The Mary Parker Follett Network

Unity, not uniformity, must be our aim. - MPF

Dear all,


At the foot of page 288 in Dynamic Administration, MPF comments, "A few weeks ago I read H. G. Wells' last novel, which is not so much a novel as an arraignment of our present civilization, and in the last chapter he gives his hope for the future."

Does anyone know which novel she may have been citing?  Alternatively, the paper/talk is 

Chapter XIII, SOME DISCREPANCIES IN LEADERSHIP THEORY AND PRACTICE.  If anyone knows when she wrote that piece (pr gave that talk) then I could track it down that way...

I am writing my literature review for a Dissertation on Applied Followership and - so far - astonished that I have not found any references to MPF so would hope, with your help, to right that wrong.

Many thanks in anticipation,



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Hi David,

I wonder if the novel may have been “Meanwhile”, which was published in 1927? I think Mary Follett gave the lecture in March 1928 (Dynamic Administration p270). The novel includes the hero propounding the notion that a Great Age is bound to come and goes on to describe the British political situation of the time leading up to The Great Strike in Britain in 1926.

She ended her February 1933 lecture (to the new management faculty of the London School of Economics), "The Process of Control” (Freedom and Authority”, Ed L. Urwick, pub 1949, Management Publications Ltd, London, p89) with another quote from HG Wells,

“...I cannot do better than end with some words written by Wells long ago in the first chapter of The New Machiavelli. “It is”, he said, “the old appeal indeed for the unification of human effort and the ending of confusion....The last written dedication of all those I burnt last night was to no single man, but to the socially constructive passion - in any man"

Surely with the world in its present condition we have ask before us which may indeed appeal to the constructive passion in any man - in every man."

I wonder whether and if so, how well, Mary Follett and HG Wells knew each other? They seem to have had interestingly similar views and concerns. Beatrice Webb who co-founded the LSE described “Meanwhile” as “an inspiring essay”. Several of Wells’ novels seem quite autobiographical and didactic. A leading character in "The New Machiavelli” may include elements one of of Well's mistresses, Amber Reeves, who studied at Newnham College a few years after Mary Follett was there.  Wikipedia is quite helpful about Wells and his writing.

Thank you Jonathan, that is extremely helpful.

I suspect you are correct in suspecting a didactic element to Well's novels.  What fascinating dinner companions he and MPF would have been.

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