Management Fashion Author(s): Eric Abrahamson Source: The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 21, No. 1 (Jan., 1996), pp. 254-285 Published by: Academy of Management Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/258636 . Accessed: 24/08/2013 23:34
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Fashion setters who do not participate successfully in this race, business schools and professional scholarly societies, for example (Hambrick, 1994), will be perceived as lagging rather than leading management progress, as being peripheral to the business community, and as being undeserving of societal support. Hence, this article warns that scholars in business schools must both study and intervene in the management-fashion-setting process; otherwise these business schools' long-term viability will be at risk. Swings in management fashion, far from being cosmetic and trivial, are in fact deadly serious matters for business schools and the scholars staffing them. Second, I argue that whereas sociopsychological forces alone shape the demand for aesthetic fashions, such forces compete with technical and economic forces to shape the demand for management fashions. Put differently, managers do not adopt management fashions only because of sociopsychological forces. They also adopt management fashions in a desire to learn about management techniques that would help them respond to organizational performance gaps opened up by real technical and economic environmental changes. Management fashion setting, consequently, can serve as a technical learning process for many managers.
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