The Mary Parker Follett Network

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

Hello all,

I have recently discovered the works of MPF and subsequently this network. Both have provided some lightbulb moments in the doctoral work that I am currently engaged in and I would welcome some comments on the ideas that I am playing with. The main strand of my thinking is the consideration of positive ideas of power as opposed to the more dominant theories based on notions of domination and conflict. This desire to explore and acknowledge different approaches to understanding power in relationships in part stems from my experiences of working with supportive groups during my career and teaching on strategy as a more emergent and adaptive activity.
The brightest lightbulb in helping to make sense of how I explore the organic companies that I have been talking to came from MPF's notion of 'power with' and the alignment of motivation. This seems to be the crux of the relationships that I am looking at and the way that power forms the context of communication. The shared philosophy that links many, though not all, organic companies offers an alignment of motivation even where companies would normally form links in a linear supply chain. Therefore, it would be very interesting to hear from others in this network, particularly if you have ideas of power, or examples, that would add to the discussion.

thanks for reading

Paul

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Very important theme, Paul. I recall from doctoral classes I was in last spring my frustration with the way that the term "power" was being used, i.e., as if it was a commodity. "We can't change the system...they have the power!" I think it's more than semantics, because it points to deep assumptions about social relationships, creativity, and decision-making. I contend that nine times out of ten, when people say "power," they actually mean "control." Taking a cue from Follett, and backed up by Hannah Arendt, I offer this four-fold framework for consideration:

Force is sheer motive energy applied to a task; it might be mental or physical energy.
Control is the position or ability to direct the available force, to allocate available resources.
Authority is control that has been granted to one by others, directly or indirectly.
Power is the creative potential of a person or a group or a system.

I note Arendt because she believed - see her book "On Violence" - that (authentic) power and violence were inversely correlated. So one might say that a society like what prevails in the United States is forceful but limited in its potential power (power as creative potential, always a good thing) because of its level of violence, which is in turn related to its tendency to encourage the objectification of self and others. And that lowers its authority in the world (which comes, as Obama notes, from credibility). One thing that saves the U.S. from being more powerless than it is, is the freedom it (we) allows to self-organize and express, which gives new, creative relation a chance to emerge.

Just food for thought.
The four-fold framework is a really interesting way of considering the relationships between the terms that you have identified and is very helpful in contextualising power. I like your sense of power being perceived as a commodity as it chimes with my reading of many views that seem to emphasise the degree of authority and control and discount the potential for more positive interpretations around relationships. Within a management context this has probably been best articulated by French & Raven's categorisations which are commonly accepted as they make sense for organisational structures that have a hierarchical base. If however, power is considered as an activity as opposed to a commodity then the basis of collaborative activity is far more attractive. Indeed, the way in which people interact then becomes the focal point as your analogy of the US illustrates. From a European perspective, one of the attractions of the Obama presidency is the potential for an engaged relationship with other parts of the world as opposed to the more unilateral mindset that has typified most of the last decade. Taking MPF's idea of alignment of motivation as a cue here it would appear that part of the stumbling block is the degree to which there may need to be a delegation of authority and control in order for power to be shared. The conundrum at a national level is echoed down the levels to organisational and social structures. Maybe the ideal of alignment is the aim, with a realisation that it will occur at times, where a shared philosophy exists, rather than as a matter of course.
Apologies for the length of the ramble but it is really helpful to have a forum such as this as it provides stimulating ideas and an opportunity to structure my thoughts. Thanks as well for the suggestion of looking at Arendt as I have come across the name but not read any material. Part of the problem with considering Power is there are plenty of people to read and only so much time and space to include. This is why MPF has been such an exciting discovery as her work articulates a lot of the views that I feel deserve a wider airing and discussion.


Matthew Shapiro said:
Very important theme, Paul. I recall from doctoral classes I was in last spring my frustration with the way that the term "power" was being used, i.e., as if it was a commodity. "We can't change the system...they have the power!" I think it's more than semantics, because it points to deep assumptions about social relationships, creativity, and decision-making. I contend that nine times out of ten, when people say "power," they actually mean "control." Taking a cue from Follett, and backed up by Hannah Arendt, I offer this four-fold framework for consideration:

Force is sheer motive energy applied to a task; it might be mental or physical energy.
Control is the position or ability to direct the available force, to allocate available resources.
Authority is control that has been granted to one by others, directly or indirectly.
Power is the creative potential of a person or a group or a system.

I note Arendt because she believed - see her book "On Violence" - that (authentic) power and violence were inversely correlated. So one might say that a society like what prevails in the United States is forceful but limited in its potential power (power as creative potential, always a good thing) because of its level of violence, which is in turn related to its tendency to encourage the objectification of self and others. And that lowers its authority in the world (which comes, as Obama notes, from credibility). One thing that saves the U.S. from being more powerless than it is, is the freedom it (we) allows to self-organize and express, which gives new, creative relation a chance to emerge.

Just food for thought.
Relevant to your point about the "how" of shifting to the creative notion of power is another framework, one that I will credit to my colleague and friend, Alexander Christakis (a democratic management consultant/facilitator). As Christakis is Greek, this carries extra poignancy:

We speak of democracy, or "demokratos" (literally, power of the people). But there are two other pieces to the picture that form a great triad, which must be in place for the demokratos to mean anything. The other two are "demosophia" (wisdom of the people) and "syzitisis" (searching together). Without some means for doing syzitisis, there can be no emergence of demosophia, and we cannot grow the authentic demokratos. And without demosophia, the available demokratos will be impoverished. But we can't get to syzitisis unless there is some demokratos to allow such interaction to occur in the first place. So the three legs all support each other, and grow together.

M.

Paul Davies said:
The four-fold framework is a really interesting way of considering the relationships between the terms that you have identified and is very helpful in contextualising power. I like your sense of power being perceived as a commodity as it chimes with my reading of many views that seem to emphasise the degree of authority and control and discount the potential for more positive interpretations around relationships. Within a management context this has probably been best articulated by French & Raven's categorisations which are commonly accepted as they make sense for organisational structures that have a hierarchical base. If however, power is considered as an activity as opposed to a commodity then the basis of collaborative activity is far more attractive. Indeed, the way in which people interact then becomes the focal point as your analogy of the US illustrates. From a European perspective, one of the attractions of the Obama presidency is the potential for an engaged relationship with other parts of the world as opposed to the more unilateral mindset that has typified most of the last decade. Taking MPF's idea of alignment of motivation as a cue here it would appear that part of the stumbling block is the degree to which there may need to be a delegation of authority and control in order for power to be shared. The conundrum at a national level is echoed down the levels to organisational and social structures. Maybe the ideal of alignment is the aim, with a realisation that it will occur at times, where a shared philosophy exists, rather than as a matter of course.
Apologies for the length of the ramble but it is really helpful to have a forum such as this as it provides stimulating ideas and an opportunity to structure my thoughts. Thanks as well for the suggestion of looking at Arendt as I have come across the name but not read any material. Part of the problem with considering Power is there are plenty of people to read and only so much time and space to include. This is why MPF has been such an exciting discovery as her work articulates a lot of the views that I feel deserve a wider airing and discussion.
Matthew Shapiro said:
Very important theme, Paul. I recall from doctoral classes I was in last spring my frustration with the way that the term "power" was being used, i.e., as if it was a commodity. "We can't change the system...they have the power!" I think it's more than semantics, because it points to deep assumptions about social relationships, creativity, and decision-making. I contend that nine times out of ten, when people say "power," they actually mean "control." Taking a cue from Follett, and backed up by Hannah Arendt, I offer this four-fold framework for consideration:

Force is sheer motive energy applied to a task; it might be mental or physical energy. Control is the position or ability to direct the available force, to allocate available resources. Authority is control that has been granted to one by others, directly or indirectly.
Power is the creative potential of a person or a group or a system.

I note Arendt because she believed - see her book "On Violence" - that (authentic) power and violence were inversely correlated. So one might say that a society like what prevails in the United States is forceful but limited in its potential power (power as creative potential, always a good thing) because of its level of violence, which is in turn related to its tendency to encourage the objectification of self and others. And that lowers its authority in the world (which comes, as Obama notes, from credibility). One thing that saves the U.S. from being more powerless than it is, is the freedom it (we) allows to self-organize and express, which gives new, creative relation a chance to emerge.

Just food for thought.
Matthew, thank you for this. I really like the model of "demokratos, demosophia, and sizytisis"....

within a business context, I've found that it can be helpful to respect the existing patterns of control and authority, while offering the process of "searching together" as a creative exploration that can only enhance the status quo: either the group as a whole (including the designated leaders) will arrive at something that the leaders themselves feel is an improvement over their original plan, or, the original plan will remain in place, yet will have been thoroughly "debugged" by the team. This offers people in positions of control and authority, a fairly safe way to experience the value of demosophia, without necessarily needing to be "convinced" of it beforehand...

of course, in agreeing to a facilitated process, they are already agreeing to a degree of "demokratos", if only for the duration of the "creative exploration process"... since I do explain that a basic element of the process is that each voice will be heard and considered, and that my role is to ensure that this happens.

Thank you for the thought-provoking theory... I look forward to reading more by Christakis.

Matthew Shapiro said:
Relevant to your point about the "how" of shifting to the creative notion of power is another framework, one that I will credit to my colleague and friend, Alexander Christakis (a democratic management consultant/facilitator). As Christakis is Greek, this carries extra poignancy:

We speak of democracy, or "demokratos" (literally, power of the people). But there are two other pieces to the picture that form a great triad, which must be in place for the demokratos to mean anything. The other two are "demosophia" (wisdom of the people) and "syzitisis" (searching together). Without some means for doing syzitisis, there can be no emergence of demosophia, and we cannot grow the authentic demokratos. And without demosophia, the available demokratos will be impoverished. But we can't get to syzitisis unless there is some demokratos to allow such interaction to occur in the first place. So the three legs all support each other, and grow together.

M.
"in the doctoral work that I am currently engaged in"——Me ,too.
As we reflect upon the difference between the concepts of ‘power over’ and ‘power with’ as proposed by Follett, I thought I may add a few random thoughts to the mix. It appears to me that the key motivational factors lie in the realm of interests - self interest or the ‘independent interest’ referred to by Follett that drives ‘power over’, and in contrast, the collective or ‘joint’ interest that forms the basis of ‘power with’.

As an independent power, ‘power over’ would appear to be limited by its singular source, whereas ‘joint power’ of derives more value or strength from the resources pooled by a multitude of sources during the process of integrative unity. The concept of collaborative advantage is perhaps aligned to the outcome of ‘power with’ by virtue of the increased resources accessed through networks and other organic forms of collaboration – whether direct resources or intangibles such as knowledge, trust, self development etc, that ‘integrated diversity’ provides - so it appears to me, as Mathew has indicated, that power is not a commodity but a force that develops, principally from the resources allocated or available to fuel it (latent energy). Accordingly, it appears that the nature and strength of power also changes in accordance with the purpose or opportunity it is intended to reach (as this purpose determines the type and level of resources needed).

As the environment changes so will purpose and flow of power - this is demonstrated in organic organisational network forms that are adaptive to environmental change. ‘Connection power’ relates to the number and strength of links (relationships) developed through which resources flow from one person to another to achieve a common purpose.

I agree with Matthew that power may be the creative potential of a person, group or system - but I would tend to view this as ‘latent power’ just as I would view the resources that fuel it as latent energy – until there is sufficient motivation, either self or collective, to convert the energy into active power through negotiation. In the case of ‘power with’ perhaps this conversion would occur through negotiation of collective interests, purpose and subsequently shared resources to meet the particular challenge or goal – perhaps only when it is converted will it become the ‘co-active power’ proposed by Follett? An igniting purpose as coined by Linda Gratton (2007) appears to aptly describe this conversion process.

Recently, I was reviewing posts on Value Network Analysis, with reference to differences between tangible and intangible assets and how they are converted into value by negotiation (Verna Allee:2008). I noted from the literature, that where a strong focus is placed upon tangible assets this appears tied to hierarchal forms - in contrast a stronger focus upon intangibles tends to be linked to collaborative networks (i.e. flow of knowledge, relationships, etc). It struck me that similarly, the focus upon access or control and allocation of tangible assets/resources was more aligned to the hierarchal ‘power over’ concept (i.e. resource power, authority etc) and perhaps as Mathew has indicated, consideration of power as a commodity. In contrast, the increasing emphasis upon the value of intangibles in our relational ‘knowledge economy’ is driving the emergence of collaborative, network organisational forms that rely upon the advantage of ‘power with’.

Interestingly, I noted another report recently that pointed to the book value of many companies being drilled down to 30% value apportioned to ‘tangible’ assets and the remaining 70% to the intangibles - (i.e. brand, customer, partner loyalty – read relationship power (M Adams: 2009). Good reason to place a stronger emphasis on ‘power with’. With the reported high failure rate of mergers and strategic alliances worldwide, could this be a result of loss of the intangibles post acquisition/agreement that make up most of the company value attributed to the adherence of ‘ power over’ rather than ‘power with’.

Another thought is around the concept of ‘power of least dependence’ and how this can tie to the power over or with concepts. Should a party be in a position to fulfil their desire (interest) just as well or better than having to rely upon the cooperation of another party/ parties they may be more inclined to utilise ‘power over’ and focus upon transactional (competitive - distributional) rather than relational exchanges (this relates to the BATNA concept in Negotiation strategy). However, if they realise that they can satisfy their interest much better by pooling resources (both tangible and intangible) and working with others to convert those additional resources into additional value, they may be more inclined to capitalise upon the ‘power with’ approach. This may also explain why modern (organic) network forms are in a constant state of flux and so is the ‘power base’, as the purpose of interdependence changes with the environment (i.e. when the environment changes will the collective interest and purpose be still relevant to individual interests).

I may have digressed into a ramble, but thank you for the thought provoking post.
Hi Peter,

Thank you for your response to the thread. The points that you have raised build well on the previous contributions and reinforce the idea of a collaborative power that stems from the motivation of those involved. The mention of Verna Allee is an interesting one as I use a reference to the ideas of network analysis in the teaching I do on intellectual capital. Unsurprisingly, the theme of tangible/intangible that lies behind the development of intellectual capital echoes some of the underlying considerations in the 'power over' / 'power with' discussion (my teaching guided by personal philosophy I guess) and reflects a broadening of the understanding of how people engage in collaborative activity. Part of my amusement/frustration (depending on the way the day has gone) is the degree to which the focus of attention within business practice can be aimed towards the more surface and simple understandings and, in the case of IC, fixation on measurement. This is the tendency toward the tangible that potentially misses the depth of understanding that will require a more considered analysis that accommodates multiple and varied viewpoints. I will take a pause here as my daughters have just arrived home and are after my attention.

Speak to you soon.



Peter Spence said:
As we reflect upon the difference between the concepts of ‘power over’ and ‘power with’ as proposed by Follett, I thought I may add a few random thoughts to the mix. It appears to me that the key motivational factors lie in the realm of interests - self interest or the ‘independent interest’ referred to by Follett that drives ‘power over’, and in contrast, the collective or ‘joint’ interest that forms the basis of ‘power with’.

As an independent power, ‘power over’ would appear to be limited by its singular source, whereas ‘joint power’ of derives more value or strength from the resources pooled by a multitude of sources during the process of integrative unity. The concept of collaborative advantage is perhaps aligned to the outcome of ‘power with’ by virtue of the increased resources accessed through networks and other organic forms of collaboration – whether direct resources or intangibles such as knowledge, trust, self development etc, that ‘integrated diversity’ provides - so it appears to me, as Mathew has indicated, that power is not a commodity but a force that develops, principally from the resources allocated or available to fuel it (latent energy). Accordingly, it appears that the nature and strength of power also changes in accordance with the purpose or opportunity it is intended to reach (as this purpose determines the type and level of resources needed).

As the environment changes so will purpose and flow of power - this is demonstrated in organic organisational network forms that are adaptive to environmental change. ‘Connection power’ relates to the number and strength of links (relationships) developed through which resources flow from one person to another to achieve a common purpose.

I agree with Matthew that power may be the creative potential of a person, group or system - but I would tend to view this as ‘latent power’ just as I would view the resources that fuel it as latent energy – until there is sufficient motivation, either self or collective, to convert the energy into active power through negotiation. In the case of ‘power with’ perhaps this conversion would occur through negotiation of collective interests, purpose and subsequently shared resources to meet the particular challenge or goal – perhaps only when it is converted will it become the ‘co-active power’ proposed by Follett? An igniting purpose as coined by Linda Gratton (2007) appears to aptly describe this conversion process.

Recently, I was reviewing posts on Value Network Analysis, with reference to differences between tangible and intangible assets and how they are converted into value by negotiation (Verna Allee:2008). I noted from the literature, that where a strong focus is placed upon tangible assets this appears tied to hierarchal forms - in contrast a stronger focus upon intangibles tends to be linked to collaborative networks (i.e. flow of knowledge, relationships, etc). It struck me that similarly, the focus upon access or control and allocation of tangible assets/resources was more aligned to the hierarchal ‘power over’ concept (i.e. resource power, authority etc) and perhaps as Mathew has indicated, consideration of power as a commodity. In contrast, the increasing emphasis upon the value of intangibles in our relational ‘knowledge economy’ is driving the emergence of collaborative, network organisational forms that rely upon the advantage of ‘power with’.

Interestingly, I noted another report recently that pointed to the book value of many companies being drilled down to 30% value apportioned to ‘tangible’ assets and the remaining 70% to the intangibles - (i.e. brand, customer, partner loyalty – read relationship power (M Adams: 2009). Good reason to place a stronger emphasis on ‘power with’. With the reported high failure rate of mergers and strategic alliances worldwide, could this be a result of loss of the intangibles post acquisition/agreement that make up most of the company value attributed to the adherence of ‘ power over’ rather than ‘power with’.

Another thought is around the concept of ‘power of least dependence’ and how this can tie to the power over or with concepts. Should a party be in a position to fulfil their desire (interest) just as well or better than having to rely upon the cooperation of another party/ parties they may be more inclined to utilise ‘power over’ and focus upon transactional (competitive - distributional) rather than relational exchanges (this relates to the BATNA concept in Negotiation strategy). However, if they realise that they can satisfy their interest much better by pooling resources (both tangible and intangible) and working with others to convert those additional resources into additional value, they may be more inclined to capitalise upon the ‘power with’ approach. This may also explain why modern (organic) network forms are in a constant state of flux and so is the ‘power base’, as the purpose of interdependence changes with the environment (i.e. when the environment changes will the collective interest and purpose be still relevant to individual interests).

I may have digressed into a ramble, but thank you for the thought provoking post.
Albie Davis and I put together a collection of Follett quotes on power that may be of interest here. They all come from either Creative Experience or the 1940 edition of Dynamic Administration editted by Metcalf and Urwick. Page numbers and source (CE or DA respectively) follow each quote. Enjoy!

Control might be defined as power exercised as a means toward a specific end; authority as vested control.
DA 99

…power and strength are not always synonymous; it is sometimes through our weakness that we get control of a situation.
DA 99

Power might be defined as simply the ability to make things happen, to be a causal agent, to initiate change.
DA 99

I am inclined to make this distinction: genuine power is power-with, pseudo power, power-over.
CE 189

All majority control is getting power over. Genuine control is activity between, not influence over.
CE 186

We can always test the validity of power by asking whether it is integral to the process or outside the process.
CE 193

We certainly do not want to abolish power, that would be abolishing life itself, but we need a new orientation toward it.
CE 189

As clearly as we see that the consideration of facts reduces power-over, do we see that the withholding of facts is often used as a means to gain power-over.
DA 106

If both sides obey the law of the situation, no person has power over another.
DA 105

Power is the legitimate, the inevitable, outcome of the essential life-process.
CE 193


Power begins, as far as our study goes, with the organization of reflex arcs. Then these are organized in to a system--more power. Then the organization of these systems comprise the organism--more power.
CE 193

Psychological and moral power are synonymous. The moral right to power which has not been psychologically developed is an empty class; it is an ethics, alas, which we have to combat daily in politics and industry.
CE 192

There is an idea prevalent, which I think very harmful, that we give up individual power in order to get joint activity. But first, by pooling power we are not giving it up; and secondly, the power produced by relationship is a qualitative, not a quantitative thing. If we follow our rule throughout of translating everything into activity, if we look at power as the power to do something, we shall understand this.
CE 191

There is no power-over in the single situation, therefore the aim should always be to create the single situation; that is, to make a working unity or functional whole.
CE 188

What the formula I am using shows us is that the only genuine power is that over the self--whatever that self may be. When you and I decide on a course of action together and do that thing, you have no power over me nor I over you, but we have power over ourselves together.
CE 186

One way of reducing power-over is through integration.
DA 104

I do not think that power can be delegated because I believe that genuine power is capacity.
DA 109

…power is self-developing capacity.
DA 110

Power is not a pre-existing thing which can be handed out to someone, or wrenched from someone.
DA 111

The division of power is not the thing to be considered, but that method of organization which will generate power. The moral right to an authority which has not been psychologically developed, which is not an expression of capacity, is an empty ethics.
DA 111

We can confer authority; but power or capacity, no man can give or take.
DA 112

a jointly developing power means the possibility of creating new values, a wholly different process from the sterile one of balancing.
DA 113-114

power-with is a jointly developing power, the aim, a unifying which, while allowing for infinite differing, does away with fighting.
DA 115

I know of no definition of power which has come from the actual observation of the behavior of men. Political scientists transfer power, divide power, confer power, but do not analyze power.
CE 179

All control means a sense of power. The athlete has control over his muscles, and this brings him a satisfying sense of power. Control of circumstances, all achievement, gives the same gratification. One might go further and say that all activity brings a sense of power, certainly successfully coordinated activity does.
CE 181

The integrating of wants precludes the necessity of gaining power to satisfy desire.
CE184

Psychology by showing us the origin of power at the same time shows us its limit. We see that the integration of responses means concerted and controlled action.
CE 185

What the formula I am using shows us is that the only genuine power is that over the self--whatever that self may be. When you and I decide on a course of action together and do that thing, you have no power over me nor I over you, but we have power over ourselves together.
CE 186

Power-over is resorted to time without number because people will not wait of the slower process of education.
CE 190

…it seems to me that whereas power usually means power-over, the power of some person or group over some other person or group, it is possible to develop the conception of power-with, a jointly developed power, a co-active, not a coercive power.
DA 101

Our task is not to learn where to place power; it is how to develop power…Genuine power can only be grown, it will slip from every arbitrary hand that grasps it; for genuine power is not coercive control. Coercive power is the curse of the universe; coactive power the enrichment and enhancement of every human soul.
CE xii

Follett, M. P. (1924). Creative Experience. New York, Longmans, Green, and Co.

Metcalf, H. C. and L. Urwick, Eds. (1940). Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett. New York, Harper and Brothers Publishers.
As a new member I am delighted to find a dialogue on these ideas. Thank you so much for distilling some of this work into quotes.

Betsy Geist said:
Albie Davis and I put together a collection of Follett quotes on power that may be of interest here. They all come from either Creative Experience or the 1940 edition of Dynamic Administration editted by Metcalf and Urwick. Page numbers and source (CE or DA respectively) follow each quote. Enjoy!

Control might be defined as power exercised as a means toward a specific end; authority as vested control.
DA 99

…power and strength are not always synonymous; it is sometimes through our weakness that we get control of a situation.
DA 99

Power might be defined as simply the ability to make things happen, to be a causal agent, to initiate change.
DA 99

I am inclined to make this distinction: genuine power is power-with, pseudo power, power-over.
CE 189

All majority control is getting power over. Genuine control is activity between, not influence over.
CE 186

We can always test the validity of power by asking whether it is integral to the process or outside the process.
CE 193

We certainly do not want to abolish power, that would be abolishing life itself, but we need a new orientation toward it.
CE 189

As clearly as we see that the consideration of facts reduces power-over, do we see that the withholding of facts is often used as a means to gain power-over.
DA 106

If both sides obey the law of the situation, no person has power over another.
DA 105

Power is the legitimate, the inevitable, outcome of the essential life-process.
CE 193


Power begins, as far as our study goes, with the organization of reflex arcs. Then these are organized in to a system--more power. Then the organization of these systems comprise the organism--more power.
CE 193

Psychological and moral power are synonymous. The moral right to power which has not been psychologically developed is an empty class; it is an ethics, alas, which we have to combat daily in politics and industry.
CE 192

There is an idea prevalent, which I think very harmful, that we give up individual power in order to get joint activity. But first, by pooling power we are not giving it up; and secondly, the power produced by relationship is a qualitative, not a quantitative thing. If we follow our rule throughout of translating everything into activity, if we look at power as the power to do something, we shall understand this.
CE 191

There is no power-over in the single situation, therefore the aim should always be to create the single situation; that is, to make a working unity or functional whole.
CE 188

What the formula I am using shows us is that the only genuine power is that over the self--whatever that self may be. When you and I decide on a course of action together and do that thing, you have no power over me nor I over you, but we have power over ourselves together.
CE 186

One way of reducing power-over is through integration.
DA 104

I do not think that power can be delegated because I believe that genuine power is capacity.
DA 109

…power is self-developing capacity.
DA 110

Power is not a pre-existing thing which can be handed out to someone, or wrenched from someone.
DA 111

The division of power is not the thing to be considered, but that method of organization which will generate power. The moral right to an authority which has not been psychologically developed, which is not an expression of capacity, is an empty ethics.
DA 111

We can confer authority; but power or capacity, no man can give or take.
DA 112

a jointly developing power means the possibility of creating new values, a wholly different process from the sterile one of balancing.
DA 113-114

power-with is a jointly developing power, the aim, a unifying which, while allowing for infinite differing, does away with fighting.
DA 115

I know of no definition of power which has come from the actual observation of the behavior of men. Political scientists transfer power, divide power, confer power, but do not analyze power.
CE 179

All control means a sense of power. The athlete has control over his muscles, and this brings him a satisfying sense of power. Control of circumstances, all achievement, gives the same gratification. One might go further and say that all activity brings a sense of power, certainly successfully coordinated activity does.
CE 181

The integrating of wants precludes the necessity of gaining power to satisfy desire.
CE184

Psychology by showing us the origin of power at the same time shows us its limit. We see that the integration of responses means concerted and controlled action.
CE 185

What the formula I am using shows us is that the only genuine power is that over the self--whatever that self may be. When you and I decide on a course of action together and do that thing, you have no power over me nor I over you, but we have power over ourselves together.
CE 186

Power-over is resorted to time without number because people will not wait of the slower process of education.
CE 190

…it seems to me that whereas power usually means power-over, the power of some person or group over some other person or group, it is possible to develop the conception of power-with, a jointly developed power, a co-active, not a coercive power.
DA 101

Our task is not to learn where to place power; it is how to develop power…Genuine power can only be grown, it will slip from every arbitrary hand that grasps it; for genuine power is not coercive control. Coercive power is the curse of the universe; coactive power the enrichment and enhancement of every human soul.
CE xii

Follett, M. P. (1924). Creative Experience. New York, Longmans, Green, and Co.

Metcalf, H. C. and L. Urwick, Eds. (1940). Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett. New York, Harper and Brothers Publishers.

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