The Mary Parker Follett Network

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

Dear all,

I am reading Creative Experience. I see that Mary Parker Follett has been largely (she wrote it explicitly) by the Gestalt Theory. I am not quite familiar with it. If I understand, two main elements of the theory are supporting MPF's ideas (the circular response and experience perception):

- there is an interconnection between behavior and environment such as the one influences the other and vice versa (the interconnection is between me and "me plus the environment"),

- the only reality is experience perception (this second point seems to me a little bit confuse).

Am I wrong? 

Please, forgive this naive question. As you probably read it in my previous posts on this forum, I am trying to go deeper in my personal understanding of MPF's thought. I try to build a clear mapping of: her inspiration sources, her concepts and ideas and practical implications for management theory and group facilitation practices. 

By advance, thanks for completing my knowledge.


Best regards,



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Hi Mr. (Monsieur) Damart,


I happened to just get on line. Thanks for posting that PDF file of The Teacher-Student Relation. In your above you say "try to build a clear mapping of..inspiration sources". I'm doing that too. To wit: Yesterday I began reading H. G. Wells' The Story of a Great Schoolmaster. Let someone else have first crack at the Gestalt question though (it's good to share!).


Bon jour!


Jeffrey (Jeff) P. Bedolla

I concur--her particular form of process philosophy is discussed in my recent work:

Stout, Margaret and Staton, Carrie. 2011. The Ontology of Process Philosophy in Follett’s Governance Theory. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 33(2), pp. 268–292.

Hi Margaret, Jeff and Sébastien,

This delightful incipient conversation is just the kind of speculation that I love. However, I'm all wrapped up in a local community dilemma which is putting all of Follett's thoughts to the test. Well, she always suggested we stop talking about it and try it!

I have a copy of Edwin Holt's "The Freudian Wish and Its Place in Ethics." (c. 1915 Henry Holt and Co. My copy 1929.) Complete with delightful bookplate from the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of the State of Maryland, and a quote about books in that plate:

They did not seem like books to him
But Heroes, Martyrs, Saints -- themselves
The things they told of, not mere books
Ranged grimly on the oaken shelves

Three thoughts:

First, This quote reminds me how much I will miss the passing of tactile books, how much I enjoy my Follett research in part for all I learn about the previous owners of the books, in this case "Lillian Canquet, Peabody Institute 28 June 1961."

Second. I think this book may hold some "secrets" of Follett's development of her ideas. Oddly, Freud doesn't even show up in the index, although Aristotle, Darwin, Wm James, Plato, Schopenhauer, Socrates and a few others do. I guess Freud as background was already a "given."

Third. I am also reminded of my original call to Matt Shapiro about needing to "downsize" the many Follett-related books I've gathered since 1989, and Emmanuel's thoughts about setting up some center in France. I'll bring a few with me to Boston in October to show some copies and see what thoughts emerge.

Wish you could make it, Margaret and Hello, Jeff!

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