties, they also have to be given the necessary responsibilities. 

When someone is granted authority, s/he should also be held accountable and responsible. Similarly, if someone is given responsibility for works, s/he should have the necessary authority. 

Authority is about superiors have the right to demand accuracy from their subordinates, whereas accountability refers to the commitment to complete the task at hand. Irresponsible behavior results from authority without responsibility whereas, without authority, responsibility breeds ineffective actions. A balance between authority and responsibility must be ensured and they must go hand in hand. Both authority and responsibility coexist and they must work together. Balanced responsibilities are essential for the smooth activities of an organization.

3/ Discipline

Discipline is a combination of obedience, application, and respect. In every organization, discipline is crucial. What does the superior authority of the organization expect from its subordinate employees?

Necessary actions should be taken if works are not performed in a prescribed manner. As a part of the discipline policy, employees need to have respect for the rules and agreements made by the organization.


4/ Unity of Command

Each worker will receive instructions from a supervisor for a specific task. That means an employee will not have two or more bosses. Every employee of the organization will be kept under one boss and will accept his orders. Because when a worker works under two bosses, there will be chaos and a lack of discipline.

An employee should get orders and be accountable and responsible to one and only one boss at a time. As a result, it prevents: 

 -  undermining authority -  weakening discipline -  dividing loyalty -  creating confusion -  delays and chaos -  escaping responsibilities -  duplication of work -  overlapping of efforts


5/ Unity of Direction

There should be 1 plan and 1 head. It refers to the one plan assigned for a group of activities having similar objectives. Related functions should be grouped together and put under the charge of a particular manager.

Teams with the same goal should be led by one manager and following a single plan of actionIt prevents duplication of effort and resource waste.


6/ Subordination of Individual Interests to The General Interest

There should not be any conflict between the purpose of the organization and the interests of the individuals. However, the general interest of the organization will take precedence over the personal interest of the employees.   

Organization > Departments > Team > Employees

The primary focus and priority are on the institutional goals. It applies to all levels of management in the entire organization.

7/ Remuneration:

Salaries and payment systems should be equitable & sufficient and they should provide maximum satisfaction to both the employees and the employers to keep people engaged, motivated, and productive. For the proper operation of a company, it will be a reasonable way to pay by introducing a fair wage system and wage structure. Otherwise, employees will not stay in the organization.   

the reward can be 2 types:

a. Non-monetary (a compliment, more responsibility, credits) and b. monetary payment (compensation, bonus, or other financial compensations). Finally, it's about recognizing and rewarding the efforts that have been made by human resources.

8/ (The Degree of) Centralization

Centralization refers to the concentration of decision-making authority at the top-level management (administration). The process of sharing decision-making authority with lower levels (middle and lower management), is regarded as decentralization. A good balance between centralization and decentralization is very crucial for the success of a company.

The amount of centralization and decentralization of authority required by the organization should be calculated scientifically. Managers will have the ultimate authority in their own hands but with the right responsibilities, managers will delegate some of the authority to staff to facilitate and get the job done.


9/ Scalar Chain

The chain of authority flows from the top to the bottom of the organization. 

There will be a chain. The flow of authority and communication is indicated by the upward or downward motion. You can easily understand the power structure of an institution by looking at the organogram or organizational chart of a big corporation.

 Any information flow must follow a pre-determined path, that is, information must flow from the supervisor to the person in the lowest position to avoid any ambiguity. Whenever a problem arises, every employee knows who to contact to resolve the issue. Top management can communicate with the rest of the company properly. Supervisors at all levels will be held accountable for carrying out top management's directions and there will be no organizational chaos.

A gang plank is a communication system in which two supervisors at the same level can interact directly with one another for speedy communication in the event of an emergency. Thus, to reduce delays and allow direct communication between two managers at the same level, Fayol proposed the notion of 'Gang Plank.' The Gang Plank is useful since it allows for direct communication in the event of an emergency.

10/ Order

The two most important elements in an organization are people and materials. 

All materials and human resources should be in the right place at the right time. Every position should have the right and worthy person. On the other hand, the objects should be in place. 

According to this principle, every worker and other elements are to be arranged in a way so that they can continue to do the right thing from their place at the right time.


11/ Equity

Most people hate injustice and if you cannot maintain equity, good employees will not stay. Managers should treat all employees equally and show fairness. 

Justice should be ensured to treat and pay salary, promotion, and other facilities to the employees. In this way, loyalty and a positive attitude will be increased among the human resources.

Skilled people from developing countries or poor nations are trying to immigrate to the developed world because they think they can get many opportunities and justice.   

12/ Job Stability:

Management will be ineffective if employees are frequently transferred or fired. One of the principles of management is to increase the efficiency of the executive. For this purpose, the workforce needs job security and stability. 

If the job is not guaranteed, then young employees try to study during office time or be anxious about their future. Old or experienced employees want to make networking with other people outside the company. It will definitely hamper the performance of the employees and the organization itself.  

Employees are humans, not robots and they have families. People in South Asia love government jobs because of job security (mostly).   


13 Initiatives

The employees should be given the freedom to plan and initiate a plan. The manager has to encourage the initiative of the employees. Encouragement, inspiration and appropriate opportunities need to be created among the employees to innovate any new method. This increases their interest in the organization and they can show efficiency and effectiveness.

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14 Esprit de corps

It is a French term and it denotes group spirit and originally the morale of military troops. Where there is unity, there is strength. 

Managers need to inspire subordinates with teamwork, unity, and a sense of brotherhood. Teamwork helps achieve the organization's goals. It is necessary to create a sense of unity among the workers by creating a team spirit. Two heads are better than one.

You will see such teamwork in Football teams and nowadays big corporations understand the value of teamwork where critical decisions and activities can be completed without barriers. 


Fayol's Five Functions of Management: Planning, Organizing, Commanding,  Coordinating, and Controlling.

Types of organizational activity: He categories the activities within an industrial undertaking into 6 types: 

  • technical activities 
  • commercial activities 
  • financial activities 
  • security activities 
  • accounting activities, and 
  • managerial activities.

Jules Henri Fayol has benefited the world by putting his principles into practice. Various writers have contributed to the development of management theories and models.

F. W. Taylor and Henri Fayol are among those who have contributed to the development of management theories. Taylor has worked for the steel company and seeing the success in his management, the company has promoted him at various times. He later became the chief engineer. He was also a consultant to steel mills. The principles of management that he introduced based on his life experience are known as Taylor's principles. Taylor was the first and foremost person in the field of management to introduce the principles of scientific management in the industry.

So my questions are: Is Fayolism Still Relevant Today? What are the Criticism of Fayol's Principles of Management? What do you think?