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date: 29 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that there is a system of management ideas, that is, a set of institutionalized high level heuristics that guide organizational and individual behaviours in managerial reality, involve distinct knowledge that is transferred across time and space, may change as a result of local adaptation or innovation, and may be selected for or against. This system operates at multiple levels, particularly the individual, organizational, and institutional levels. A system of management ideas can be analysed through a micro-foundational approach, where actions of individual agents lead to an evolution of the system through processes of variation, selection, and retention. This approach is applied to the organizational level choice of adopting existing, fashionable management practices versus creating novel management practices. The authors present a process model depicting this make-or-buy choice in management practices and provide insights into why and when organizations choose each of these routes.

Keywords: evolutionary perspective, management fashion, management ideas, management innovation, management practices, system

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