The evolution of management theories

The evolution of management theories

Henry Fayol is a French Mining Engineer, who developed the concept of general theory of administration and given 14 principles of management. On the other hand, F.W.

The article discusses the difference between Fayol and Taylor’s theories of management.

Henry Fayol is a French Mining Engineer, who developed the concept of general theory of administration and given 14 principles of management. On the other hand, F.W. Taylor is an American Mechanical Engineer, who advanced the concept of scientific management and given four principles of management.

Management is viewed as the process in which the responsible members of the organisation get the work done through and with others. Principles of Management are the guidelines that govern the decision making and behaviour in an organisation. There are various theories of management which are put forth by a number of management thinkers. Two such management thinkers are Henry Fayol and Fredrick Winslow Taylor (F.W. Taylor).

In this article, you can find out the difference between Fayol and Taylor theory of management. Definition of Henry Fayol’s theory of management

Henry Fayol, renowned as ‘father of modern management theory’, introduced comprehensive thinking on management philosophy. He put forward general management theory that applies to every organisation equally and in every field. The principles of management laid down by Fayol are used by managers to coordinate the internal activities of the company.

To put into practice, the three components, i.e. division and classification of industrial activities, analysis of management and formulation of principles of management, Fayol promulgated fourteen principles of management, which are listed below:

  • Division of work: Work is divided into small tasks or jobs, which results in specialisation.
  • Authority and responsibility: Authority implies the right to give the command and obtain obedience and responsibility is the sense of dutifulness that arises out of authority.
  • Discipline: Discipline refers to obedience to organisational rules and the terms of employment. It is to ensure compliance and respect for seniors.
  • Unity of command: An employee will receive orders from one boss only.
  • Unity of direction: All the organisational units should work for the same objectives through coordinated efforts.
  • Subordination: Individual or group interest are sacrificed or surrendered for general interest.
  • Remuneration: Fair and satisfactory payment for both employer and employee.
  • Centralisation: There must be the optimum utilisation of organisation’s resources.
  • Scalar chain: Scalar chain implies the superior-subordinate relation, within the organisation.
  • Order: In an organisation, there must be a proper place for everything as well as each thing must be in its appointed place.
  • Equity: Sense of equity should exist at all the levels of the organisation.
  • Stability of tenure of personnel: Efforts are to be made to reduce employee turnover.
  • Initiative: It implies thinking out and implementation of the plan.
  • Esprit de Corps: It stresses on the need of team work in the organisation.

Definition of F.W. Taylor’s theory of management

Fredrick Winslow Taylor or F.W. Taylor, popularly known as ‘father of scientific management,’ with the help of experiments, proved that scientific methodology could be applied to management. A scientific process comprises of observations, experiments, analysis and inferences, which Taylor wants to apply in management to develop a cause and effect relationship.

Taylor’s primary concern was management at the supervisory level and gave much stress on the efficiency of workers and managers at an operational level. Scientific Management is just a mental revolution for both employer and employees, which consist of the following principles:

  • Science, not the rule of thumb: To improve the performance level, the rule of thumb is replaced by science.
  • Harmony, not discord: There must be a coordination of the activities of the employees and not discord.
  • Cooperation, not individualism: There should be an environment of cooperation in the organisation, of mutual interest.
  • Development of every person to his greatest efficiency: Motivation is to be provided to greatest efficiency to every member of the organisation.


Both the management thinkers have an immense contribution in the field of management, which is not contradictory but complementary in nature. While Henry Fayol is an ardent proponent of the unity of command, F.W. Taylor is of the opinion that it is not substantial that under functional foremanship, an employee receives orders from multiple bosses.

The article is authored by: Kasiviswanathan Palanisamy, Board of Director, Picanol India

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