Principles of Management

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The Principles of Management[edit]

Management principles are guidelines for the decisions and actions of managers. They were derived through observation and analysis of events faced in actual practice.

The Principles of Management are the essential, underlying factors that form the foundations of successful management. According to [Henri Fayol]

in his book General and Industrial Management (1916), there are fourteen 'principles 

of management'. These can be used to initiate and aid the processes of change, organization, decision making, skill management and the overall view of the management function.

Division of Work[edit]

According to this principle the whole work is divided into small tasks.The specialization of the workforce according to the skills of a person , creating specific personal and professional development within the labour force and therefore increasing productivity; leads to specialization which increases the efficiency of labour. By separating a small part of work, the workers speed and accuracy in its performance increases. This principle is applicable to both technical as well as managerial work,. this can be made useful in case of project works too. Planning is to decide what to do before *

Authority and Responsibility[edit]

The issue of commands followed by responsibility for their consequences. Authority means the right of a superior to give enhance order to his subordinates; responsibility means obligation for performance. This principle suggests that there must be parity between authority and responsibility. They are co-existent and go together, and are two sides of the same coin. and the authority must be commensurate with responsibility. the process is also done


Discipline refers to obedience, proper conduct in relation to others, respect of authority, etc. It is essential for the smooth functioning of all organizations. This will also help shape the culture inside the organization.discipline is absolutely necessary functioning of all enterprises.

Unity of Command[edit]

This principle states that each subordinate should receive orders and be accountable to one and only one superior. If an employee receives orders from more than one superior, it is likely to create confusion and conflict. Unity of Command also makes it easier to fix responsibility for mistakes and the authority should be commensurate with responsibility

Unity of Direction[edit]

All those working in the same line of activity must understand and pursue the same objectives. All related activities should be put under one group, there should be one plan of action for them, and they should be under the control of one manager.

It seeks to ensure unity of action, focusing of efforts and coordination of strength.

Subordination of Individual Interest to Mutual Interest[edit]

The management must put aside personal considerations and put company objectives firstly. Therefore the interests of goals of the organization must prevail over the personal interests of individuals.


Workers must be paid sufficiently as this is a chief motivation of employees and therefore greatly influences productivity. The quantum and methods of remuneration payable should be fair, reasonable and rewarding of effort. Remuneration is paid to worker as per their capacity and productivity. The main objective of an organization is to maximize the wealth and the net profit as well. For this purpose, the organization has paid wages, salary, and benefit to their staff properly and scientifically so that organizational efficiency can be ensured.

The Degree of Centralization[edit]

The amount of power wielded with the central management depends on company size. Centralization implies the concentration of decision making authority at the top management. Sharing of authority with lower levels is called decentralization. The organization should strive to achieve a proper balance.

Line of Authority/Scalar Chain[edit]

Scalar Chain refers to the chain of superiors ranging from top management to the lowest rank. The principle suggests that there should be a clear line of authority from top to bottom linking all managers at all levels. It is considered a chain of command. It involves a concept called a "gang plank" using which a subordinate may contact a superior or his superior in case of an emergency, defying the hierarchy of control. However the immediate superiors must be informed about the matter.


Social order ensures the fluid operation of a company through authoritative procedure. Material order ensures safety and efficiency in the workplace. Order should be acceptable and under the rules of the company


Employees must be treated kindly, and justice must be enacted to ensure a just workplace. Managers should be fair and impartial when dealing with employees, giving equal attention towards all employees.

Stability of Tenure of Personnel[edit]

Stability of tenure of personnel is a principle stating that in order for an organization to run smoothly, personnel (especially managerial personnel) must not frequently enter and exit the organization. Consequently, an organization must take steps to obtain as much stability in its management and workforce as possible.


Using the initiative of employees can add strength and new ideas to an organization. Initiative on the part of employees is a source of strength for organization because it provides new and better ideas. Employees are likely to take greater interest in the functioning of the organization.

Esprit de Corps[edit]

This refers to the need of managers to ensure and develop morale in the workplace; individually and communally. Team spirit helps develop an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding. Team spirit helps to finish the task on time.

Key Roles[edit]

Fayol also divided the management function into five key roles:[1]

  • To organize/Organizing
  • To plan and forecast/Planning (Prevoyance)
  • To command/Commanding, Leading
  • To control/Controlling
  • To coordinate/Coordinating

Further Reading[edit]

  • Administration Industrielle et Général, Henri Fayol, 1917


  2. Administration Industrielle et Général, Henri Fayol, 1917

See also[edit]