The Notion of General Management
Almost one hundred years ago, the French industrialist Henri Fayol claimed that organizations are so much alike that they should all be managed in a similar fashion.
When it comes to actually managing, the notion of general management seems unrealistic. Managerial practice remains people oriented, organization specific and situation specific, and with no management science in sight. This is a disappointing situation for those who favor the notion of general management.
Academics, authors of management textbooks, management consultants and management gurus keep recommending new accounting methods, or more enthusiastic managers even leaders.
Hardly anybody is unaffected by Henri Fayol s notion of general management, and many depend on it for their living. But few recognize the immense influence or the unfeasibility of Fayol s top-down perspective.
There are many Fayolists, who disown Frederick Taylor s bottom-up approach to management from sheer habit. What if Taylor was right, after all?