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Principles Of Management

Henri Fayol

Now that we've examined Fayol's Functions of Management let's look at Fayol's Principles of Management which support managers in completing the five functions.

Fayol's 14 Principles of Management
This diagram illustrates Henri Fayol's fourteen (14) Principles Of Management

Division of Work

Managers need to divide the work amongst their teams and the individuals in each team; dividing different types of work amongst individuals will provide each with the opportunity to specialise in a particular area of work. Fayol believed that specialist (expert) skill will increase efficiency productivity and output.


Managers need to have the authority (and with it responsibility) to command their teams. When managers have teams reporting to them they are usually responsible for the team's performance.


Teams need to have the discipline to complete their tasks and they need to follow organisation rules. This includes accepting the authority of their managers and upholding the chain of command.

Unity of Command

This means that only one person should be commanding the organisation: everybody else's instructions to others should support those commands. It also means each person should have one supervisor commanding them.

Unity of Direction

The overall aims and objectives for everybody in the organisation should be the same. If the aims are split for example into departmental aims everybody in the department should be working towards achieving the departmental plan.

Subordination of individual interests to general interests

Organisational interests are more important than the interests of one person; this includes managers as well as workers.


A worker's rate of pay for the work (or services) they provide should be fair especially as pay and benefits are usually high in the list things motivating employees.


In a centralised organisation power is held by head office or a small number of managers, whilst decentralised organisations allow departments and individuals to make decisions. Fayol believes that its important to have a balance between centralisation and decentralisation; the appropriate level of centralisation will depend on the organisation structure and objectives.

Scalar Chain

This is about organisational hierarchy, where the person at the top of the organisation (e.g. chief executive officer) has the most authority and the amount of authority decreases as you go down each level of management through to supervisors and finally employees without direct reports and authority to command others. Fayol believes hierarchy is important for organisational success and employees should know their position in the chain of command.


This principles emphasises the importance of organising everything and have systems for everything including workers, machinery and materials. Its about ensuring everything works well in safe and clean environment.


Managers should treat workers fairly, kindly and when relevant justly; discipline should be balanced with an equitable approach. An equitable approach includes being fair with the amount of attention provided to each worker.

Stability of Tenure of Personnel

Firms should ensure that employees remain in each position for at least the minimum amount of time required to be effective. Fayol asserts that if workers move positions too quickly they will not have enough time to learn how to complete the work. Stability of tenure also includes ensuring employees do not leave the company as it costs money to recruit and train workers.


Employee initiative will help the organisation improve, provide new ideas and motivate employees so organisations should encourage initiative. Employee initiative can include employee suggestions, solutions to a problem and dealing with situations without being asked to do so. Employee initiative will need boundaries otherwise it could affect unity of command, centralisation and the scalar chain.

Espirit De Corps

Tension amongst workers is disruptive and creates a poor working atmosphere, so management's aims should include good team spirit, harmony and a positive team attitude. They should also build the morale of each individual.


Fayol's functions of management define what managers need to do on a daily basis whilst the principles of management are the things the organisation as a whole needs to implement so that managers can carry out the five functions. It may seem like a long list but they capture what successful companies do naturally. Fayol's fourteen principles ensure the company boss is leading the organisation, managers are managing their teams fairly and employees have the training they need to competently complete their work. Whilst the control element encourages efficient systems and a safe environment to work in.

Back to Fayol's Functions Of Management


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