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

Listed author(s):
  • Sébastien Damart


    (DRM - 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 Caen Normandie - ULH - Université Le Havre Normandie - Université de Rouen)

Registered author(s):

    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.

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    Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-01568731.

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    Date of creation: 2017
    Publication status: Published in Journal of Management History (Archive), Emerald, 2017, 23 (4), <10.1108/JMH-04-2017-0023>
    Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01568731
    DOI: 10.1108/JMH-04-2017-0023
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