Henri Fayol

Henri Fayol

French mining engineer
Date of Birth: 29.07.1841
Country: France

  1. Biography of Henri Fayol
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Career in the Mining Industry
  4. Contributions to the Industry and Theory
  5. Fayol's Management Theory
  6. Legacy

Biography of Henri Fayol

Henri Fayol was a French mining engineer, a leader of a mining company, and the author of the work "General and Industrial Management," which is considered one of the pioneers in the theory of business management. He is the founder of the classical school of management and has made one of the most significant contributions to modern management concepts.

Henri Fayol

Early Life and Education

Henri Fayol was born on July 29, 1841, in one of the suburbs of Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire. His father, also an engineer, led the construction of the first Galata Bridge across the Golden Horn bay. In 1847, the family returned to France, and in 1860, Henri graduated from the National School of Mines in Saint-Étienne.

Career in the Mining Industry

At the age of nineteen, Henri Fayol began his career in the mining company "Compagnie de Commentry-Fourchambeau-Decazeville" in Commentry, at the heart of France. By 1900, the company, where Fayol had worked for forty years, became one of the largest steel and cast iron producers in France, vital for the prosperity of the industry. In 1888, Fayol became the managing director of the company, which employed 10,000 people and was in a dire situation, and held this position for thirty years until his retirement at the age of 77. He passed away in Paris on November 19, 1925.

Contributions to the Industry and Theory

Henri Fayol was an excellent mining engineer who developed methods to fight fires that destroyed the coal reserves in his mines. He was also a skilled geologist who proposed a theory on the process of wood turning into carbon in lakes, known as "the Gilbert delta" in honor of American geologist Grove Karl Gilbert. Fayol presented his theory in the French Academy of Sciences in 1881, four years before Gilbert.

Fayol's Management Theory

Based mainly on his own management experience, Fayol developed his own concept of management and wanted to share his successful experiences. In 1916, he published his theory in the book "General and Industrial Management," which gained widespread recognition in 1949 when it was translated into English. In this work, Fayol presented his management theory, known as Fayolism. Before that, Fayol's name was already known in professional circles as he had been publishing articles on mining industry issues and management methods since the 1870s.


Fayol's theory has stood the test of time and remains relevant and practical within the framework of modern management concepts.