Administrative Theory (14 Principles) of Henri Fayol

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The administrative theory is the important one of administrative theories. It 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 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. He was a director of the company up to his death (84the age; December 2925). 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 principle the same as Adam Smith’s ‘Division of labour’.
  2. Authority: Manager must be able to give the order. Authority gives this right.
  3. Discipline: Employees must obey and respect the rules and regulations which governs 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 the organization should be direction by one manager using one plan.
  6. Subordination of Individual Interests to the General Interest: The management must see that the aims of the businesses are always supreme.
  7. Remuneration of Personnel: The labours must be paid a reasonable salary for their work.
  8. Centralization: The process of transforming assigning decision making authority to a higher level of an organizational hierarchy, it is centralisation 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 follow.
  10. Order: people and materials should be in the right place at the right time.
  11. Equity: In running a business, a combination of kindness and justice need.
  12. Stability of Tenure of Personnel: Staffs work is well if job safety and career improvement are guarantees to the 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.

You can memorize easily these 14 princiles through a short technique. Such as:-

DA DUU Sub-In Rop CSOE Stp.I Esprit

D = Division of Work
A = Authority
D = Discipline
U = Unity of Command
U = Unity of Direction
Sub-In = Sub-ordination of Individual Interests to the General Interest
Rop = Remuneration of Personal
C = Centralization
S = Scalar Chain
O = Order
E = Equity
Stp. = Stability of Tenure of Personnel
I = Initiative
Esprit = Esprit de Corps

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

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

According to Henri Fayol, there is the five function of management following administrative theory. Such as:-

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

According to Henri Fayol, a manager requires the following qualities and skills. Such as:-

  • 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 another worker.
  • The administrative theory gives essential 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 a mechanical approach. It does not sound ideal with some of the crucial aspects of management.
  • Such as motivation, communication and leading.


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

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