Table of Contents

Handbook of Research on Management Ideas and Panaceas

Handbook of Research on Management Ideas and Panaceas

Adaptation and Context

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Anders Örtenblad

Over time management ideas and panaceas have been presented alternately as quick fix cures for all corporate ills and the emperor’s new clothes, beset by flaws and problems. This Handbook provides a different approach, suggesting that management ideas and panaceas should not be either adopted or rejected outright, but gives guidance in the art of assessing and applying management ideas and panaceas to various situations and contexts.

Chapter 23: Theory as fashion: what are management ideas for?

Martin Parker

Subjects: business and management, organisational behaviour, organisation studies, strategic management


This chapter considers the relationship between theory generation and fashion. It pursues the idea that theories – in management or any other social science – aren’t only about being able to see the world more clearly, but are also items to be seen wearing. The usefulness of a theory is at least in part what it says about you, about your sophistication, intelligence or fashionability.

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