Mintzberg V Fayol

In: Business and Management

Submitted By benguam
Words 1286
Pages 6
Q) Management functions have traditionally been defined in terms of: planning, organising, commanding, coordinating and controlling. How do these functions compare with Mintzberg’s description of managerial roles and which of these approaches do you think is more useful for understanding management?

Although both Henri Fayol's traditional definition of management functions and Henry Mintzberg's description of managerial roles are useful for understanding management, Mintzberg's theory is more useful. Whilst both theories have many similarities, when compared to Fayol's somewhat vague management functions, Mintzberg's roles of management provide a much more specific and practical outline of the tasks which successful managers must carry out. Indeed many of Mintzberg's roles are nothing more than the tasks that must be performed in order to fulfil Fayol's functions of management. As a result Mintzberg's theory is more useful as it better explains what managers must actually do in the real world- the most important aspect of management.

Henri Fayol (1841-1925) was a prominent French industrialist. Based on his extensive personal experience in management, he proposed that there were five basic functions which management performs in his French treatise "Administration Industrielle et Générale (1916)" which in 1949 was translated into English as "General and Industrial Management". According to Fayol, a manager's work comprised of a constant cycle of the following five functions- planning, organising, commanding, coordinating and controlling.

Planning requires the manager to predict future events, determine future goals and develop a course of action which would allow the organisation to achieve these goals. Organising involves the manager arranging tasks and assigning people to complete them. Coordinating involves the manager synchronising and harmonising…...

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