The last two decades, the knowledge field around management issues has shown
a process of commercialisation. In this field, all kinds of new concepts are
launched and demand attention. In fact, concepts such as BPR and TQM are
often criticised for being fashionable. In this article, four different views on
management fashions will be discussed and validated with empirical results.
First of all, management concepts keep the management world busy by moving
their attention between different extremes. The attention of managers swings
like a pendulum from one extreme tot the next. Evidence is shown, by
discussing diversification versus Core Competence strategies. Second,
management concepts add something to the collective knowledge base of the
management world. Different examples were given which prove this point.
Third, management concepts are like `old wine in new bottles’. Some evidence
was suggested. However, it is also discussed that this argument does not make
these concepts less relevant. The added value should be judged at a collective
level, not on an individual one. Finally, attention was given to the view that
concepts are mere nonsense. Some examples have been presented. The article
concludes with the remark that each of the visions might be valid in its own
right, but that validity of the argument is strongly determined by the social
context in which it was made. The usefulness of the concepts is hard to judge
based purely on their inherent qualities. Much of their qualities lie in the use of
the concepts, not in the concepts themself. And finally, their value should not be
underestimated in terms of their potential role in keeping the collective
knowledge base around management issues alive.
|Name||SOM Research Reports|