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MARY PARKER FOLLETT Born 1868 near Boston, Mass Well to do family Attended Radcliffe/Harvard “Gaunt Bostonian spinster” Fluent in German and French Lived.

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Presentation on theme: "MARY PARKER FOLLETT Born 1868 near Boston, Mass Well to do family Attended Radcliffe/Harvard “Gaunt Bostonian spinster” Fluent in German and French Lived."— Presentation transcript:

1 MARY PARKER FOLLETT Born 1868 near Boston, Mass Well to do family Attended Radcliffe/Harvard “Gaunt Bostonian spinster” Fluent in German and French Lived with her “long time companion” Five Books

2 Acolades Peter Drucker “The brightest star in the management firmament” “Prophet of Management” Warren Bennis “Swashbuckling advance scout of management thinking” Rosabeth Moss Kanter “Reading Mary Parker Follett is like entering a zone of calm in a sea of chaos”

3 “Non Person” - Drucker Gender Her ideas, concepts, and precepts were being rejected in the 1930s and 1940s

4 FIVE BOOKS 1896 The Speaker of the House of Representatives 1918 The New State – Group Organization, the Solution for Popular Government 1924 Creative Experience (1933 Died) 1941 Dynamic Administration – The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett 1949 Freedom and Coordination

5 The Speaker of the House of Representatives (1896) Researched and written while still a college student Examines the methods used by effective Speakers to exert their power and influence Reviewed by Teddy Roosevelt (then head of the NYC Board of Police Commissioners). He called it indispensable reading for any study of Congress

6 The New State (1944) Advocated the replacement of bureaucratic institutions by group networks in which the people themselves analyzed their problems and then produced and implemented their own solutions Book critically acclaimed in both US and England MPF asked to be on several Boards (arbitration boards, minimum wage boards, public tribunals, etc.) These experiences allowed MPF to examine the politics of industrial relations

7 Creative Experience (1924) Circular Response and Integrative Behavior We react not only to the other party but also to the relationship that exists between us, thus creating in part our own response.

8 Dynamic Administration (1941) Compilation of lectures given in New York at the annual Bureau of Personnel Administration meetings Demonstrated how the ideas that contributed to a strong and healthy society could also contribute to a creative and successful business organization. Constructive Conflict Power Authority Leadership

9 Freedom and Coordination (1949) Compilation of lectures given in London at the London School of Economics Profoundly interested in the individual in society and how one could attain personal fulfillment while striving at the same time to create a well-ordered and just society Most developed of her ideas

10 Circular Response Example is a game of tennis How you return the ball depends partly on how I hit the ball, which depends somewhat on how you hit it previously I respond not only to you, but also to the relation between you and me Good managers need to anticipate the response of their employees

11 Conflict Three ways to resolve Conflict Domination Compromise Integration

12 Constructive Conflict Don’t ask who is right in a conflict The proper response is to assume that both sides are right, but to different questions Integrate both positions into a new and different answer that satisfies what each side considers right The end result is not victory or even compromise, but Integration of Interests

13 Advantages of Integration Integration creates something new “Difference itself is not pathological” Leads to permanent solutions

14 Steps to Integration Identify the differences – face the issues Evaluation leads to revaluation Break each side’s demands into parts

15 Obstacles to Integration Requires intelligence, perception, discrimination, and above all a brilliant inventiveness Some people enjoy domination Undue influence of leaders Lack of training in integration

16 Constructive Conflict “Treat the conflict as a joint problem and work together to find its solution. Begin by making costless exchanges: what is essential for the other party may be unimportant for you. Always avoid an either–or situation, maintain an open mind, step outside the problem, be inventive. Little by little, as the joint field of vision is clarified, the true demands are uncovered and the moment comes when a solution emerges that meets your respective needs. Outside solutions – even sensible proposals introduced by well-meaning onlookers – will not succeed. The involved parties themselves, according to Follett, must find their own solution.”Pauline Graham

17 Power “Power Over vs. Power With” How to Reduce Power Over –Integration –“Law of the Situation” –Make businesses more of a functional unity Open knowledge

18 Giving Orders Disadvantages of arbitrary commands –Breaks initiative –Discourages self reliance –Lowers self respect Ways to give orders –Depersonalize - Law of the situation –Replace orders by teaching the techniques of a job –Give reasons with the order –All employees should know the purpose of the firm

19 Authority Strive for management with authority “all down the line” Replace “ultimate authority” (by the CEO) with “cumulative authority”

20 Leadership Prerequisites for Leadership –Thorough knowledge of the job –Ability to grasp the total situation –One who can organize the experience of the group and thus get the full power of the group –Vision for the future; Anticipate change Leadership can be learned

21 Criticisms Lack of experience in industry A “dreamy idealist” –A social philosopher Lacked empirical data

22 Quotes “Unlike politicians, economists, and academics, businesspeople were doers.” Creative Experience, p. 17 “Fear of difference is fear of life itself. It is possible to conceive of conflict as not necessarily a wasteful outbreak of incompatibilities but a normal process by which socially valuable differences register themselves for the enrichment of all.” Creative Experience, p. 301

23 Quotes Not “power over,” but “power with” Dynamic Administration “If your business is so organized that you can influence a co-manager while he is influencing you; so organized that a worker has an opportunity of influencing you as you have of influencing him; if there is an interactive influence going on all the time, power-with may be built up.” Dynamic Administration, p. 76


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