Diffusion, translation and the neglected role of managers in the fashion setting process: The case of MANS

Kees van Veen*, Jelle Bezemer, Luchien Karsten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we reconstruct the lifecycle of MANS, a less well-known Dutch management fashion. Studying less well-known fashions is necessary because it challenges existing understandings of management fashions. First, it is argued how such reconstructions can be helpful. It creates a need to combine existing diffusion and translation perspectives on management fashions, it accentuates existing limitations, and it brings unnoticed aspects of management fashions to the forefront. Second, a detailed historical account of the lifecycle of MANS itself will be presented to illustrate these points. Finally, two remarkable and new aspects of MANS are discussed. To begin with, MANS shows an active role of (collectives of) managers in different phases of the life cycle. Additionally, MANS draws attention to role changes of individuals involved. Concepts are not only diffused and translated by different individuals in different roles, but concepts also stimulate individuals to move from one role to another.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-164
Number of pages16
JournalManagement Learning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2011


  • diffusion
  • innovation
  • management fashion
  • MANS
  • role transition
  • total quality management

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