There change, which has created less stability in


There is still an ongoing debate with
classic managerial theories such as Fayol’s management principles in today’s
post-capitalist ideas. Since Fayol created his theory there has been huge
changes in business structures, markets and technologies. This has led to many theorists
rejecting the validity of Fayol’s principles. However, there are other
theorists who argue that Fayol’s principles are still useful in the 21st
century (Fells, 2000).

Fayol’s work has been described as
the first complete and all-inclusive theory of management which could be
applied to all events. Also, he has been described by some as the founder of modern
management theory. Through his years working in a mining company Fayol began to
develop the ideas for his 14 principles of management (E.g. division of work)
and his 5 functions of management, which fixated on the relationship between
employees and their managers. Fayol realised that none of the managers had been
given any managerial training, this led to his belief that all managers no
matter which level should have managerial training. The concepts of Fayol’s management
theory are covered in a broad way, some see this as making it easier for any
business to apply his theory.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

Fayol believed that if employers used his theories
that the organisation would work more efficiently. Rodrigues (2001) says that ‘Fayol’s
‘principles provided and continue to provide a general management perspective
for practicing managers and an instructional too: for academics teaching in the
field of management’. As mentioned previously Fayol identified five key
functions of management: planning, organising, command, control and
coordination. Fayol focused on the organisation and it’s administration rather
than the efficiency  of it’s employees.
The advantages of his principles are still obvious when applied to the modern
environment. While technology and globalisation hace increased the rate of
change, which has created less stability in the workplace, the values behind
Fayol’s priciples remain a stabilizing force in the modern workplace. In the
article ‘The foundation of Henri Fayol’s administrative theory’ it is stated
that the most important aspects a bussiness needs to suceed is planning. When
creating a bussiness capital needs to be gained, time needs to be well
allocated and a clear structure of how the good or service will be sold to
customers. To plan these things is the main responsibilty of the manager. So
Fayol’s concepts about planning are still very applicable and important in
today’s work place. Hales (1986) said that Fayol’s five management functions
pass the test of time and are apllicable in all organisations. In the article
‘Fayol – standing the test of time’ (McLean 2011), it states Fayol used the
word command to demonstrate a manager’s responsibity to lead and direct
employees towards the attainment of organistional goals and strategies.

On the other hand, there are differing views that that
say that excessive command and control will harm an employee’s personal
satisfaction and self-respect. (Hill
& McShane , 2008)
in 21st century terms use the word leadership, instead of command to
describe the process of directing, influencing and motivating individuals to
work. This show’s that some of Fayol’s work appear out of date in the 21st
century. Fayol’s principles and functions offer a very rigid way to view management
with very little flexibilty in management styles. However, McLean states that a
bussiness needs different management styles at different times,  that ‘it all depends’. For example, at times
of great volitality a firm may need more control and strategising, but at times
of great stability the firm may benefit from loser control.

Modern theories such as Contingency
theory can be said to be more applicable in today’s post-capitalist ideas
compared to classical theories such as Fayol’s, as they question the ‘one best
way’ approach. Contingency Theory stresses that there is no one best way of
doing things. The behaviour within an organisation is contingent on
environment, so a manager must treat each different situation uniquely. It can argued
that because organisations are created in different environments it means,
therefore, contingency theory is the best way to approach personnel management.
A study by (Burns & Stalker , 1994) attempted to
establish why some companies were able to cope with changes in their
environment and some were not. They argued that effective innovators had developed
an ‘organic’ structure whilst ‘mechanist’ structures were less able to adapt. (Lawrence & Lorsch , 1967) supported this and
argued that successful companies were those that developed suitable degrees of variation
between specialist departments while at the same time promoting integration
calling on a common goal. An important value of contingency theory is its
ability to focus on environments to better understand how managerial practices
differ from organisation to organisation. Managerial plays a big part in the
process of contingency theory.  Managers
in organisations which have an organic structure may think the environment as
being dynamic and uncertain, whilst their environment is much more stable. Many
firms have failed because managers thought their environments as being stable
whilst their volatile environment slowly crippled the organisation. This can be
seen in the recent banking crisis of 2008, where trillions of dollars were
wiped from the world because banks were unable to realise how unstable their environment
was. However, contingency theory has many limitations restricting its
applicability. The main argument against
contingency theory is its lack sof clarity. In the article ‘The illusion of
contingeny Theory as a Genreal theory’ (Longenecker and Peringle 1978), they
reject the view that contingency theory is a general theory. They state that accepting
contingency theory’s in certain areas does not make it a general theory. They
also argue that ‘the basic building blocks of the General Contigency Theory of
Management are, therefore, an infinite set of ill-define variables’. Schoonven
(1981) rejects Contingency theory as being a theory in the conventional
sense. She states that ‘it is more of an orienting strategy or metatheory,
suggesting ways in which a phenomenon ought to be conceptualized’.

The main difference between Fayol’s
management theory and Contingency theory is that, Fayol saw his principles as
being applicable in any type of organisation and at any level of organisation.
This goes against the contingency theory’s ‘it depends’ philosophy. Fayol
developed his ideas at a time of great industrial progress, with many of the
large organisations at the time where industrial ones which benefit more from a
bureaucratic style of management. (Woodward, 1965) found that
bureaucratic styles of management suit firms employing mass production
technologies but that firms with unit, small batch, or process systems of
production need a different approach. Fayol’s clear law-like instructions have
been implemented with great effectiveness in secondary industry organisations,
where mass production was emphasised, and a hierarchical structure of
management was used. Fayol also suggested having supervisors at all levels and
organisations require a set of clearly defined rules. However, in recent times,
firms have begun to implement flatter hierarchal structures, giving employees
more freedom in making decisions. There is more concentration on employee and
group empowerment. Research by (Blackburn, 1993) revealed, Baldridge Award winning
companies apply participative management and empower groups. The
post-capitalist idea of a manager, sees a manager more as a coordinator and
less as a controller. Contingency management theory allows for more managerial
flexibility, i.e. in some situations group empowerment and freedom maybe more
useful than a strict bureaucratic approach. This flexibility allows managers to
improve their employees job satisfaction and emotional state when working,
whilst classical approaches such as Fayol’s don’t really regard the human
aspect of an organisation. However, what Fayol’s theory offers that the
Contingency theory doesn’t is the clear framework that it sets out for managers
to follow. Fayol’s 14 principles and five functions can still be seen today in
organizations all over the world (Uzuegbu & Nnadozie, 2015). Fayol encouraged
weekly meetings as a way of improving communication in an organization and he
was a great advocate for clear and regular communication between managers and
employees. These are things that have been universally recognised has being crucial
in running a successful organisation. 

Organisations have changed greatly
since Fayol’s time of the early 20th century and the post-capitalist
ideas of the 21st century, so it is only right that management ideas
and styles will change also. However, many of Fayol’s principles remain a
staple in modern organisations but can been seen to have a slightly different
impact in modern times, i.e. discipline is still a very important part of an
organisation however, it is more informal in many organisations. Many
organisations are now more flexible in their managerial approach but, it is
rare for an organisation to follow Contingency theory to a full extent as it
doesn’t offer any clear paths to follow and may just lead to many
uncertainties. So, to say Fayol’s principles are not relevant to today’s
post-capitalist ideas would be strictly wrong as Fayol’s ideas remain a key
part of management in organisations today. 


I'm Mack!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out