Exploring the Order Principle of Management in More Detail

Exploring the Order Principle of Management in More Detail

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Syed Aquib Ur
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Senior Executive Content
Updated on Dec 23, 2022 17:59 IST

Henri Fayol’s order principle of management can become quite complex in an organisational context. This blog attempts to help you understand the concept with examples.


The order principle of management is one of the most important tenets of Fayolism. Henri Fayol believes that this principle creates work uniformity, leading to process efficiency. Today, this blog emphasises the order principle of management with what it is not, its types, and importance with examples that you will relate with.

What is the Order Principle of Management?

The order principle of management is the 10th tenet in the 14 principles of management. In Henri Fayol’s words, order is approached the following way –

People and materials must be in suitable places at the appropriate time for maximum efficiency”.

Order in the 14 principles of management is not to be confused to commanding subordinates to achieve tasks. Fayol specifies this aspect in another principle, the Unity of Command principle, which states there should be one supervisor for a team or group (broadly falling under the concept of span of management).

Order can be better understood as a controlling function. It means that whatever material or process there is, in a formal organisation, should have a specified place. If there is any deviation, the managerial division must control it, i.e., bring it back to order. 

When there is order, there are no obstacles in completing tasks. This means, the employee will not have issues with productivity. 

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Types of Orders with Examples

According to Fayol, there are two types of orders. 

Material Order

Material order refers to the physical resources available in an organisation. What this means is that there should be a predetermined or fixed space for materials. It should not be displaced. 

In terms of manufacturing or similar industries, the material order plays a significant role in the day-to-day operations. The equipment must have a proper area to function. 

Also, there are many other parallel streams of thought associated with material order. For instance, the location of a warehouse should be close to the distributor/customer and the manufacturing unit. Even the warehouse needs dedicated areas for operations to function with efficiency. Just skim through warehouse management for that. 

You can even equate the material order to an office setting. The arrangement of workspaces as transparent partitions for employees and seniors are highly adopted in many modern organisations today, mostly because they comply with the material order. 

Social Order

Social order refers to having the right person for the right task. This means that there must be a clearly defined role for a specific task. 

The social order, in fact, describes how the three levels of management work in an organisation. 

You can say that social order also refers to the necessary creation of hierarchy in an organisation where authority goes down from top to bottom, and responsibility and accountability becomes higher as one moves up from bottom to top. 

Having a social order in an organisation also means that the human resources department is largely responsible for hiring the right talents who can work in a team. If they leave, the HR department must replace with an equally capable employee to avoid any disruption in the social order. 

It is because of this social order that organisations can successfully thrive in a business environment that is always changing and uncertain. 

Importance of the Order Principle of Management

Order is necessary for creating efficiency in every process. An employee who is hired for a particular role should be asked to complete tasks associated with their role only. If one is given to do tasks outside their role, there will a wastage of resources and time. 

With the right order at place, the company will not have to waste resources. Think about it this way, if there is no defined structure, it would be hard for both the organisation and the employee. 

There can be chances where the employee feels they are not paid equally for the additional tasks they have to do when there is no appropriate personnel. Such a haphazard structure shows there are no proper administrative policies at place, nor will there be any sense of belongingness for the employee. Eventually they will leave the job, which will cost the organisation more to find a newer employee.

Summing it all, to create efficiency, improve productivity and remove delays, order is necessary. 

Parting Thoughts

This was all about the order principle of management as described by Henri Fayol in his administrative management theory, aka 14 principles of management. While there are many debates about using all his principles in the modern context, almost all of them are applicable to running an organisation today. 

About the Author
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Senior Executive Content

Aquib is a seasoned wordsmith, having penned countless blogs for Indian and international brands. These days, he's all about digital marketing and core management subjects - not to mention his unwavering commitment ... Read Full Bio