MIS40910 – Skills for Business Enquiry – Research Questions

1.  Abrahamson, E. (1991) ‘Managerial fads and fashions: The diffusion and rejection of innovations’, Academy of Management Review, 16(3): 586-612.

1.Abrahamson1991-Managerial Fads And Fashion

2(a).  Pfeffer, J. and Sutton, R. I. (2006) ‘Evidence-based management’, Harvard Business Review, 84(1): 62–74.

2a.Pfeffer2006-Evidence Based Management


2(b).  Pfeffer, J., & Sutton, R. I. (1999). Knowing “what” to do is not enough: Turning knowledge into action. California Management Review, 42(1), 83-108.

2b.Pfeffer1999-Knowing What To Do

MIS40910 – Group ‘D’ questions/comments

Philip Burtenshaw, Conor Gleeson, Tarun Rattan, Thomas Joseph, Fiona Walsh

Q:1 – Managerial Fads and Fashions: The Diffusion and Rejection of Innovations:

Abrahamson argues in his article that, even though there is no quick answer to diffusion of inefficient innovations and rejection of efficient innovation, such process will help organisation in finding new efficient innovation and adopting it. Is this tendency good for all type of industries?

The differences as outlined in the No Silver Bullet paper in Managing System Development from this week are stark in comparison. Can we say that while the scope of this paper is broad it should not be applied to IT innovations? Companies who have shown themselves to have a pro-innovation culture have very much benefited from this approach in the IT sector.

As Abrahamson himself concedes “The cost of adopting and rejecting multiple fads or fashions in order to find a technically efficient innovation may be much lower than the returns from using this innovation.” This would seem to be especially applicable to the IT sector.

Q:2 – Knowing “What” to Do is Not Enough:  Turning Knowledge into Action

clip_image001 How can we have so many books, articles, consulting, research, and training yet not make dent in actual management practice?  When one considers working knowledge often falls outside of knowledge management frameworks and yet 70% of workplace knowledge is informal there is clear and logical reason why so much theory gets left as just that theory.

The article makes a valid observation in that firms have not done a good job at building knowledge into products and services or to develop new products and services out of this knowledge. This after all the age of the knowledge economy or was that just a catch phrase amongst CEO who seem to have trouble implementing what they say.

Companies over estimate the importance of the tangible, specific, programmatic aspects of what competitors, for instance do, and underestimate the important of the underlying philosophy that guides what they do and why they do it. Honda being a high profile proponent of this such that it permeates everything it does including partner selection. The value of philosophy – Intangible glue in the management and utilisation of knowledge.

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