The Administration is a social science whose mission is the study of human organizations and the various techniques for the control, direction, organization and planning of the resources involved in them, such as: human, financial, material, technological resources, etc. This in order to maximize the benefits obtained and the effectiveness of the organization, in accordance with its established goals and aspirations.
Administration is usually understood as the conglomerate of necessary processes to ideally systematize a human organization, making it possible to apply its precepts to all types of companies, countries, institutions, corporations, households and social entities, both public and private, regardless of their role.
Stages of the administrative process
For this, the Administration integrates four main processes:
- Planning. This process attends to the mission and vision that underpin the origin of the managed company or institution, taking into account its strengths and weaknesses (SWOT analysis) and the ideal projection of future processes.
- Organization. It constitutes the functional hierarchy of the organization, distributing responsibilities and stipulating the needs of both human and material resources, etc. that respond to the business or institutional design to be pursued.
- Address. It is about the ability to influence or persuade the individuals who operate in the organization through leadership, to lead them along more efficient, more beneficial paths or simply to stimulate their productivity.
- Control. It is based on the analysis of the results and their comparison with the objectives set as a goal, in order to refine the necessary elements to correctly direct human efforts at a strategic, tactical and operational level.
Despite the existence of numerous trends and theoretical schools of management science, this social science is normally expected to meet the following characteristics:
- Universality. The administrative precepts should be applicable to any social organism that humanity can produce, regardless of its characteristics and specific contexts of a political, economic, cultural or any other nature. It is a science that operates on processes and techniques, so it should be universally applicable to all types of human institutions.
- Specificity. Although it is a universal science, the Administration cannot pretend to impose models without taking into account the specific characteristics of what will be administered. Thus, she is expected to investigate, learn, know and then design, plan and coordinate a successful management model, which at the same time meets its universal precepts and which is adjusted to the particular of the case.
- Temporary unit. The various administrative processes are studied separately, but they all occur in unison, so that they are not successive and independent stages but rather a process that is constantly occurring and feedback. Coordination is not abandoned by planning, for example.
- Hierarchical unit. All the members of a social organization participate, to a greater or lesser extent, in the same and unique administration process, which comprises all of them and responds to the division of labor in a hierarchy of command with bosses and subordinates.
- Instrumental value. Any exercise of administration is necessarily a means to an end and not a means by itself.
- Interdisciplinarity. To fulfill its tasks, the administration draws on knowledge from other disciplines such as mathematics, law, statistics, economics, accounting, sociology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy and political science.
- Flexibility. All administrative precepts are adaptable to the nature of the companies and the cases they must attend to. This allows it to retain its specificity and its universality at the same time.
The 14 principles of administration
The research of the engineer and theorist of the administration Henry Fayol in managerial and business matters sought to achieve a systemic, global and universal approach to companies, for which he designed the fourteen principles basic principles of administration, the application of which in any company or human institution would have to lead to very high rates of efficiency in its task.
These principles are as follows:
- Division of labour. In an organization, not everyone can carry out the same work, since it is necessary to attend to different aspects of it and the way to go to the goal. The separation of responsibilities and specification of the tasks of each member or employee allow to advance in different ways at the same time and to centralize the energies of each one in their corresponding task, thus gaining time and efficiency at work.
- Authority. From the presence of authority in an organization, that is, from the construction of a chain of command, responsibility will arise and the commitment to respond for individual or group actions will not be diluted in the possibility that each person has a different opinion and undertakes on your own account the actions you consider.
- Discipline. Respect for authority and the chain of command is a necessary character in the proper functioning of a human organization. This should not necessarily be interpreted as a martial or military relationship, but the instructions emanating from figures with more authority and responsibility must certainly be followed.
- Unity of command. Each individual in the organization must receive orders from a single superior, since the contradictions or juxtapositions in the orders and instructions would place him in a difficult position, having to choose which boss to listen to and which one not to, which would lead to the division of the company. business unit.
- Steering unit. The management of the organization as such must respond to a single plan of action, led by the administrator in charge, and must advance as a whole in the same direction, without contradictions, deviations and losses. If all members pursue the same overall goal, they will move more quickly and efficiently in that same direction.
- Subordination of individual interests to group interests. This principle is fundamental for the constitution of an organizational unit and identity, whatever its nature, since the individuals who work in it must put the benefit of the whole, the achievement of the general objectives common to all, before those of your own personal agenda. This would prevent corruption, for example.
- Remuneration. Any individual whose efforts contribute to the achievement of the organization’s objective should receive fair compensation for their efforts, which translates into salaries, benefits and other acquired rights for the workers of a company, for example.
- Centralization. The optimal degree of centralization in an organization is one that allows the chain of command to operate effectively without bureaucratizing or making “bottle peaks” in decision-making, in which you must wait for the approval of your superior for the slightest effort .
- Hierarchy. The organization’s chain of command must be visible, clearly defined and adhered to. From the highest to the lowest rungs, every individual must know his place in the hierarchy and respect it.
- Ordering. The different resources necessary for the operation of the organization must be in the place and time when they are necessary and not another.
- Equity. Leadership in an organization must be exercised in an equitable and humane way, not despotic and selfish. Otherwise, the commitment of the subordinates will be lost.
- Stability in staff. The constant changes in personnel harm the organization because each new individual must learn to do his job again and will not grow in it, since he will be replaced by another and so on, preventing the growth of the whole.
- Initiative. The freedom of subordinates is vital for their motivation, so an organization must accommodate new ideas, improvisation and initiative, otherwise it would castrate the desire for entrepreneurship of its staff and, incidentally, lose potential good ideas.
- Esprit de corps. In order to have a good work environment, team conscience must be cultivated and all the members that compose it must be considered essential. Coordinated and peer work is always more motivating than despotic.