Administrative Theory (14 Principles) of Henri Fayol

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The administrative theory is the important one of administrative theories that was created by Henri Fayol. It is also known as 14 principles of management or fourteen principles of management.

Henri Fayol was born in 1841 of a French family. He was a prolific writer on technical and scientific matters as well as management. His most outstanding writing was ‘Industrial and General Management’. He was appointed as an engineer in a Mining company. By 1888, he had risen to the Managing Director position of the company. He retired from the position of Managing Director in 1918. Though he remained the company’s Director until his death (December 1925), at the age of 84 (Eighty-four). Henri Fayol was a management practitioner with experience.

Administrative Theory (14 Principles of Management):

Henri Fayol created Administrative Theory or 14 principles of management on the management. His Administrative Theory or 14 principles of management following are:

  1. Division of work: This principles same as Adam Smith’s ‘Division of labor’.
  2. Authority: Manager must be able to give order. Authority gives this right.
  3. Discipline: Employees must obey and respect the rules and regulations which are governed the organization.
  4. Unity of command: Every employee should receive order or direction from only one upward or superior.
  5. Unity of direction: Each group of organization should be direction by one manager using one plan.
  6. Sub-ordination of individual interests to the general interest: The management must be seen that the aims of the businesses are always supreme.
  7. Remuneration: The labors must be paid a reasonable salary for their work.
  8. Centralization: The process of transforming assigning decision making authority to higher level of an organizational hierarchy, it is centralization that should follow this.
  9. Scalar chain: Line of authority from top management to the lower ranks represents the hierarchy or scalar chain. This chain should be followed.
  10. Order: people and materials should be in the right place at the right time.
  11. Equity: In running business, a combination of kindness and justice is needed.
  12. Stability of tenure of personnel: Staffs work is well, if job safety and career improvement are guaranteed to team.
  13. Initiative: Allowing all personnel to show their initiative in some way is a source of stretch for the organization.
  14. Esprit de corps: Promoting team spirit will build unity and harmony within the organization.

Besides Administrative Theory or 14 principles of management, he also classified the business activities. These are:-

  • Technical
  • Commercial
  • Financial
  • Accounting
  • Security
  • Management activities

According to Henri Fayol, there are the five function of management accordance with administrative theory:

  1. Planning
  2. Organizing
  3. Commanding
  4. Coordinate
  5. Controlling

According to Henri Fayol, a manager requires the following qualities and skills:

  • Physical requires
  • Mental requires
  • Moral requires
  • General education
  • Special knowledge
  • Work experience

Criticism of Administrative Theory (14 Principles of Management):

  • The administrative theory is strategic management oriented. It is not suite for others worker.
  • The administrative theory gives important only to the formal organization structure not for informal organization structure.
  • Henri Fayol some concepts borrowed from Military Science. Such as: commanding.
  • The administrative theory has mechanical approach. It does not ideal with some of the important aspects of management.
  • Such as: motivation, communication and leading.


Administrative management is focused on the management process and the principles of management and more on development administration. …wchich is positively imposed the paradigm of administrative. That’s all the discussion about the administrative theory or 14 principles of management.

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