Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Henry Foyal's Principles Of Scientific Management

Management has been practiced since time immemorial. When kings planned and executed war strategies, they were practicing management principles, albeit without a conscious understanding of the subject. But only at the beginning of the 20th century was management recognized as a field of study. Though the jury is still not out on the debate whether management is an art or a science, there are certain scientific concepts governing the field of management. Admittedly, these concepts cannot be proved like the concepts of pure science. However, the fact that practice of these principles always gets better results is good enough to categorize these concepts as scientific. That a lot of junk is passed on as management thought cannot undermine the viability of certain well-established concepts of management.

It was Henry Foyal who presented management as a subject of study and distilled the essential elements of management into six functions and fourteen processes. He is appropriately called the Father of Modern Management. Fayol believed management theories could be developed and taught.

Fayol advocated a flexible approach to management, one which he believed could be applied to any circumstance whether in the home, the workplace, or within the state.  In his book, General and Industrial Management Fayol advocates that every citizen is exposed and taught some form of management education and allowed to exercise management abilities first at school and later on in the workplace.

I am in full agreement with Foyal's contention that management can be applied to various situations and his suggestion that every citizen be taught some form of management. The creation of this blog is in consonance with Foyal's advocacy of extending management education to all so that more and more people will learn to use simple management principles for a wide spectrum of activities and reap the reward of superior outcomes of their actions.

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