A Century Old and Still Visionary: Fayol's Innovative Theory of Management

14 Pages Posted: 19 May 2020

See all articles by Armand Hatchuel

Armand Hatchuel

École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris - Centre de Gestion Scientifique (CGS)

Blanche Segrestin

École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris - Centre de Gestion Scientifique (CGS)

Date Written: Summer 2019

Abstract

Based on historical data and a seminal text never translated into English, we present an original interpretation of Henri Fayol's (1841–1925) administrative theory. This interpretation, which is consistent with the comments that Fayol later presented about his ‘General and industrial administration’ treatise, brings out his pioneering contribution to management studies. Fayol made the ‘unknown’ introduced by science into industry the central tenet of modern administration. He foreshadowed major aspects of today's innovation management. More fundamentally, Fayol laid new foundations for the field of management sciences. He drew from the political and philosophical works of the Enlightenment to develop a series of original concepts (in French: prévoyance, perfectionnement, programme, inconnu, corps social) that were difficult to interpret and to translate. We maintain that Fayol's administrative science is a theory of a ‘creative/political’ rationality that still, today, offers better theoretical and explanatory support for management science than economic and bureaucratic theory.

Keywords: Fayol, administrative theory, organization theory, management history, innovation management

Suggested Citation

Hatchuel, Armand and Segrestin, Blanche, A Century Old and Still Visionary: Fayol's Innovative Theory of Management (Summer 2019). European Management Review, Vol. 16, Issue 2, pp. 399-412, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3599370 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/emre.12292

Armand Hatchuel (Contact Author)

École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris - Centre de Gestion Scientifique (CGS) ( email )

60, boulevard Saint-Michel
Paris Cedex 06, 75272
France
+33 1 405 19 109 (Phone)
+33 1 404 60 301 (Fax)

Blanche Segrestin

École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris - Centre de Gestion Scientifique (CGS) ( email )

60, boulevard Saint-Michel
Paris Cedex 06, 75272
France

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
0
Abstract Views
156
PlumX Metrics