Administrative management focuses on the management process and principles of management. In contrast to scientific management, which deals largely with jobs and work at the individual level of analysis, administrative management provides a more general theory of management. Henri Fayol is the major contributor to this school of management thought.
Fayol was a management practitioner who brought his experience to bear on the subject of management functions and principles. He argued that management was a universal process consisting of functions, which he termed planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. Fayol believed that all managers performed these functions and that the functions distinguished management as a separate discipline of study apart from accounting, finance, and production. Fayol also presented fourteen principles of management, which included maxims related to the division of work, authority and responsibility, unity of command and direction, centralization, subordinate initiative, and team spirit.
Although administrative management has been criticized as being rigid and inflexible and the validity of the functional approach to management has been questioned, this school of thought still influences management theory and practice. The functional approach to management is still the dominant way of organizing management knowledge, and many of Fayol's principles of management, when applied with the flexibility that he advocated, are still considered relevant.