Henry Fayol's 14 Principles

  • Jul 26, 2021
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Henri Fayol, a French industrialist, is now recognized as the father of modern management. In 1916 Fayol wrote a book entitled "Industrial and General Administration". In this book Henry makes known the 14 principles of administration. These 14 principles of administration they are universally accepted and used today. According to Henri Fayol, all managers must follow these 14 principles.

In the beginning, companies had to deal with management in practice. In the early 1900s there were few management tools. Thanks to scientists such as Henri Fayol (1841-1925) the first foundations for modern scientific management were established.


Henry Fayol - 14 Principles of Administration

In this article you will find:

The 14 Principles of Administration Henri Fayol

1.- Division of labour

Henry fayol states that the organization should be divided between individuals and departments. This is because a division of labour leads to specialization, specialization and efficiency increases, improves effectiveness and the productivity and the cost effectiveness of the organization.


In practice: The company must choose for each job the best in their specialty, for sales a person with previous knowledge and experience in managing the public, in the production process, people who are experts in their area, etc.

2.- Authority and responsibility

According to Henri Fayol, there must be a balance between authority (power) and responsibility (functions) (see more about the difference between authority and power). Authority must be equal to responsibility. If authority is more than responsibility then it is likely that a manager can abuse it. If responsibility is more than authority then he may be frustrated.


For example: Each department in the company has a specialized manager in addition to the area, who is in charge of directing the activities carried out in the department and control the performance of the personnel subordinate to their orders.

3.- Discipline

Discipline means respect for the rules and regulations of the organization. Discipline can be self-discipline, or it can be forced. Self-discipline is the best discipline. However, if there is no self-discipline, then discipline must be enforced by sanctions, fines, etc. No organization can survive without discipline.


In practice: The manager positions of each department must be filled by people capable of leading work teams, They can also establish equitable agreements to reward performance and penalties for those who incur infractions labor.

4.- Command Unit

Within Henry Fayol's 14 Principles a subordinate (employee) must have only one superior (boss or manager). A subordinate must take orders from a single superior. In other words, a subordinate must report to only one superior. According to Fayol, if a subordinate receives orders from more than one superior, then there will be disorder. This will affect the discipline, efficiency, productivity and profitability of the organization.


Unity of Command is a very important principle of management. This principle is based on the rule "Too many cooks spoil the broth."

In practice: it is understood by looking at the Organization chart, where a chain of command of the organization is established that goes from the superior command exercised by the general manager, president or whatever he is called in the organization and is distributed in the different departments where the manager takes command of the area.

5.- Management Unit

According to Henry Fayol's 14 Principles All activities with the same objective must be directed by a manager, and must use an established plan and procedures. This is known as a unit of direction. For example, all marketing activities, such as advertising, sales promotion, pricing, etc., should be led by a single manager. Only one plan should be used for all marketing activities.

In practice: Everything related to the employee must be managed by the human resources department, the manager of this department directs and monitor everything related to payments, commissions, vacations, schedule compliance, reprimands, for this there are parameters and guidelines in the business.

6.- Subordination of individual interest to the general interest

In an organization, there are two types of interest, viz. The individual interest of the employees, and the general interest of the organization. The individual interest should be given less importance, while the general interest should be more important. If not, the organization will collapse.

7.- Remuneration

Remuneration is the price for the services received. If an organization wants employees to be efficient and better performing, then it must have a good compensation policy. This policy should give maximum satisfaction to both the employer and the employees. It should include both financial and non-financial incentives.

In practice: The remuneration must be according to the position and the activity carried out and take into account the experience, the time spent, the knowledge of the person, among others.

8.- Centralization

In centralization, authority is concentrated only in a few hands. However, in decentralization, authority is distributed to all levels of management. No organization can be completely centralized or decentralized. If there is complete centralization, then subordinates have no authority (power) to carry out their responsibility (duties). Similarly, if there is no complete decentralization, then the superior will have no authority to control the organization. Therefore, there must be a balance between centralization and decentralization.

In practice: A little of both is applied, so that the superior retains the authority to control the organization and the subordinates have some authority to carry out their duties.

9.- Scalar chain

Hierarchy is a line of authority or chain of command. According to Henry Fayol's 14 Principles the hierarchy unites all members (managers and employees) from top to bottom. Each member must know who is his superior. You must also know who his subordinate is. Hierarchy is necessary for good communication and should not be broken. However, if quick action is necessary, this chain can be broken. This is done using "Gang Plank" / "Bridge" / "Direct Contact".

The scalar chain is shown by a double ladder A to G and A to Q. A is the head of the organization. B and L are the next level, and so on. If quick action is necessary, then a "Gang Plank", "FP" is done. Now F and P can contact each other directly, but must inform E and O of their decisions.

10.- Order

There must be an Order of things and people in the organization. For things it is called material order. For people it is called Social Order. Order of materials refers to "a place for everything and everything in its place." Social order refers to the selection of the "right man in the right place." There must be an orderly arrangement of resources, such as men and women, money, materials, etc. A deviation can lead to misuse and disorder.

11.- Equity

Managers must use fairness in dealing with employees. Fairness is a combination of goodness and justice. Fairness creates loyalty and devotion in employees.

12. Staff stability

An employee needs time to learn her job and become efficient. Therefore, it must be given time to be efficient. When it becomes effective, it must be permanent. In other words, employees must have job security.

In practice: You should not change the personnel in charge at all times, that way they will never obtain the necessary experience to carry out the tasks successfully.

13. Initiative

The administration should encourage initiative. That is, employees should be encouraged to make their own plans and the execution of these plans in company processes. This will bring satisfaction to the employees and in turn the success of the organization.

For example: The board of directors must motivate employees to make their own plans and guide their execution and consider that in some cases mistakes can be made.

14. Esprit de corps

Esprit de Corps means "team spirit." Therefore, the management should create unity, cooperation and team spirit among employees. They must avoid division and government politics.

In practice: Teamwork is motivated to achieve common achievements where each person contributes a bit of their knowledge and skills.

Summary table of Fayol's principles

Number Name Resume
1 Division of labour The organization should be divided into departments and positions as this allows for specialization. The more people specialize in a position, the more efficient their performance will be, thus increasing the efficiency, productivity and profitability of the organization.
2 Authority and responsibility Authority must correspond to responsibility, a balance between the power that a person has in a position and the functions that he performs. Managers give orders and direct with the activities of the business process.
3 Discipline It is demonstrated by respecting the rules and regulations of the organization. All personnel working in an organization must respect the rules and agreements that govern the company. It is achieved by exercising good leadership at different levels.
4 Command Unit This principle is based on the rule that when many intervene and have an opinion on something, disorder and bad understanding, every employee must be subordinate to a single superior and receive direct orders only from the same. If a subordinate receives orders from more than one superior, disorder will exist and the compliance, efficiency and profitability of the company will suffer.
5 Management Unit All activities with the same objective must be directed by a manager, for which a procedural plan is established.
6 Individual interest subordinated to the general interest In every organization, the general interest of the organization should be given greater importance and the individual interest of the employee must be subordinated to it. A company should not ignore personal interests, but should not be managed around them, because it would collapse.
7 Remuneration Remuneration is payment for services received. It should give satisfaction to both the employee and the employer, sometimes including financial and non-financial incentives.
8 Centralization Concentrate authority in a few hands. Contrary to decentralization, which distributes it to all levels of management.
9 Hierarchy Understood by the line of authority of the organization represented in the organization chart, given in order of ranges from senior management or directive, to the lowest levels of the company. For it to function properly, each member must be clear about who is his superior and his subordinate.
10 Order There must be a material (things) and a social (people) Order. Both materials and people must be in the right place at the right time and socially each individual must occupy the most appropriate position for him, according to his competencies.
11 Equity Managers must be friendly and equitable with their subordinates, there must be a combination of goodness and justice in dealing with employees so that there is loyalty and admiration in the employees.
12 Staff stability An employee needs to acquire the experience to become efficient. Therefore, the rotation of staff in different positions is not convenient, a person must carry out a position until it is effective.
13 Initiative Create and carry out plans should not only be a function of senior management, subordinates should be given some freedom to express their opinions and develop their own plans. This generates satisfaction for employees, raises their self-esteem and confidence in themselves and their abilities.
14 Esprit de corps Refers to teamwork. For this to be successful, unity and cooperation must be fostered. At the same time, division and authoritarian rule must be avoided. This team spirit is important as this creates a better work environment.

These 14 principles of the Administration they are the basis of every modern organization. Although these principles seem logical, many managers and heads of large companies do not have them assimilated, which produces inefficiency in productivity.

In the image below you can see the evolution of the 14 principles of the Henry Fayol Administration. Some of them have been completely modified. Others have just adapted.

Henry fayol

More information about the 14 principles of Fayol here:

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