Eric Abrahamson

Managerial Fads and Fashions: The Diffusion and Rejection of Innovations

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Reviews indicate that the dominant perspective in the diffusion of innovation literature contains proinnovation biases which suggest that innovations and the diffusion of innovations will benefit adopters. As a result, it is difficult to either address or begin answering the questions: when and how do technically inefficient innovations diffuse? or when and how are technically efficient innovations rejected? This article has two goals: (1) to develop a typology that focuses attention on three less dominant perspectives that can be used to guide research on these questions and (2) to suggest how organizational scientists can develop more encompassing theories of innovation diffusion and rejection by using the theoretical tensions that exist between the dominant perspective and the three perspectives developed in this article. These resolutions are important because they indicate that processes which prompt the adoption of efficient innovations may coexist with processes that prompt the adoption of inefficient ones. Additionally, these resolutions inform research on the diffusion and rejection of many different types of innovations across varying contexts.

Source: Academy of Management Review
Volume: 16
Number: 3
Pages: 586-612
Date: 7 1991