Henri Fayol and Henry Mintzberg

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Henry Amm Fayol or Mintzberg – Who is right? Date: 11/12/2011 Student Number: 110369257 Version 1.0 The task: Henri Fayol presented his analysis of the management function in 1916 and it has largely been superseded by the more descriptive approaches of what managers actually do, such that favored by Henry Mintzberg. However, it could be argued that the image portrayed by Fayol is superior to that of Mintzberg, and the latter’s description is of rather ineffective management! Who do you think is right? Fayol or Mintzberg – Who is right? By Henry Amm Introduction With his work General and Industrial Management (1949, in French 1916) Henri Fayol was a pioneer on the field of management theory. (Pryor & Taneja, 2010)…show more content…
The manager also comprises features such as an entrepreneur, a disturbance handler and negotiator. (Brooks, 2009 and Fells, 2000) In contrast to Fayol he found that managers actually spend “very little time on solitary tasks” (Brooks, 2009, p. 161) but had to deal with constant interruptions in the form of calls or mails from morning to night. In his own study he observed that half the activities performed lasted less than nine minutes and only ten per cent exceeded one hour. (Mintzberg, 1975) On these grounds he suggests that a manager is “simply responding to the pressures of his job”. (Mintzberg, 1975, p. 225) As noted in Fells (2000) those activites do not fit comfortably into Fayol’s principles of planning, co-ordinating and so on. Analysis of Strengths and Weaknesses of both Mintzberg (1975) states, that the effectiveness of a manger is highly dependent on his insights into his work. Thus a manager’s performance is influenced by his understanding and responding to the ‘pressures’ of the job. Pryor and Taneja (2010), however, argue that if Page 2 of 6 Fayol or Mintzberg – Who is right? By Henry Amm Fayol’s principles of management are properly implemented, they are leading to organisational effectiveness and efficiency. According to Mintzberg (1975) when you spend a day in a manager’s office you will find Fayol’s classical view doubtful. However, if we instead suppose that Fayol’s work is rather a theory of management functions than
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