Henri Fayol’s four essential management functions and their relevance to the contemporary managerial practice

Management FunctionsHenri Fayol’s four essential management functions and their relevance to the contemporary managerial practiceHenri Fayol (1841-1925) is greatly remembered for his contributions to the improvement of the traditional management theory. He was not remembered for pioneering the study of managerial behavior, but was the first to create calm and relevance to management practice itself. Fayol believed that proper management behavior is crucial for the overall performance of any organization. From this basic notion, he developed a framework for an aggressive principle of management, one that outlines much of managerial practices used in contemporary management CITATION Koork l 1033 (Koontz & O’Donnell, New York).


TOC o “1-3” h z u MANAGEMENT FUNCTIONS PAGEREF _Toc377194090 h 1Henri Fayol’s four essential management functions and their relevance to the contemporary managerial practice PAGEREF _Toc377194091 h 1Four Fayol’s principle of management and their importance in modern day management PAGEREF _Toc377194092 h 3Reference PAGEREF _Toc377194093 h 4

To this end, it is perhaps notable that Fayol believed in the application of empirical procedures and methods in the practice of management, Unlike his predecessor Taylor who was concerned with organizational functions; Fayol was interested in the entire operations of the organization and focused on better management, which on his side felt was absent in most business operations.

Fayol emphasized on four functions of management which he believed was essential for any managerial success. These functions are: Planning, organizing, staffing and Controlling.

Whilst managers have multiple responsibilities in the organization including management of the staff, operational duties among other strategic responsibilities, it is not possible for success to be achieved without dwelling on these four functions.


Planning entails the process of identifying organizational goals and objectives and the adoption of strategies for attaining them CITATION Har06 l 1033 (Harold Koontz, 2006). It involves foreseeing the future to determine alternative courses of action. It includes predetermining what ought to be accomplished and how it should be realized.

Planning can be studied in both short and long term standpoints; it tends to describe the way in which the organization should follow in order to attain goals most efficiently and effectively.

Planning assist managers to provide direction and purpose to organizational activities, it also provides managers with good measures against which performance in the organization can be judged. It reduces waste of time and resources in the organization because it aids in the proper utilization of resources CITATION VSB09 l 1033 (Bagad, 2009). Planning also helps organization members to remain within the organizations structure as it provides confines of the degree of organizational activities.


Organizing involves the organization and coordination of organizational tasks and the human and material resources needed to facilitate the tasks itself.

Organizing therefore, involves identifying and grouping work to be undertaken, defining and delegating responsibility and authority and establishing relationships to ensure people work together effectively.

Organizing also ensures the appropriateness of an organization’s structure and its processes such as determining the ability of the organization to attain its goals. Organizing also enables the actual implementation of the organization’s strategic activities as well as allocating the right staff with the prerequisite abilities to the organizational task.


Control is essential as the best of plans may go awry. It also helps mangers monitor environmental changes and their effects on the organization’s growth. Control creates better quality by spotting system flaws and correcting them CITATION MGo05 l 1033 (Govinorojan & Natarajan, 2005). Employees are empowered to assess and improve their own work.

Control helps cope with change. Change is an inevitable part of an organization’s environment. Markets shift. Competitors offer new products and services that capture the public imagination. The control function aids mangers in responding to the resulting threats or opportunities, by helping them identify changes that are affecting their organization’s products and services. Controlling enables successful delegation and teamwork by letting the manger monitor employees’ progress without hampering employees’ initiative or participation with the work.

Controlling involves the measurement and correction of the performance of employees and other organizational resources to ensure that everything is going according to plan.

An appropriate management system will support a manager to grasp all the inner working of the organization. It can provide instant data on inventories of all resources, raw materials, work-in-progress and finished goods.

Control procedures help to identify errors in early. A small error not identified early can propagate smite the entire firm e.g. Use of substandard raw materials will result in substandard products which in effect will lead to reduced sales.


According to Griffin (2008) leading involved the use of non-coercive influence, power, and communication skills to nature a group or institutions’ goals, inspire behavior towards the achievement of those goals, and help develop and organizational culture. Managers have a responsibility to motivate employees so that they can actively participate in the realization of organization’s objectives and goals.

Leadership is a crucial function of management in the modern organization as it helps to maximize efficiency and attainment of the organizational goals. Effective leadership take initiates, motivate staff, provide proper guidance, thus creating morale and confidence to employees.

Four Fayol’s principle of management and their importance in modern day managementDivision of Labor

This principle is epitomized by the modern production assembly lines which proposes that proper division of labor within an organization results to organizational efficiency and performance, proper division of labor entails the division of tasks within the organization based on an individual’s skills and level of expertise, it supports the notion that the more people specialize, the more efficiently they can perform their work hence resulting to organizational efficiency.

With a proper division of labor system in the organization, the firm can have a smooth time when executing its various complex tasks since there is a proper staff placement which is aligned to the staff’s area of expertise.


It is important for the member of any organization to adhere to the laid down rules and regulations that Governs the activities of the Organization .According to Fayol, Discipline emanates from good leadership practice ,the leaders ought to act by an example when executing their tasks .

If their exists discipline amongst the staff, the firm can achieve overall performance because each member of the organization is well organized and observant of the activities that will aid the organization achieve its goals .In the contemporary organizations’, one finds a handbook that outlines rules and regulations. (Code of conduct) .Discipline enables the smooth running of the organization since there is order.


Remuneration entails the compensation of employees and employers for the work done in the organization, these consists of remuneration packages, allowances, incentives, bonuses among other remuneration packages.

The major aim of remuneration is to improve the productivity and performance of the company, once the employees are properly rewarded, their job morale is boosted, and they eventually end up getting motivated and hence improve on their performance. With an improved performance, the organizational productivity increases resulting to overall performance.

Reference BIBLIOGRAPHY Bagad, V.S., 2009. Principles of Management. New Delhi: shaniwar Peth.

Carpenter, M., Bauer, T. & Erdogan, B., 2009. Principles of Management. Flat world knowledge.

Govinorojan, M. & Natarajan, S., 2005. Principles of Management. New Dehli: PHI learning pvt ltd.

Harold Koontz, H.W., 2006. Essentials of Management, An international perspective. New Delhi: Mc Graw Hill.

Koontz, H. & O’Donnell, C., New York. Principles of Management, An analysis of managerial functions. 1972: McGraw-Hill.

Ricky, G., 2008. Fundamentals of Management. 6th ed. Boulevard: Mellisa Acuna.