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date: 06 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews research on management techniques—formal procedures for carrying out a management task. It identifies three main streams of research—a functionalist stream, viewing management techniques as best practices; an institutionalist stream, where management techniques are symbols of rationality; and an emerging practice-based stream, focusing on how management techniques come to be used in, and influence, managerial work. This line of research investigates management techniques as affordances to agents in organizations, and it is through this interaction with organizational agency that management techniques shape organizational processes (e.g. strategizing and consulting) and individual managers (e.g. uncertainty reduction). In this view, management techniques are found to play important roles in facilitating communication and knowledge creation in organizations, creating confidence and motivation for action, and reducing uncertainty for individual actors.

Keywords: best practices institutional theory, management techniques, management knowledge, management ideas, practice theory

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