When Worlds Collide

When Worlds Collide

I love this blog posted by Michel Baudin for two reasons:

First, the blog reveals sentiments that nicely echo the approach I took in my own PhD research on the spread of lean in the UK. In my work, I reviewed the spread of lean through the lens of a small but fascinating body of literature called management of fashions and fads. This body of work developed partly in response to the proliferation of management ideas that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s and partly in response to the inability of conventional innovation diffusion theory to explain this proliferation. Fashions and fads are not differentiated although most authors use fads to mean short-lived fashions. Both terms are used to mean managerial interventions which appear to be innovative, rational and functional and are aimed at encouraging better organisational performance. The most prolific author defines management fashions as:

‘transitory collective beliefs that certain management techniques are at the forefront of management progress’

(Abrahamson, 1996, p. 254)

My interest was the extent to which lean and other contemporary paradigms fared against this perspective. Baudin has intuitively reached some of the same conclusions I did.

The second reason is that during the course of my research I found that the academic and the practitioner worlds often collide. You will see that Bozdogan’s response to Baudin’s critique leads to a debate that produces some interesting insights: Read the full article

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