Follet's Dynamic Administration

Bridge between classical and behavioral approach to organization. It viewed organization as a social system, administration as a social process. Cooperation too was a process or outcome not a pre-condition. It highlighted the social, psychological dimensions of administration and management. Brought out human dimensions of an organization and pointed out the role of situational factors on an organization.

She believed in science of administration. Follet focused on lateral coordination, administrative change and authority acceptance. Follet believed that conflicts were inevitable due to individual differences and they can be resolved. Constructive conflicts register themselves for benefit of all concerned. Conflicts can be used to produce harmony.

Follet felt State is the highest order of realization of any social group. Individuals find fulfillment of their goals and objectives in groups only. She believed democracy as the best form as it allowed people to voice their opinions. She believed laws would allow groups to fulfill their needs without compromising others. Unlike classical thinkers Follet believed in fact control i.e. situation shall give orders rather than man control i.e. people giving orders.

Resolving conflicts in an organization:
  1. Domination: Victory of one over other.
  2. Compromise: Both surrender some part.
  3. Integration: Finding a solution satisfying real needs of both sides without anyone sacrificing anything.

Integration resolves conflicts permanently and is best use of resources.

Ways to achieve integration Obstacles
Each side should recognize needs and bring out differences in open needs high degree of intelligence, keen perception, inventiveness
break whole demand in parts people tend towards domination
examine real meaning of symbols language used is antagonistic
preparation of response of other side people not trained in integration

Follet's rules for giving orders:

  1. Different principles underline order giving.
  2. Identify principles that are basis for orders.
  3. Make experiments to analyze result of orders
  4. Use result to change extent, manner of giving orders.

What she meant was bossism should be avoided and instead manipulate people into obeying orders by using mental attitudes, time, place, habit patterns. Depersonalize orders, all concerned should study the situation and law of the situation should be obeyed. Thus situation gives orders. Action results in orders not the reverse.

Follet believed that to ensure orders are followed official should be made to see desirability of any method, rules should be made to make it possible to adopt new method and then few people should be convinced to adopt new method to set an example.

Follet's Concept of Power

Power is the ability to make things happen, to be an agent to initiate change. Power can't be delegated as its the result of knowledge / ability. But condition can be created for the development of power.

Power Over: Coercive power which increases resentment and should be reduced by using integration, correct use of circular behavior i.e. influence a group and be influenced by it , law of situation.

Power With: Coactive power which causes superiors to develop subordinates to achieve at a settlement satisfactory to both. This increases their self respect and efficiency.

Follet thus believed in correlated control rather than super-imposed control.

Follet on Authority and responsibility

Authority is right to develop and exercise power. Authority belongs to those who perform job and not on basis of position held. Thus authority can't be delegated. Authority must be functional, as it carries responsibility. She said in an organization authority is "Functional" , Cumulative and pluralistic i.e. multiple responsibilities for a person.


Someone who can see all around a situation who sees it as related to certain policies and sees it evolving into next situation. Also who understands how to pass to next situation. Man possessing knowledge needed by a situation becomes a leader. Thus she believed that functional knowledge more important than personality or position in leadership.

  1. Leadership of position: Hold position of formal authority
  2. Leadership of personality: Forceful personal qualities
  3. Leadership of function: Both of the above traits.

Planning and Coordination

Central planning imposed on local levels lead to failure due to low coordination. Hence for coordination:
  1. Have direct contact between all responsible people. Horizontal communication and vertical command both important.
  2. Early stages: Involve people in policy formulation leads to higher morale.
  3. Coordination is continuous from planning to activity and activity to planning.
  4. Organizations have interrelationships and these must be taken into account.


  1. Ignored social nature of processes involved in management of organization.
  2. Considered only psychological conflicts and not social content of organization scientifically.
  3. Idea of integration was illusion. Her ideas didn't confirm to a theoretically well founded system.
  4. Pursued collectivism i.e. theory of coordination and state and individualism i.e. theory of conflict and leadership at same time without giving specific dimensional definitions in their regards.