Henri Fayol biography, books and theory

Henri Fayol - Toolshero

Henri Fayol (1841 – 1925) was a French coal-mine engineer, director of mines and modern management theoretician. His scientific management theory forms the base for business administration and business management. In the academic world, this is also known as Fayolism. Henri Fayol provided one of the most influential modern management concepts of his time. This article highlights his biography, his management theories, some famour quotes and his books and publications. Enjoy reading!

Who is Henri Fayol? His biography

Henri Fayol was born in a suburb of Istanbul, Turkey in 1841. His father, an engineer, was appointed building supervisor for the construction of a bridge over the Golden Horn (Galata Bridge). The family returned to France in 1847. He studied mining engineering at the ‘École Nationale Superieure des Mines’ academy in Saint-Étienne.

Henri Fayol started his career as an engineer at the mining company Compagnie de Commentry Fourchambeau Decazeville in Commentry at the age of 19.

Free Toolshero ebook

In 1878, Henri Fayol was invited to present a report on the self-ignition of coal exposed to air. The report was well received and Fayol gained a good reputation as a result. He became an influential person in the field of mining.

In 1888, he became the Managing Director of this mining company that employed over 1,000 people. Thanks to his practical knowledge and expert management skills, Henri Fayol was excellent at guiding his company through difficult times. Under his leadership, the company became one of the most successful and largest producers of steel and iron in France.

Henri Fayol was very successful in this position for over 30 years (until 1918).

In addition to being the Managing Director of the Commentry-Fourchambault mining company (1900).

Management Skills Training for New & Experienced Managers  

Management Theory

Fayol was also one of the founders of the 14 principles of modern management. In 1916 he published his first book, introducing the term fayolism. The theory describes the role of management in organizations and consists of five described primary functions of management and fourteen management principles.

According to Henri Fayol, the five functions of management are planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. The fourteen management principles are division of labor, authority & responsibility, discipline, unity of command, unity of direction, subordination of individual interest, reward, centralization and decentralization, scalar chain, order, justice, stability of personnel, initiative and group feeling.

His research work was in competition with that of another great theoretician namely Frederick Taylor.

In 1916, Henri Fayol published his work experience in the book Administration Industrielle et Generale (General and Industrial Management). A few years later, Frederick Taylor published his theory about Scientific Management and Taylorism.

The Personal life of Henri Fayol

Henri Fayol married the French Adelade Celeste marie Saule in 1875. Together they had three children: Madeleine-Marie-Eugenie, Enri Joseph and Marie-Celeste.

Fayol died in Paris on November 19, 1925. He was 84 years old.

Join the Toolshero community

Publications and books

  • 1929. Allgemeine und industrielle Verwaltung. München und Berlin: Oldenbourg.
  • 1927. The importance of the administrative factor. Readings in management: Landmarks and new frontiers.
  • 1921. L’incapacité industrielle de l’Etat: les PTT. Dunod.
  • 1918. De l’importance de la fonction administrative dans la gouvernement des affaires…: Conférence faite le 24 novembre 1917. Ph. Renouard.
  • 1918. Notice sur les travaux scientifiques et techniques de M. Henri Fayol. Gauthier-Villars.
  • 1918. L administration positive dans l industrie. La Technique Moderne, 1, 74.
  • 1917. Administration industrielle et générale; prévoyance, organisation, commandement, coordination, controle. Paris, H. Dunod et E. Pinat, OCLC 40224931
  • 1916. General and Industrial Management. Martino Fine Books.
  • 1887. Etudes sur le terrain houiller de Commentry: lithologie et stratigraphie (Vol. 1). impr. de Théolier.

How to cite this article:
Van Vliet, V. (2010). Henri Fayol. Retrieved [insert date] from Toolshero: https://www.toolshero.com/toolsheroes/henri-fayol/

Original publication date: 12/19/2010 | Last update: 03/19/2024

Add a link to this page on your website:
<a href=”https://www.toolshero.com/toolsheroes/henri-fayol/”>Toolshero: Henri Fayol</a>

Did you find this article interesting?

Your rating is more than welcome or share this article via Social media!

Average rating 4.4 / 5. Vote count: 28

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Vincent van Vliet
Article by:

Vincent van Vliet

Vincent van Vliet is co-founder and responsible for the content and release management. Together with the team Vincent sets the strategy and manages the content planning, go-to-market, customer experience and corporate development aspects of the company.


Leave a Reply