Identify and Compare the Contributions of Taylor, Fayol and Mayo to Management Today.

2603 Words Aug 16th, 2006 11 Pages
Identify and compare the contributions of Taylor, Fayol and Mayo to management today.


This essay outlines the main contributions of Taylor, Fayol and Mayo to the study of management. It then evaluates the contribution of these writers to management as it is practiced today. It does this by discussing in turn their work, explicitly and implicitly drawing comparisons between them. It argues that the various contributions reflect the differing circumstances and needs of the theorists, and are complementary in their contributions to modern management.

Management is essential to organized human endeavor, and as such has been practiced for thousands of years (for example see Robbins, Bergman, Stagg and Coulter, 2000, p. 41;
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208; Massie, 1979, p. 19, 81). He was an early advocate of the separation of planning and performance (Massie, 1979, p. 87), and of setting standards for workers (Massie, 1979, p. 198).

"Taylor's contributions, however, were not an unmixed blessing. Through his stress on efficiency at the shop level and economies gained through time and motion study, he caused attention to be drawn so completely to the shop that for a time the study of management became in effect the study of shop management, while the more general aspects were overlooked…. had the work of Henri Fayol not been overshadowed by enthusiasm for Taylorism, the history of management theory might well have been different and the principles of general management advanced much earlier" (Koontz and O'Donnell, 1972, pp. 22-23).


Henri Fayol drew upon his experiences as the managing director of a large French coal-mining firm (Robbins et al., 2000, p. 47; Koontz and O'Donnell, 1972, p. 23). Deploring the lack of managerial teaching available, he set himself the task of providing a developed theory of management (Koontz and O'Donnell, 1972, pp. 24, 426).

Fayol focused on the entire organization and was specifically interested in describing and analyzing management (Robbins et al., 2000, p. 46). He was not just interested in industrial enterprise, but in all forms of organized human cooperation (Massie, 1979, p. 22; Pugh and Hickson, 1989, p. 85). His was the "first attempt at a
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