Birthday: July 29, 1841
Died At Age: 84
Sun Sign: Leo
Also Known As: Jules Henri Fayol
Born Country: Turkey
Born in: Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Famous as: Industrialist, Management Thinker
father: André Fayol
mother: Eugénie Cantin Fayol
Died on: November 19, 1925
place of death: Paris, France
education: Ecole des Mines de Saint-Étienne
Who was Henri Fayol?
Henri Fayol was a French industrialist, mining engineer, executive, and director of mines. Fayol together with fellow engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor is considered a founder of modern management. He developed the general theory of business administration which is often called “Fayolism.” He was a theorist of business administration and gave a set of fourteen principles and five functions of management that forms the base for business administration. His contributions to the field of administration are remarkable and numerous modern management concepts have been shaped out of his ideas. He authored several articles on mining engineering and published papers on administration. He was greatly influenced by the Industrial Revolution and its consequences. He witnessed the aftermath of First World War as well. He insisted that managerial skills should be taught in schools to prepare the students for future careers in management. He advocated for a change in the way subjects were handled in schools and opined that subjects not useful at work should be removed and practical training should be introduced.
Childhood & Early Life
Henri Fayol was born on July 29, 1841, in Constantinople (current Istanbul) to French parents. His father was an engineer in the military and was appointed the superintendent of works to build a bridge over the Golden Horn (Galata Bridge).
His family returned to France in 1847. Fayol studied at the mining school and graduated from the academy in 1860.
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Henri Fayol was employed as a mining engineer by Stephane Mony for his company Compagnie de Commentry-Fourchambault-Decazeville in 1860. Fayol was just 19 at the time.
Fayol was made Mony’s protégé. He succeeded Mony as the manager and finally as the managing director of the company in 1888. He held the post successfully for around thirty years until 1918 when he retired.
In 1878, Fayol was invited to the Paris Congress of the Mining Industrial Society to present a report on the spontaneous combustion of coal exposed to air. This work was well appreciated and received positive reviews which made Fayol an influential man in the field of mining.
Fayol developed three essential aspects within the administrative model which he studied in business organizations: the division of labor, the application of an administrative process and the formulation of the technical criteria that would guide the administrative function.
Owing to his practical expertise in the field of management, Fayol was able to help his company survive difficult situations and thrive. Under his able leadership, the company became one of the largest producers of iron and steel in France.
Henri Fayol coined the new term “Fayolism” in his first book which was published in 1916. It is a theory that analyzed the role of management in organizations. His theory of five primary functions and fourteen principles of management forms the basis of business administration.
According to Henri Fayol, the five primary functions of management are planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.
The fourteen principles of management coined by him include division of work, authority and responsibility, discipline, unity of command, unity of direction, subordination of individual interest to general interest, remuneration, centralization and decentralization, scalar chain, order, equity, stability of tenure of personnel, initiative and esprit de corps.
Fayol was a person who was fully committed to the improvement of the working conditions for employees in mines. He changed the way labor was divided among workers and allowed them to work in teams. His methodologies resulted in increased employee satisfaction and higher productivity.
In 1916, Henri Fayol’s book ‘Administration Industrielle etGénérale’ in which he wrote about his work experiences got published. It was in the English version of this book that he presented his famous theory of “Fayolism.”
In 1921, he published ‘The Industrial Disability of the State’ in which he gives his view that a capitalist economy should be able to operate freely with minimum governmental intervention and regulation.
Family & Personal Life
Henri Fayol married Adelade Celeste Marie Saule in 1875. They had three children: Madeleine-Marie-Eugenie Fayol, Enri Joseph Fayol, and Marie-Celeste Fayol.
Henri Fayol died on November 19, 1925, in Paris. He was 84.
His contributions to the field of administrative thinking are remarkable. Shortly before his death, he published an important and controversial work: ‘The Industrial Disability of the State.’
His works have stood the test of time and have been proved to be relevant and appropriate even in the contemporary management scene. Fayol and Taylor were contemporaries and Fayol learned several lessons from him. Both men are acknowledged as founders of modern management principles.