Producing and Evaluating Henri Fayol’s 14 Principles of Management
Henri Fayol postulated 14 important principles that enable managers to find a rational way of designing an organisation by formalising administrative structures in the workplace. Voxted (2017) identifies these principles as “work division, authority, discipline, the unity of command, the unanimity of direction, remuneration, subordinating individuals’ interest in comparison with the general welfare, centralisation, scalar chain, ordering, ensuring equity, initiative, personnel’s tenure stability, and esprit de Corps” (p. 259). Through the work division principle, the management ensures that the labour force specialises in tasks in which it is talented to pave the way for easy job handling.
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Although managers depict some authoritative traits, Fayol emphasises that instructions should be issued with responsibility. Without discipline, an organisation may lose focus and consequently control. To mitigate this problem, Fayol insists that managers should vary their methods of enhancing discipline. For organisational effectiveness, no conflicts should ensue in the line of command (Voxted 2017). In support of this assertion, Fayol advocates for the unity of command by ensuring that employees should only be allocated one direct superintendent. To attain a properly coordinated action, he also argues that an organisation should observe the unity of direction by aligning work teams with the same objective.
In the best interest of an organisation, Fayol reveals how managers and employees’ interests are not important compared to those of a group. Arguably, this principle helps to eliminate workplace conflicts. To enhance employees’ satisfaction, Fayol’s theory advocates for their fair remuneration. Centralisation implies the closeness of employees in the decision-making process. Managers need to aim for a balance whereby employees are treated as valuable components of an organisation (Voxted 2017). Indeed, this concern explains the ninth principle of Fayol’s theory, scalar chain, which encourages workers to be aware of their position in the chain of command or hierarchy. While order guarantees safety and efficiency in the workplace, equity enhances justice in the administrative centre. Fayol’s principle of stability of tenure addresses turnover issues while initiative permits employees’ free participation in creating and carrying out plans. Esprit de Corps advocates for a team spirit that is anchored on the platform of unity (Voxted 2017).
How Lessons Learnt from the Theory Could Improve My Managerial Skills
Indeed, Henri Fayol’s principles constitute an important foundation of the modern administrative management theory (Voxted 2017). The principles establish lessons that help me to improve my managerial skills in planning, organising, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. Through them, I understand how to be proactive in planning and scheduling industrial processes. In terms of organisation, the principles enable me to avail necessary resources such as personnel and raw materials just at the appropriate time to guarantee effective production. The lesson of commanding teaches me to encourage and direct employees in their activities. Coordination boosts my capacity to facilitate employees’ cooperation in their work. As a manager, I should also ensure that workers comply with commands issued to them by controlling them.
As a newly appointed director of finance, I urgently need to initiate systematic training and development programmes to resolve the problem at a blue-chip company.
Key Processes Involved in Systematic Training and Development
Systematic training, which involves five main stages, entails a formal instruction that starts and ends with the respective company’s objectives and goals (Dhawan 2016). The stages may be outlined as:
The first stage involves determining various training needs after analysing different employees’ performance and behaviours relative to an organisation’s objectives and goals. The input from the supervisory staff is important in establishing instruction requirements. This step has already been conducted at a blue-chip company. The need for training staff members is established. The second stage, design, involves creating learning objectives from the training requirements developed during the analysis phase. Instructional methods, the identification of various materials necessary to complete the training task, and the location of the venue are also established at this stage. In the end, the design stage produces the necessary evaluation of the course content, examination, and learners’ competencies.
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Considering that work design involves people specialising in particular tasks, the main challenge entails developing a course content that meets all employees’ needs. The third step, development, involves producing and gathering various materials necessary to complete upcoming training. The fourth stage of implementation denotes the climax of any training in an organisation. According to Dhawan (2016), the component integrates “the research and data from the analysis phase where employees use learning tools and materials that emerge from the design and development” ( p. 4). The actual training is conducted at this step. The final stage of evaluation cuts across all the other four steps. An overall appraisal determines the capacity of the entire training to achieve the company’s objectives and goals in tandem with employees’ workplace behaviours and performance. For example, after completing any training programme, assessing and testing all skills and knowledge acquired by learners help in accomplishing this concern (Dhawan 2016). However, to demonstrate the importance of job-based evaluation procedures, such an activity is usually concluded in consultation with workers and their respective administrators.
An Analysis of Training Methods Necessary to Overcome the Problem Facing a Blue-chip Company
The main difficulty encountered in a systematic training and development process entails differentiating between various issues leading to organisational problems, including employees’ training demands. For instance, while late reporting may arise from inadequate training, negligence may also contribute to this problem. However, in the case of a blue-chip company, it has been established that underperformance results from the lack of training. The company needs to adopt various training methods that effectively address the problem of its employees’ need for training and development.
Interactive, proactive, computer-based, and tutor-led training techniques can effectively help in resolving the problem. The instructor-directed approach allows employees to share ideas and results in a classroom environment (Smith 2017). Video training, the use of projectors, and PowerPoint presentations can contribute to the delivery of course materials. Interactive approaches include the use of techniques such as group discussions, which provide open communication between the trainer and trainees.
Proactive training involves techniques such as coaching that enable an organisation to focus on an individual employee’s needs. Through an apprenticeship approach, veteran workers acquire an opportunity to shape other employees’ experiences to prepare them for effective job performance. This training technique also provides the opportunity for using drills to enhance practice skills (Smith 2017). The computer-based approach paves the way for employees to learn at their speed with the help of CD-ROMs, texts, audio, video, graphics, simulations, and animations.
Comparing and Contrasting Business Ethics with Law
Ethical codes of conduct anticipated from employees form an important aspect of organisational culture. In this context, business ethics refers to various standards of behaviour (Zachary 2017). Business ethics focuses on ensuring that organisations deliver common good to all people, including employees, managers, shareholders, and the society. Unlike business ethics, business law entails a system of guidelines and rules enforced through various social institutions with the objective of governing organisational behaviour (Auletto & Miller 2017).
Regarding their similarities, moral values prescribed by a particular society constitute the foundation of business ethics and laws. For instance, business law describes the acceptable basic behaviours in an organisation. In other words, business law represents the minimum tolerable ethical behaviour in an organisation (Auletto & Miller 2017). Hence, both business ethics and laws provide a checks-and-balances system that seeks to maintain a set of satisfactory moral values while ensuring that people do not violate them. Both of them form the foundation of human decision-making, especially concerning what one should do or not do in a particular situation. For example, the salary for teenage workers at McDonald’s is 20% below what is recommended under federal policies (Kalenkoski & Lacombe 2013). This behaviour may be seen as violating both business ethics and laws. While business ethics regards teenage employment as part of children exploitation, business laws advocate for a reasonable payment that matches the teenager’s amount of work done. The two concepts do not support McDonald’s business behaviour.
Regarding their differences, ethics emerges from people’s recognition of what is right or wrong. On the other hand, in addition to being written down, laws have a government’s approval. Since communities and societies have different levels of understanding and ways of treating diverse issues, ethics varies from one group of people to another. However, laws are standardised. They spell out what is illegal or lawful, regardless of people’s ways of thinking (Zachary 2017). Unlike ethics, any violation of laws attracts punishment from enforcement authorities. Some actions may be illegal but morally justifiable. For example, in ancient China, people would steal money from their rich counterparts and distribute to the poor in the streets. While this move was morally justifiable, it was an illegal act. Ethics emphasises positive aspects of behaviour while laws accentuate the consequence of negative actions.
Analysis of Ethical Problems Facing Managers in Business Organisations
Management plays a critical role in ensuring that employees execute their duties according to the laid down rules, which guide an organisation’s operations. One of the mechanisms for managing employees entails orienting them to a common organisational behaviour through the prescription of universal codes of ethics. However, the management encounters ethical problems, including discrimination and disreputable marketing.
Companies such as Nike and Adidas have faced criticisms concerning their work discrimination practices in their outsourced manufacturing plants, especially in Asia. While the two companies provide a good example of the issue of discrimination, managers across all organisations have a noble responsibility of not only hiring but also maintaining a balance of the workforce in terms of sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, race, and origin (Fields, Cheeseman & Fields 2013). Managers deal with this problem by ensuring they are well informed about discrimination. They make efforts to eliminate favouritism by hiring and promoting workers based on their (employees) ability, experience, and effectiveness in decision-making.
Marketing efforts should allow the target audience to gain the greatest good from the products sold. Managers need to develop marketing campaigns that help to increase sales volume and revenue for organisations to deliver value to their shareholders. In this process, they (managers) face the problem of engaging in unethical marketing. Some of the unprincipled marketing practices entail deception and taking advantage of a given situation for individualistic or group gains (Arli 2017). Managers address this problem by engaging in ethical marketing. They ensure that all practices result in the highest level of contentment among people.
Arli, D 2017, ‘Investigating consumer ethics: a segmentation study’, Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 34, no. 7, pp. 636-645.
Auletto, K & Miller, A 2017, ‘Developing more ethical leaders’, Techniques: Connecting Education and Careers, vol. 92, no. 4, pp. 16-21.
Dhawan, S 2016, The systematic approach to training: main phases of the training cycle, Web.
Fields, K, Cheeseman, H & Fields, K 2013, Contemporary employment law, Wolters Kluwer Law and Business, New York, NY.
Kalenkoski, C & Lacombe, D 2013, ‘Minimum wages and teen employment: a spatial panel approach’, Papers in Regional Science, vol. 92, no. 2, pp. 407-417.
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Smith, S 2017, ‘Adult learners: effective training methods’, Professional Safety, vol. 62, no. 12, pp. 22-25.
Voxted, S 2017, ‘100 years of Henri Fayol’, Management Revue, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 256-274.
Zachary, M 2017, ‘Ethics, codes of conduct, and just cause discharge’, Supervision, vol. 78, no. 9, pp. 20-25.