In spite of a well-crafted selection of essays from Mary Parker Follett's lectures and writings, it is unfortunate that the subtitle of this text may be misleading. The significance of this publication is not that Follett wrote in the 1920's -- or even that she was a prophet of what has been discovered in management to date. The significance of this text is that it may help the reflective practitioner and theoretician create the future of management on a more sound footing than we have accomplished throughout most of this century. As Peter F. Drucker, Warren Bennis and others have pointed out, Follett developed her approach to management on a fundamentally different assumptive base than did her contemporaries. What remains to be articulated is the fundamental character of that contrast and their implications. These questions will not be answered in the commentaries, but there is an implicit invitation to consider the issues. One may find that Follett's assumptions anticipate our own time in its complexity, turbulence, and uncertainty, more adequately than most writers or practitioners who are currently grappling with these sorts of issues. If you are a reflective practitioner or a theoretician, and wish a leg-up on the future, this is a good place to start.
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