The branding of management knowledge: Rethinking management "fads"

David Collins*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This paper offers a critical analysis of recent developments in management knowledge. Observing that detractors have sought to "brand" developments in management knowkdge as faddish and insubstantial distortions of the nature of management and the realities of organization, the paper offers a distinctive analysis, which exploits ambiguities in the term "branding" to argue that management fads, so-called, should be subject to a form of critical analysis, which goes beyond debunking. Dismissing the notion that recent developments in management are faddish and insubstantial, the paper suggests that contemporary developments in management knowkdge are, in fact, worthy of a sustained, critical analysis because they have the capacity to shape our understanding of ourselves and our circumstances, and so offer workers and managers new ways to be at work Focusing attention on the consumption of management knowledge, the paper suggests that we should alter our understanding of the "branding" of management knowkdge to acknowledge the similarities between recent developments in management knowkdge and "branded" goods such as those produced by Nike.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-204
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


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