Management Fads, Pedagogies and Soft Technologies
26 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2005
Date Written: September 23, 2005
We present a model for the diffusion of management fads and other technologies which lack clear objective evidence about their merits. The choices made by non-Bayesian adopters reflect both their own evaluations and the social in°uence of their peers. We show, both analytically and computationally, that the dynamics lead to outcomes that appear to be deterministic in spite of being governed by a stochastic process. In other words, when the objective evidence about a technology is weak, the evolution of this process quickly settles down to a fraction of adopters that is not predetermined. When the objective evidence is strong, the proportion of adopters is determined by the quality of the evidence and the adopters'competence.
Keywords: management fads, herding, technology adoption
JEL Classification: D71
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation