Chapter

The Fad Cycle

Joel Best

in Flavor of the Month

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780520246263
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932357 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520246263.003.0003
The Fad Cycle

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Every institutional fad proffers the hope of progress, intending to make things better by solving some problem that plagues the people involved in an institution. But institutional fads extend among smart people who need to believe that adopting this change is sensible, that it promises improvement. One of the most appealing features of the solutions promised by institutional fads is their flexibility or breadth. Promoters frequently claim that a single solution has the power to resolve multiple problems. Although solutions tend to be abstract rather than specific, they often feature memorable elements that seem to make the solution to apply easily. It is certainly the case that cultural assumptions and social networks make institutional fads possible. People have to consider a cast of characters and a sequence of stages to understand this process.

Keywords: institutional fads; flexibility; breadth; promoters; solutions

Chapter.  9214 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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