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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1995

Tsuneo Sasaki

Traces seven generations of Henri Fayol′s family through familyrecords and public documents found in France. These previouslyunpublished records document the financial…

Abstract

Traces seven generations of Henri Fayol′s family through family records and public documents found in France. These previously unpublished records document the financial situation of the Fayol family, further details of Fayol′s career, and other information concerning his descendants. For many years the Fayol family members and their in‐laws had close ties with Commentry‐Fourchambault and Decazeville. Suggests the circumstances which led to the estrangement of Henri Fayol from his only son, as well as the role the Fayols played in the international management movement.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2010

Mildred Golden Pryor and Sonia Taneja

Fayol's theories were the original foundation for management as a discipline and as a profession. Also Fayol was the first to advocate management education. Yet he has…

Abstract

Purpose

Fayol's theories were the original foundation for management as a discipline and as a profession. Also Fayol was the first to advocate management education. Yet he has critics who revile him (or at least disparage his work) as well as followers who respect and revere him. This paper intends to enlighten today's practitioners and academicians about the relevance and value of Fayol's theories today.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper addresses Fayol's contributions as well as the disparagement and the reverence. It compares Fayol's work with that of Follett, Mintzberg, Taylor, and Porter. In addition, it demonstrates the original and current interpretation and application of his theories. Finally, it indicates the alignment of Fayol's theories with strategic leadership and management.

Findings

Fayol's theories are valuable and relevant for organizational leaders because Fayol was a practitioner who documented theories that worked best for him and his co‐workers. While there are those who criticize Fayol's theories, there are many others who respect them and find them useful as academicians and as practitioners. The theory of management functions aligns well with strategic leadership and management models and theories.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to integrate Fayol's theories with a strategic leadership model.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Michael J. Fells

Planning, organising, co‐ordinating, commanding and controlling – these are the elements of management according to Henri Fayol. Less known, but no less important, are…

Abstract

Planning, organising, co‐ordinating, commanding and controlling – these are the elements of management according to Henri Fayol. Less known, but no less important, are Fayol’s principles of management. Fayol was born in 1841 and died in 1925. His Administration Industrielle et Générale was published in French in 1916 but was not translated into English until 1929. Fayol’s work is often quickly rejected either because of its age or because it is believed to have been superseded by observational findings. However, Fayol’s work was based on observation. This paper considers some contemporary models of management (Hales, Kotter, Mintzberg) and argues that Fayol’s elements of management are not refuted but are rather reinforced by more recent findings. The paper concludes that Fayol’s work stands the test of time. The five elements of management and 14 principles of management are briefly presented.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 6 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Ian Smith and Trevor Boyns

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of Fayol's ideas on both British management thought and practice.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of Fayol's ideas on both British management thought and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a schematic which seeks to illustrate the links between the various strands of scientific management theory, especially that of Fayol, in Britain between the 1920s and the 1960s/1970s and, for the same period, the links between the theory and practice of scientific management. The links indicated in the schematic are assessed first through an examination of the development of British management thought, in particular the exemplification of Fayol's ideas by Lyndall Fownes Urwick and the British neoclassical school. Using archival evidence from a small number of engineering companies, the impact on practice of the ideas of Fayol and other aspects of scientific management is then examined.

Findings

The paper concludes that, while Fayol's theoretical influence has stood the test of time, his impact on practice was much more limited.

Originality/value

By focusing on the historical impact on practice of management theory, this paper not only provides a basis for future research by business and management historians, but also throws light on the relevance for practice of theory, an issue of relevance for all theoreticians and management practitioners.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 43 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1995

Donald Reid

Reading Fayol′s Administration Industrielle etGénérale entails more than an examination of thetext′s apparent meaning and utility to managers today. A text likeFayol′s…

Abstract

Reading Fayol′s Administration Industrielle et Générale entails more than an examination of the text′s apparent meaning and utility to managers today. A text like Fayol′s Administration never comes to us in pristine form. Our reading of it today is shaped both by the author Fayol′s management of the data – his experiences – and by the many subsequent readings of the text which necessarily influence how Administration is read today. Examines briefly Fayol′s decision not to mention in print a long history of conflict with the board of directors of his firm Comambault which was crucial in helping him formulate his ideas. Discusses the reception of Administration in France and the USA and how readings of the text have helped delineate communities of management theorists.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1995

Daniel A. Wren

Examines the debate about the value of the experiences ofpractising managers in building management theory. Henri Fayol, anadvocate of the experimental method, built his…

Abstract

Examines the debate about the value of the experiences of practising managers in building management theory. Henri Fayol, an advocate of the experimental method, built his administrative theory from his experiences. Examines the development of Fayol′s ideas before the publication of his major work, Administration Industrielle et Générale. A preview of other works reveals new translations and sources of documentation.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2012

Jean‐Louis Peaucelle and Cameron Guthrie

The aim is to identify Henri Fayol's motivations as an accomplished business manager to publish his management theory at the age of 75.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim is to identify Henri Fayol's motivations as an accomplished business manager to publish his management theory at the age of 75.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors retrace Henri Fayol's private life using primary sources from various French public archives including civil registry records, military and diplomatic archives, schooling records, publications from learned associations and inheritance declarations. They then use a psychological theory, namely equity theory, to interpret this new information about Fayol's private life and construct an explanation of his efforts to theorise his management experience.

Findings

Henri Fayol's schooling and his father's military career respectively influenced his perception of mathematics teaching in management training and the functioning of the army. His motivation to found a science of management was not financial but instead most probably a response to the obstacles his father encountered during his career.

Research limitations/implications

It is rarely known what motivates a manager to collaborate with specialists in management science. This research into Henri Fayol's motivations can be replicated for other managers.

Practical implications

The paper dentifies one major practical implication for managers who wish to contribute to management theory as Fayol did. Before they begin such an undertaking, it is important for them to reflect upon their motivations. Their motivations as managers, based on financial and business success are insufficient. Deeper motivations are needed, that are anchored in their own personal history to drive the considerable intellectual investment that is necessary for them to be successful contributors.

Social implications

The results encourage managers to contribute to building and improving management science. They can theorize their experiences in dealing with the management of contemporary issues such as sustainable development and social responsibility. They must do so as Fayol did: using scientific method and strongly motivated by personal beliefs.

Originality/value

The research question is original: “What motivated Fayol to build his management doctrine?”. Scholars rarely ask why individuals decide to build and organize knowledge. This question is relevant for managers today as they too can bring original contributions to management thought. The paper reports previously unpublished details about Fayol's life to answer the research question, and in doing so completes and corrects the works of Sasaki Tsuneo and Henri Verney.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1995

Donald Reid

Draws extensively on the unpublished papers of Henri Fayol to showhow his experiences as an engineer, director and CEO for CommentryFourchambault provided the basis for…

Abstract

Draws extensively on the unpublished papers of Henri Fayol to show how his experiences as an engineer, director and CEO for Commentry Fourchambault provided the basis for the ideas presented in his classic Administration Industrielle et Générale (1916). Emphasizes Fayol′s experiences managing coal miners; his direction of a firm facing crisis owing to depletion of its primary assets (coal and ore deposits); and his struggle to assert the primacy of the CEO in dealings with the company board of directors.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Lee D. Parker and Philip Ritson

The management profession has a long and well‐documented history adopting and abandoning “fads” promulgated by a series of thinkers, practitioners, and opinion leaders who…

Abstract

Purpose

The management profession has a long and well‐documented history adopting and abandoning “fads” promulgated by a series of thinkers, practitioners, and opinion leaders who enjoy a “guru” like status. The purpose of this paper shows that stereotyping contributes to the existence of this guru‐fad phenomenon.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the characteristics of both management fads and the phenomenon of stereotyping with reference to two leading historical management practitioners and thinkers, Henri Fayol and Mary Parker Follett.

Findings

Drawing on the examples of Mary Parker Follett and Henri Fayol, it argues that the influence exerted by other management gurus and fads, such as Frederick Winslow Taylor's Scientific Management and Elton Mayo's Human Relations Movement, gave rise to a stereotyped view of both Follett and Fayol's work that prevented an accurate appraisal of their ideas.

Research limitations/implications

In addition, this paper notes that, while Follett and Fayol exhibited an extraordinary capacity to identify the very issues that have spawned many subsequent management fads, the contemporary management discipline's approach to both thinkers is quite different. While Follett has escaped her earlier stereotypes, allowing management thinkers a new opportunity to re‐assess her work and value its contemporary relevance, Fayol remains misclassified as a European Taylorist who has little to offer the contemporary management practitioner.

Originality/value

This paper provides an interesting insight into the characteristics of both management fads and the phenomenon of stereotyping.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 43 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1995

John D. Breeze

Henri Fayol is undoubtedly best known in the English‐speaking worldfor his book Administration Industrielle et Générale. His subsequent activities in promoting the…

Abstract

Henri Fayol is undoubtedly best known in the English‐speaking world for his book Administration Industrielle et Générale. His subsequent activities in promoting the development of management studies and education as a a means of improving both industry and public service performance are less well known. One of his more significant initiatives in this area was to establish the Centre for Administrative Studies (CAS) in 1917. Relates the founding of the CAS to Fayol′s activities at the time, identifies its goals and activities, summarizes some of his contributions to the development of what ultimately became the formalization of management studies in both Europe and North America and notes the Centre′s demise almost concurrently with Fayol′s death. Reveals Fayol′s own reasons for delaying the publication of parts 3 and 4 of Administration Industrielle et Générale.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

Keywords

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