The technical and commercial functions of a business are clearly defined, but the same cannot be said of the administrative function. Not many people are familiar with its constitution and powers; our senses cannot follow its workings - we do not see it build or forge, sell or buy - and yet we all know that, if it does not work properly, the undertaking is in danger of failure.p. 907-908 .
The administrative function has many duties. It has to foresee and make preparations to meet the financial, commercial, and technical conditions under which the concern must be started and run. It deals with the organization, selection, and management of the staff. It is the means by which the various parts of the undertaking communicate with the outside world, etc. Although this list is incomplete, it gives us an idea of the importance of the administrative function. The sole fact that it is in charge of the staff makes it in most cases the predominant function, for we all know that, even if a firm has perfect machinery and manufacturing processes, it is doomed to failure if it is run by an inefficient staff.p. 908 .
Every employee in an undertaking, then, takes a larger or smaller share in the work of administration, and has, therefore, to use and display his administrative faculties. This is why we often see men, who are specially gifted, gradually rise from the lowest to the highest level of the industrial hierarchy, although they have only had an elementary education. But young men, who begin practical work as engineers soon after leaving industrial schools, are in a particularly good position both for learning administration and for showing their ability in this direction, for in administration, as in all other branches of industrial activity, a man’s work is judged by its results.p. 908 .
Would you like to know, for instance, to what extent higher mathematics is used in our two great industries? Well, it is never used at all. Having found this to be the case in my own experience, after quite a long career, I wondered whether I was not an exception; so I made enquiries, and I found that it was a general rule that neither engineers nor managers used higher mathematics in carrying out their duties. We must, of course, learn mathematics that goes without saying but the question is how much must we learn? Up to the present this point has nearly always been decided simply by professors, but it seems to me to be a question in which professors do not count very much, and in which they count less as they become more learned and more devoted to their work. They would like to pass on all their scientific knowledge and they find that their pupils always leave them too soon.p. 909 .
Industry, which needs young men who are healthy, tractable, unpretentious and, I would even say, full of illusions, often receives engineers who are tired out, weak in body, and less ready than one could wish to take modest jobs and work so hard that everything seems easy to them. I am convinced that they could begin practical work much earlier and just as well prepared, by leaving things which are not used in practice out of their school education.p. 909 .
Administration, which calls for the application of wide knowledge and many personal qualities, is above all the art of handling men, and in this art, as in many others, it is practice that makes perfect. This is one of the reasons why we should release our future engineers for practical work as early as possible; there are many drawbacks to staying too long at school.p. 909 .
In my opinion, it is the industry concerned which should have the chief say in the question of the amount of theoretical training required. It is the industry which uses the products of the schools, and, like every consumer, it has the right to make its wishes known.p. 909 .
According to the dictionary, to administer is to govern, or to manage a public or private business. It means, therefore, to seek to make the best possible use of the resources available in achieving the goal of the enterprise. Administration includes, therefore, all the operations of the enterprise. But as a result of the usual way of organizing things to facilitate the running of the business, a certain number of activities constitute the special departments; the technical department, the commercial department, the financial department, etc., and the scope of the administrative department is found to be reduced accordingly.p. 911 .
One could define the administrative department by saying that it includes everything that is not part of the other departments, but one can define it in a more positive manner by saying that it is specifically responsible for;ensuring that unity of action, discipline, anticipation, activity, order, etc., exist in all parts of the enterprise; recruiting, organizing and directing the workforce; ensuring good relations between the various departments and with the outside world; coordination of all efforts towards the overall goal; satisfying shareholders and employees; labor and management. p. 911 .
Comment: The principles of administration Fayol presented in this publication p. 910 were:Unity of command Hierarchical transmission of orders chain-of-command Separation of powers - authority, subordination, responsibility and control Centralization Order Discipline Planning Organization chart Meetings and reports Accounting .
The meaning that I have given to the word administration and which has been generally adopted, broadens considerably the field of administrative science. It embraces not only the public service but enterprises of every size and description, of every form and every purpose. All undertakings require planning, organization, command, co-ordination and control, and in order to function properly, all must observe the same general principles. We are no longer confronted with several administrative sciences but with one alone, which can be applied equally well to public and to private affairs and whose principal elements are today summarized in what we term the Administrative Theory.p. 116 .
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