Dissemination of managerial fashions and his consequence on organizations and on the management advice industry
Noura ksentini abdelmoula*
Management and Economic Sciences University.
Road Bousna, number 14, Elhabib city, 3052, Sfax, Tunisia.
Karim Ben Kahla
Professor in Management Sciences.
Dissemination of managerial fashions and his consequence onorganizations and on the management advice industry
This paper investigates the emergence of several management fashions. It examines the dissemination of fashions in organizations and areas from which they emerge.
The aim of this article is to explain why new popular management concepts are adopted by managers and how they are diffused in organizations.
From the perspective ofneo-institutional fashion theory, managers and consultants use discourses about new management ideas to demonstrate the credibility and legitimacy of their actions.
The management fashion literature illustrate that there is many actors who are responsible for the diffusion of management fashion. It shows the influence of these actors on overall management setting fashion process.
Onecan not deny the importance, in both magnitude and intensity of the management fashion phenomenon. From the perspective of the management community, managers are confronted daily with both popular and classic management concepts. On the other hand consultants are considered like the most popular promoters of new ideas and practices.
This paper contributes to address factors influencing thediffusion and the adoption of management fashions. In order to do so, we first review the existing literature on management fashion and point out consequences of managerial fashions on organizations and on the management advice industry. The second part of this paper outlines the methodological premises and details the empirical ground on which our research proceeded. The third section presents thefindings from our empirical work. We conclude this paper with a discussion of the effect of managerial fashion on organizations and on the management advice industry.
1. The origin of management fashions concept
The apparition and the disappearance of new organizational concepts became a popular academic topic. Several authors (Abrahamson, 1996; Grint, 1997; Benders & Veen, 2001; Vilette, 2003;Bourgeois, 2004) analyzed the management fashions and debated their effects on organizations that adopt them or that distribute them.
Abrahamson (1996) asserts that management fashions are created and diffused by entrepreneurs, gurus, professional organizations and consultants, popular and business press, business schools and by the academic and semi-academic press. He distinguishes the creatorsand the users of management fashions. The creators are defined as persons or organizations whose activity is dedicated to the production and the diffusion of a managerial practice. These creators shape the culture and the beliefs of managers in order to convince them that new managerial techniques leads to a rational progress. According to Abrahamson (1996) a management fashion is “a relativelytransitory collective belief, disseminated by management fashion setters, that a management technique leads rational management progress”.
For Warnier and Lecocq (2003:5), "fashion can be described at a time like a process and a result (Abrahamson 1991, 1996). Fashions are therefore a collective imitation of a novelty (Barthes, 1962), a transitory collective beliefs (Abrahamson, 1996), a collectivemanners to act (Strohl, 1999) that exist in many domains and that are valid to one time and to one society".
2. The theoretical role of management fashions
New managerial techniques progress quickly since the middle of 1980. The principal managerial fashions "collected" during this period is, among others, the Benchmarking, the Reengineering, the Management by project, the Management by...
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