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.