III. 3. Principles of Management
Management, as any other science, is based on a set of
principles or fundamental ideas and general theses that guide managers
in their activity.
Although such principles can be found in the works of the
‘parents’ of management, Fr. Taylor and H. Fayol, a consensus
has not been reached yet with regard to the number and the content of
In his work, “La direction scientifique des enterprises”,
Taylor identifies four such principles:
- Developing a “science” for each job, which
is going to include movement rules, a standardized activity and proper
- Carefully selecting the individuals that have the proper
skills for that job;
- Carefully training the people to do their job, providing
incentives for applying scientific rules in their activity:
- Supporting the people in their activities, by planning
their tasks and by alternating the aspects that might appear in their
Taylor and his followers failed to understand the psychological
and sociological implications of work and considered that conflicts
could be avoided through cooperation, if both managers and workers knew
what was expected from them and what benefits they could have if the
objectives of the organization were reached.
In exchange, H. Fayol put forward 16 principles for guiding
managers’ way of thinking and acting in complying with their managerial
- The principle of autonomy, responsibility and authority.
- The principle of work discipline.
- The principle of command unity.
- The principle of action unity.
- The principle of subordinating particular to general
- Personnel salaries.
- Centralization – decentralization.
- Leadership hierarchy.
- The principle of order.
- The principle of equity.
- Personnel stability.
- The principle of initiative.
- Personnel cohesion.
- Permanent training.
- Innovative leadership.
- Allow daily five minutes for reflection.
The specialists mention the fact that Fayol never suggested
the necessity to strictly observe these principles and considered that
they should be implemented according to each particular circumstance.
Consequently, these are flexible management principles, adaptable to
a high number of cases.
Other perspectives underlines other additional principles
- The principle of efficiency increase
- The principle of economic management
- The principle of management and accountability unity
- The principle of professional competency and staff
- The principle of flexibility.
Given all the above, we believe that, for any given field
of activity, it is possible to equally operate with two sets of principles:
A. Principles valid for every
field of activity (such as the principle of order or the principle
of correlating resources and objectives).
B. Principles specific to a certain
field of activity (such as the principle of command unity in the army
or the pedagogical principles – for developing the teaching
Of course, these principles could be subjected to
an analysis and assessment process, followed by various debates (involving
politicians, educational managers from various levels, researchers,
specialists), which will establish the set of principles considered
to reflect the needs of the third millennium.