Management fad

Management fad is a term used to characterize a change in philosophy or operations implemented by a business or institution. The term is subjective and tends to be used in a pejorative sense, as it implies that such a change is being implemented (often by management on its employees, with little or no input from them) solely because it is (at the time) "popular" within managerial circles, and not necessarily due to any real need for organizational change. The term further implies that once the underlying philosophy is no longer "popular", it will be replaced by the newest "popular" idea, in the same manner and for the same reason as the previous idea. Several authors have argued that new management ideas should be subject to greater critical analysis, and for the need for greater conceptual awareness of new ideas by managers. Authors Leonard J. Ponzi and Michael Koenig believe that a key determinant of whether any management idea is a "management fad" is the number and timing of published articles on the idea. In their research, Ponzi and Koenig argue that once an idea has been discussed for around 3Ц5 years, if after this time the number of articles on the idea in a given year decreases significantly (similar to the right-hand side of a bell curve), then the idea is most likely a "management fad". Common Characteristics Management Fads are often characterized by the following: New Jargon for existing business processes. External consultants who specialize in the implementation of the fad. A certification or appraisal process performed by an xternal agency for a fee. Amending the job titles of existing employees to include references to the fad. Claims of a measurable business improvement via measurement of a metric that is defined by the fad itself. An internal sponsoring department or individual that gains influence due to the fad's implementation. Big words and complex phrases. Jargon is terminology which is especially defined in relationship to a specific activity, profession, group, or event. The philosophe Condillac observed in 1782 that "Every science requires a special language because every science has its own ideas." As a rationalist member of the Enlightenment he continued, "It seems that one ought to begin by composing this language, but people begin by speaking and writing, and the language remains to be composed." In earlier times, the term jargon would refer to trade languages used by people who spoke different native tongues to communicate, such as the Chinook Jargon. In other words, the term covers the language used by people who work in a particular area or who have a common interest. Much like slang, it can develop as a kind of short-hand, to express ideas that are frequently discussed between members of a group, though it can also be developed deliberately using chosen terms. A standard term may be given a more precise or unique usage among practitioners of a field. In many cases this causes a barrier to communication with those not familiar with the language of the field. As an example, the words bit, byte, and hexadecimal are jargon terms related to computing.