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Mary Parker Follett

Born: 3-Sep-1868
Birthplace: Boston, MA
Died: 18-Dec-1933
Location of death: Boston, MA
Cause of death: Illness

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Business, Sociologist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Community centers and conflict resolution

Mary Parker Follett was among the first recognized experts on industrial management and labor relations. She first volunteered as a children's rights activist in Boston, then worked to pass pioneering legislation allowing the after-hours use of public schools as community centers. She worked with the Women’s Municipal League to enact minimum wage laws, and her 1918 book The New State advocated an idealized neighborhood-based democracy. Through her later books and lectures she was largely responsible for the gradual adoption of a more humane management style in American business and government, favoring increased worker participation in decision-making instead of the dominant hierarchical authority structures which had been the norm. Her theory of management encouraged a fair hearing of disputes and saw diversity of opinion as a positive, not negative factor, for which she is sometimes remembered as the "mother of conflict resolution". She was cited as a key influence by management consultant Peter Drucker.

    High School: Thayer Academy, Braintree, MA
    University: Newnham College, Cambridge University (attended)
    University: BA, Radcliffe College (1898)
    Teacher: Business Administrtion, London School of Economics (1933)

    National Community Center Association VP (1917-18)
    Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women
    Women's Municipal League

Author of books:
The Speaker of the House of Representatives (1896)
The New State: Group Organization, the Solution of Popular Government (1918)
The Creative Experience (1924)
Dynamic Administration (1941, posthumous)
Freedom & Co-ordination (1949, posthumous)

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