Fayol vs Mintzberg, Who Is Right?

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Fayol vs Mintzberg, who is right? The theoretical models of management presented by Henri Fayol and Henry Mintzberg respectively, bear clear and striking differences in how they explain the “changing nature of management and leadership”(Brooks, 2009). To argue whether the image displayed by Fayol is superior to that of Mintzberg I will examine the strengths and weaknesses of the differing models and compare, as well as with the opinions of other theorists. This will allow me to conclude which image is superior and in what senses the descriptions of management established by Mintzberg are ineffective. In this essay I will argue that while it is clear that the concepts of Fayol have been largely superseded by modern descriptive views such as those of Mintzberg and Kotter, he laid out the foundations so to speak (remove this) that allowed modern thinkers to develop their theories in greater detail. This means that it isn’t such a matter of who is right, rather the models of roles and functions exhibited by Fayol and Mintzberg interlink and complement each other, and are in many senses just different, displayed by the fact Fayol’s model is prescriptive and Mintzberg’s descriptive. Henri Fayol in 1916 published ‘Administration Industrielle et Generale’ which set out the main “elements” of management (Gray, 1984 cited in Fells, 2000), these were to forecast and plan, organise, coordinate, command and control (Pugh and Hickson, 2003). He also outlines fourteen principles of management including discipline, authority and responsibility, equity and initiative (adapted from Fayol, 1949 cited in Brooks, 2009). These principles were based on the experience of Fayol as a Managing Director as well as positions in general management (Pugh and Hickson, 2003). This gave him a wide knowledge base on which to develop and present his managerial model. Fayol’s work is clearly

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