Mary Parker Follett

John Child

in The Oxford Handbook of Management Theorists

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199585762
Published online April 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

Mary Parker Follett

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Mary Parker Follett (1868–1933) was an American pioneer of thinking about management, whose contributions remain more relevant than most to the challenges of the present day. This article begins by presenting an overview of her life, noting the principal events and activities that were formative for her thinking. Then, it addresses the key themes in her thinking that are relevant to management. These are concerned with the process of managing and the role of management in society. The themes can be grouped into the centrality of relationship, constructive conflict, core processes of management, and business and society. The discussion suggests that there is a systemic theoretical perspective underlying Follett’s thinking on these issues, a perspective centred on the proposition that a recognition of the situation in which people find themselves can provide the basis for them to work together constructively and without being subject to coercive power.

Keywords: constructive conflict; core management processes; management roles; management thinking; Mary Parker Follett

Article.  9885 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Business History

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