Follett, Mary Parker

Follett, Mary Parker

(1868–1933) social worker, management theorist; born in Quincy, Mass. She graduated summa cum laude from Radcliffe College in 1898. In the next decade she founded several Boston boys' and young men's clubs, including the Roxbury League, which pioneered the use of schools as community centers. A believer in using community organizations to foster understanding among different social and occupational groups, she proposed in The New State (1918) that community-based groups rather than political parties underpin democratic political organization. Vocational guidance work with the Boston school board and elsewhere led her to industry. In her later years she wrote and lectured widely on industrial relations and management, propounding an advanced theory of management based on the motivation and coordination of group process and laying the groundwork for modern management practices. She coined the terms "togetherness" and "group thinking." After 1924 she lived and worked in England.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.