Mary Parker Follett - Greatest Consultant of All Time (1868-1933)

David M. Boje, Ph.D. (September 3, 2001) -

MAIN Site Fathers and Mother of Management - webmaster

Mary Parker Follett applied philosophy to her consulting practice, during the hey day of Scientific Management and Taylorism.  Both Follett and Taylor believed that by an analysis of the situation, we can come to a better understanding of managing and organizing. The difference is that Follett involved the workers (and unions) in the situation analysis, not just management (or their experts).  Through a set of concepts we would now call quite "postmodern," Follett brought about a new understanding of the system in which both management and workers participate.

Follett refused, as we have illustrated, to reify dualities. She used concepts such as
interpenetrating, to get beyond them versus us and other dichotomies. She was able to get both management and labor to look at
how work categories were reified. She asked, why not share the accounting and performance data with labor? In this way
traditional boundaries get blurred, and workers learn the numbers that management keeps hidden in its files. It is once again the
joint analysis of the situation that has the potential to explore the reification process. For Follett power is not "real." It is a construct.
And for Clegg if people treat the subjective as real then the consequences become real (See Boje & Rosile).


Boje & Rosile's (2001) "Where's the Power in Empowerment: Follett meets Clegg" was published in in  Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, March, 2001, Vol. 37(1): 90-117. 

Boje & Dennehy Managing in Postmodern World - Chapter on Follett, Fayol, Weber, and Taylor. See Chap 2 

Albie M. Davis, "Liquid Leadership: The Wisdom of Mary Parker Follett (1868 - 1933)" (August 1997) 

Mary Parker Follett and the Learning Organization - Essay 

"Mary Parker Follett: Visionary Genius Finds her Own Time" by John F. Horne III; 

Matthew Shapiro, Sketch Biography of Author Mary Parker Follett (Dec 1996) 

Creating a Global Neighborhood: Mary Parker Follett Responds to David Korten by Paul C. Godfrey BYU 


Follett's Ghost, Mary Parker Follett So-Called Admirers .A draft essay on Mary Parker Follett and her so-called admirers, on how some overconfident academics divert students away from a truer understanding of Mary Parker Follett 

Amazon Books you can order 

Follett, Mary Parker (1918). The New State: Group Organization And The Solution Of Popular Government. London: Longmans, Green, and Co. 

Follett, Mary Parker (1951). Creative Experience. New York: Peter Smith. 

Urwick and Fox's Dynamic Administration: the collected papers of Mary Parker Follett

Recommended Sites for Managing Scholars