i3, une unité mixte de recherche CNRS (UMR 9217)

Institut Interdisciplinaire de l'Innovation

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“Le Traité et la Notice Relire Fayol avec Fayol” by Armand Hatchuel and Blanche Segrestin
Posted on 8 December 2020

Before writing his famous Treatise, Henri Fayol was a leader, innovator and scientist who considered scientific research as a major responsibility of the head of a company. He explains this at length in his 1918 Notice des travaux scientifiques et techniques, a forgotten text but one in which Fayol gives us a major interpretation of his administrative theory,    

For Fayol, science had become the engine of the new industrial world, but it also created a new relationship to the future, and to the unknown that was to be at the center of a new administrative science. A new administrative science that now inevitably included the administration of the production of science and thus the production of discoveries and inventions.

Far from being universal and banal, its administrative doctrine thus appears to be composed of original notions (foresight, the unknown, program of action, improvement, constitution of the social body) which aim precisely at making visible and leading the creative and solidary collective dynamic that, in its eyes, the modern enterprise should be. 

Fayol can thus think of a new entrepreneur and his action, with a language of a very great generality that is surprising, especially because it corresponds neither to the language of business nor to the political economy of his time.

It is from the legacy of the Enlightenment and from the political and social philosophy that he draws to elaborate a model that we call "creative/political" of the action of the business leader as opposed to the rational/legal model of the bureaucracy.

 Fayolian administrative theory marks a major turning point, even if its message was later trivialized. It announces the most recent developments on the innovative company and the responsible company. To discover the book, click here.

Blanche Segrestin, director at CGS Mines ParisTech, works on company theory, collective innovation capacities and modes of governance. She has notably published Innovation and inter-company cooperation.

Armand Hatchuel is a professor at the CGS Mines ParisTech, civil engineer and doctor of the École des Mines de Paris (1973 and 1983). Professor (exceptional class) at Mines ParisTech, Co-Head of the Chair of Theory and Methods of Innovative Design. Visiting Professor at Chalmers University (Goteborg) and at the Stockholm School of Economics (1999-2007).

Teaching :

  • Management Sciences;
  • Theory and Mathematics of Design;
  • Statistics;
  • Industrial history;
  • Epistemology of Management Sciences.

Research :

  • Deputy Director of the Scientific Management Center of Mines-ParisTech (1997-2013);
  • Founding co-chair of the Design theory special group of the Design Society (2008-2013);
  • Responsible for the doctoral training in management sciences (1997-2010).