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Mary Parker Follett: individualist or collectivist? Or both?

Lori Verstegen Ryan (Terry College of Business Administration, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)
Matthew A. Rutherford (Terry College of Business Administration, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)

Journal of Management History (Archive)

ISSN: 1355-252X

Article publication date: 1 August 2000

Abstract

Mary Parker Follett has been categorized as both an individualist and a collectivist, based on statements in her varied writings over two decades. This paper argues that, instead, Follett approached the issue of the true nature of man using a Hegelian dialectical technique, emerging with a distinct position that merges the best of both extremes into a unique synthesis. While the traditional individualist/collectivist dichotomy still holds sway in much of the management literature, several recent theories that take a perspective similar to Follett’s are discussed. The analysis makes clear that, once again, Follett’s ideas were ahead of their time.

Keywords

Citation

Verstegen Ryan, L. and Rutherford, M.A. (2000), "Mary Parker Follett: individualist or collectivist? Or both?", Journal of Management History (Archive), Vol. 6 No. 5, pp. 207-223. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552520010348362

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited