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Management as an integrating activity: a comparative textual analysis of the work of Mary Parker Follett and Oliver Sheldon


  • Sébastien Damart

    () (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - Université Paris-Dauphine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Sonia Adam-Ledunois

    () (NIMEC - Normandie Innovation Marché Entreprise Consommation - UNICAEN - Université de Caen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université - ULH - Université Le Havre Normandie - NU - Normandie Université - UNIROUEN - Université de Rouen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université - IRIHS - Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire Homme et Société - UNIROUEN - Université de Rouen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université)


Purpose This research aims to compare the contributions of two authors and practitioners from the 1920s whose work was to a certain extent at odds with the dominant scientific management approach of the period. Design/methodology/approach In this article, we carry out a comparative textual analysis of texts written by Sheldon and Follett in the 1920s. This technique consists of a hierarchical descendant classification, which we use to uncover the thematic universes that Sheldon and Follett create in characterizing the fundamentals of management activity. Findings This comparative textual analysis demonstrates that Follett and Sheldon developed two different ways of relying on a singular fundamental principle of management: integration. Originality/value A comparative analysis of Follett and Sheldon's work has never been attempted. While textual analysis has been used in management research, to our knowledge, such analyses are rare in research seeking to understand management history.

Suggested Citation

  • Sébastien Damart & Sonia Adam-Ledunois, 2017. "Management as an integrating activity: a comparative textual analysis of the work of Mary Parker Follett and Oliver Sheldon," Post-Print hal-01568731, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01568731
    DOI: 10.1108/JMH-04-2017-0023
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:

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