Doing research on ‘management fashions’: methodological challenges and opportunities
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionProblems and Perspectives in Management. 2013, 11 (4), 68-76.
Management fashion theory is a growing research area in management studies. The focus of this management fashion literature is to understand why some management concepts spread quickly and widely, while others do not. However, doing research on fashionable management concepts is a difficult task, and many commentators have pointed out the limitations of the research methods used in extant research. A consequence of these difficulties is that the theory has many understudied areas and ‘blind spots’. This paper aims at providing a review of the research methods typically used in management fashion research, and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches. Based on this review, the paper suggests research strategies that can be used to illuminate the blind spots of the management fashion theory. The paper distinguishes between research strategies at four analytical levels: the managerial level, the intra-organizational level, the field-level and the cross-national level.
This publication is an open access article