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Henri Fayol et la théorie du chef d’entreprise : une nouvelle figure de l’autorité au tournant du XXe siècle

Abstract : Henri Fayol and business manager theory: a new figure of authority at the beginning of the 20th century Before he wrote his famous tract, Henri Fayol was a chief executive officer (CEO), an innovator and a scientist who considered scientific research to be a major responsibility for the head of company. However, as science became the driving force of a new industrial world, it also created an unprecedented connection to the future as it required what was “unknown” to be taken into consideration. This analysis encourages us to re-read Fayol as himself wanted to be read. Far from being universal and common, his administrative doctrine is made up of original ideas and concepts (prévoyance-foresight, inconnu-unknown, programme d’action-program of action, perfectionnement-improvement, constitution du corps social- constitution of the social body) whose theoretical and political impact has been under-estimated. As a result, Fayol was able to imagine a new type of business leader without relying on corporate language nor on the political economy of his time. His outline of a “political/creative” model for a business manager’s action draws from the heritage of the Enlightenment and from political and social philosophy. While this message should have marked a major turning point, Fayol’s originality was subsequently diluted. A century later, it still offers valuable theoretical resources to propose alternatives to a financialized conception of firms
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Armand Hatchuel, Blanche Segrestin. Henri Fayol et la théorie du chef d’entreprise : une nouvelle figure de l’autorité au tournant du XXe siècle. Entreprises et Histoire, Eska, 2016, 2 (83), pp.108 - 108. ⟨10.3917/eh.083.0108⟩. ⟨hal-01501332⟩

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