The paper "Analysis of Mary Parker Follett’ s Statement" is an outstanding example of management coursework. Mary Parker Follett ‘ knowledge and expertise, rather than managers’ formal authority deriving from their position in the hierarchy, should decide who would lead at any particular moment (Waddell, Jones & George 2013). Mary Parker Follett was a consultant on management and human resources whose work focused on the improvement of human relationship especially n how people can work together making proper use of authority and power. On human resource management, she believed that authority in an organization should go together with knowledge following whichever line of hierarchy, whether up or below.
Just like many other theorists, she believed that power should be given to the person who can in the best way to help the organization achieve its goals. She, therefore, proposed that hierarchy should, therefore, decide who would be the leader at any given time according to the ability of the person (Fry & Thomas, 1996). The main aim of this essay is to critically analyse Mary Parker Follett’ s statement that “ knowledge and expertise, rather than managers’ formal authority deriving from their position in the hierarchy, should decide who would lead at any particular moment” .
The essay will also discuss the views of other theorists such as Henri Fayol and Fredrick Taylor regarding Mary Parker’ s statement. Their views will also be analysed in reference to the statement to see whether they agree or disagree with the statement. Mary Parker Follett’ s statement Mary Parker Follett stated that knowledge and expertise, rather than managers’ formal authority deriving from their position in the hierarchy, should decide who would lead at any particular moment’ (Waddell, Jones & George 2013).
According to this statement, if the workers have the knowledge required for the job, they should be left to lead the work process with the managers taking positions of facilitators rather than supervisors (Gibson, et al, 2013). Follet was advocating for self-managed teams as long as they are empowered with the knowledge and expertise required for that particular work. Therefore there should be no formal hierarchy that would decide who to lead. The hierarchy should be determined by the availability of persons with knowledge and expertise.
According to Follet true leaders are those that empower the teams that they lead rather than exerting their powers over those teams. She was against the ‘ command and control’ leadership style and was in support of an integrated and democratic form of management. She believed that authority should be based on the function and not on the position. She was for the idea of bottom-up authority rather than top-bottom authority (Fry & Thomas, 1996). Follet believed that human energies need to be set free so that they can release their full potential.
According to her, the leaders and their team members are in a flexible relationship where each can guide the other. Therefore the organization should concentrate on training policies and procedures that empower and support employees so that they can also be equipped with knowledge and expertise to be able to lead. Her statement was based on her idea of the authority of expertise. In this, she believed that a manager should not expect the team members to always obey his orders and at the same time take responsibility for their jobs.
She, therefore, argues that when the manager delegates the responsibility of implementing various decisions in whichever manner, he has to pay the price for the cooperation of the subordinates by agreeing to their different ideas. This will, therefore, open the door for bargaining between the subordinates and their superiors. Therefore at that time of implementation, the subordinates will carry the authority since that bear the expertise required for that particular function (Miller, 1993).
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