The 14 Principles of Good Management

The 14 Principles of Good Management

A good manager needs to wear many hats. Watching over their teams, taking care of employee’s individual needs, and answering to those sitting up on the upper rungs of a business. Managers play a huge role in the success of any company, and have a lot riding on their shoulders when it comes to oversight responsibilities.

While it is indeed important to keep current with all modern management tools and resources as they come available, the foundation of all modern management theory comes from a set of 14 Principles of Management that have been around for over 100 years now.

French theorist and management specailist, Henri Fayol, developed his core management principles back in 1914; a system aptly named “Fayolism” that is still considered the foundation of all modern management principles and practices according to PESTLE Analysis.

14 Core Principles Outlined in Fayolism

Fayol is highly regarded as a front-running pioneer in modern management principles. His theories have definitely been expanded upon since they were released, and have morphed considerably as modern industry and business have grown in both scale and complexity over the years.

However, Fayol’s 14 principles are a must-read for anyone currently working in management, or anyone who plans to enter into a leadership role after finishing school.

Henri Fayol
Henri Fayol – photo credit: Marc e magno Costa / Flickr

Henri Fayol’s 14 Fundamental Management Principles:

1. Division of Work

The division of work is a critical component in successful leadership. Managers need to delegate work appropriately to each of their employees so that each have clear, individual goals to strive toward. The more specialized an employee’s role in the company, the better their overall performance will become over time.

2. Authority and Responsibility

Managers have a professional, as well as an ethical responsibility to the employees they supervise, and to the companies they work for. They have the authority to give orders and the right to demand obedience from their subordinates, but must always strive to maintain high moral standards while doing so.

3. Discipline

Discipline is an area good managers never shy away from. However, to be effective and maintain loyalty from their team, managers must exercise care and caution as to how it’s done. With clear policies and processes in place, discipline must be carried out when rules or directions aren’t followed to maintain the most effective leadership of their team.

4. Unity of Command

While this principle can be successfully argued against by some, Fayol insisted that employees should only receive orders from one supervisor, or someone speaking on behalf of that single supervisor.

5. Unity of Direction

Similar to the Unity of Command, Unity of Direction suggests that when working toward a set goal within an organization, each member of the team contributing to that goal must understand that goal perfectly, and the step-by-step processes required to achieve them.

6. Subordination of Individual Interests

This principle of the Fayolism management style insists that the goals of the organization are paramount. The opinions and interests of individual employees, groups, or even managers should ever take precedence over those of the organization.

7. Remuneration

Employees need to feel valued for the work they do, and should be paid a fair wage to maintain that loyalty and continued good work. Bonuses and on-the-job perks (eg., tickets, free products, company discounts) should be included in any manager’s remuneration plan.

Cost of living in the area, the demand for the position they occupy, and factors relating to the importance of their position should all be considered when deciding a worker’s salary.

8. Centralization

Decentralization will increase the employee’s role in the decision-making process of the team or organization. Fayol believed that managers need to strike a delicate balance by “lowering the importance of the subordinate role” as needed, per the organization’s needs, in order to maintain effective leadership.

9. Scalar Chain

Each organization must have a clear hierarchy, and each member should understand exactly where they fall in the pecking order. Each employee and manager needs to report to their direct manager, while overseeing and making those below them accountable. A Scalar Chain must be in place and must be followed for management to flourish.

10. Order

Order must exist for any team or organization to be successful. Everything should have a place, and be kept in that place to ensure the safety of everyone who works there. Every member of the team needs to feel equal to one another to ensure both teams and their managers work together as effectively and cohesively as possible.

11. Equity

Managers should maintain a focus on treating all employees as fairly as possible. Kindness and empathy are essential traits for any manager.

12. Stability of Tenure of Personnel

All good managers understand the importance of retaining and growing employees within an organization. Keeping those employees needs to one of many of the manager’s top priorities. This practice improves the business’s corporate culture and saves on all the expenses related to hiring brand new staff.

13. Initiative

Having a Scalar Chain and clear order in the business’s structure and workflow are important, but employees need to be free to spread their wings, taking on the responsibilities and projects that interest them in the organization, too. A good manager will always encourage and reward those who demonstrate initiative.

14. Espirit de Corps

A good leader needs to do all they can to encourage “team spirit” and unflinching unity among team members. A positive corporate culture ensures both employees and management have the highest job satisfaction rate possible.

Business management team

Start Your Career in Business Management Today

For over 100 years now, managers all over the world have benefited from using Henri Fayol’s 14 principals of management to lead their organizations into the future. As the head director of a massive 1000 person team of mining professionals in France, there’s no doubting Fayol’s credentials.

By streamlining previous management styles that had been used previously, it’s quite possible much of the business management successes that have happened since have Fayol to thank for, to some degree. Chron Small Business labels them as “a stabilizing force in the modern workplace” leading organizations forward at a time when everything changes overnight, and most businesses are vying to operate on an international scale.

This article is brought to you by West Virginia State University. WVSU offers a completely online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. The program focuses on teaching you the skills needed to be successful in modern leadership positions in the world of business. Learn more about WVSU’s here.

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