Handbook of Research on Management Ideas and Panaceas
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Handbook of Research on Management Ideas and Panaceas

Adaptation and Context

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.
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Chapter 10: Changing the story: management panaceas as narrative interventions

Susan Rosina Whittle


The chapter conceptualizes management panaceas as narrative interventions into organizational identity and asserts that organization members unable to change their stories about organizing and managing may be able to adopt but will struggle to adapt these rational myths to serve their specific contexts. Theorizing management panaceas as ideologies and as methodologies can provide some insights into adoption and adaption problems by enhancing our understanding of the maladaptive practices to which panaceas are prone. To absorb management panaceas into their strategic and everyday narratives, managers need to counter the defensive dynamics of simplification and fundamentalism that characterize these innovations. Researchers can help but this will mean changing our own narratives about panaceas.

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