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Management fashions and fads Understanding the role of consultants and managers in the evolution of ideas

Management fashions and fads Understanding the role of consultants and managers in the evolution... This conceptual paper concerns management fashions and fads. It focuses on the way that concepts, techniques and ideas become popular in the marketplace and the role of knowledge entrepreneurs and disseminators in this process. Utilising memetics – the study of memes – the paper demonstrates how some concepts, techniques and ideas prosper in the marketplace, not because of their economic reproductive capacity, but instead because of their interpersonal reproductive capacity. Knowledge entrepreneurs and disseminators (gurus and consultants) might in this light be cast as “evil Svengalis”, bringing forth contagious concepts that serve nobody except themselves. In other words, managers are somehow preyed upon, duped and tricked by gurus and consultants unleashing the latest designer mind management virus. A closer look at the institutional context into which concepts, techniques and ideas are forwarded, as well as the selection process for them, suggests however a more complex relationship exists between managers and consultants. Indeed, in this relationship, managers are likely to play an important part in the consumption of fashions and fads. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Management Decision Emerald Publishing

Management fashions and fads Understanding the role of consultants and managers in the evolution of ideas

Management Decision , Volume 42 (6): 12 – Jul 1, 2004

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References (45)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0025-1747
DOI
10.1108/00251740410542339
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This conceptual paper concerns management fashions and fads. It focuses on the way that concepts, techniques and ideas become popular in the marketplace and the role of knowledge entrepreneurs and disseminators in this process. Utilising memetics – the study of memes – the paper demonstrates how some concepts, techniques and ideas prosper in the marketplace, not because of their economic reproductive capacity, but instead because of their interpersonal reproductive capacity. Knowledge entrepreneurs and disseminators (gurus and consultants) might in this light be cast as “evil Svengalis”, bringing forth contagious concepts that serve nobody except themselves. In other words, managers are somehow preyed upon, duped and tricked by gurus and consultants unleashing the latest designer mind management virus. A closer look at the institutional context into which concepts, techniques and ideas are forwarded, as well as the selection process for them, suggests however a more complex relationship exists between managers and consultants. Indeed, in this relationship, managers are likely to play an important part in the consumption of fashions and fads.

Journal

Management DecisionEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 1, 2004

Keywords: Management styles; Management gurus; Management consultancy

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