Chart 1. NIMS organization chart.
Planning Section Logistics Section Finance/Admin. Section
tion that enhances its members’ management experience and skills
should retain those members longer, as the members will realize
the mutual benefit gains from participating as management.
THEORIES OF MANAGEMENT
Management is a science, and there are many studies on how
management should be conducted. Present and future managers
should study several theories of management and choose a management theory for their department and for their own personal
endeavors. Managers should not manage organizations without
understanding the impacts of the various management theories.
This portion of the article highlights some of the most accepted
Henry Fayol published his “ 14 Principles of Management” in
1916. Fayol is among the most influential contributors to the
modern concept of management, even though many no longer
refer to “The 14 Principles” by name today. These principles are
well suited for the administration of emergency service organizations. Readers will quickly recognize some of these principles, as
they were clearly copied by the developers of the National Incident
Management System (NIMS).
Fayol’s 14 Principles of Management
• Division of work: When employees are specialized, output can
increase because the employees become increasingly skilled and
efficient. Persons become better at preforming fewer tasks than
• Authority: Managers must have the authority to give orders, but
they must also keep in mind that with authority comes respon-
sibility. They must act responsibly and follow up on the tasks
that are assigned by them. “Following up” requires diligence and
• Discipline: Discipline must be upheld in organizations, but the
methods for doing so can vary. Without discipline, there can be
no consequences for negative actions.
• Unity of command: Employees should have only one direct
supervisor. Reporting to more than one supervisor will create
confusion in work priorities and result in competition for time
• Unity of direction: Teams with the same objective should be
working under the direction of one manager using one plan.
This will ensure that goals are clearly defined and the paths to
those goals are properly coordinated.
• Subordination of individual interests to the general interest: The
interests of one employee should not be allowed to become more
important than those of the group. This includes managers. We
all are directed to the same goals.
• Remuneration: Employee satisfaction depends on fair remuneration for everyone; this includes financial and nonfinancial
• Centralization: This principle refers to how close employees are to
the decision-making process. It is important to aim for an appropriate balance. Not everyone can have input into every decision,
but dividing the organization into different concentrated areas
with common goals will permit more people to participate in the
decision-making process in their own realm of authority.
• Scalar chain: Employees should be aware of where they stand in
the organization’s hierarchy or chain of command. They must