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(Henry or Henri Fayol; Istanbul, 1841 - Paris, 1925) engineer and theoretician of business administration. Born in a bourgeois family, Henry Fayol graduated as a civil engineer of mines in 1860 and served as engineer in mines of a major mining and metallurgical, group the Commentry-Fourchambault anonymous society.
In 1878, at the Congress of Paris's society Industrial mining, held on the occasion of the Universal exhibition, Fayol presented a report on the alteration and the spontaneous combustion of the coal exposed to the air. This work was a great success and was consecrated to Fayol as a man of science. In 1888, he had already reached the post of director general of the Commentry Fourchambault. He retired in 1918.
Henry Fayol is especially known for his contributions in the field of administrative thinking. He explained his ideas in the industrial and general administrationwork, published in France in 1916. After the contributions made by Frederick Taylor in the field of the scientific organization of labour, Fayol, using a methodology positivist, observe the facts, make experiences and extract rules, developed around an administrative model of great rigour for its time. In another work of his, the industrial State inability (1921), made a defense of the tenets of free enterprise against the intervention of the State in economic life.
Fayol administrative model is based on three fundamental aspects: the division of labour, the application of an administrative process and the formulation of the technical criteria that should guide the administrative function. For Fayol, the administrative function is intended only to the social body: while other functions affect the raw material and machinery, the administrative function only works on the staff of the company.
Fayol summed up the results of his investigations in a series of principles that every company should be applied: the division of work, authority, discipline, unity and hierarchy of control, centralization, fair remuneration, staff stability, teamwork, initiative, general interest In the field of business distinguished four functional areas: planning, organization, control and coordination and control. His most important contribution to the literature of the Administrative Sciences, quoted general and industrial management (1916), was not translated into English until 1930 and did not have much impact until it was not translated for the second time in 1949.