A bibliometric analysis of fashions in management literature
Recent evaluations of the role of management research have highlighted problems associated with its academic quality, and its relevance to management practitioners. It has been suggested that one of the main causes of these problems has been the fashionable nature of certain ideas disseminated through the management literature. The purpose of this thesis is to develop a model through which fashions in management literature may be identified; and to analyse the characteristics associated with these fashionable ideas. This in turn facilitates analysis of why particular management ideas are susceptible to the pressures of fashion. Fashions in management literature are identified on the basis of their influence upon the management research community. This is evaluated via analysis of citations appended to academic journals over recent decades. In order to model the citation patterns associated with management publications, mathematical curve modelling is implemented. The models generated provide measurements of the influence and longevity of management literature. Such measurements may be employed in the identification of management fashions. Multiple regression analysis os emplopyed to study the impact of publication characteristics (ie authoring details, publishing media) upon the pattern of influence of management literature; while cluster analysis and case studies of individual publications are used to analyse the relationship between the content of published literature and the longevity of its influence. The results of these analyses reveal that the relative level of influence of management publications can be predicted with some accuracy on the basis of their input characteristics. Howver, the longevity of this influence is affected to a greater extent by the content of publications. A theory of management fashions is developed, based upon the content of management ideas, and the characteristics of the publications through which these ideas are disseminated.