Administrative Theory or Basic 14 Principles of Henri Fayol

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

Henri Fayol was born in 1841 to 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. 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 is the same as Adam Smith’s ‘division of labor.’
  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 govern 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 directed by one manager using one plan.
  6. Subordination of Individual Interests to the General Interest: The management must see that its aims are always supreme.
  7. Remuneration of Personnel: The laborers 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 the centralization that should follow this.
  9. Scalar Chain: The 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 needs.
  12. Stability of Tenure of Personnel: Staff work is well if job safety and career improvement are guaranteed 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 are five functions of management following administrative theory. Such as:-

  1. Planning: Planning is the procedure of thinking about the activities required to accomplish the desired goal.
  2. Organizing: Organizing presumes grouping tasks into departments, assigning tasks, allocating resources, and delegating authority across the organization.
  3. Commanding: Commanding is the drawing or considering the superior or authority’s instructions and orders.
  4. Coordinating: Coordinating is the bring the different elements into a harmonious or efficient relationship.
  5. Controlling: Controlling is the determination of the behavior or supervise the running of.

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 suitable for another worker.
  • The administrative theory is essential only to the formal organization structure, not for the 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 focuses 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.

Henri Fayol

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