How to detect a management fad—and distinguish it from a classic

Miller, Danny; Hartwick, Jon; Le Breton-Miller, Isabelle
July 2004
Business Horizons;Jul/Aug2004, Vol. 47 Issue 4, p7
Academic Journal
The objectives of this research study are to identify some prominent management fads and classics by evaluating their life cycles and to identify key characteristics that distinguish fads from classics. The three recent fads chosen were business process reengineering, total quality management and downsizing. The four older fads included were Japanese management, job enrichment, management by objectives, and theories x and y. Having identified some fads and classics on the basis of their life cycles, the authors of this research paper explored which properties distinguished the two. The list they came up with is incomplete and imperfect, but it does identify eight common characteristics of warning signs that virtually all the fads do have and most of the classics do not.


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