Management Gurus and Management Fashions: A Dramatistic Inquiry

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Psychology Press, 2001 - Business & Economics - 208 pages
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Since the 1980s, popular management thinkers, 'gurus', have promoted a number of performance improvement programs and management fashions which have greatly influenced both the everyday conduct of organizational life and the preoccupations of academic researchers. This book provides a rhetorical critique of the management guru and management fashion phenomenon, building on the important theoretical progress that has recently been made by a small, but growing band of management researchers.

Fantasy theme analysis, a dramatically-based method of rhetorical criticism, is conducted to critique three of the most important management fashions to have emerged during the 1990s:

* the re-engineering movement promoted by Michael Hammer and James Champy
* the effectiveness movement led by Stephen Covey
* the learning organization movement inspired by Peter Senge and his colleagues.

In addition to its rhetorical and empirical contributions, this book stimulates a much-needed critical dialogue between practitioners and academics on the sources of the underlying appeal of management gurus and management fashions, and their effect upon the quality of management and organizational learning.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The wider view
3
The purpose of the book
5
The structure of the book
6
The management guru and management fashion phenomenon
8
Describing the phenomenon
9
The backlash
16
Emerging explanatory accounts
22
The rhetorical vision of the effectiveness movement
101
Managing spiritual movements in a secular age
110
Summary
116
Peter Senge and the learning organization
118
Forerunners and variants of the learning organization vision
119
Organizing the learning organization vision
122
The rhetorical community of the learning organization
131
The rhetorical vision of the learning organization
135

Toward a rhetorical critique
36
Summary
42
Dramatistic rhetorical criticism
44
The Fantasy Theme method of rhetorical criticism
46
Research design
62
Summary
69
Michael Hammer James Champy and the reengineering movement
71
The reengineering movement
72
The rhetorical vision of reengineering
78
The performance of reengineering
85
Summary
93
Stephen Covey and the effectiveness movement
94
The seven highly effective habits of Stephen Covey
95
Defining the rhetorical community of the effectiveness movement
99
Sustaining the vision of the learning organization
144
Summary
151
Discussion
153
The three rhetorical visions compared
154
Assessing Fantasy Theme Analysis
163
Extending the analysis
166
Summary
171
Conclusion
173
Fostering a dialogue between academics and practitioners
174
The road ahead
175
Curtain call
178
References
180
Index
201
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Dr. Brad Jackson is a Senior Lecturer with the School of Business and Public Management at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and an Associate Professor of Continuing Education at the University of Calgary in Canada. He has presented his research to academic and business audiences throughout the world and has published articles in the Journal of Management Studies and the Journal of Applied Behavioural Sciences.

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