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Management fads: the case of the self‐managed team

Marja Flory (Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 1 June 2005




To critically analyze why the implementation of self‐managed teams often leads to disappointment.


The methodology used is qualitative. It is based on the theory of microstoria (Boje) and entails in‐depth interviews and dialogue to collect data.


The introduction of the new concept (self‐managed teams) did not start an intensive management discourse. Management largely discussed the concept and decided to implement it, without consulting the employees who had to work with the concept. This led to misunderstandings and resistance to the concept of self‐managing.

Research limitations/implications

The research was conducted in only two organisations.

Practical implications

The primary reason why the concept was poorly implemented was that management did not understand the process of shared meaning. Creating a proper “dialogue” is important for implementing new management concepts.


This paper offers a social constructionist point of view to critically evaluate new management concepts such that they do not become fads.



Flory, M. (2005), "Management fads: the case of the self‐managed team", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 275-282.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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