Fayol's 14 principles for effective management

short biography

Born in the suburbs of Istanbul, Türkiye. Then his father supervised the construction of the bridge, which was built across the Golden Horn Bay. His family returned home in 1847. There he entered the Saint-Etienne Mining School. Immediately after graduating in 1860, he got a job at the Compagnie de Commentry-Fourchambeau-Decazeville mining company. He served as its director from 1888 to 1918.

In 1916, Fayol published his work “General and Industrial Administration” (in French: Administration Industrielle et Générale). In this book, he was able to summarize the management schemes he had developed, while creating a logically coherent systematic theory of management.

II. Principles of management by A. Fayol

A. Fayol entered the history of management not only thanks to the administrative functions he allocated, but also due to the so-called principles of management. His famous 14 principles of management are mentioned in any management textbook, so in this lecture we cannot help but touch on them.

14 principles of management by Henri Fayol
1. Division of labor;
2. Power;
3. Discipline;
4. Unity of management (command);
5. Unity of leadership;
6. Subordination of private interests to the general;
7. Remuneration;
8. Centralization;
9. Hierarchy (scalar chain);
10. Order;
11. Justice;
12. Constancy of personnel;
13. Initiative;
14. Personnel unity.

A. Fayol’s thesis about the need for a creative approach to the implementation of the proposed principles is very important. He writes, in particular, that “It is almost never necessary to apply the same principle under identical conditions: one must take into account different and changing circumstances, the difference and change of people, and many other variable elements . Subsequently, it was this thesis that became the methodological basis for the development of a situational approach to management.

1. Division of labor. A. Fayol was not the first to address the problem of division of labor. Before him, this issue was discussed in detail in the works of A. Smith, C. Babbage, M. Weber, F. Taylor and others. A. Fayol focuses on two circumstances that determine the need for division of labor:

- the breadth of functions performed is inevitably associated with frequent changes, and every change entails an effort of adaptation, i.e., a decrease in production;

- division of labor allows you to reduce the number of objects to which attention and action should be directed.

At the same time, A. Fayol quite rightly notes that the division of labor must have limits. This remark became very relevant already in the second half of the 20th century. due to the development of automation. It became clear that the extreme division of labor reduces its content, which negatively affects the employee’s work behavior.

2. Power is responsibility. According to A. Fayol, the amount of power of a particular employee must correspond to the amount of his responsibility. Meanwhile, writes A. Fayol, people usually don’t like responsibility as much as they seek authorities.

3. Discipline. A. Fayol defines discipline as activity, external signs of respect, shown in accordance with the agreement established between the enterprise and its employees. From the point of view of A. Fayol, the problem of discipline in an enterprise is, first of all, a problem of appropriate management; he confirms this with the later famous aphorism: “Discipline is what bosses turn it into.”

The most effective means of maintaining discipline, according to A. Fayol, are:

- good bosses at all levels;

— possibly clearer and fairer agreements;

- judiciously applied punitive sanctions.

4. Unity of management. The meaning of this principle, according to A. Fayol, is that “only one boss can give an employee two orders regarding any action.” Thus, the previously proposed division of labor should also affect management activities themselves. The sphere of management must also be functionalized, in this it is close to F. Taylor’s teaching on functional organization.

5. Unity of leadership. According to A. Fayol, unity of leadership is associated with unity of management, but they should not be confused. The principle of unity of leadership is expressed as follows: one leader and one program of action for the entire set of operations pursuing the same goal.

6. Subordination of private interests to general ones. This principle means that within an enterprise, the interests of an individual employee or group of employees should not be placed above the interests of the enterprise as a whole.

The means to achieve this principle are:

- perseverance and good example of superiors;

— possibly fairer agreements;

- vigilant supervision.

7. Staff remuneration. A. Fayol turned to the problem of staff remuneration after F. Taylor and, obviously, did not set himself the task of studying this problem in as much detail as F. Taylor did. However, his observations regarding staff remuneration rules have much relevance to this day.

The direct amount of wages for a particular employee, according to A. Fayol, should be determined by two groups of factors.

1. Factors independent of the will of the owner and the value of the employee:

— high cost of living in the region;

— general state of affairs in the industry;

— economic situation of the enterprise.

2. Factors depending on the value of the employee:

— personal contribution of the employee;

- market value of the employee (excess or shortage of such specialists in the labor market).

8. Centralization. According to A. Fayol, the meaning of centralization is that all information should converge in one center - the directorate, and from the directorate come orders that set all elements of the organization in motion.

Extremely important is A. Fayol’s thesis about the situational nature of the degree of centralization, which may depend on factors such as:

— size of the enterprise;

— breadth of product range;

— economic condition of the enterprise;

— qualifications of personnel and their attitude to work.

From this point of view, it is impossible to abstractly assess the advantages and disadvantages of centralized or decentralized leadership; everything is determined by the above and many other factors. This thesis of A. Fayol was subsequently also used by supporters of the situational approach to management.

9. Hierarchy (scalar chain). A. Fayol defines hierarchy as a series of leadership positions, starting with the highest and ending with the lowest. As in the previous case, A. Fayol points out the need for situational use of the principle of hierarchy. He writes: “It is a mistake to deviate unnecessarily from the hierarchical path; but a much greater mistake is to follow it when it could endanger the enterprise.” From this point of view, A. Fayol recommends:

— create conditions for the development of horizontal relationships;

— encourage the right of officials at a certain level to make independent decisions.

Rice. 2.1. A. Fayol's scalar chain

10. Order. A. Fayol uses the distinction between material and emotional order as a characteristic of this principle. At the same time, his formula for material order sounds like this: “a certain place for every thing and every thing in its place.”

The social order is the same for him - “a certain place for each person and each person in his place . The same is the case with a social organism.

11. Justice. In characterizing this principle, A. Fayol distinguishes between the concepts of “justice” and “equity” . Justice for him presupposes the presence of certain firmly established rules. Meanwhile, the actual activities at an enterprise are so diverse that, obviously, they cannot be provided with a set of all the necessary rules. Therefore, A. Fayol believes, the emphasis should be placed not only on norms, but also on a benevolent attitude towards staff, and he views justice as the result of a combination of benevolence and justice .

12. Consistency of personnel. At the time of A. Fayol, industrial personnel did not yet have high qualifications and for many entrepreneurs they were considered as a kind of passing material. However, even then it took time to master the profession, and this was especially true for workers who held leadership positions. A. Fayol very accurately notes that “staff turnover is both the cause and consequence of the poor state of affairs at the enterprise.

At the same time, A. Fayol warns that extremely low turnover leads to the aging of the team, to a weakening of the criticality and innovativeness of its potential. This thesis was fully confirmed by studies conducted in the second half of the 20th century.

In particular, it was found that with staff turnover not exceeding 5% per year, serious stagnation processes begin at the enterprise.

13. Initiative. A. Fayol classifies freedom of proposal and implementation of activities into the category of initiative. The possibility of self-realization for him is a powerful incentive to activity. It is important that, in his opinion, initiative should be given to employees at all levels6, starting with the lowest.

14. Personnel unity. One of the main tasks of a manager is the unity of staff. The main principle ensuring the unity of personnel, according to A. Fayol, is ensuring unity of management. At the same time, in order to unite the staff, the manager must avoid two dangers:

- under no circumstances should personnel be divided into hostile groups;

— You should not overuse written forms of communication with staff.

An analytical approach to A. Fayol’s management principles allows us to draw the following conclusions:

1. A. Fayol is a staunch supporter of the situational approach to management. In his opinion, there is no single right path in management; the practical application of certain management principles depends on many internal and external circumstances. Under these conditions, A. Fayol’s judgment about management as a special kind of art is quite natural.

2. A. Fayol’s views go far beyond the organizational and technological approach. At the same time, he rather declares the need to manage the behavior of personnel, since the term “social organism” does not receive serious development in his works.

Scientific activity

Fayol came to the company as a trainee, but his intelligence and hard work soon distinguished him from the ranks of employees. Mony made Henri his protégé, and in 1888 the young Frenchman took the helm of the company. During his time at the production site, the engineer studied the causes of underground fires, learned how to prevent them, and learned how to restore mining sites damaged by fire.

Beginning in the 1870s, the scientist wrote a number of articles related to the development of mining. In his works, the theorist considered the topics of the formation of coal seams, self-heating of coal, and others. The author's early works were published in the French Bulletin of Social Science, and from the 1880s - in a collection published by the French Academy of Sciences.

Thinking about the efficiency of the company, the man sought to improve conditions for workers, in particular, he advocated the division of labor. In 1900, Fayol became a member of the Comité Central des Houillères de France, Comité des forges organizations associated with the metallurgical business and coal mines. By that time, the theorist had formed a clear idea of ​​the need for a thorough study of business administration.

The man believed that it was impossible to manage a company on a whim. This required scientifically based methods that would improve the quality of work and productivity. In 1916, Henri tried to describe these mechanisms in the book “General and Industrial Management”. Here the Frenchman presented his own theory, which he called fayolism.

According to the scientist’s concept, the management process consists of five interconnected and at the same time autonomous functions. First of all, the head of an enterprise must be able to plan the range of work, and then act as a competent organizer. To do this, you need to learn to give orders.

In order for the instructions to be clear to the staff, carried out on time and in full, the boss needs to coordinate and control the work process. Based on this, the man formulated 14 principles of management. Some of them were previously mentioned in other scientific articles, some were generalized, and the rest were formulated by Fayol for the first time.

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Portrait of Henri Fayol
Among the points mentioned in the work, the division of labor was noted, which the scientist thought about in his early years of work in the company. Understanding the activities of the enterprise as a single mechanism, the Frenchman paid great attention to issues of corporate culture. Henri opposed staff turnover, noting that it weakens the organization.

Some of the author's theses contained instructions specifically for the top management. Thus, the head of the company must not exceed his authority and be responsible for the consequences of his own orders. Fayol's theory quickly attracted the attention of firms and corporations and became a guide for managers.

At the same time as the scientist, engineer Frederick Taylor also became interested in management issues. This man is called the founder of the School of Scientific Management. By analogy with fayolism, the author’s ideas were called Taylorism. The researcher Harrington Emerson was also inspired by Henri’s work, creating the work “The Twelve Principles of Productivity.”

Entrepreneur Henry Ford was among the like-minded people of the Frenchman’s teachings. In particular, the businessman used in his work the principles listed in Fayol's theory. These include discipline, reward and others. Theorist Lyndall Urwick, based on the ideas of a representative of the French mining industry, wrote the book “Elements of Business Administration” in 1943.

Principle of discipline

Fayol's 14 principles of management are the basis of management, and the activity of any company begins with discipline. The essence of this principle is to conclude stable agreements between the company and its employees. And sanctions are mandatory in case of violation of these stable agreements. This principle is interconnected with the concepts of justice. Discipline is obedience, diligence, showing outward signs of respect and the ability to keep oneself within limits. This concept largely depends not on the employees, but on the manager.


Henri, thanks to his own experience in a leadership position, created a general system of principles relevant to any administrative activity. Regardless of the number of employees in the state, the salary level of each of them, motivation, etc. The basis of his concept was the existence of a material and social organism. Their harmonious connection with each other. That is, it is necessary to ensure not only high-quality working conditions, but also to establish communication between the participants in this process.

So, 14 principles:

Division of labor

In short and in simple words, it is a process when a complex task is broken down into several simple ones. Or the number of goals set is reduced. Thanks to the division of labor, the enterprise has the opportunity not only to increase the quantity of production, but also to significantly improve its quality.

Authority and Responsibility

The manager has the right to use the resources of the company for which he works. Also exercise power in relation to subordinates, coordinating their activities for the successful implementation of the goals and objectives of the enterprise. The manifestation of power is accomplished through demands and orders that employees do not challenge, despite the fact that their opinion regarding the manager’s idea may differ significantly.

But there is no power without responsibility. The one who organizes a process is responsible for its consequences, regardless of whether they turned out to be favorable or not.


Without it there will be chaos and disorder. If employees do not adhere to the rules, they cannot be relied upon. Accordingly, what timeframes can we talk about for completing the assigned tasks? An agreement on the performance of duties between management and performers motivates strict adherence to boundaries. That is, for example, if an employee is late, he will be required to pay a fine. Five absences without good reason will result in dismissal.

Unity of management

Only one leader can give orders to subordinates. If management dualism arises, that is, when different managers formulate tasks for staff, there will definitely be a breakdown in work. This causes panic and anxiety.

Unity of management

In addition to the division of labor, it is important to create groups that will carry out the same program. Typically in organizations, such groups are divided into departments that are directly responsible for a specific “piece” of work. Each department must have its own head, who will supervise it.

Subordination of personal interests to common interests

If each employee considers his personal desires above the interests of the organization, it will ultimately suffer a sad fate. If the team works harmoniously for the benefit of the enterprise, then it will be able not only to satisfy its needs, but also to ensure professional growth for each of its participants.


In order to motivate staff to achieve and promote the company, remuneration must correspond to the efforts made and the level of responsibility. At least be at least fair. By the way, this rule also applies to managers themselves. The pressure that is put on them, with insufficient compensation for efforts, will quickly lead to professional burnout. And this threatens not only the health of the manager himself, but also affects the future of the company as a whole.


With centralization, only top-level managers have the right to manage and make important decisions. Decentralization means that lower-level managers also bear responsibility through delegation of authority. So, it is important to maintain a balance between centralization and decentralization in order to anticipate an advantage in only one direction.


It is also called a scalar chain. Without this principle, the rest will not be able to exist. Otherwise, there can be no talk of any subordination. The distribution of power is carried out depending on position in the hierarchy.


Each employee should have his own place. Agree, it is difficult to fulfill your duties if the company has not taken care in advance and has not provided everything necessary for successful activities.


If a person receives an unfair punishment, he will no longer trust the person who made the verdict. Then there is no dedication, no desire to promote, develop the company and work for its benefit. Accordingly, administrative management also includes such a duty as fairness of decisions.

Job stability for employees

Personnel turnover has never been good for business. Yes, and it significantly affects the image, and not for the better. A successful leader keeps his staff in their place. And this gives stability and sustainability.


When a person has the opportunity to demonstrate his abilities, he not only opens up, but also helps to find non-standard solutions to difficult situations. This allows the company to outperform its competitors and survive in difficult times of crisis. If initiative is punishable, the staff will only be a mediocre performer of their duties.

Corporate spirit

The microclimate in the team is very important. Otherwise, it will be possible to say that the conditions for successful activity have not been created. When it is not comfortable to be among colleagues, it is impossible to concentrate. Emotional states can interfere with cognitive processes. That is, thinking, attention, trying to remember or learn something.

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