Fayolism is a theoretical framework that has served as the basis for contemporary administrative sciences. Its creator was the mining engineer Henri Fayol.


Fayol is considered, like Frederick Winslow Taylor (who developed Taylorism), as one of the fathers of modern administration. Both provided important contributions that continue to be studied in the 21st century.

Principles of Fayolism

Among the principles of Fayolism, the following stand out:

  • Business management or administration depends not only on the skill of the person, but also on the knowledge that can be learned or acquired.
  • The knowledge of the administration of companies is not entirely empirical or theoretical, but they are schemes that allow ordering what has been learned from experience.
  • The principles of the administration are not only applicable to companies, but to any activity or entity where it is required to coordinate human effort to achieve a goal. This is known as the principle of universality.
  • The division of labor increases efficiency at work and, therefore, productivity.
  • Fayol points out the importance of the worker receiving orders from a single superior, as well as having a clear chain of command.

Main contributions of Fayolism

The main contributions of Fayolism are, first of all, the functions of the administration:

  • Planning : Define an action plan.
  • Organization : Have all the necessary elements to achieve the designed plan. We refer to both the material and the non-material (the work system, for example).
  • Command : Direct the staff and guide them so that they can achieve the highest efficiency.
  • Coordination : Achieve synchronization of the efforts of all workers to achieve a single common goal.
  • Control : Check if the objectives set have been achieved.

Second, we have the management operations that are divided into six:

  • Techniques : Refers to the manufacture or development of goods or services of the company.
  • Commercial : It relates to purchases (from suppliers, for example) and the sale of merchandise.
  • Financial: It is what concerns the raising of capital (in the form of loans, for example) that will serve to finance the operations of the company.
  • Security: The protection and preservation of assets and people that are part of the organization.
  • Accountants: Preparation of inventories, balance sheet and other financial statements.
  • Administrative: It integrates the other five functions, coordinating them and being above them.

The 14 principles of Fayol administration

Fayol also presents 14 principles of administration:

  • Subordination of personal interests to the general interests of the company: Above the interests of any worker, there is that of the organization.
  • Unity of command: The worker must only receive orders from a superior.
  • Unity of direction: Each group of common activities that share the same objective should be led by a manager, for example, a finance manager for financial operations.
  • Centralization: Concentration of authority in the management of the company.
  • Hierarchy or scalar chain: The chain of bosses that goes from the highest authority to the lowest levels. Thus, communications in the organization must follow this sequence, that is, the general manager’s orders are followed by the purchasing manager and he transmits them to his work group.
  • Division of work: Personnel must specialize in a specific job.
  • Authority and responsibility: It is the power to give orders and comes hand in hand with greater responsibility, as in the case of managers or directors.
  • Discipline: It is related to good behavior and is usually reflected in the mission and vision of the organization.
  • Personnel remuneration: The worker must receive a fair salary and in accordance with a standard of living.
  • Fairness: All workers should be treated equally. That way, their loyalty can be achieved.
  • Order: Both the people and the inventory must be located in the place and at the right time, for example, to fulfill a purchase request.
  • Stability and duration of staff in a position: High staff turnover is not efficient. For this reason, we must seek staff stability.
  • Initiative: It should be sought that workers participate, giving their opinion, for example. That way, they will try harder.
  • Team spirit: It is about seeking unity in the organization to achieve common goals.