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 26: Towards a normative theory of contextualizing management ideas and panaceas

Anders Örtenblad


This chapter is the final and concluding chapter of the book. It starts off by suggesting that there is reason to distinguish between two variants of universality of management ideas and panaceas: absolute and contingent (or inspirational) universality. Then the main conclusion of the book is outlined; for wiser relevance-testing and adaptation of management ideas and panaceas for individual organizations or organizations in generalized contexts, there is a need for (1) diversity; (2) critical examination; and (3) transparency. The roles that researchers, organizational actors and higher education can play in accomplishing wiser relevance-testing and adaptation are also discussed. In the final section of the chapter, a few areas where there is a need for further research are suggested: there is need for (a) action research on relevance-testing and adaptation of management ideas and panaceas; (b) research on the roles of other groups of actors – such as consultants – in reaching wiser relevance-testing and adaptation; and (c) a nomenclature for the many concepts that are used in this research area and a more precise definition of the object in study (that is, ‘management ideas and panaceas’, especially as there a need for a more appropriate definition of ‘management idea’).

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