In 1973 Henry Mintzberg
published his influential work on management, following detailed observations
of what managers actually did, whereas Fayol had presented prescriptive
analyses which became “myths of modern management” (Brooks, I. 2009. Pg161). Based
upon an observational study of five executives, Mintzberg identified ten
activities which managers fulfil in the conduct of their jobs: these are
categorised into three groups (Brooks, I. 2009. Pg161). These ten roles were
categorised into three sets of roles, or activities: interpersonal roles,
informational roles, and decision-making roles (Reference for Business. n, d).
Mintzberg approached his research of management with the idea that management
is the actually activities managers performed at their work. Therefore it can
be said Mintzberg defined the roles of management based on what he had observed
from his selected managers. Kotter (1982), broadly supporting Mintzberg’s
findings, found out that managers do not spend their time by themselves
performing lone tasks (Brooks, I. 2009. Pg161). In contrast to what had
previously been understood, managers were not found to spend most of their time
planning, organising, coordinating, commanding and controlling (Brooks, I.
was quick to dismiss Fayol’s theory of management and label it as folklore.
Mintzberg labelled Fayol’s concept as folklore because Fayol didn’t conduct
empirical research but instead forged his theory based on his own experience (Mintzberg,
H. 1990). However, Mintzberg empirical study is based on five organisations in
action. This sample size is too small to define what management is because
there are plenty types of different managers in different industries.
Therefore, Mintzberg theory is inapplicable to all types of industries. On the
other hand, there are noticeable similarities with both concepts. For instance,
in Fayol’s view, controlling means verifying whether everything works as
planned. Similarly, according to Mintzberg managers took control by taking the
role of disturbance handlers when responding to pressure and crises when the
organisation faces unexpected disturbances (Brooks, I. 2009. Pg161). This
proves both of them agree that there must be one to control the situation
whenever it goes against plan. Lamond on the other hand believed that
Mintzberg’s roles were just expanding on Fayol’s five functions (Lamond, 2003).