Henri Fayol vs. Henry Mintzberg

962 Words May 3rd, 2010 4 Pages
Henri Fayol vs. Henry Mintzberg. Functions vs. roles

Henri Fayol and Henry Mintzberg are “two sides of the one coin”. Each man has his own opinion on what the manager does. Fayol has his “five functions” and Mintzberg has his “roles of management”. In this essay I will discuss both men’s opinions and try to come to a conclusion on which I think is better. Henri Fayol, a French management theorist and managing director of a French mining company, came up with the five functions of management. These functions serve the purpose of predicting the future of the environment and planning a relevant business strategy, developing a social and technical structure to the organisation, managing the activities of the staff,
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The first of the four myths is probably the one that conflicts most with Fayol’s functions and shows that although there is some degree to a managers job, they prefer to work fast and would rather take action to try and resolve a problem rather than waste time thinking on different ways to overcome it. In my opinion, I would be more inclined to agree with Mintzberg and his roles of management over Fayol’s functions. This is because the roles of management have a lot more scope and would allow a manager more ways to deal with a wider variety of situations. They also cover the roles that I have seen managers in my working environment undertake such as the Liaison, the Negotiator, the Disturbance handler etc. In conclusion, although the five functions are a good way to look at the role of a manager I think that Mintzberg, having done all the studies on managers and actually seeing what they do in their day to day workings has given him a better idea of what the job of the manager actually entails. Fayol’s views look good when you see and hear them but in reality, is management as straight forward as the five steps that he has set out? I don’t think that he has looked at all the areas and all the things that could go wrong in jobs. In reality, I think Fayol’s functions are more like the ways we would like the job of the manager to be whereas Mintzberg’s roles have given us the way a managers job
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