Management And Accounting Web

Henry Fayol's Theory of Management

Provided by James R. Martin, Ph.D., CMA
Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida

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According to Crainer (2000), Henry Fayol (1841-1925) was a French mining engineer who recognized management as a legitimate discipline. Fayol is perhaps the first author to define the functions and objectives of management. Managers, according to Fayol, plan, organize, command, coordinate and control. Fayol extended these basic concepts by defining fourteen principles of management as follows: (Crainer, p. 4).

1. Division of Work.
2. Authority and responsibility.
3. Discipline.
4. Unity of command.
5. Unity of direction.
6. Subordination of individual interest to general interest.
7. Remuneration of employees.
8. Centralization.
9. The scalar chain.
10. Order.
11. Equity.
12. Stability of personnel.
13. Initiative.
14. Esprit de corps.

Fayol's lectures were published in book form in 1925 and translated into English in 1930. The following comment by Fayol appears in Chamber's Accounting Thesaurus (1995):

"Accounting activities - This group is the visual organ of business. It must throw up at any moment, present position and future trend, must afford accurate, clear and precise information about the economic position of the concern. An efficient accounting system, clear and simple, giving an accurate idea of the firm's condition is a powerful managerial instrument".

See the references below. A Google search of the web provides a great deal of additional information related to Fayol's theory of management.


Chambers, R. J. 1995. An Accounting Thesaurus: 500 Years of Accounting. Pergamon. 50.

Crainer, S. 2000. The Management Century: A Critical Review of the 20th Century Thought & Practice Jossey-Bass. 3-5.

Fayol, H. 1930. Industrial and General Administration. Translated from French by J. A. Coubrough. Pitman.