Management Principles: Description and Importance

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A principle can be defined as a basic truth and this truth is stated in general terms in the way the interrelationship between cause and effect is shown. These principles thus give an account of general truth that provides a guide to the thinking pattern and measures to be carried out. These principles are the guiding laws for the action of management. In the year 1916, a French industrialist by the name Henry Fayol gave fourteen principles of management for the first time. In the course of the period between 1920 twenty up to the end of 1940s, many authors in the United States of America made a great deal of effort to develop and test several principles of management. In the current time, there exist a very long list of the principles of management and it is very hard to give a comprehensive list of them all (Wood & Wood 35).

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The characteristics of the principles of management

These refer to the special features of the principles of management.

Universal application: This is a characteristic that implies that a good management principle should be applied in every situation, where the goals are achieved through collective effort. Each and every organization is supposed to utilize its available resources in the most efficient way possible through application of the management principles. It should carry out planning, controlling, directing, and staffing in a most effective way possible in order to come up with the desirable results.

Flexibility: Management principles are guidelines that are not static but they are dynamic. The goal of management is to enable the business acquire the highest profits possible at the minimal cost possible. The socio-economic environment and the condition of the business are satisfactory to go well with its natural history, dimension, situations, and the needs. Developing the principles of management is a process that goes on and therefore, this implies that these principles are ever changing (Management Study Guide 6).

General statement: The principle of management in most cases focuses on the behavior of human beings that can not be subjected to testing under the conditions that can be controlled. It is very much hard to give a prediction of the behavior of human beings. This brings about a notion that these principles can not be very much definite like those principles that are often applied in physical science. Therefore, the principles of management are only statements.

Human behavior Influence: More so, another characteristic is that they influence human behavior. Human element is a very vital factor of production. Every individual is quite peculiar and has his or her own skills and abilities that are distinct from others. Management targets at bringing together all the human efforts and to decentralize these efforts towards acquiring the results that are desired. Principles of management target in bringing about influence in the human efforts and giving them direction in maximizing the profit and minimizing the costs with the most efficient utilization of the available resources (Guruge 8).

Cause and effect relationship: This characteristic gives an indication of the consequences of its principles. There will be evasion of overlapping, confusion, and duplication in the cases where there is the adoption of the principles of unity of command. Likewise, the rest of the remaining principles also show the association that exists between the principles and their effects.

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Equal importance: All the management principles are of the same value. There can be no regard, as way of example, that the principle of authority is far much more superior to another principle like the principle of order. So, in this manner all the management principles carry the same weight and all of them are equally important.

Careful discreet application: Since the factors of production are quite scarce and are in limited supply and have alternative uses, this makes management be a continuous process of decision making. The task of management is to come up with the right decisions as to which combination of the resources that are available best enables the business to achieve its goals and which are the most appropriate production techniques to be employed to realize these goals. In this manner, management principles forms a base on which this decisions are erected.

Importance of the principles of management

These principles are of great importance in the success of management of a business organization. These are the vital guidelines that management has to follow. They give a clear direction to management as to which area needs to be addressed with immediate urgency. They make the process of management to be much simpler and raise the level of efficiency in general and assist in acquiring the business’s desired goals. These importances include:

Increases efficiency of the management: The manager is able to get the appropriate guideline of how to go about with the management process. The manager is able to deal with complicated problems in a more effective way. The manager is also in a position to carry out this task in a smooth manner. Therefore, by following these principles and implementing them more effectively will bring about improvement in the level of efficiency within the management and the managers in the organization will, without much difficulty, solve the problems that might come up in the organization in a way that is well organized. More so, these principles are important in that they assist in acquiring social objective. There is a development spirit by the management of bringing about cooperation and coordination among the workers in the organization. Management also assists in the use of resources in a more optimal manner. Nowadays, the management principles are targeted at acquiring highest profit possible with no loss of the social values. Therefore, the management must make the supply of goods or services at the fairest prices possible and the same time giving out reasonable wages and salaries to the workers.

More so, the management principles produce reasonable perception of the multifaceted problems of the business venture. There is the application of scientific approach in solving the most difficult problems (Rajput Brotherhood.Com 3).

More so, principles of management give a direction of areas that need more training. These principles assist in making identification of the current and potential areas of management because there exist ever shifting business environments which can not be easily comprehended brought about by the shifts in set ups that may be economical, social or even political. Therefore, the principles of management are of great significance in identifying the areas and enable the management to come up with appropriate training programs for the managers.

In addition, the management principles provide a guide to research work in management. The management principles are a basic necessity that enhances coming up with a guide which requires appropriate adjustments with the ever shifting situations. So as to give significance to management usefulness, the Management researchers carry out a scrutiny of these principles to make a justification of this usefulness and give out proposals for a variety of adjustments if need be (Rajput Brotherhood.Com 4).

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Fourteen Management principles Developed by Fayol

The first five management principles of Fayol give an explanation on how work can be done in a more deficient and effective way by the division of the work, a command structure that is very clear, and the existence of the obedience of these commands. The next five principles give out a refinement of the initial five management principles. The principles number six and number seven give an explanation of the nature of the contracts existing between the personnel and the organization giving rise to the subordination of the personal interest to the interest that is general and the personnel’s remuneration that is fair.

The principles number eight and nine give an explanation of the organization as a system that carries out processing of the information by use of this perspective, gives a discussion of the principles initiative centralization and the hierarchical communication routes. These principles of management follow from the unity of command and unity of direction principles, but their application have to be proportional due the information processing demands. In the cause of the discussion of these principles, Fayol makes an identification of these principles’ exceptions like the ‘passerelle’. At number ten there is the principle of order which serves as an extension of the initial five principles resulting in refinements like distinguishing between a person and the position. The last four management principles are viewed as criteria for the evaluation of the business organization’s functioning, that is, the personnel’s unity, the personnel’s stability, initiative, and equity.

According to Anonymous (8), the principles of management developed by Fayol Include:

Division of work”: According to Henri Fayol, work should be distributed among workers and groups to make sure that the workers direct their efforts and attention to special portions of the work that is being performed. He made a presentation of specialization in work as the most appropriate way to optimal utilization of the human resource within any business organization (Wood & Wood 35).

Authority”: There is a very close relationship between authority and responsibility. Authority is the right to give instructions and the supremacy to demand obedience. On the other hand, responsibility takes an involvement of one being accountable and thus this provides a close link with authority. Whoever takes power takes responsibility as well. This principle states that, there can be the effective exercising of formal authority by one in a management position only when the person has personal authority as well. Also, the manager’s authority should be harmonious to his or her responsibility. A system should be put in place to penalize or reward in order to bring about encouragement for beneficial actions and discouragement of the negative deeds. People look for authority but evade responsibility and; there should be prevention of misuse of authority through making sure that the personal integrity among the employees and setting up a goal orientation which is in line with the governing body’s goals. This principle of management seems to be linked to the significance of authority brought about by the managers. The drive of the organization is brought about by the managers’ commands but the same organization runs basing on the work performed by those who carry out work in the course of obeying the commands (Wood & Wood 44).

Discipline”: In order for an organization to succeed, it needs a collective effort of the workers. There should be the application of penalties in order to boost this collective effort. Fayol makes an observation that the opinion of the public views discipline as vital in order to achieve smooth running of any business organization. In the examination of the discipline’s conditions, Fayol makes a conclusion that the way that is much more effective to achieve discipline and maintain it is to give a provision for the leadership that is good within all the organization; levels to have remunerations that are far much more equitable and availability of penalties for misconduct.

Unity of Command”: The orders to the workers should only originate from a single manager. If there is no following of this principle and people get orders from more than one source, the workers within the organization may get confused and feel quite uneasy as a result of forms of discipline that are not compatible. As a consequence, discipline turns out to be an issue that can be compromised, the order is no longer stable and the stability of the business organization gets in to danger. Fayol makes a comparison of such a situation with an organism that catches up a disease. Just in the same way the organism may experience uneasiness up to the time the particles that gained access in to its body are removed, the business organization that is experiencing this situation will go on feeling uneasy up to the time the disorganized managers at the top are gotten rid of.

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Unity of Direction”: The whole of the organization should have a common goal towards which they have to move together. This principle should be distinguished from the principle of unity of command. Whereas the unity of command the way the personnel functions within a business organization and carries out an analysis of the interpersonal relationships, this principle relates to the corps social’s structure whose determination is on the managers’ assignment of authority as well as responsibility for duty sphere. This principle can not be there in the absence of the principle of unity of command.

Subordination of individual interests to the general interests”: The objective held by a single individual within the organization should not overshadow the general objectives and interests of the organization.

Remuneration”: Before coming up with the rate of pay to be give to the workers in the organization, the management should carry out a thorough assessment of such issues as the organization’s current condition and the far it has succeed, the cost of living and the availability of workers in the labor market that have the appropriate qualifications. “Centralization”: This principle refers to the act of bringing down the significance of the subordinate position. On the other hand, decentralization means raising the importance. The level to which the implementation of either of the above mentioned should be carried out relies upon the organization in particular that the manager is operating in. This principle on one hand is to be applied which implies coming up with an organization with one directive part to give out commands and gets back information. On the other hand, the right level of centralization has to be established, implying assigning accepted levels of initiatives to people who do not belong to the directive part so as to utilize the qualities of the total personnel in the optimal manner possible.

Scalar Chain”: Every manager in the hierarchy starting from supervisors to the president have some level of authority with the president having much more authority and the first line supervisor having the lowest authority. Those managers at the lower level should enable those managers at the higher level to be informed at all times about their activities. In order for the business organization to be successful, there should be a scalar chain and strict sticking to it.

Order”: In order to achieve efficiency as well as coordination, all the materials and workers associated with a specific should have uniform treatment. This principle is made up of two sub-principles. One of these sub-principles is for material order and the other one is for social order. The social order requires that for every employee in the organization, there is an appointed place for this employee. The place appointed for the employee should be appropriate for such an employee. This brings about optimal utilization of the human resources within the business organization. The main goal of this order principle is to evade time loss as well as material loss in the material order case and to evade having positions within the organization that might be needless such as having employees that are not competent in social order case.

Equity”: There should be equal treatment to the employees. The management of the business organization should work towards achieving highest equity together with equality possible of treatment of the personnel within the organization without leaving out any of the other management principles. Employing this principle by the managers at the top gives an encouragement to the employees to perform their work in a devoted manner and having loyalty to the organization.

Stability of tenure of the personnel”: The retention of those workers who are very much more productive by the business organization should be given the highest priority possible by the management. The personnel stability brings about the influence between the personnel that has much experience and the one that has no adequate experience. In order to for a business organization to succeed, it needs to have stability of the personnel that is optimal. This principle is an issue of proportion. The one that is very high could bring about stagnation that is not necessary since the employees may not be able to do their work in the appropriate manner since they might have turned out to be in a position to handle greater responsibilities.

Initiative”: Initiative refers to coming up with a plan and making sure that the plan has been successfully implemented. The taking of appropriate steps should be made by the management to bring about encouragement of worker initiative. Worker initiative is defined as fresh or extra work activity that is carried out through self direction.

Espirit De Corps”: Management should carry out encouragement of harmony and the general comfort among the employees of the business organization. This involves combination of getting committed to the similar goals, unity of command and working relationships that have harmony (Blackwell 2).

Works Cited

Anonymous. “Henri Fayol’s 14 principles of management”. 2008. Web.

Blackwell Jeff. “Principles of management”. 2009. Web.

Guruge Ananda. “General Principles of Management for Educational Planners and Administrators”. UNESCO/UNICEF Co-operative program, 1977. Web.

Management Study Guide. “Principles of Management. 2009. Web.

Rajput Brotherhood.Com. “Principles of management”. 2009. Web.

Wood, C. John & Wood, C. Michael. “Henri Fayol: critical evaluations in business and management”, Volume 1.Taylor & Francis, New York, 2002.

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