Introducing Fayol’s Four Functions.

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Fayol’s four functions 3


Fayol’s Management functions


The apple company is an international electronic items manufacturer, which deals with the production and distribution of mobile phones, laptops, tablets and other electronic devices. Since its foundation, the company has been experiencing massive growth and expansion in its services (Daft, 2012). This is in the returns that are made and the reach that the company has continuously made over the world. Steve Jobs founded the company and it has climbed the ladder to become one of the most renowned companies in the world. Its production is focused to meet the demands of the high-end market of the world.

Nokia is on the other hand a mobile phone producer and distributor. Unlike the Apple Company, it focuses on the serving of the people from the lower end market (Data monitor, 2000.). The Nokia Company has similarly been in operation in the market for a considerable period. The returns however that are made by the company have been dwindling and reducing

Company background

The reason behind the selection of the Apple Company as a profitable venture is the returns and the profitability levels that it has elicited over the recent years. According to the wall Street journal, it is listed as one of the top twenty most profitable companies in the world (Patrick, 2000). This is based on the revenues and the profits that it makes in a given financial year. In the financial year 2014 for example, it recorded a record high gross profit margin of 42%. This is inherent and attributed to the increase in the sales and especially so the smart phone sales. The distinctive unique feature and high quality of the Apple products sets them apart from the other products in the market. With this also, the company has also received massive following across the world and there has been the development of a stream of loyal customers of the company in the world.

On the other hand, Nokia has been regarded as a less successful company due to the falls in the profitability. The increase in the global levels of the usage of the smart phones has generated a neck break competition among the manufacturers in the creation of a product that will be pleasing to the consumers (Hitt etal, 2012). This however took Nokia by storm and it has not been able to well rise from the shadows of its previous past.

Fayol’s four managerial functions

According to Henry Fayol, there are four main functions that the management of the given organization should fulfil this is in line with the attainment of the goals that have been set by a given company (Kimmel etal, 2009). In the case of the two companies, the decisions that have been made by the management have impacted mostly on their performance. According to Fayol, the key functions of the management are;

  1. Planning

  2. Organizational structure

  3. Controlling

The companies therefore have the management decisions based on the above functions. The definitions of the above listed statements can be given as shown below;

  1. Planning

This is the process of setting the rules and procedures of a given entity for a certain period. This is therefore the setting and the determination of the best plans that can be put to use by the company over a given period. Managerial planning has the impact of directing the flow of the operations of a given company over a given period. Both Apple and Nokia have set up plans of the things that they want to undertake over a given period. This is exemplified by the budgets that have been set by the two companies as to the usage and the incomes levels that are expected over the set period. The Apple Company has in its plans focused on product diversification and expansion (Jason, 2009). This is in order to get into new markets and to attract more customers to the consumption of their products. In the case of the Nokia Company, it has based its attention on the increase in the production numbers. This is despite the high stockpile ups that exist at the warehouses. Increase in the product diversification and the sourcing of new markets aids in the creation of a new market for the products of a given company. This has aided in the expansion of the Apple Company. In the case of Nokia, it has increased its production capacity despite the slow moving stocks that it has at its stores (Robbins and Mary, 2005). This therefore results to the increase in the costs of storage and production. On the other hand, there are little or no additional sales from the existing markets. This is what has played a part in the dwindling performance of the company.

  1. Leadership

Leadership involves the giving of directions by the top most management to the subordinates and the staff and the setting clear of the path that they should follow in their undertaking of given tasks. A leader should lead from the front. Steve Jobs had done so in the Apple Company. This was been through the motivation that he offered as a person to the staff. He had come out not to become the office leader but rather the team leader of the Apple Group (Robbins and Mary, 2012). This was where he works with the staff and people around him to create a product that will influence the world at large. In the case of Nokia, the top management team can be described as an office based management. This is where they delegate the tasks to be done without necessarily getting involved with the tasks themselves in person (Steinbock, 2001). This therefore has created a sense of separation and gap between the top management and the staff of the company. Through this therefore, the people who make up the staff do not interact with the management in n easy or simple manner.

  1. The organizational structure

The organizational structure of a given company determines the outcomes that are going to be made or derived from the operations of a given company. This is therefore, the unique way in which a company handles its activities and how it runs its operations in order to create a sense of direction and control in the undertakings. Organizational structure also determines how a given company fits into the market in which it serves and the yielding of better results from the operations. Both companies have an organization structure that is in line with their operations. The Nokia company structure allows for its presence in the low income countries and markets (Steinbock, 2010). Through this it fits in through such things as the low product pricing and the other added benefits that the customer derive from the sales. On the other hand, the Apple Company structure allows it to fit into the markets comprised of high income people. With this, its degree of brand superiority and high quality make it to fit in the market. This is for the better of the performance of the two companies.

  1. Managerial control

This is the ability of the management to have a say and sense of direction in the ongoing and the proceedings of the company. Management control is crucial in that it creates a sense of leadership among the people and the management. It is through this that the management is able to replicate the values that it intends to, to the people making up the staff. Control is characterised by the ability to make decisions that are obeyed and respected by all the people in the organizational set up. In both the case of Apple and Nokia, the top management have utmost control over the happenings and the undertakings in the market. Through this, the companies are able to move in the directions that are deemed as being fruitful by the management (Patrick, 2000). This is for the better of the performance of the companies. The lack of control results to the existence of discord and disunity among the people who make up the management of the company. Through the management having utmost control over the businesses and the companies, they will be able to build and develop a lasting culture among the people who make up the staff and the personnel of the company. This will be for the better of the company.


In conclusion, the management of any company has a vital role that it plays in the seeing to it that the company is moving in the direction that it has been set to follow. This is through the setting of goals and objectives that direct the people as to the way they should follow and as to the best framework of activities. As described by Henry Fayol, there are distinctive management functions that are depicted by the management of a given company. This will aid in the creation of a sense of direction in the company (Jason, 2009). The management functions that have been pointed out include planning, organizing, leading, controlling ad the organizational structure. All this have an impact on the individual lives of the people not only inside the organizations but also outside. The outside parties are mainly made up of the customers of the products of the company. The management should therefore make decisions that will work towards the general good of all the stakeholders in a given market of operation.


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Kimmel, S, Wyck, G and Rob S. 2009. Management. Chatsworth, CA: Image Entertainment.

Jason D. 2009. Apple Inc. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.

Robbins, S and Mary K. 2005. Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Robbins, S, and Mary K. 2012. Management. Boston: Prentice Hall.

Steinbock, D. 2001. The Nokia revolution: the story of an extraordinary company that transformed an industry. New York: AMACOM.

Steinbock, D. 2010. Winning across global markets how Nokia creates strategic advantage in a fast-changing world. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.