Administrative Management

Administrative management basically focuses on how a business should be organized and the practices an effective manager should follow. While pioneers of scientific management tried to determinethe best way to perform a job, those in the administrative management explored the possibilities of an ideal way (rule of thumb) to put all jobs together and operate an organization. Thus the main focus of administrative school or general management theory is on finding "the best way " to run organizations. Admnistrative management school is also called "traditional principles of management. Henry Fayol, a French industrialist, is the chief architect and the father of the administrative management theory. Other prominent exponenets nclude Chester I. Barnard, amid Colnel Lyndal Urwick.


Some people think Max Weber had influenced this school as well. According to them the two major contributors to administrative management school of thought were Henri Fayol (1930) and Max Weber (1922). Henri Fayol's 14 principles of management are still relevant, while Max Weber's bureaucracy model still has some relevance in medium and large organizations. Weber's bureaucratic management theory is often presented alongside the work of administrative management researchers such as Henri Fayol, Luther Gulick and Lyndall Urwick.


The administrative theory "emphasized management functions and attempted to generate broad administrative principles that would serve as guidelines for the rationalization of organizational activities" (Scott p. 36). Henry Fayol  played a main role in the turn-of-the-century Classical School of management theory. Fayol  believed that techniques of effective management could be defined and taught and that managerial organization hold as much importance as management as workers organization. He was the first to identify functions of management.


According to Fayol the five functions of managers were:



Functions of Managers (According to Henry Fayol)


Planning is the act of anticipating the future and acting on it. "Planning reduces uncertainty by forcing managers to look ahead, anticipate change, consider the impact of change and develop appropriate responses." (Robbins, 2000, p.247) Organization is the development of the institution's resources, including material and human. Commanding is keeping the institution's actions and processes running. Co-ordination is the alignment and harmonization of the groups' efforts. Finally, control means that the above activities are performed according to the appropriate rules and procedures.


Fayol's work included a definition of a body of principles, which enabled a manager to construct a formal structure of the organization and to supervise it in a rational way. He focused his research and work on a more managerial level. Fayol developed fourteen principles of management.


Fayol emphasized the role of administrative management and concluded that all activities that occur in business organizations could be divided into six main groups.


– Technical (production, manufacturing);
– Commercial (buying, selling, exchange);
– Financial (obtaining and using capital);
– Security (protection of property and persons);
– Accounting (balance sheet, stocktaking, statistics, costing);
– Managerial (planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, controlling).


Fayol concluded that the six groups of activities are interdependent and that it is the role of management to ensure all six activities work smoothly to achieve the goals of an enterprise. Main contributors of Administrative Management School are:

Henry Fayol
Chester I. Barnard
Lyndall Urwick
Luther Gulick
Max Weber (According to some researcher…)