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A historical perspective on fad adoption and abandonment

Paula Phillips Carson (University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA)
Patricia A. Lanier (University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA)
Kerry David Carson (University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA)
Betty J. Birkenmeier (University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA)

Journal of Management History (Archive)

ISSN: 1355-252X

Article publication date: 1 September 1999

Abstract

While management is considered relatively immature compared to other social sciences, for over half the lifespan of the discipline, the field has been bombarded with “fads”. For the purposes of this manuscript, fads are defined as “managerial interventions which appear to be innovative, rational, and functional and are aimed at encouraging better organizational performance”. This definition draws on and integrates a number of theorists’ conceptualizations of fads. Notably, however, there is some point at which a fad sufficiently demonstrates its effectiveness in numerous and diverse settings to warrant an evolution from fad status to something which implies more permanence. This issue is addressed in a theoretical model which traces the process of fad adoption using historical bibliometric data. The model offers propositions concerning the precursors, moderators, and outcomes of adoption.

Keywords

Citation

Phillips Carson, P., Lanier, P.A., Carson, K.D. and Birkenmeier, B.J. (1999), "A historical perspective on fad adoption and abandonment", Journal of Management History (Archive), Vol. 5 No. 6, pp. 320-333. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552529910288109

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited