Fayol's “Principles” in a University Library Essay

Fayol's “Principles” in a University Library Essay

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In reading through Management Basics for Information Professionals by Evans and Ward, one of the theories of management that stood out to me was the “administrative approach” (2007). Henry Fayol was one of the main proponents of this approach, though there were many others as well. Fayol “divided organizational activities into five major groups” and also identified 14 principles of management and believed that “management is a skill one can learn, rather than a talent received at birth” (Evans & Ward, 2007). In the context of my personal experience I found that it might be interesting to compare my experiences as a student employee in the UC Berkeley library to some of the more applicable aspects of Fayol's principles of management. I worked in the Gardener Main Stacks located in the Doe Library of UC Berkeley for nearly three years and in that time I eventually was one of a group of student supervisors, so I have some experience being managed and as manager (though in a somewhat limited scope). In looking through Fayol's 14 principles, some apply more than others to the specific environment of the library that I worked in, and I will discuss some of the principles that stood out to me in examining my experiences at the library at UC Berkeley. I found that some principles pointed out some of the problems that I faced while I worked there as well as some of the things that worked well. On the other hand, some of Fayol's principles may apply in some ways, but in other ways may be outdated at this point.
At first, division of labor stood out to me as something that we practiced at the library, but in further reading the description of this principle, it seems apparent that we only did this to a certain extent. Evans & Ward note tha...

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...mpany, the goals and expectations often have to do with money. While this is a motivating factor for some, it is important for management theories to remember that some organizations do not have this as an incentive. In the library environment, keeping workers happy and productive has much more to do with goal setting and encouragement.

Works Cited

Evans, E. G., & Layzell, W. P. (2007). Management basics for information professionals. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers.
Hill, L. A., & Lineback, K. (2011). Are You A Good Boss--Or a Great One?. Harvard Business Review, 89(1/2), 124-131.
Rodrigues, C. A. (2001). Fayol's 14 principles of management then and now: A framework for managing todays organizations effectively. Management Decision, 39(10), 880-889.
Ugah, A. (2008). Motivation and Productivity in the Library. Library Philosophy & Practice, 10(2), 1-6.

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