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Ford's Law of Production Vs. Fayol's Law of Theory

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Ford's Law of Production vs. Fayol's Law of Theory

In his critical analysis paper, " Ford's Law of Production vs. Fayol's Law of Theory", Craig Prince compares and contrasts, My Life and Work by Henry Ford and General and Industrial Management by Henri Fayol. Specifically, Prince examines the two articles from a managerial approach by using the five principal managerial tasks (controlling, leading, organizing, planning, and coordinating). Even though, Fayol and Ford used different approaches to management. They both concluded that in order to have a successful business one must have a basic understanding in the nature of controlling, leading, organizing, planning, and coordinating. While Ford concentrated on building his empire based on production and customer satisfaction, Fayol pushed for the development of the domineering manager through his theory of structured management training which he outlined in his fourteen management principals. Even though, these two men conducted business quite differently, their approach to the art of management focused on the one best way to manage big business. In doing so, they applied the five managerial tasks (controlling, leading, organizing, planning, and coordinating) to the daily operations of their perspective companies.

The foundation of management is based on five principal managerial tasks (controlling, leading, organizing, coordinating, and planning). From Prince's stand point, controlling is considered the manager's ability to achieve defined goals within an established timeline. Prince further recognized that through leading, the manager's showcases his ability to establish direction and influence the subordinates to follow that direction. Prince interpreted organizing as how the manager arranges several elements of the business into one purposeful and powerful structure to meet set organizational objectives. Furthermore, Prince viewed coordinating as the act of synchronizing activities, responsibilities, and command/control elements while ensuring that all resources of the organization are used most efficiently and effectively. Finally, Prince, understanding of planning involved the formulation of one or more detailed plans to achieve optimum balance of needs and demands with available resources. In the article, "My Life's Work", Henry Ford explains how his ideas and experiences brought about change in the automotive industry, revolutionizing the industrial manufacturing era, with the creation of the Model T. Whereas in the article, "General and Industrial Management" Henri Fayol was viewed as the father of modern operational management theory. The article also goes into great detail explaining Fayol's views on the structure of management by outlining 14 management principals. In addition to his 14 principals of management, Fayol also proposed five primary functions of management that goes hand-in-hand with the 14 principals. Fayol considered these principals and functions as flexible tools which could be applied in any organizational setting. After reading the two articles, it was evident that the primary difference between Henry Ford and Henri Fayol was that, Ford managed from the bottom up putting the consumer first. Whereas Fayol viewed management from the top down, with special emphasis placed on the development of the manager through formal education and training. Fayol believed that his methodology would provide the manager with better understanding on what is expected from a manager. In addition, Fayol felt that his teaching would also provide clear guidance on how the manager should manage the subordinates under their span of control.


When the manager accept the power of control he becomes responsible for knowing what needs to be done, how to get done, and will his efforts satisfy mission accomplishment. Henry Ford's approach to controlling was demonstrated by the development and production of the first automobile made affordable to the general public. In doing so, he took control of the market and revolutionized the auto industry through mass production. Not only did Ford's innovated ideas enable him to produce the Model T. at a lower cost. He simplified the production process by using four principals of his own; interchangeable parts, continuous production flow, division of labor, and reduction of waste. To further aide in the simplification of the production process, Ford introduced the movable assembly line that brought the work to the worker which allow the assembly process to be broke-down into fewer steps. As we recall in the book "The Age of Big Business", John D. Rockefeller monopolized the oil industry by eliminating the middleman as he took control of the companies within his own supply-chain. Through the process of vertical integration, Henry Ford was also able to do the exact same thing with the auto industry. This brilliant philosophy put many of the companies that supplied him with parts and raw materials under the Ford umbrella. In contrast, Fayol realized that management at all levels was instrumental to industrial success. Therefore, he viewed controlling as act of command and authority. In Fayol's teaching, controlling was the managers ability to enforce his/hers dominance to ensure that work goes on according to plan. This could also be interpreted by the manager knowing when to take appropriate actions and having the ability to adapt to unexpected change. Fayol's top-down management approach put the overall success of the organization into the senior manager's hand. Fayol believed that the senior managers were in the best position to observe organizational activities and ensure that these activities conformed to plans, policies and instructions. In a controlling environment, Fayol argued that managerial activities were unique and distinct functions. As he expressed the importance of knowing how and when to incorporate them into an organization which required intelligence, experience, decisiveness, and a sense of proportion. From the reader's perspective, practical knowledge, personal skills, perfection, patients, and innovative actions proved instrumental as Henry Ford took control of the auto industry. Whereas Fayol argued that "Good Managers Are Made Not Born". Through his teaching he provided the manager with the basic managerial knowledge and confidence needed to take control of any given situation.


The art leading is influenced by the methods in which the leader guides the subordinate toward the desired direction or goal. Therefore, to get from point A to point B the manager must somehow create a positive environment through some means monetary or non-monetary



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