This article explicates a conceptual framework that might be used to study how fanatical managers make decisions. It reviews literature on fanatics produced by psychologists, sociologists, cultural theorists, political scientists, theologians, and marketers, and then places their multidisciplinary insights into a management context. It identifies two familiar features of fanatics – intensity and intolerance – but suggests that a third feature – incoherence between thinking, behaviour and goals – might be the conceptual key to understanding fanatical managers, measuring their fanaticism and interpreting their management decision making. This conceptual framework may also assist the chaos, complexity and non‐linear movements in management research as well as practitioners who want an easy‐to‐understand template against which to evaluate their planning, thinking and managerial behaviour.
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