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CEM P

The Creation of European Management Practice


A Research Programme Supported by the European Union (TSER Contract SOE1-CT97-1072)
Executive Committee: Professor Lars Engwall, Sweden (chair), Professor Jos Luis Alvarez, Spain, Professor Rolv Petter Amdam, Norway, Dr. Matthias Kipping, United Kingdom Executive Secretary: Dr. Cecilia Pahlberg, Department of Business Studies, Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden telephone: +46-18-4711617; fax: +46-18-4716810; e-mail: Cecilia.Pahlberg@fek.uu.se Home-page: http://www.fek.uu.se/cemp

CEMP REPORT NO. 7


December 1999

The Carriers of European Management Ideas

by Lars Engwall Department of Business Studies Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Table of Contents

List of Figures .................................................................................................................... 4 List of Tables...................................................................................................................... 4 Preface ............................................................................................................................... 5 Summary of the Report....................................................................................................... 6 1. Introduction.................................................................................................................... 7 1.1. The Kinked Demand Curve Revisited....................................................................... 7 1.2. New Institutionalists and Management ..................................................................... 8 1.3. Deregulation and Modern Information Technology .................................................. 8 1.4. The Structure of the Report ................................................................................... 10 2. Management and Management Ideas............................................................................. 10 2.1. The General Structure of Management ................................................................... 10 2.1.1. Introduction .................................................................................................... 10 2.1.2. A Model of the Firm........................................................................................ 11 2.1.3. Different Sub-areas of Management................................................................. 12 2.2. Prominent Current Management Ideas.................................................................... 14 2.2.1. Introduction .................................................................................................... 14 2.2.2. Top Management ............................................................................................ 14 2.2.3. The Financial Flow .......................................................................................... 15 2.2.4. The Production Flow....................................................................................... 17 2.3. Conclusions ........................................................................................................... 18 3. Management Practice.................................................................................................... 19 3.1. Multinationals as Role Models................................................................................ 19 3.2. Multinationals as Carriers of Management Practice................................................. 20 3.3. Institutional Pressures for Homogenisation............................................................. 22 3.4. Conclusions ........................................................................................................... 24 4. Management Academic Institutions............................................................................... 24 4.1. The Early Development.......................................................................................... 24 4.2. The Americanisation of European Management Education ..................................... 26 4.2.1. The American Model....................................................................................... 26 4.2.2. The Nordic Countries...................................................................................... 27

4.2.3. Middle Europe ................................................................................................ 27 4.2.4. The Latin Countries......................................................................................... 30 4.3. Forces for Homogenisation .................................................................................... 31 4.4. Conclusions ........................................................................................................... 33 5. Management Publishing ................................................................................................ 35 5.1. Introduction ........................................................................................................... 35 5.2. Scientific Publications ............................................................................................ 35 5.2.1. Introduction .................................................................................................... 35 5.2.2. European and US Management Journals.......................................................... 36 5.2.3. Citation Behaviour .......................................................................................... 40 5.2.4. Concluding Remarks ....................................................................................... 42 5.3. Popular Publications............................................................................................... 42 5.3.1. Popular Management Books............................................................................ 42 5.3.2. Text-books...................................................................................................... 45 5.3.3. Popular Journals and Magazines ...................................................................... 48 5.4. Conclusions ........................................................................................................... 51 6. Consultants................................................................................................................... 52 6.1. Introduction ........................................................................................................... 52 6.2. The Scope of Consultancies ................................................................................... 54 6.3. The Scale of Consultancies..................................................................................... 57 6.4. Conclusions ........................................................................................................... 61 7. Management Fields in Interaction.................................................................................. 62 7.1. A Basic Model ....................................................................................................... 62 7.2 Academic Institutions and Practice .......................................................................... 63 7.3. Academic Institutions and Consultancies ................................................................ 65 7.4. Academic Institutions and Publishing...................................................................... 65 7.5. Consultancies and Publishing.................................................................................. 66 7.6. Consultancies and Practice ..................................................................................... 67 7.7. Publishing and Practice........................................................................................... 68 7.8. Conclusions ........................................................................................................... 69 8. Perspectives on Homogenisation................................................................................... 70 8.1. Introduction ........................................................................................................... 70 8.2. The Concept of Homogenisation ............................................................................ 71 2

8.3. Forces Hampering Homogenisation........................................................................ 73 8.3.1. Inertia and Sedimentation ................................................................................ 73 8.3.2. Structural Differences between Countries ........................................................ 74 8.3.3. The Entries of New Actors.............................................................................. 75 8.4. A Model of Homogenisation .................................................................................. 76 8.5. Conclusions on Homogenisation............................................................................. 77 9. Conclusions, Implications and Future Work .................................................................. 79 9.1. Management Practice in a Globalised World........................................................... 79 9.2. Three Fields of Management Interacting with Practice............................................ 80 9.3. Policy Implications................................................................................................. 81 9.4. Future Studies........................................................................................................ 83 References ........................................................................................................................ 84

List of Figures

Figure 1. A Model of Management. ...................................................................................... 11 Figure 2. Author Nationality in Four Pairs of Management Journals...................................... 38 Figure 3. A Consultancy Client in an Information Network. .................................................. 53 Figure 4. Management Fields in Interaction........................................................................... 62 Figure 5. A Model of Homogenisation .................................................................................. 77

List of Tables

Table 1. Problem Areas in Management. ............................................................................... 12 Table 2. Prominent Modern Management Ideas .................................................................... 14 Table 3. The Seven Most Used Management Methods in Swedish Large Companies............. 21 Table 4. Long-Time Use of the Seven Most Used Management Methods.............................. 21 Table 5. Views on the Role Played by Different Sources in the Diffusion of New Ideas. ........ 22 Table 6. Institutions for Business Education in Europe and the United States before 1914..... 25 Table 7. Different Types of Management Publications........................................................... 35 Table 8. US and European Journals in Different Fields of Management. ................................ 37 Table 9. The Concentration of Authors Universities Measured by ..................................... 39 Table 10. Percentage of Authors from English Speaking Countries ....................................... 40 Table 11. Percentage of Citations between Journals by Origin of Journal and Author. ........... 41 Table 12. Top References in Three Studies of Nordic Management Research........................ 41 Table 13. Titles that are Used in More than Two of Eight Nordic Business Schools. ............. 46 Table 14. Origin of the Literature in the Curricula at Eight Nordic Business Schools............. 48 Table 15. The Most Influential Management Publications in Europe...................................... 50 Table 16. Different Types of Consultancies. .......................................................................... 55 Table 17. Views on the Future Use of Consultancies among Ten Swedish Top Executives.... 56 Table 18. The Largest Consulting Firms in Europe 1995....................................................... 58 Table 19. The Largest Consultancies in Britain, France, and Germany in 1994/95. ................ 59 Table 20. Main Concepts to be in Focus for the Subsequent Analysis.................................... 83

Preface The research programme The Creation of European Management Practice (CEMP), which has been going on with the support from the European Union since the spring of 1998, focuses on four important fields of management: practice, education and research, publishing, and consulting. For each of these fields research teams have been involved in projects in order to increase the understanding of processes determining European management practice. In a first phase the task has been to undertake studies of the structure of producers of carriers of management knowledge. In addition studies have been undertaken regarding popular management concepts. The results have earlier been reported to the European Union in Lindvall (1998), Kipping and Armbrster (1998), Lindvall and Pahlberg (1998), Amdam and Kv lshaugen (1999), Alvarez, Mazza and Mur (1999), Kipping and Armbruester (1999), Byrkjeflot (1999a) and Sjenova and Alvarez (1999). The purpose of this report is to integrate the first phase of the CEMP programme. In this way it will also provide a platform for the already started second phase of the programme, which focuses on the contents of the ideas diffused by carriers of management knowledge. Hopefully, the present report will also be of a wider interest outside the CEMP programme.

Stockholm 29 December 1999

Lars Engwall Co-ordinator of the CEMP Programme

Summary of the Report


A basic point of departure for the report is that rules, norms, and imitation generally can be expected to standardise behaviour within social fields. It is then pointed out that this has become increasingly true between national systems as a result of deregulation of barriers to exchange of goods, services and financial instruments. This globalisation can be expected to homogenise national business systems. In this process ideas of management appear to play a particularly important role. It is argued that US role models have a significant influence on the diffusion of management ideas within four fields: management practice, academic institutions, publishing and consultancies. By means of a model of the firm focusing on organisational flows and three groups of stakeholders different sub-areas of management are defined. The same model is also used to summarise a literature review of modern management concepts. In this way it is shown how executives are subject to a number of conflicting pressures. Evidence is also provided of large multinationals being frontrunners in the adoption of new management techniques and that other companies are the most significant inspiration for adopters. An analysis of management education starts out to summarise the development at the turn of the century. It is followed by a discussion of the American model and how it has been adopted in three different parts of Europe: the Nordic countries, Middle Europe and the Latin countries. The analysis points to a homogenisation of the field, although there are clear differences between countries in terms of the pace of adoption of the American model. In dealing with management publishing the report makes a distinction between scientific and popular publications. In terms of the former the report compares US and European publishing and citing behaviour. This comparison provides evidence of an asymmetry to the advantage of the North American management scholars. For popular publications the report presents an analysis of the markets for popular management books, text-books, popular journals and magazines. Also in this section tendencies of homogenisation are observed. For management consultants the report provides a discussion of the scope and scale of consulting. The appropriateness of defining consulting in a wide sense is then pointed out. It is also stressed how different consulting services are linked together and how strategic management consulting is combined with a large amount of bread-and-butter activities Data on the largest actors in the field constitute evidence of an Anglo-American dominance, particularly by the Big Five auditing companies. Again signs of homogenisation are observed. It is also pointed out that future studies of consultants need to focus more on the interaction between consultants and clients. After these analyses of the four fields of management the report provides an analysis of the implications of the fact that the fields are not isolated but instead are interacting. Actors in the different fields appear more and more to live in symbiosis or be parts of larger networks of business schools, media companies, consultancies, and multinationals. In this way homogenisation is likely to be reinforced still further. Before concluding, the report offers perspectives on homogenisation. It thereby discusses the interpretation of this concept and forces hampering the development towards similarity. Three such factors are introduced: inertia and sedimentation, structural differences between countries, and the entries of new actors. They are included in a model of homogenisation, in which the hampering factors are considered to be weaker than those promoting homogeneity. A concluding section offers a discussion of homogenisation and executive behaviour. In a final section the report summarises the basic arguments for homogenisation of management practice in a globalised world, and the effects of the interaction between the four fields of management. In a discussion of policy implications, dilemmas for politicians are brought to attention. Finally, plans for future studies are presented.

1. Introduction 1.1. The Kinked Demand Curve Revisited A fundamental idea behind the organisation of modern society is that markets are atomistic and that decision-makers cannot observe the behaviour of individual competitors. However, already in 1933 Edwin Chamberlin and Joan Robinson pointed out in two separate books (Chamberlin, 1933 and Robinson, 1933) that competition is not always perfect but is instead a rivalry between a limited number of actors. Later on in the 1930s, just before Second World War, two papers were independently published by Richard L. Hall and Charles J. Hitch (1939) and Paul M. Sweezy (1939) suggesting price rigidity in oligopolistic markets. These authors argued that under such market conditions competitors tend to watch each other and to match prices. Pricing has in this way been characterised by a tendency of follow-the-leader. Pricing is only one aspect of business behaviour, however. Other important aspects are product design, strategic decisions, etc., and there is evidence that the kinked demand curve phenomena also is valid for these. One example can be provided by a study of a Swedish local newspaper market focusing on the competition between a socialist and non-socialist newspaper (Engwall, 1985 and 1986). The former was founded for ideological reasons with the clear views regarding the appropriate contents of the paper. However, the efforts to be different from the non-socialist newspaper were in vain in the longer perspective, since the latter had a circulation three times as high as its socialist competitor. This dominance of the non-socialist newspaper in terms of size implied that the audience got strong signals what a newspaper should look like. Efforts of the non-socialist newspaper to produce a product of a different type was therefore in vain. It had not only to follow the subscription price of its rival, it had also to follow in terms of contents. A second example can be taken from an analysis of the Swedish banking industry during the financial crisis of the late 1980s and the early 1990s (Engwall, 1994 and 1997). It points out that deregulation was undertaken under the assumption of perfect markets with no possibilities for individual actors to observe the actions of others. The analysis shows that instead actors were very carefully observing each other exhibiting a copy-cat behaviour in terms of international operations, movements into other areas of the financial industry, aggressive marketing, etc. The case also leads to the conclusion that the behaviour of the industry could be labelled as organisational stress. Even CEOs, who liked to stay calm, had difficulties to do

so, because of strong pressures from shareholders, the financial press and from their own organisation. 1.2. New Institutionalists and Management Although the two reported cases both come from a Swedish context, they seem to have a wider validity. As a matter of fact they fit well with the arguments of Berger and Luckmann (1966) about reality as a social construction and the basic ideas of the new institutionalists, such as Paul J. DiMaggio and Walter W. Powell (see DiMaggio and Powell, 1983, Powell and DiMaggio, 1991), that organisations to a high extent are under pressure to become similar due to coercion, norms and imitation. Coercion is primarily exercised through rules imposed by nation states, while norms constitute a significant force for homogenisation within professional fields. Imitation, finally, is important for isomorphism in uncertain environments, i.e. when organizational technologies are poorly understood, when goals are ambiguous, or when the environment creates symbolic uncertainty (DiMaggio and Powell, 1983, p. 151). The implications of the above is that we should anticipate an increasing homogeneity in the behaviour of organisations. Since this tendency could be expected to be reinforced by the degree of uncertainty for significant actors, it is of particular interest to note that the British sociologist Richard Whitley in an analysis of the social and intellectual organisation of the sciences (Whitley, 1984) has pointed out that the scientific field of management is characterised by high task uncertainty and low dependence among scholars in the field. This conclusion reflects a general uncertainty of the relationships between cause and effect in management. As a result there are good reasons to expect imitation to play a particularly significant role in management. This is especially the case as a result of two recent changes in the working conditions of the significant actors: deregulation and the development of modern information technology. 1.3. Deregulation and Modern Information Technology The post-war period has implied a continuous liberalisation of the rules of the exchange of goods and services. The first step was taken through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) signed in Geneva in 1947. It was followed by further steps in the Kennedy round negotiations in Geneva 1964-67, and negotiations following a meeting in Tokyo in 1974 and Montevideo in 1986. Similarly world financial markets began in the mid-1960s, accelerated in the 1970s, and exploded in the 1980s (Khory, 1990, p. xiii). It all started in the United States and has later on spread on a global basis. In this development the competition between

international financial centres like New York, London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo has been important to speed up the process. Again a follow-my-leader process can be observed. As one country takes steps to facilitate financial transactions others have been apt to follow suit.1 In addition countries are continuously evaluated and ranked through OECD statistics on per capita income. Occasionally also business magazines make comparisons which take also other variables into consideration (see e.g. Affrsvrlden 3 November 1999, pp. 36-50). As far as modern computer and communication technology is concerned it has implied radically increased processing capacity and transmission speed. In this way the technology has reinforced the process of deregulation discussed above. Transaction costs have been possible to cut considerably and information can be exchanged instantaneously on a world wide basis. This has been particularly important in financial markets, where communication facilities always have been extremely significant.2 However, the development of computer and communication technology has also been important in other industries through increased possibilities to run operations on a global scale. It has also implied higher demands for competence in companies. Together deregulation and the development of computer and communication technology have speeded up the process of internationalisation of business that occurred in the postwar period. The former multinational companies are now operating on a global scale and many of them have turned into transnationals. In this way the global companies have become significant actors in the world economy. The mentioned globalisation of business could certainly be expected to influence the process of homogenisation discussed above. In a sense we can thus expect globalisation to decrease the differences between business systems. In a longer perspective rules and norms are likely to become more similar as countries follow each other in a follow-the-leader process. Again we can anticipate that dominant actors will provide the template for others. At the end of the twentieth century it appears fair to say that there is just one such dominant actor and

For a recent review of the development of a global marketplace, see Yergin and Stanislaw (1998). Others like Young and Theys (1999) go even further by suggesting the future of markets to become totally on-line.
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This point can be illustrated by the events as the first telephone line between Hamburg and New York was opened in 1928. The second person to use it was the was the banker Max Warburg, who was only preceded by the German Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann (Attali, 1987, p. 100).

that is the United States. It is the only remaining superpower. It uses a language, which has become the modern lingua franca. It has a dominant position in many aspects.3 1.4. The Structure of the Report In view of the above discussion and the ongoing integration of Europe it is relevant to ask to what extent European management is becoming homogenised. Since there are clear indications that US management ideas have had and have a significant impact on European management practice, it is also appropriate to analyse to what extent this development constitutes an Americanisation,. These questions are also basic points of departure for the CEMP research programme, which, in addition to management practice, focuses on three other significant fields of modern management. In line with the arguments of Abrahamson (1991) and Micklewait and Woolridge (1996) it also pays attention to academic institutions, publishing, and consultancies.4 For all four fields of management it is expected to find tendencies of homogenisation. The nature of this development will be discussed in Sections 3-6, while Section 7 will treat the interaction between the four fields. Section 8 will dwell on homogenisation, and Section 9 will provide conclusions of the report. However, first Section 2 will provide perspectives on management and management ideas. 2. Management and Management Ideas 2.1. The General Structure of Management 2.1.1. Introduction A basic prerequisite for an analysis of the diffusion of management ideas is to provide a definition of the concept of management. The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines it as administration of business concerns or public undertakings; persons engaged in this, while Merriam-Websters Dictionary provides the entry the act or art of managing: the conducting or supervising of something (as a business). Both these definitions could be used in both a

For an early discussion of this issue, see Servan-Schreiber (1967 and 1968). This work has been followed by a large number of studies of Americanisation, see Kroes (1996); Kuisel (1993); Nolan (1994), Pells (1997), Ross (1995), Wagnleitner (1994) and Willett (1989). Micklewaith and Woolridge (1996) in writing about gurus, or witch doctors as they prefer to call them, state that the gurus themselves are only the most visible tip of a much larger management iceberg, which incorporates business schools, management consultancies and much of the business press (ibid., p. 8).
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narrow and a wide sense. They could be looked upon strictly as the field of administration and supervision of personnel. However, such a use of the word management would be inconsistent with later developments in research regarding business and public organisations. It has implied that organisational perspectives have increasingly been used in efforts to understand these entities. In this development it has become clear that organisations have to be considered as open systems (see e.g. Scott, 1981, Chapter 5). As a consequence it has become more evident that management problems are not only internal organisational issues but also include the management of external relations to different types of stake-holders like financiers, customers and suppliers. This is also the approach taken within the CEMP programme. 2.1.2. A Model of the Firm Having defined management in a wide sense it is suitable to move on to discuss its contents. For this purpose it is convenient to use a model of the firm, which has been developed in earlier research (Engwall, 1978a and 1992b). It takes at its point of departure that an organisation is linking together three types of groups: (1) external providers of goods and services, (2) internal providers of services, and (3) customers (see Figure 1). These groups are basically linked through two types of flows: a production flow and a financial flow. Goods and services are delivered from suppliers to the organisation, in which it is acted upon, and later transferred to customers. In certain types of operations, like education or medical services, the production is occurring in very close interaction between internal providers and customers. However, this does not change the general structure of the management problems. Figure 1. A Model of Management.

Top Management

External Providers Financial Flow Production Flow p p p

Internal Providers p p p p

Customers p p

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In the opposite direction of the production flow organisations have financial flows. Customers pay for the goods and services they have received. These financial resources are distributed to internal providers in the form of wages and salaries, and to external providers as payment for supplies, interests and dividends. As production has to precede the receipt of payments organisations need financial resources in advance for early expenditures and investments. The financial flow is therefore not a one-way-flow but goes in both directions between external and internal providers: loans are entrusted the internal organisation on the assumption that they will be paid back with interest. Risk capital is in the same way provided with the hope of dividends and growth in share prices. Even if we accept a wide definition of management we have to add to our model also a seventh component and that is top management. It is supposed to be responsible for the over all co-ordination of the production and financial flows, and the long-term decisions for the development of the organisation. 2.1.3. Different Sub-areas of Management The presented model makes it possible to move on to a discussion of different sub-areas within the field of management (Table 1).5 Going up-streams in the financial flow, i.e. from left to right in Table 1, we find in the upper left cell of the matrix problems of accounting and finance. These issues have a long history and have constituted one of the foundations of modern management. Early signs of accounting systems go back to Babylon and Egypt. However, modern accounting principles are generally considered to go back to fifteenth century Italy (see e.g. Littleton, 1933). Both accounting and finance have risen in importance with industrialisation and the development of modern public companies. Table 1. Problem Areas in Management. General Management Problems External Providers Financial Flow Production Flow Accounting Finance Purchasing Internal Providers Management Accounting Administration Customers Pricing Marketing

Entrepreneurship is a recent feature of management, which is not explicitly included in Table 1. However, basically it is dealing with the areas in the table but with a focus on new start-ups.

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External accounting methods are primarily aimed at the communication between organisations and external providers like financiers and the State. Similar needs of means to evaluate the operations are emerging inside organisations particularly as they are increasing in size. This has led to the development of the area of management accounting. It emerged gradually during the early decades of the present century and has to-day become a very significant feature in modern organisations. It has its foundations in economics but has over time included more and more behavioural aspects. In the modern corporation it is to a very high extent depending on advanced information technology. Pricing, finally in the financial flow, became an issue in the 1930s, when, as was mentioned by means of introduction, Edwin Chamberlin (1933) and Joan Robinson (1933) independently pointed out that markets are far from perfect and that firms may be price-setters rather than price-takers. Developments within management accounting were also important for the development of different pricing models. The insight that firms could affect their markets had also an impact on the views of the production flow. Also marketing and distributions systems became an important issue (lower right-hand cell of the matrix) in the 1930s and particularly after Second World War.6 The literature on distributions systems in turn was very much influenced by that in the field of administration, particularly scientific management. The latter body of thought, which emerged in the 1910s through the works of Frederick W. Taylor, focused particularly on the efficient flow of production. This focus has also become a significant feature in modern works on purchasing. While earlier contributions were particularly directed towards optimisation of stocks, later works have come to emphasise relationships to suppliers and efficient flows of supplies. The general management problems, finally, have become more significant with the growth in size of corporations. In the 1960s a literature on corporate strategy emerged (see e.g. Ansoff, 1965 and Chandler, 1962). It was in the following decades followed by a quite extensive literature on strategic issues (see e.g. Mintzberg, 1994, Porter, 1980, and Hamel and Prahalad, 1994).

The latest feature of this field of management is constituted by e-commerce, which is now added to the curricula of several business schools (see e.g. Financial Times, March 15, 1999, p. 11).

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2.2. Prominent Current Management Ideas 2.2.1. Introduction Having thus established the general structure of management it is then appropriate to turn to the current ideas diffused. For such a discussion a recent literature review by Lindvall (1998) provides evidence. On the basis of a reading of the business magazines Business Week, CFO Europe, Economist, Financial Times, Fortune, Information Strategy and Wired and current literature the author has presented an extensive body of concepts in modern management. A summarising table thus contains as many as 179 different concepts. For obvious reasons the discussion here has to be limited to the most central ones and representatives of groups of concepts. In so doing the model of the firm presented earlier provides us with an appropriate tool (see Table 2). In order to stress the blurred borderlines between functional areas in modern management, it has been slightly modified by introducing broken lines between the cells. 2.2.2. Top Management A key concept in relation to top management appears to be process orientation (Davenport, 1998; Melan, 1993; and Schonberger, 1996). This means that the CEO and his team are advised to intensively focus on efficiency of the financial and production flows. The velocity in the flows is seen as particularly significant and is therefore the target for action. Bottlenecks and inefficiencies are considered as especially important to identify and to remove. This message may give the impression that planning and scheduling are urged. However, instead the literature is advocating flexibility (Volberda, 1998). Executives should thus be prepared to move fast and to adapt to a rapidly changing environment, where customers to an increasing extent are asking for tailor-made solutions to old problems or new solutions to emerging problems. This argument may lead to the conclusion that companies are expected to rapidly move around between various activities. However, also here there is a counter-balancing recipe and that is core competence (Hamel and Prahalad, 1994). It means that top management is told to concentrate the companys activities to areas where it has developed a competence. The focus on the capabilities of the company has also implied that knowledge management (Leonard-Barton, 1995 and Prusak, 1997) has become one of the catch-words. It concerns the development, distribution and use of knowledge in the company. Table 2. Prominent Modern Management Ideas 14

Top Management Process Orientation; Flexibility; Core Competence; Knowledge Management External Providers Corporate Governance Financial Flow Accountability Shareholder Value Production Flow Supply Chain Manage- Lean Production/BPR Customer Focus ment Total Quality Manage- Service Management Just in Time ment Relationship Marketing Outsourcing Empowerment Internal Providers Activity Based Costing Balanced Scorecard Customers Customer Value Target Pricing

In conclusion the four key concepts for top management do not provide simple and clear recipes. As a matter of fact at least three of the four contain clear conflicts. Processes should be managed but not too much in order to provide flexibility. In a similar way there should be restrictions on flexibility in order to exploit the core competence. These conflicts constitute a good basis for the diffusion of the concepts. Individually they are general and catchy. Together they constitute the ingredients in a blend that could be mixed in different ways. If it works, it is fine; if not top management used the wrong proportions. 2.2.3. The Financial Flow In terms of the financial flow companies are subject to pressures both from external providers and customers. Looking at external providers (upper left cell of the matrix) corporate governance (see e.g. Charkham, 1994 and Keasey, Thompson and Wright, 1997) has become the most significant key-word. It is the modern version of the issue earlier raised by scholars such as Berle and Means (1932), Burnham (1941) and Galbraith (1967) regarding managerial capitalism. Basically it is a question about the governance structures of modern corporations, i.e. the arrangements making agents (executives) work in the interests of the principals (owners). As a result the accountability of executives has been increasingly stressed (Ahrens, 1996, and Anthony and Govindarajan, 1995). Their performance is to a growing extent evaluated through the performance of the stocks of their companies. Shareholder value has therefore become a central concept for corporate executives and their evaluators (Brealey and Meyers, 1991). However, the concept contains a significant conflict between short-term and long-term evalua-

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tion. High short-term shareholder values do not necessarily imply high long-term shareholder values. On the other hand it is a problem to establish the meaning of long-term. Already more than seventy-five years ago Lord Keynes (1923) thus pointed out that we are all dead in the long run. Monks (1998) therefore argues for the restoring of the integrity of the corporation in the age of shareholder activism. In order to deliver to shareholders, corporate executives are expected to attract the money of customers (upper right cell of the matrix). In so doing they are asked to give customer value (Porter, 1985). Prices are supposed to match customer satisfaction. The logic behind this is of course that customers should be satisfied to such an extent that they stay with the products of the company. This perspective in turn has led to a new approach to pricing. Instead of basic price calculations based on costs it is suggested that the price decisions should be based on the willingness of customers to pay. This target pricing principle implies that prices are determined first and that costs have to be adapted to these price levels afterwards (Cooper and Slagmulder, 1997). In terms of managerial accounting (the upper middle cell of the matrix) the process orientation is manifested through activity based costing (Cooper and Kaplan, 1991 and 1998). This approach has been developed as a result of criticism, particularly by Johnson and Kaplan (1987), towards traditional costing. A basic idea within this approach is the identification of cost drivers and their effects on the production costs. However, the critique of traditional costing has not only led to a process orientation. It has also stimulated the development of performance measurement methods that also focus on other dimensions than the financial ones. The most widely diffused of these approaches seems to be the balanced scorecard, which focuses on four different dimensions. Again though we can see conflicting messages among the recipes: while the activity based costing could be seen as a short-term instrument to cut costs in order to be able to meet target prices and deliver short-term profits to shareholders, the balanced score card takes a wider view and a long-term orientation (See further Kaplan and Cooper, 1998).

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2.2.4. The Production Flow In terms of the production flow customers (lower right cell of the matrix) are being paid particular attention. Customer focus has become the slogan (Melan, 1993 and McKenna, 1997). We are thus a long way from the time of Henry Ford, when the car purchaser could get any colour on his car as long as it was black. The customer focus is of course closely related to the flexibility preached as the general rule. It is also advocated that companies should build customer loyalty through relationship marketing. In addition, it is not just delivery of the product that counts; it is also significant to manage the service part of the deal. Service management has in this way become increasingly stressed (Normann, 1984). In order to handle the customer orientation and to live up to the demand for accountability to owners, business leaders are told to reduce slack in the organisation (lower middle cell in the matrix) and to develop the quality of the products. For the first purpose two recipes are particularly mentioned: lean production (Womack, Jones and Roos, 1990, and Womack and Jones, 1996) and business process re-engineering (BPR) (Hammer and Champy, 1993). Both aim at more efficient production processes thereby enabling the cutting of costs, which in turn will make it possible to better meet the demands of customers and shareholders.7 However, at the same time the organisation is supposed to be able to develop products and to learn new things through total quality management (TQM) (Deming, 1982 and Juran, 1989) and empowerment (Johnson, 1992). TQM is supposed to keep product quality at certain standards but also to stimulate a continuous work for improvement, while empowerment is the means to make employees to take responsibility and initiatives. Again we can see that the two groups of advise are conflicting: the lean production and business process re-engineering are aimed at reducing those slack resources which are likely to be necessary for the continuous improvements and the initiatives of the employees. So, once more, executives are asked to use two contradicting recipes simultaneously. The lean enterprise has also implications for suppliers (lower left cell of the matrix). An external part of re-engineering is constituted by outsourcing (Schonberger, 1996). Companies are thus advised to buy from the outside instead of producing their own supplies. Once more we are a long way from the early time of the US automobile industry, when it was an ambition

These approaches are also labelled as down-sizing. For a critical view, see Gertz and Baptista (1995).

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to produce as much as possible in-house.8 However, the outsourcing does not mean that companies are expected to sell out their control completely. They are instead supposed to have an integrated co-operation with them through supply chain management, which will facilitate the arrival of inputs just-in-time (Monden, 1992). In many cases this means that suppliers are closely integrated into the information system of the buying company. The major difference is therefore that suppliers are paid by the piece rather than being an internal cost centre. 2.3. Conclusions It should be clear from the above discussion that business recipes floating around presently are not unequivocal. As a matter of fact executives are asked to concurrently apply approaches that are working in opposite directions. Flexibility is favoured at the same time as it is important to stick to the core competence. Cost drivers should be found and acted upon simultaneously as other variables as the financial ones should be taken into consideration. Production should be lean but also give time for quality assurance and new initiatives. A benevolent interpretation of these conflicts is that managers are told not to be too one-sided. A more critical view would be that the double messages may cause problems in the companies due to the uncertainty about what is communicated. This dilemma may also be reinforced by the fact that most of the concepts presented in Lindvall (1998) are either open or half-open. Very few of them are closed in the sense that they are very clearly specified. This circumstance has also led some authors to put critical comments on them. Crainer and Dearlove (1999, p. 56) thus label TQM, downsizing, empowerment, business process reengineering, and the learning organisation [as] managerial Viagra, while Hilmer and Donaldson (1996, p. 193) have concluded that good management is too complex to be encapsulated in a canned program or universal prescription. Others, like Abrahamson (1991 and 1996) and Rvik (1998 and 1999), have instead analysed the processes behind the adoption of modern management concepts and ideas.9

The Swedish car manufacturer Volvo was early to produce their products by means of a network of suppliers, and even labelled this as producing cars the Volvo way. However, as shown by Kinch (1987) this was not a deliberate choice but rather a compelling necessity as a result of scarce resources. Had the resources been there, Volvo would probably have followed their US competitors in production philosophy.
9

Abrahamson is focusing on the interplay between supply and demand of management fashions and fads, while Rvik specifies seven criteria for the successful adoption: social authorisation, universalising, commodification, timing, harmonising, dramatising, and individualising.

18

3. Management Practice 3.1. Multinationals as Role Models Already in Section 1 above it was pointed out that rules and norms in industrial fields can be expected to push for conformity, and that uncertainty is likely to lead to an imitation of the dominant players. Together these two forces can be expected to lead to a homogenisation, particularly as companies increase in size through mergers and acquisitions. These deals will imply that markets become more concentrated and that major players will become even more visible. In addition mergers and acquisitions often lead to the rationalisation of product programmes. It is thus not only the number of actors that will decrease, also the number of competing brands are likely to do so. As this process is looked upon on a global scale it is clear that US companies have come to play a more significant role since the beginning of the century. Alfred Chandler (1990, p. 4) thus points out that in 1973 about half of the enterprises with more than 200,000 employees came from the United States, while the shares of other industrialised countries were round 10 per cent or below. A recent Fortune ranking of the 500 largest companies provides further evidence for a US domination: this country dominated the list with 175 or 35 per cent of the companies, followed by Japan with 112 companies, Germany 42, France 39 and the United Kingdom 35 companies. A classification of the companies into industries underscores the US hegemony: in 23 of the 45 industries used for classification US companies were on top (Fortune, August 3, 1998). The US domination became even more impressive as Fortune, with the help of the world wide consulting firm the Hay Group, produced the first-ever list of global companies ranked by their peers. In only three industries of nineteen was the most admired company a non-US company. It was among airlines (British Airways), among producers of motor vehicles and parts (Toyota Motor) and among petroleum refiners (Royal Dutch/Shell Group). All other companies were of US origin: Boeing, Coca-Cola, E. I. de Pont de Nemours, J. P. Morgan, Microsoft, General Electric, Fluor, General Mills, Caterpillar, Federal Express, Nucor, Pfizer, Berkshire Hathaway, Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing, Procter & Gamble, and SBC Communications. In addition the scores of US companies were higher than those for companies from other countries: the top US company Coca-Cola thus scored 9.0, while the top companies of Britain (Royal/Dutch Shell group = 7.68), France (LOral = 7.55), Germany (Bertels-

19

mann = 7.97) and Japan (Dai Nippon Printing = 7.82) all scored below 8 (Fortune, October 27, 1997). In conclusion it seems as if there is a continuous concentration process on a global scale, which makes the dominant actors more visible. Among these the US companies appear to occupy leading positions generally but particularly in terms of appreciation among peers. They can therefore be expected to constitute role models for other companies, a circumstance which may reinforce a homogenisation process. 3.2. Multinationals as Carriers of Management Practice Section 2.2 above presented modern management concepts as they are presented in the management literature. However, that analysis did not say anything about the actual use of these ideas in practice. For this purpose Lindvall and Pahlberg (1998) have undertaken a survey of 123 MBAs. Twenty per cent of these respondents worked for ABB, which is often presented as a model for other companies (see e.g. Halal, Geranmayeh and Pourdehnad, 1993). Another fifteen per cent worked in telecommunications, while the remaining worked for other Swedish multinationals such as AGA, Pharmacia-Upjohn, Scania, Tetra-Pak but some also for smaller companies. Respondents were asked to indicate whether they were aware of twenty-eight modern management concepts and to what extent these concepts were used in their companies. In terms of the awareness of the concepts, it turned out that it was very high. This is an indication that the literature review (Lindvall, 1998), which was summarised above in Section 2.2, had been able to cover the most important concepts. Another factor pointing in the same direction is that the respondents had very few suggestions for additional concepts. Even the least known concept in the survey (enterprise resource planning) was thus recognised by one fourth, and twenty-two of the twenty-eight concepts were known by more than fifty per cent of the respondents. The best known concepts (outsourcing, benchmarking and team) were even known by more than ninety per cent of the respondents. In terms of importance of the concepts the respondents particularly pointed out customer focus. The latter approach and teams are also methods which are used in ninety per cent of the companies of the respondents (Table 3). Four out of five respondents are also working in companies using outsourcing, partnership and cross-functional projects.10

In terms of outsourcing it is sometimes argued that this becomes particularly popular in countries like Germany and Sweden with low flexibility in the labour market.

10

20

Table 3. The Seven Most Used Management Methods in Swedish Large Companies Method Customer Focus Teams Outsourcing Partnership Cross-Functional Projects Benchmarking Supply Chain Management Long Time Use 80 % 80 % 73 % 68 % 75 % 62 % 42 % Recently Introduced 11 % 10 % 11 % 14 % 6% 12 % 15 % Total 91 % 90 % 84 % 82 % 81 % 74 % 57 %

Source: Lindvall and Pahlberg (1998, Table 3, Table 5 and Table 7).

A closer look at the use of the seven methods in terms of the three groups of companies (Table 4) supports the idea of the large and visible multinational ABB as a front-runner. With one exception teams, where ABB has the same share of respondents reporting a longtime use ABB exhibits a higher long time use than the others. The Telcom group, in turn, is more on the front than the third group. The fact that ABB is a front-runner and that it is looked upon as a model for other companies is also consistent with the homogenisation hypothesis presented above. Table 4. Long-Time Use of the Seven Most Used Management Methods Method Customer Focus Teams Outsourcing Partnership Cross-Functional Projects Benchmarking Supply Chain Management ABB 96 % 88 % 84 % 76 % 84 % 88 % 64 % Telecom 77 % 88 % 81 % 62 % 77 % 77 % 15 % Others 60 % 63 % 60 % 54 % 51 % 39 % 24 %

Source: Lindvall and Pahlberg (1998, Table 4, Table 6 and Table 8).

The data by Lindvall and Pahlberg (1998) is also compatible with the idea that companies follow each other in the adoption of new ideas (Table 5). The fact is that other companies 21

are reported as the main source of inspiration followed by literature and academia. As many as two-thirds of the respondents have thus stated that other companies are extremely or very important for the diffusion. Also literature plays a certain role, while the role of academia is said to be less significant in this context. Table 5. Views on the Role Played by Different Sources in the Diffusion of New Ideas. Source Other Companies Literature Academia Extremely Important Very Important 12 % 9% 5% 55 % 36 % 20 % Somewhat Important 28 % 45 % 59 %

Source: Lindvall and Pahlberg (1998, Table 24).

In conclusion there thus appears to be evidence of a good knowledge of modern management concepts in the multinational companies under study. There are also indications that a large multinational like ABB is more apt to use the most widely used methods. In addition the data presented seems to support the idea that companies follow each other in their adoption of new management practices. 3.3. Institutional Pressures for Homogenisation In addition to the evidence reported in the previous section it is also relevant to call the attention to institutional pressures for homogenisation. In so doing, it is appropriate to refer back to the discussion in Section 1.3 on the deregulation of financial markets, since the latter must be considered as a very significant force behind the development of modern management practice. It can then be pointed out that also financial markets are characterised by Follow-my-Leader behaviour. From a theoretical point of view they should not be so, but instead be grounded on rational decisions based on full information regarding available assets. However, the information is in most cases far from complete, and financial actors have therefore, like the top managers of companies, to look at the behaviour of other actors. They cannot always do it physically but will get information about these actions through media. This Follow-my-Leader behaviour will be particularly likely in financial markets, like those existing today, where a large part of the investments are made by institutional investors. These are continuously evaluated through different kinds of benchmarks such as stock market indices. The safe strategy for an investor is then to invest in a portfolio which is close to the benchmark. However, as the prices of certain 22

stocks, like the IT stocks in the last months of 1999, are rising fast, pressures will be strong to drive the herd in that direction. Media is then likely to report how certain investors have missed the train and have in this way not been able to deliver value growth to its customers. In the same way herd behaviour can be expected as high priced assets are falling. The internationalisation of financial markets has also another implication for the homogenisation process. Multinationals need to raise capital world-wide but also need a presence on international capital markets in order to attain a visibility for their company name, thereby promoting their products. Quotations at the prestigious stock exchanges in international financial centres like London, New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo are therefore very important for them. In order to attain such quotations these multinationals need to report to the international stock markets according to their particular standards. This in turn has implied a homogenisation of accounting standards. Such efforts can now be observed within the European Union but also on a global scale through the introduction of American accounting standards (GAAP).11 The homogenisation process is not limited to financial markets, however. As a result of multinationals using to a high extent outsourcing (see above Table 4) they are likely to require from their suppliers that the input they deliver lives up to certain standards. For this to happen it is not unusual to require specified procedures in the supplying organisation. This goes for the organisation, through systems like TQM as well as for management accounting systems. Since their is a need for a common language in the exchange between the companies, it is appropriate to adapt information systems accordingly. This in turn may then have implications in the relationship between the supplier and its own suppliers, so that requirements on standardisation successively move up through the production chain. In the same way we can expect dominant actors to put requirements on organisations involved in the delivery chain to the ultimate customer. In a historical perspective it should also be taken into account that management has become professionalised. As pointed out by Chandler (1990, p. 468) the rationalization of production that followed the great merger movement created a demand for executives in other areas besides production. This development that has been labelled managerial revolution by Burnham (1941) has later on been dealt with by scholars like Marris (1964) and Galbraith

For the creation of a European standard consultants from one of the Big Five, KPMG, has been called in. They are reported to see this project as a first step towards global harmonisation of accounting standards (Financial Times, 1 March, p. 9).

11

23

(1967). It is observed that managers have become a new elite in society, often with similar backgrounds, not the least in terms of education (see further below Section 4). They are also socialised into this managerial class through job experience in different companies. Thus, while one-company-careers were rather common some fifty years ago, they are today rare. In a study of Swedish top executives it was thus found that the share of one-company-careers had fallen from 61 per cent in 1944 to only ten per cent in 1994 (Engwall, Gunnarsson and Wallerstedt, 1996, Table 4). Similarly Fligstein (1990, pp. 283-284.) reports on an increasing share of presidents of the 100 largest firms that have been working for another of the 100 largest firms. Needless to say the increasing mobility of executives between companies will contribute to the diffusion of management models from one company to another. In the same way we can expect interlocking directorates to reinforce the diffusion of management ideas, recruitment policies, the selection of consultants, etc. (see further e.g. the contributions in Mizruchi and Schwartz, 1987). 3.4. Conclusions It should be evident from the reasoning above that we can expect business behaviour to converge through a process of Follow-my-Leader, where the leaders are represented by large and growing, particularly US, multinationals. A study of managers in Swedish multinationals has also provided evidence that a highly visible company, ABB, has been particularly prone to use modern management methods earlier identified in the literature. It should also be clear that the development of industrial networks with an increasing amount of long-term relationships between companies, both financially and in terms of production, can be expected to promote the homogenisation of business behaviour. Finally, an increased movement of executives between large corporations can also be expected to contribute to the convergence. 4. Management Academic Institutions 4.1. The Early Development Although the MBAs in the survey reported on in Section 3.2 above did not consider academia as the main source of inspiration in terms of adoption of new concepts (see above Table 5), it is obvious that institutions for management education and research have played a significant role in the long-term diffusion of management ideas. They began to develop on both sides of the Atlantic already during the latter part of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the present century (see Table 6), and have developed considerably since then. 24

Table 6. Institutions for Business Education in Europe and the United States before 1914. 1851 1852 1852 1854 1856 1866 1867 1869 1871 1872 1874 1881 1881 1884 1886 1892 1895 1896 1897 1898 1898 1900 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1908 1908 1909 1910 1911 1913 University of Louisiana Institut Suprieur de Commerce de lEtat, Anvers, Belgium Institut Suprieur de Commerce Saint Ignace, Anvers, Belgium University of Wisconsin Ecole Suprieur de Commerce, Paris, France (1819) Wiener Handelsakademie, Austria Ecole Suprieure de Commerce, Mulhouse, France Scuola Superiore di Commercio, Venice, Italy Washington and Lee University Le Havre, France; Sciences Politiques, Paris, France Lyon, France; Marseille, France Bordeaux, France Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Paris, France Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, the University of Pennsylvania Genoa, Italy Bari, Italy Lille, France London School of Economics, England; Rouen, France Nancy, France Montpellier, France Aachen, Germany; Leipzig, Germany; St. Gallen, Switzerland; Vienna, Austria University of California; University of Chicago Budapest, Hungary; Dijon, France; Nantes, France Amos Tuck School, Dartmouth; New York University Cologne, Germany; Frankfurt, Germany Birmingham University, England (Commerce degree); Bocconi, Milan, Italy Brussels, Belgium Manchester University, England (Commerce degree) Toulouse, France Berlin, Germany; Rome, Italy; Turin, Italy Mannheim, Germany Columbia University; Harvard Business School, University College Dublin Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden Munich, Germany Finnish Business School, Helsinki, Finland Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Source: Engwall and Zamagni (1998, Table 1.1 and 1.2).

In Europe it was particularly the German Handelshochschulen, which came to be the model for other European countries, especially in the Nordic countries (Engwall, 1998a). In the United States the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, founded in Philadelphia in 1881 by the industrialist Joseph Wharton, became the front-runner soon to be followed

25

by similar business schools in many universities like University of California (1898), Chicago (1898), New York (1900), Columbia and Harvard (1908).12 The foundations were not restricted to the Western hemisphere, however. Also in Japan schools of commerce were created at the same time: Tokyo (1887), Osaka (1901), Kobe (1902), Yamaguchi (1905) and Otaru (1910) (see further Nishizawa, 1998). In many cases the establishments of institutions for business education were based on the ambitions of businessmen to raise the status of their social class. It is thus reported that neither the founding father of the business school in Cologne, Gustav Mevissen, nor his equivalence in Stockholm, Marcus Wallenberg, were particularly concerned about the contents of the future education. However, by the passage of time this aspect has become much more important as the number of institutions for academic management education have increased rapidly in all parts of the world irrespective of political systems and religion. Thus, while the decades before the First World War constituted the establishment phase of management education, the period after the Second World War has been the expansion phase. In this development the American business schools have provided considerable inspiration. 4.2. The Americanisation of European Management Education 4.2.1. The American Model The American model of management education has been provided by prestigious business schools like those listed in the Financial Times top-50 ranking published on January 25, 1999: Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Chicago, Northwestern, etc. Needless to say they vary in their approach to business education with some, like Harvard, heavily using the case method, and others, like Stanford and Chicago, being more quantitatively oriented. It is also worth noting that business education includes several different types of education, mainly pre-experience, post-experience and tailored. Of these particularly the post-experience MBA programmes have been developed in the United States. More recently there has been a dramatic growth in tailored programmes (Crainer and Dearlove, 1999, p. 6). The different American models can be said to have been adopted in various ways in the European countries. However, although the American influence varies between countries, they

12

Even if Wharton was the first of the prominent business schools, it was not first to introduce an MBA. This was instead Amos Tuck, which claims to have started its MBA programme in 1902. Harvard Business School, that started in 1908 granted its first MBA degree in 1910 (Crainer and Dearlove, 1999, p. 12).

26

have become the benchmark for European schools (Crainer and Dearlove (1999, p. 138). Some countries have been earlier to adopt the American model than others, while some are still more resistant. This will be apparent as we look at the development in three areas in Europe: the Nordic countries, Middle Europe, and the Latin Countries. 4.2.2. The Nordic Countries In the Nordic countries business education was designed on a German model, but very early there was a strong influence from North America (Engwall and Zamagni, 1998, pp. 11-12). A significant factor behind this development has been extensive visits by business students and professors to the United States. Evidence from Sweden presented in Engwall (1992, Chapter 7), for instance, thus points to a very strong influence on Swedish business studies through such study trips. Similar results have also been observed for the other Nordic countries (Engwall, 1999). Through the mentioned study trips US frames of references have to a considerable extent been adopted in the Nordic countries. As a result a substantial use of US literature in the curricula of Nordic business schools can be observed. A recent study of the text used in the two oldest business schools in the four Nordic countries (Engwall, 1999) thus shows that more than forty per cent of the titles used had a US origin.13 However, even if the US impact is strong on European business education it is even stronger in terms of research. Studies of Nordic business research thus provides clear indications that the most frequently used references are of a US origin. This is true for dissertations, articles published in the Scandinavian Journal of Management and in a sample of fifteen internationally leading management journals (Engwall, 1996). 4.2.3. Middle Europe Going from west to east in Middle Europe it can be noted that the United Kingdom did not create business schools until the mid-sixties. Thus in 1965 two such schools were founded in London and Manchester (Barnes, 1989, and Wilson, 1992). An important reason for this slow adoption was the strong role played by Oxbridge in the selection of members of the national
13

A still further homogenisation force in the future may be obtained through non-US business schools linking up to prestigious US business schools for video conferences and lectures. London School of Economics has already done so in a co-operation with Stanford, the University of Chicago, Columbia and Carnegie-Mellon University. Together they have made a deal with UNext.com, a privately-owned technology company, regarding the distribution of management education over the web (Financial Times, October 11, p. 9).

27

elite. Another contributing factor has been the strong position of economics and accounting in the United Kingdom. The London School of Economics thus started in 1895 (see Dahrendorff, 1995), and degrees of commerce were created in Birmingham in 1902 and in Manchester in 1904. As a result the United Kingdom has a very high number of accountants per capita and the professional accountants have therefore even been mentioned as the priesthood of industry (Matthews, Anderson and Edwards, 1998). However, in the last three decades UK business schools have developed considerably. Crainer and Dearlove (1999, p. 4) thus point out that UK business schools attract more than 400 million a year, thereby including them among the top fifty UK exporters. Nowadays, even Cambridge and Oxford offer MBA programmes. However, although they carry the prestige of their host institutions, they do not belong to the group of top fifty business schools in the Financial Times ranking (January 25, 1999). UK business schools on this list are instead London Business School (rank 8), Imperial College (rank 29), Manchester Business School (rank 33), Ashridge Management College (rank 37), Cranfield School of Management (rank 40), Warwick Business School (rank 42) and City University Business School (rank 44).14 A similar development to that in the United Kingdom can be observed on the other side of the Channel, in the Netherlands, where accountants and engineers were dominating the management profession before 1945. After the Second World War the North American influences became considerable and US type business schools were created in the late 1960s and in the 1970s. In this development two types of institutions were founded in the Netherlands. One was constituted by technical business studies that developed out of engineering at the polytechnics of Eindhoven and Twente, the other was the foundation of new schools in Rotterdam (1969) and Groningen (1976). In combination these two paths towards business education in the Netherlands raised the number of entrants to Dutch business studies from 50 in 1966/67 to 1200 in 1986/87 (de Man and Karsten, 1994). In January 1999 two Dutch institutions were ranked among the top fifty business schools by the Financial Times: Rotterdam School of Management (rank 31) and Njemrode University (rank 49).

The criteria used were: present salary, value for money, career progress, aims achieved, job offers per student, placement success, share employed after three months, alumni recommendation, international faculty, women faculty, international students, women students, languages, faculty with PhD, PhD graduate rating, research rating, MBA course rating, diversity ranking and research ranking. For a more detailed description, see Financial Times January 25, p. 11. See also Crainer and Dearlove (1999) on criteria for ranking.

14

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The Dutch neighbour, Germany, is quite different to the other two countries in Middle Europe. It is a country which is still pending in terms of adopting the American model. One important reason for this is that Germany had an early model of its own for business education: Handelshochschulen. As can be seen in Table 6 such schools were created in a large number of German cities by the turn of the century, and they even provided the model for Nordic business education (see above). However, while the Nordic countries use the Nordic translation of Handelshochschule to label their business education (handelshgskola), such schools do not exist in Germany. Instead they were upgraded to universities or integrated into such institutions (see further Meyer, 1998). Business education in this way got a focus on Betriebswirtschaftslehre, which is primarily based on micro-economic theory. In addition ad hoc seminars for existing managers Baden-Baden seminars and Universittsseminar der Wirtschaft have been used to develop managerial competence (see further Kipping, 1998). However, in 1984 an American type business school was created in Koblenz, which runs a part-time MBA programme together with the Kellogg School at Northwestern University (see further Winkel, 1994).15 More recently a German International School of Management and Administration (GISMA) has started in Hannover with the Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue providing the faculty and teaching under a ten-year contract. Similarly Fuqua School at Duke University is planning similar operations in Frankfurt (Financial Times, October 25, p. 10).16 Moving still further east Poland is a country, where business studies have grown considerably after perestroika and glasnost. Genell (1997, p.157) thus in a study of the development of Polish business education reports that the number of Polish educational institutions in the economic disciplines almost doubled from 61 to 110 in the thirty-two months after May 1994. In many instances the new institutions were modelled on US business schools. Many of them were also built on co-operation with US counterparts. The fact that the earlier system for the selection of elites had broken down no doubt was significant for the rapid growth of business education.

15

The field of German business education is summarised by Staufenbiel, Stephan and Ferring (1997).

16

These entries of US business schools in Europe is part of a larger process of internationalisation of management education. A particular interest has been paid to Southeast Asia. For instance both University of Chicago and INSEAD have recently set up permanent business schools in Singapore (Financial Times, February 1, 1999).

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4.2.4. The Latin Countries Among the Latin countries France is still pending in terms of adopting the American model. As shown in Table 6 business education started early in France through the creation of Ecole Suprieure de Commerce in Paris in 1819 and Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales in Paris in 1881. However, these schools belonged to the very special French system of grandes coles, which according to Barsoux and Lawrence (1990, p. 40) are looked upon by companies as elaborate sifting systems rather than purveyors of knowledge [thereby] primarily purchasing the concours, that is, the entrance exam and initial selection rather than the training itself.17 On top of this France has since 1945 a special elite school for administrative training: lEcole Nationale dAdministration (ENA), which has become a common background for both highrank politicians and top managers (Bauer and Cohen, 1981). As a result the American model has almost not at all been adopted. Nevertheless, there has been a certain American influence in France through the initiative in the 1960s and 1970s by Fondation Nationale pour lEnseignement de la Gestion (FNEGE), which sent young promising students to Ph.D. programmes at prestigious universities in the United States (Colasse and Pav, 1995, p. 27). Quite a few French management professors therefore today hold US degrees. Their participation in the North American publication game is nevertheless limited. A study of French based scholars in the most influential management publications (Engwall, 1998b) has thus revealed a domination for one institution: Institut Suprieur Europen dAdministration des Affaires (INSEAD), an institution which cannot be considered as French although it is located in the Fountainbleau forest. Rather it is, like IMD in Lausanne, a US type business school recruiting transnationally.18 In Italy the reception of the American model has been more positive. A business school, Instituto Postuniversitario di Organizzazione Aziendale (IPSOA) was founded in 1952, but it was closed down already in 1964. However, there were other institutions like Instituto Superiore per Imprenditori e Dirigenti dAzienda (ISIDA) in Palermo and Cosorzio Universitario per lOrganizzazione Aziendale (CUOA) in Padua which were more successful.

17

See also Whitley (1999, p. 105). This seems also to be the case in the United States. Crainer and Dearlove (1999, p. 155) thus put it bluntly that people dont go to the top business schools just for the learning; they go to join an elitist club, which has little to do with their ability as managers.
18

On France see further Saint-Martin (1997), Engwall and Zamagni (1998, pp. 11-12) and Whitley, Marceau and Thomas (1981). On INSEAD, see Marceau (1989)

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In addition, in the early 1970s a business school developed inside Bocconi University in Milan. For all these developments Ford Foundation played a significant role by bringing US faculty to Italy and Italian management scholars to the United States (Gemelli, 1998). In Spain, the first business school, Escuela de Organizacin Industrial, was founded in Madrid in 1955. Three years later it was followed by three foundations in Barcelona: Escuela de Administracin de Empresas, Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa (IESE) and Escuela Superior de Administracin Empresas (ESADE). They have been followed by hundreds of private schools. (Engwall and Zamagni, 1998, p. 13). 4.3. Forces for Homogenisation Above in Section 4.2.1. it has been pointed out that the US model has variations. It should also be evident from the accounts above that there are differences in the European adoption. The European schools that have been established can thus not be considered to be perfect copies of American models. Rather they should be looked upon as translations or editions in order to fit the national context (see further the contributions in Czarniawska and Sevn, 1996). However, even with these points of departure it can be argued that by the passage of time both the US model and its followers in Europe are likely to become more homogeneous. The reason for this is evaluations, systems of accreditation and the ranking of institutions. These are all likely to push institutions towards similarity. Dean Robert Sullivan of Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina thus have suggested that "ninety-five percent of business schools are in follower mode [while the] remaining 5 percent defines what is professionally acceptable" (Crainer and Dearlove, 1999, p. 229).19 In Europe the homogenisation has been reinforced by the frequent choice of US professors as peers in evaluations. Europeans are now also building up accreditation systems that are similar to that constructed in the United States in 1916 through the foundation of the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business (Hedmo, 1998). The leading European system for accreditation has been developed by efmd (European Foundation for Management Development).20 So far the intention of this organisation has been to permit for variation. However,

19

It is worth noting that US business schools to an increasing extent are being named after donors. In the words of Crainer and Dearlove (1999, p. 143) The ultimate [endowment] is to have an entire school named after you.
20

On the first 25 years of efmd, see Training the Fire Brigade (1996).

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in a longer perspective there is also within this system a risk for the reinforcement of homogenisation rather than variation.21 In addition to accreditation systems business publications have developed systems for ranking. In the United States the results of such exercises are regularly published by US News & World Report and Business Week, since 1983 and 1988, respectively (Wedlin, 1999, p. 2).22 As already mentioned above the Financial Times in January 1999 even published a global ranking. Needless to say the outcomes of these are very important for the schools. In the words of Crainer and Dearlove (1999, p. 179):
The fact is that schools with the most attractive statistics are likely to attract the best and the brightest students, and also the biggest donations from alumni. Selecting a school with the best job placement record can make a difference of thousands of dollars in the first job.

As a result the mentioned authors conclude that reputation is more important for business schools than for most other organizations (ibid., p. 173).23 The described tendencies can be expected to be reinforced by research evaluations, which have become increasingly popular in an environment that Michael Power labels as the audit society.24 Like accreditation for the educational part of business schools, research evaluations are reinforcing homogeneity. Since US journals are the leading ones in the field,

Another force for homogenisation is constituted by a co-operation between business schools in several countries. One example is Community of European Management Schools (CEMS). According to a professor at one of the participating schools, that has also been through an EQUIS accreditation exercise, this co-operation is presently a stronger homogenisation force than the accreditation. The two rankings differ somewhat with respect to their data collection. US News & World Report bases their ranking on responses from business school deans and recruiters, while Business Week is using the views of students and recruiters. The first efforts to establish ranking lists for business schools go back to 1973 and a survey on reputation of business schools performed by a research group at Columbia University (Wedlin, 1999, pp. 1314 and 8-9). See further also Daniel (1998).
23 22

21

Elsbach and Kramer (1996) provides a study of Business Week rankings as an organisational identity threat, while Segev, Raveh and Farjoun (1999) present the result of an analysis of the relationship between program structure content and ranking.
24

The evaluations of academic institutions these days are not only concerned with what they deliver, but also their financial standards. The most prestigious US universities are thus also given credit ratings by Standard & Poors. Recently the British Kings College got a corresponding rating. It got an AA-, thus below the frontrunners Harvard, MIT, Princeton and Yale which have the rating AAA (Financial Times, August 27, p. 6).

32

their research approach will become the model for scholars in other countries (see further below in Section 5.2).25 The above information may lead to the conclusion that there are strong tendencies that US business studies both in terms of education and research are heading towards more homogenisation and that this more homogeneous model is transferred and reinforced also in other countries. This may be a further factor that is strengthening the homogenisation discussed by means of introduction. However, this does not mean that management education in all European countries presently are the same. Rather it implies that there are tendencies towards a homogenisation in a European context which still exhibits variation. It should also be noted that education in general is part of the globalisation process (see further Scott, 1998). This is particularly true for business education. It is thus today increasingly common that US business schools expand internationally through the franchising of their MBA programmes (Crainer and Dearlove, 1999, p. 232). This is part of an international expansion of US universities, at which for instance the French minister of education Claude Allgre expressed a deep concern in a recent interview in the Paris daily Le Monde (24 November 1999). However, for the immediate future national systems may be expected to continue to play an important role for the recruitment to top management positions. Networks and social capital appear to be significant in national companies; for the transnational companies international business schools and global consultancies (see further below Section 7 may provide the corresponding advantages. This argument regarding the role of education as a tool for socialisation into networks is also important to keep in mind in relation to fears for IT taking over the role of business schools.26 4.4. Conclusions One significant conclusion of the above analysis of management academic institutions is that they constitute an important feature of modern higher education. As a matter of fact when

The United Kingdom has had rather strict evaluation exercises, which has led to an increasing publishing activity by UK scholars. However, a survey conducted by Evaluation Associates to 5,505 British academics has also pointed out the down-side of such evaluations, since it was found that they lead to more short-termist research that is irrelevant to the needs of industry. (Financial Times, May 7, 1999).
26

25

The same can be said in relation to books claiming to summarise MBA programmes within their covers (see e.g. OBrien, 1996). These books cannot be considered a serious threat to the programmes. However, new ventures are coming in management education through IT-delivery. The cable industry millionaire Glenn Jones is thus now on his fifth year with his IT-based Jones International University (Financial Times, March 8, 1999).

33

there was a turn of the century last time many projects were launched in order to start academic business education. However, it was not until the second half of the present century that such programmes really took off. This is the case in the Nordic countries, in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. After perestroika business schools have also rapidly opened up in former Communist States such as Poland. In all the mentioned countries have been an adoption of an American model, although to a varying extent. Two countries stand out as more hesitant: France and Germany. The main reason for a resistance in the case of France is the existence of a long-time established system for the selection of administrative elites through the system of grandes coles in combination, after Second World War, with an elite school for administration. It should also be added that different efforts to protect the French culture and the French language have been important for the resistance.27 The latter factor can also help to explain the difference between France and the United Kingdom in adopting the American model. Thus, although also UK had a system of elite institutions it lacked the cultural and linguistic barriers existing in France. When it comes to Germany it has been important that business education has been integrated into universities as departments of Betriebswirtschaftslehre. It can also be argued that the Lehrstuhl system of German universities has been significant for the resistance, since it means that collaboration between specialised professors within one institution, which is a characteristics of the US model is made more difficult. In addition, Germany has, much more than other countries, a tradition in business that the way towards the top goes the long way from lower positions and upwards. Finally, it should also be mentioned that the war years created some suspicions towards accounting and planning systems (see e.g. Albach, 1995, p. 61). Irrespective of the extent to which different countries have adopted the American model we should anticipate the forces towards homogenisation to be strong. Institutions should be expected to be under pressure from a number of outsiders like governments, media, professional associations, and business communities through evaluations, ranking, and requests for the implementation of successful models and best practice. These pressures in turn can be expected to promote homogenisation within business education.
27

Jacques Toubon, a former French Minister of Education, thus succeeded in passing a law forbidding French government institutions to use English words wherever a French alternative had been given by a State Commission. Rules were also issued in the mid-1990s regarding the maximum quota of foreign music that may be played on French radio stations.

34

5. Management Publishing 5.1. Introduction A second important field for the diffusion of management ideas is constituted by publishing. This field is comprised of several different sub-fields. In principle they can be divided along two dimensions: (1) scientific vs. popular, (2) journals vs. books (Table 7).28 Table 7. Different Types of Management Publications. Type Books Dissertations Scientific Monographs Edited Volumes Management Books Popular Text-books Business Magazines Business Journals Scientific Journals Journals

5.2. Scientific Publications 5.2.1. Introduction The traditional way of academic publishing has been the book format. This is still the case in the humanities and the social sciences, particularly on the European Continent. Dissertations, monographs and edited volumes belong to this class of publications. They have often a limited circulation and report on original research. By the passage of time it has become more common, particularly in the United States, to take up the article format for scientific publication in management. This type of reporting of research, which has since long been the standard in the natural sciences and medicine, has gradually also become the norm in other disciplines. An important factor behind this development has been the US promotion system, which implies that publications in refereed scholarly journals are a must for tenured positions. Since the influence

28

Abrahamson and Fairchild (1999) have even made a further distinction among the non-popular publications into academic, and semi-academic. Their criteria for classification was the extent to which references are used. It should also be noted that books and journals often are published by the same publishing house. For evidence in Denmark, see Kjaer and Strandgaard Pedersen (1999, p. 95).

35

from the United States on European management education and research has been considerable (see above Section 4) this standard is also gradually penetrating Europe. In this process it is and has been important that research evaluations and the use of scientometrics have become increasingly common in Europe.29 Their impact on homogenisation has, as already been mentioned above in Section 4.3), been specially strengthened by the fact that it is common that US scholars are chosen as members of evaluations teams. 5.2.2. European and US Management Journals Even if European scholars are increasingly urged to publish journal articles, the strongest pressure is put on the US scholars, who for a long time have been living in a highly competitive system. US journals are therefore both older and more influential than European ones. A comparison between matching pairs of scientific management journals thus shows Europeans to be followers to the US leaders (Table 8). The Academy of Management Journal was launched in 1958, while the European Journal of Management Studies appeared in 1964. In the accounting area the gap is even half a century: Accounting Review (1926) and Accounting, Organizations and Society in 1976. In the marketing area the lag is forty years: Journal of Marketing from 1936 and European Journal of Marketing in 1967. Shorter lags, but in all cases lags, can be observed for the other areas. As can also be seen from Table 8 the first mover advantages of the US journals have implied that they occupy a dominant position among the leading publications. The prominent US journals thus have impact factors far above those of European journals.30 Thus the US Academy of Management Journal has an impact factor of 1.964 to be compared with 0.500 for the European Journal of Management Studies. The corresponding figures for the US Journal of Accounting Research and the European Accounting, Organizations and Society is 1.200 and 0.681, while the difference is even larger between the US Administrative Science Quarterly and the European Organization Studies: 3.044 vs. 0.511. Since it is more prestigious to publish in journals with higher impact factor, the US journals are likely to become the role models also for European researchers. However, few succeed, although many probably try. In

29

For an example, see Engwall (1992a).

30

The impact factor is a measure of the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular journal (SSCI, Journal Citation Reports, 1992, p. 9).

36

a population of twelve prestigious journals American Management Journal (AMJ), American Management Review (AMR), Accounting Research (AR), Administrative Science Quarterly (ASQ), Journal of Accounting and Economics (JAE), Journal of Accounting Research (JAR), Journal of Consumer Research (JCR), Journal of Management (JoM), Journal of Marketing (JM), Journal of Marketing Research (JMR), Management Science (MS), and Strategic Management Journal (SMJ) for the period 1981-1992 it was thus found that 88.7 per cent of the authors were from the United States, and only 5.9 per cent from Europe. Table 8. US and European Journals in Different Fields of Management. General Management Problems
US: Academy of Management Journal (1958), impact factor = 1.96 Europe: Journal of Management Studies (1964), impact factor = 0.50

External Providers Financial Flow

Internal Providers

Customers

US: Accounting Review US: Management Science No Special Journals (1926), impact factor = 0.96 (1954), impact factor = 1.22 Europe: Accounting, Organi- Europe: European Journal of zations and Society (1976), Operations Research (1977), impact factor = 0.68 impact factor = 0.87

US: International Journal of US: Administrative Science US: Journal of Marketing Production Purchasing and Materials Quarterly (1956), impact (1936), impact factor = 3.15 Management (1965) factor = 3.04 Flow Europe: European Journal of Europe: European Journal of Europe: Organization Studies Marketing (1967), impact Purchasing and Supply Man- (1980), impact factor = 0.51 factor = 0.00 agement (1994) Sources: The journals and SSCI. Journal Citation Reports (1992, p. 80).

A closer look at pairs of US and European journals (Figure 2) provides still further evidence. In the four US journals (AMJ, AR, ASQ and JMR) 90 per cent or more of the authors are North American, while the Europeans account for about five per cent or less. Even in two of the European journals (JMS and AOS) there is an American domination, although not as strong as in the four US journals. Only OS and EJM have Europeans at the top. However, not even for them Europeans have more than fifty per cent of the authorships. Needless to say this demonstrated dominance for US scholars is likely to lead to a US bias in the data presented. This circumstance in turn can be expected to reinforce the diffusion of American management models.

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Figure 2. Author Nationality in Four Pairs of Management Journals.

100 90 80 70

Per Cent

60 50 40 30 20 10 0 AMJ JMS AR AOS ASQ OS JMR EJM

North America Europe Other

Journal
Source: Analysis of a data base of leading management journals 1981-92 (see further e.g. Engwall, 1997).

In terms of the homogenisation it is again relevant to point to the role of evaluations, since they tend to stress the necessity to take part in the international (i.e. national North American) publishing game. This will be the message not only for disciplines, which have been under evaluation, but also for their fellow disciplines. Management scholars will therefore hear from economists and psychologists that they should be given less resources unless they do not improve their research performance, i.e. their number of publications in international journals. This in turn is likely to push also non-US management scholars into the problem areas and research methods of their North American counterparts. However, this adaptation is not likely to have any major impact on their acceptance rates in the US journals. The non-US authors will continue to have problems to get their papers accepted due their language handicap and outside position in relation to the dominant networks.31 Evidence for this is provided by Table 9, which shows that the values for a concentration measure is closer to zero which means that concentration and barriers to entry are higher for US journals in all four fields of manage31

Networks are manifested through the appointments of editorial boards, which is a means to create legitimacy by reference. Thus by attracting prominent scholars to such boards journals signal prestige and quality. As shown by Svejenova and Alvarez (1999, Section 4.2) also the boards for the most prestigious journals appear to have a US bias.

38

ment.32 The highest barriers to entry seem to exist in the US journal of administration (Administrative Science Quarterly) with the accounting journal (Accounting Review) being the least concentrated of the four. Among the European journals the situation is the other way around. Table 9. The Concentration of Authors Universities Measured by Journal Field Accounting Administration Management Marketing
Source: Danell and Engwall (1999, Table 7).

European -1.89 -2.57 -1.96 -2.34

US -1.64 -1.34 -1.45 -1.40

As a result of the provided evidence European impact on the North American scene can be expected to continue to be limited. Instead we can anticipate the US influence on the European scene to increase due to the fact that papers written for North American journals after rejection will be submitted and eventually published in European journals. Needless to say the likely end result of the described process is an increasing homogenisation of management research publications. It should also be noted that the barriers to entry for authors not coming from Anglo-Saxon countries are even larger. Thus if the authorships in the four fields of management are analysed (Table 10) it is found that the share of authors from English speaking countries is well above 90 per cent in the US journals, above this level also in the European journals of accounting and general management, while the percentage is somewhat lower in administration (65 per cent) and marketing (almost 80 per cent).

For similar evidence see Collin et al. (1996), sdiken and Pasadeos (1995), and Baruch (1999). Some insights into the barriers of entry can also be found in sdiken and Pasadeous (1999), who have made an analysis of the development of Administrative Science Quarterly and Academy of Management Journal.

32

39

Table 10. Percentage of Authors from English Speaking Countries Journal Origin Accounting Administration General Management Marketing
Source: Danell and Engwall (1999, Table 5).

European 92.7 % 65.0 % 92.5 % 78.7 %

US 97.0 % 94.4 % 97.8 % 94.9 %

5.2.3. Citation Behaviour It is not only the fact that US journals are less accessible than the European journals for potential authors. The general feature of the relationships in all the sub-fields is also that the European journals are clearly more dependent on American journals than vice versa. Thus if we look into the citation behaviour of authors from Europe and the US as they publish in the different journals (Table 11), we find evidence for such an asymmetry. From this analysis we can conclude that, although there are variations between the four fields of management, there is certainly an asymmetry in the relationships between the two continents. US authors tend primarily to cite the work of other US authors in the selected journals. References to European authors constitute only 1.3 % (accounting), 1.2 % (administration), 2.2 % (general management) and 2.4 % (marketing) of all the citations. These figures should be compared with the following percentages of references to US authors by Europeans publishing in European journals: 41.0 % (accounting), 55.2 % (administration), 35.7 % (general management), 46.6 % (marketing). Furthermore, in considering the share of references made, US authors (even when they were publishing in European journals) make fewer references to the work of European authors, whereas European authors publishing in US journals cited the work of mainly American authors. For US authors publishing in European journals the figures are about one-third at the most, while at the same time European authors cite US authors almost exclusively when publishing in US journals.

40

Table 11. Percentage of Citations between Journals by Origin of Journal and Author. Cited

Citing
Field Journal Origin Accounting Europe Author Origin Europe US US Europe US Administration Europe Europe US US Europe US General Management US Europe Europe US Europe US Marketing Europe Europe US US Europe US Source: Danell and Engwall (1999, Table 11).

European Journal European Author(s) 59.0 23.6 0.0 1.3 43.2 9.5 6.7 0.2 64.2 8.8 0.0 2.2 53.5 34.4 0.0 0.0 US Author(s) 30.8 42.9 0.0 10.1 10.4 15.2 13.3 0.9 18.9 24.4 0.0 3.7 4.7 3.1 0.0 0.0

US Journal European Author(s) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.6 0.0 0.0 1.2 0.0 1.9 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 13.6 2.4 US Author(s) 10.3 33.5 0.0 88.7 44.8 75.2 80.0 97.6 16.8 65.0 0.0 94.1 41.9 62.5 86.4 97.6

Note: The citations in the matrices are citations among documents. This means that citations to and from documents produced outside Europe and North America have been deleted. The same is true for documents that are the result of inter-regional collaboration.

The tendencies for Europeans to link up to US research can be further illustrated by data from three studies of citation behaviour by Nordic management researchers. Table 12 shows quite clearly that top references are of a US origin. The only exception is a work coauthored of an American and a Norwegian (March and Olsen, 1976). Another interesting feature of Table 12 is a paradox in academic publishing: at the same time as scholars are urged to write articles for journals all the most cited documents are books. Table 12. Top References in Three Studies of Nordic Management Research. 41

Cited works Cyert and March (1963) Thompson (1967) Pfeffer and Salancik (1978) March and Simon (1958) Lawrence and Lorsch (1967) Porter (1980) Weick (1969) Glaser and Strauss (1967) March and Olsen (1976)
Source: Engwall (1998c, Table 3).

F 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

Average rank 1.67 2.33 2.75 3.25 5.50 6.00 6.25 6.50 8.00

5.2.4. Concluding Remarks A still further important feature of scientific management publishing is the growing number of journals. This in turn is a result of an increasing specialisation among scholars and increased pressures to find outlets for publishing. In terms of Whitleys reasoning about the intellectual and social organisation of the sciences this would contribute to the fragmentation of the field (Whitley, 1984). Since it is difficult for new journals to establish a reputation, the threat towards the dominant ones may be expected to be limited, however. In addition, it should be pointed out that libraries all over the world are under strong budget pressures at the same time as the established journals tend to raise their subscription rates. This means that the scholars the libraries are serving have to make priorities. Doing so they are likely to pick the more prestigious journals before the less prestigious ones. As a result barriers to entry can be expected to be strong and the likelihood of being dropped will be high, in case the barriers have been passed. 5.3. Popular Publications 5.3.1. Popular Management Books Among popular books management books and text-books some titles have reached very high circulation figures. Examples of widely spread management books are Deal and Kennedy (1982), Hamel and Prahalad (1994), Hammer and Champy (1994), Kanter (1983 and 1989),

42

Peters and Waterman (1982), and Porter (1980). Some of them have sold in millions of copies. Peters and Porter have even published a stream of books following their first successful publication: Porter (1985, 1990 and 1998) and Peters (1985 with Nancy Austin, 1987, 1991, and 1992).33 In this way they have followed in the foot-steps of the grand old man of management, Peter Drucker, who has published management books continuously since the mid-forties (Drucker, 1946, 1954, 1974, 1985 and 1999).34 These widely spread management books have a strong opportunity to influence business behaviour. First, through their mere visibility they will attract the attention of many managers. Second, as more and more managers take their messages on board their advice will also be communicated through the actions of their companies. A second type of management books is constituted by auto-biographies, biographies or normative books of successful business leaders. Chester Barnard (1938), Alfred P. Sloan (1964), and Charles E. Sorensen (1956) constitute early examples of this genre. A modern example, which has reached very high circulation figures is Lee Iaccocas autobiography (1984). Also these accounts are likely to promote certain leadership styles, particularly the view of strong leaders. This type of management literature is likely to have a certain bias in the same way as the histories of kings have a tendency to put the ruler in a favourable light. This may make them even more influential due to the omission of problematic and disadvantageous features. One such example is the General Electric CEO Jack Welch, who has been portrayed by several authors: Crainer (1999a), Lowe (1998), and Slater (1993, 1994).35 Other examples are books on Jack Smith of General Motors (Maynard, 1995), Richard Branson (Dearlove, 1999b; Jackson, 1994 and Kets de Vries, 1999).36 However there should also be noted that there are critical texts on big business leaders. Levin (1995) thus provides a critical account on Lee Iaccoca and OBoyle does the same for

33

Although not providing a stream of books also Deal and Kennedy has recently published a new book (Deal and Kennedy, 1999), in which they discuss corporate culture in the new corporate world of mergers and downsizing. For a biography of Peters, see Crainer (1997). In this book it is pointed out that Peters has been rather inconsistent in his different books. He admits himself that my six books could be by six different authors (Crainer, 1997, p. 195).
34

It should be noted that Drucker is born 1909, which means that he published his latest book at the age of ninety!
35

See also Business Week, June 8, 1998. Kets de Vries(1999) also looks at Percy Barnevik and David Simon.

36

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Jack Welsch. 37 Similar scrutinies have been provided by several authors on Bill Gates and his company Microsoft (Cusumano and Selby, 1995; Edstrom and Eller, 1998; Stross, 1997; Rivlin, 1999 and Rohm, 1998), although both Gates and Microsoft have been treated more respectfully by others (Gatlin, 1999, and Dearlove, 1999a). Like many other modern top executives (cf. e.g. Dell, 1999; Dunlap and Andelman, 1996; Kelly, 1998; Lutz, 1998 ; McLamore, 1998; Packard, 1995) Bill Gates has also provided his own text (Gates, 1999).38 Still another genre is working in the tradition of Deal and Kennedy (1982) and report on successful or excellent companies. Collins and Porras (1994) thus provide examples from 18 companies among them 3M, Wal-Mart, Walt Disney, Boeing, Sony and Hewlett-Packard. Other titles in the same tradition are Brown and Eisenhardt (1998), Fitz-Enz (1997), Horgen, Joroff, Porter and Schn (1999), Joyce (1999), Kadlec (1999), Puris (1999), Robinson (1999) and Spulber (1998).39 A particular interest in recent popular management books has been devoted to the IT industry. Sherwin (1998) hence provides an account of the successful companies in Silicon Valley. In addition to the above books on Microsoft, there are also some critical accounts on Apple (Carlton, 1997; Linzmayer, (1999; and Malone, 1999). Other recent books on the IT industry include texts on Lou Gerstner and IBM (Slater, 1999), Netscape (Clark and Edwards, 1999), Dell (Dell, 1999), aol.com (Swisher, 1998), Hewlett-Packard (Packard, 1995), Amazon.com (Saunders, 1999), and Intel (Jackson, 1998). In addition there are presently quite few titles on the entertainment company Disney (Capodagli and Jackson, 1999; Collins and Porras, 1994; Connelan, 1997; Grover, 1997; Koenig, 1994, Schweizer and Schweiner, 1998 and Thomas, 1998).40 Other companies which are frequently dealt with by management authors are those in consumer goods and service industries: Gillette (McKibben, 1998) ), Nike (Katz, 1994), Starbuck Coffee House (Schultz and Jones Yang, 1999), Coca-Cola (Greising, 1998)

37

Hegele and Kieser (1999) present an analysis of the texts of Slater and OBoyle.

38

Dell is the founder of Dell, Kelly is founder and CEO of PSS/World Medical Inc., Lutz a former CEO of Chrysler, McLamore one of the co-founders of Burger King, and Packard one of the co-founders of HewlettPackard. According to Crainer and Dearlove (1999, pp. 123-125) these books are not always written by the authors themselves but by ghost-writers. One of the significant actors in this field appears to be a company by the name of Word Works (Crainer, 1997, p. 251).
39

It should of course be added that also in this genre there are revealing texts like Lynch (1997) on the Honda Scandal in the US.
40

Most of the books on Disney give positive accounts, Schweizer and Schweiner (1998) being the exception.

44

and Pendegrast, 1993), McDonalds (Love, 1995, and Krog, 1977), and Burger King (McLamore, 1998). 5.3.2. Text-books The management books discussed in the previous section deal primarily with general management problems. They present thoughts and experiences with respect to strategy, corporate turnarounds and leadership. Few of them go into the functional area of the matrix presented in Table 1. This is on the other hand the case for text-books used in management education. A classic title in this context is Philip Kotlers Marketing Management published by the American publisher Prentice-Hall in a large number of editions. More recently the text has also been adapted to European markets through the collaboration with European scholars (see e.g. Kotler, Armstrong, Saunders and Wong, 1996; Kotler and Bliemel, 1995; Kotler and Blom, 1992; and Kotler and Dubois, 1994), and has also been packaged for top managers (Kotler, 1999).41 In this way management texts have followed a tendency in the entertainment literature (Hemmungs Wirtn, 1998). However, it could be questioned whether such an adaptation really implies that the message is made different. Rather it could be seen as an effort to better communicate the ideas in the texts.42. Among players in the field of publishing management text-books on a global scale there are a number of large publishing houses in the United States, and in Europe. Significant US players have been or are Harper, Irwin, McGraw-Hill, Prentice-Hall and Wiley, and in the UK Macmillan and Penguin.43 In Germany de Gruyter, Gabler, Olderbourg, Schffer-Poeschel and Vahlen can be mentioned and in the Netherlands Kluwer.44 A study of the curricula in the two

41

Adaptations occur also to other markets: according to Michael Poulter, Assistant Dean at the Faculty of Commerce, University of Natal, there is thus also a South-African edition of Kotler in production (Personal communication 25 November, 1999). There also many other examples of European adaptations of US textbooks, for instance the OB text-book by Kreitner, Kinicki and Buelens (1999). Needless to say there are in most European countries also national text-books. Meffert (1997), for instance, is a widely circulated German text in marketing.
42

A similar idea lies behind projects implying that businessmen are now offered summaries of books (Dagens industri, 27 October, 1998, p. 25)
43

It should also be noted that there are some smaller publishers like Amacon that has specialised in management books. Among its titles it has for instance a series of books on 10 Secrets of the Worlds Greatest . (Dearlove, 1999a on Bill Gates, Dearlove, 1999b on Richard Branson, Crainer, 1999a on Jack Welsch, and Crainer, 1999b on Robert Murdoch). The information on German publishers in management has kindly been provided by Dr. Reinhold Roski, Gabler Verlag.
44

45

oldest business schools in the four Nordic countries (Engwall, 1999) provides evidence that the US publishing houses have been quite successful in these institutions. Among the twenty-four titles used in more than two schools twenty (83 per cent) had been published in the United States (Table 13). Of the remaining four, two were published by UK and two by Nordic publishers. The most successful of the publishing houses was Prentice-Hall with ten titles. Table 13. Titles that are Used in More than Two of Eight Nordic Business Schools.
Title Brealey and Myers (1991) Porter (1980) Arens and Loebbecke (1994) Cooper and Kaplan (1991) Foster (1986) Hull (1993) Stern and El-Ansary (1992) Yin (1989) Anthony and Govindarajan (1995) Bradley (1995) Copeland and Weston (1988) Douma and Schreuder (1991) Drury (1992) Eiteman, Stonehill and Moffett (1992) Gadde and Hkansson (1993) Grnroos (1990) Kaplan and Atkinson (1989) Kotler (1994) Lambert and Stock (1993) Loustarinen and Welch (1990) Morgan (1986) Ryan, Scapens and Theobald (1992) Welford and Gouldson (1993) Yukl (1989)
Source: Engwall (1999, Table 7).

No. of Schools 6 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Publisher McGraw-Hill Free Press Prentice-Hall Prentice-Hall Prentice-Hall Prentice-Hall Prentice-Hall Sage Irwin Prentice-Hall Addison-Wesley Prentice-Hall Chapman and Hall Addison-Wesley Studentlitteratur Lexington Books Prentice-Hall Prentice-Hall Irwin Helsinki School Sage Academic Press Pitman Prentice-Hall

Nationality US US US US US US US US US US US US UK US Swedish US US US US Finnish US US UK US

In relation to these results regarding publishers it is appropriate to point out that the globalisation and concentration processes that are occurring in other industries are also occur-

46

ring in media (Boyd-Barret and Rantanen, 1998). Mergers and acquisitions constitute an important feature of the development of the industry. This is happening both in terms of deals between traditional publishers and through movements into other industries like entertainment, telecommunication and computer software. In this way we can expect even stronger forces behind the marketing and diffusion of the media conglomerates. Also this can be expected to reinforce homogenisation. The supply of TV programmes in present time may provide hints about the development, i.e. a supply from many sources that is very similar. Just economies of scale may lead in that direction. The results shown in Table 13 naturally lead to the an analysis of the nationality of the authors (Table 14). It is then found that text-books from the United States constitute the largest group at all schools except at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and the Gothenburg School of Economics (GSE). Even there, however, about one-third of the titles are North American. At the other schools the share is over 40 per cent, even rising to around 50 per cent at the two Norwegian institutions and at the Helsinki School of Economics (HSE). At the schools where US titles predominate, the Nordic titles account for 30-40 per cent, while their share at CBS and GSE approaches or exceeds 50 per cent. In most cases books from other Nordic countries are rare, the exception being the Swedish School of Economics in Helsinki (SSEH), where more than a quarter of the titles do come from there. The obvious explanation is that the SSEH can easily use Swedish text-books. As a result the domestic share there is fairly low. In the case of both the Finnish schools it should also be noted that their curricula include five foreign titles that have been translated into Finnish. All in all, North American and Nordic books account for 80 per cent or more of the literature lists. The only other foreign country to have any significant share of the titles is the UK, whose share in the total material is about one-eighth. Of other countries that appear the Netherlands and Australia are the most frequently represented, while works from Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland occur only occasionally. None of the titles are in any language other than English or one of the Nordic languages.

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Table 14. Origin of the Literature in the Curricula at Eight Nordic Business Schools.
COUNTRY ORIGIN USA UK Other Non-Nordic Total Non-Nordic Domestic Other Nordic Total Nordic Total Number of Titles Denmark CBS 29.5 17.8 4.0 51.3 45.3 3.4 48.7 100.0 149 ABS 44.7 12.1 2.1 59.0 40.0 1.1 41.1 100.0 95 Finland HSE 48.0 15.2 1.6 64.7 31.5 3.8 35.3 100.0 224 Norway NSM 50.0 10.0 1.0 61.0 35.5 3.5 39.0 100.0 99 Sweden SSE 44.9 6.6 5.9 57.4 37.5 5.2 42.7 100.0 67 GSE 32.4 8.8 3.2 44.4 52.4 3.2 55.6 100.0 125 Total 42.2 13.0 2.5 57.7 35.5 6.8 42.3 100.0 954

SSEH NSEB 43.8 16.4 1.4 61.7 12.3 26.0 38.4 100.0 146 52.0 5.1 2.0 59.2 38.8 2.0 40.8 100.0 49

Source: Engwall (1999, Table 2). Explanations: CBS = Copenhagen Business School, ABS = Aarhus Business School, HSE = Helsinki School of Economics, SSEH = Swedish School of Economics in Helsinki, NSEB = Norwegian School of Economics and Business, NSM = Norwegian School of Management, SSE = Stockholm School of Economics, and GSE = Gothenburg School of Economics.

The presented results indicate that micro-markets may have developed around the various business schools with text-books written by local teachers. This may be a result of the large demand for management education and the development of printing technology. In interpreting the results it should also be kept in mind that even if there is a fair amount of textbooks written by locals they may have a US touch in terms of contents. The earlier presented results in terms of citations behaviour point in that direction. 5.3.3. Popular Journals and Magazines As for the popular journals and magazines it is appropriate to note that the press originally largely developed as a result of an interest from businessmen to get access to important information such as prices, freights and supply of goods in significant ports of trade (Hadenius and Weibull, 1972, p. 73). With industrialism this interest increased even further and today most

48

dailies carry business pages. There has also been an increasing demand for dailies specialised in business news such as the British Financial Times and the US Wall Street Journal.45 For the European market the Financial Times has been particularly successful (see further below). Being founded in 1888 in London as a newspaper with only four pages, it today is a very developed business newspaper printed all over Europe and in the United States. This has made it into a truly international newspaper [and] one of the worlds most respected business titles (Rockoff, 1999, p. 197) with a News Section and a Companies and Markets Section. In addition in publishes annually some 200 surveys on different topics. It also produces a series of periodicals. Needless to say the impact of the Financial Times can be expected to be significant. According to Rockoff (1999, p. 192) this has even led to the closing down of business magazines (such as Business and Management Week) since the Financial Times provides similar information more efficiently. The Financial Times has got followers in many countries. Among them the Swedish Dagens industri can be mentioned as an example. It was launched in February 1976 and is like its role model printed on pink paper. It has over the years become a great success with strong growth and has presently a circulation of more than 100,000 copies (see further Bringert and Torekull, 1995). Similarly, Denmark has Brsen , France Les Echoes, Germany Handelsblatt, Italy Il Sole 24 Ore, Spain Expansin and Actualidad Econmica (Alvarez, Mazza and Mur, 1999, pp. 86, 170, 129).46 In addition to the dailies there is also an increasing publication of weekly business magazines. A model in this context is Harvard Business Review, which presents articles by management professors for practitioners. Its significance for the communication between the scientific community and businessmen seems considerable. In the European context this is reinforced by special editions made for at least the German and the Spanish markets.47 For the

Both journals have made efforts to expand into new markets. According to Dagens industri (2 March, 1999, p. 14) the publisher of Financial Times, Pearson is going for a German edition in co-operation with the German publisher Gruner + Jahr, which publishes Stern and Berliner Zeitung. Wall Street Journal has a European edition.
46

45

Several of these newspaper belong to larger media groups. Brsen belongs to the Swedish Bonnier group, while Les Echos and Expansin and Actualidad Econmica are published by companies belonging to the Financial Times Group.
47

The German edition of Harvard Business Review, the Harvard Business Manager, has been published since 1979. Its editorial statement reads as follows: Diese Zeitschrift fr praxisches Managementwissen erscheint zweimonatlich und stellt die beste Artikel aus der Harvard Business Review vor sowie wichtige Forschungsergebnisse renommierter Business Schools und Original-texte deutschsprachiger Autoren (The journal).

49

US audience HBR also publishes books with collections of articles, today even in paperback (cf. e.g. Harvard Business Review on Change, 1998 and Harvard Business Review on Corporate Strategy, 1999).48 Other important business magazines which have attained high circulation figures are the North-American Business Week, Forbes and Fortune, and the British Economist, the French lExpansion, and the German Wirtschaftswoche. Particularly Business Week, which has a European edition, has a considerable readership in Europe, while the European magazines do not have a similar audience in the United States. The flow of information thus again appears to go more from West to East than the other way around. Many of the European business magazines also seem to have US colleagues as a role model. Looking at the impact, measured by circulation, of the most influential management publications in Europe (Table 15) we find among the dailies that the Financial Times has a dominant position in relation to the US Wall Street Journal Europe. The same goes for the Economist which outperforms the European editions of the US magazines Business Week and Fortune. So far European newspapers and weeklies thus have been able to keep ahead of their US competitors. In this competition the Financial Times has been particularly successful (Rockoff, 1999). Table 15. The Most Influential Management Publications in Europe.
Title Financial Times Wall Street Journal Europe Economist Business Week (European ed.) Fortune (European ed.) International Management Euromoney Harvard Business Review (Int. ed.) Founded Country Circulation Issues per Year Copies per Year 1888 UK 287110 300 86133000 1983 US 53674 300 16102200 1843 UK 199550 50 9977500 1927 US 59373 50 2968650 1930 US 60249 25 1506225 1946 UK 99237 12 1190844 1969 UK 29633 12 355596 1922 US 46921 6 281526

Source: Alvarez, Mazza and Mur (1999, pp. 214-217).

Similarly Harvard-Deusto Business Review is published in Spain. It presents with about one years delay the Spanish translation of Harvard Business Review. Each issue also contains two or three pieces by Spanish authors (Personal communication from Jos Luis Alvarez).
48

Books such as these can be expected to contain articles, for which a large number of reprint have been requested. According to the associate editor of HBR John Landry the amount of such requests provides a significant source of information for the management of HBR. As a result HBR is moving from a focus on strategy towards human issues, from a focus on organisation towards individuals. (Statement at panel discussion at the Academy of Management Meeting in Chicago, 8 August 1999).

50

It thus looks like the popular business press has attained a considerable economic success. In addition it also plays a significant role in modern society by shaping national and international images of economic conditions. One illustrative example of this is a study by Hadenius and Sderhjelm (1994), which showed that the business press, and also to a certain extent the general national press, played an important part in reinforcing the speculative tendencies during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In these processes the electronic media are playing a rapidly increasing role. 5.4. Conclusions A major tendency in the field of management publishing is that scientists to an increasing extent are presenting their work in journal articles. Leading outlets for this with high impact factors are North American. They have tended to become the model also for Europeans, which, however, have great difficulties to get their papers accepted in the top US journals. Nevertheless, the Europeans are heavily influenced by the thinking of US colleagues. Similarly US management popular books and text-books have received extensive acceptance in Europe. In addition the business press plays an important role in the diffusion of modern management ideas. For a long time scale has been significant in publishing. Much evidence can be provided that the largest actor on a particular market has advantages. In newspaper publishing particularly the advertising revenues have been instrumental for this development. The larger newspaper reaches more readers, which makes it more attractive to advertisers, which in turn makes it more profitable, which in turn makes it stronger, etc. (see further Engwall, 1978b, pp. 88-89). A similar tendency also appears to be present in management publishing as a result of the prestige of different publications. For instance, the fact that Administrative Science Quarterly is quoted more than other journals in the administrative field makes it more attractive for potential authors, who therefore need to read the journal and follow its articles, etc. Although scale is still important in publishing, it is today also crucial to also take into account the scope of the business, i.e. that publishing today is often part of larger media groups. Mazza (1999, pp. 137-138) thus in a case study of publishing in Italy where large firms have a tradition as newspaper owners points out that the time after 1980 has been a transfer into the mass media field. Again the development of information technology has been important for this transition making it advantageous to combine printed media products with TV, radio, Internet, etc. Kjaer and Strandgaard-Pedersen (1999, p. 100) go even further by pointing out that media companies are closely linked with institutions acting on the political 51

arena, in the advice industry, in research, etc. As a result it is appropriate to pay attention to a development implying that the borders of institutional fields are becoming blurred. As a matter of fact this is even the case for the fields under study within the CEMP programme: management practice, academic institutions, publishing and consulting. It will therefore be an important task in the coming research to pay attention to this state of affairs (see further below in Section 7). In addition it will be very important to focus more on the consumption of management media output (cf. Kjaer and Strandgaard Pedersen, 1999, p. 100). 6. Consultants 6.1. Introduction The third significant field contributing the diffusion of management ideas into practice is consultancies, an industry that has grown considerably in the last decades to a high extent as a result of the globalisation mentioned in Section 1 (Economist, 22 March 1997, p. 4).49 For instance, in Britain it grew by 200 per cent in the period 1985-1992 (Clark, 1995, p. 130). Contributing factors to this growth have been the above mentioned deregulation and development of information technology in combination with low barriers to entry in the consultancy fields as well as quite a few moves into the field from other industries such as accounting, advertising and public relations. As a result the field is characterised by a high degree of heterogeneity but also a high turbulence particularly among small consultancies (Clark, 1995, pp. 33-37). An important reason for these characteristics of the field is the nature of consultant services: intangibility, need for interaction, heterogeneity and perishability. As a result reputation will play an important role the choice of consultants. This can in the words of Clark (1995, p. 85) be either first-hand reputation, i.e. own experiences or third-hand reputation, i.e. assessments made by other users of consultancy services whom [the buyers] trust. It is therefore appropriate to look upon a client-consultancy relationships as networks (see Figure 3), where clients both have first hand experience of a consultancy (the bold lines), but also information from reference companies (the unbroken thin lines). In addition, we may also expect that just the circum-

A significant stimulus for the early development of the consultancy field appears to have been the productivity drives in the first decades after the war (see e.g. Amdam and Yttri, 1995; Djelic, 1998, pp. 205-211; and Kj 1998). r,

49

52

stance that a consultancy has a client relationship to significant actors (broken thin line) will attribute legitimacy to the consultancy.50 Figure 3. A Consultancy Client in an Information Network.

Company A

Client

Consultancy

Company B
Source: Engwall and Eriksson (1999). Legend: = first hand experience of a consultancy, = legitimacy through attribution = information from reference companies

If we focus on the consultancy side of the relationship it is relevant to consider two basic variables in the industrial organisation literature: scope and scale. The former concept, which will be dealt with in Section 6.2, concerns the number of services provided by a consultancy. It also helps us to define management consulting. Scale, on the other hand, refers to the size of operations in terms of number of consultants, revenues, etc. (see further Section 6.3). Needless to say there is a certain relationship between the two variables so that large scale consultancies also are characterised by large scope. Both are related to economies of the operations. Economies of scope provide the advantage of cross-selling (see further Eriksson and Lindvall, 1999), while economics of scale permit a wider sharing of fixed costs.

50

On the choice of management consultants, see further Clark (1995, Chapter 4).

53

6.2. The Scope of Consultancies According to Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary a consultancy is an agency that provides consulting services, while consulting is defined as providing professional or expert advice. For the present analysis it is important to delimit the object of study still further, however. First, it could be noted that, although there is an increase in the number of internal consultants in large companies, a general characteristic of consultants is that they are not employed by the company they advice. Instead they are hired on a project basis to solve more or less specified problems. This means that they move between different clients, a circumstance which in turn implies that they get paid for the opportunity to learn about management problems in different companies. In delimiting the management consulting industry still further, it is again appropriate to relate to the basic sub-areas of management presented in Table 1. Doing so we can, basing our reasoning on Kipping and Armbruester (1999), identify consultancies relating to top management, the financial flow and the production flow (Table 16). It is then evident that consulting is a lot more than the strategy consulting that is often mentioned in the literature. Even for top management, strategy consulting is supplemented with advice on Public Relations and IT. The latter also constitutes a significant part of consulting regarding both the financial and the production flow. We can also note that auditing firms have come to play an important role in relation to the financial flow by providing advice on the control systems. This is a reflection of a successive move of auditing firms more and more from traditional auditing towards advice. It should also be noted that investment bankers have become more and more important in the advice industry as a result of deregulation of financial markets and a following increase in the number of mergers and acquisitions.51 In terms of the production flow engineering consultancies have a long tradition in providing systems for efficient production flows. In addition advertising agencies are used by management for the creation of relationships to customers, while personnel issues are dealt with by consultancies providing advice on the selection of personnel and human resource management (HRM).52 All in all, we should therefore conclude that the field of consulting is rather broad and offers a large number of different types of services.

51

Of course it is difficult to draw border lines in the financial consultancy field. However, for the present discussion it is, for instance, not relevant to include venture capitalists in the management advice industry.
52

According to the Financial Times (October 25, 1999, p. 20) there is now even an interest in advice on employment policies among Japanese banks. This was earlier not common practice. Japanese banks thus earlier

54

Table 16. Different Types of Consultancies. General Management Strategy; Public Relations; IT External Providers Auditors Investment Bankers IT Engineering IT Internal Providers Auditors IT Engineering and IT Recruitment HRM Customers Auditors IT Engineering Ad Agencies IT

Financial Flow Production Flow

A certain idea about the structure of the services provided by consultancies can be obtained by means of statistics from the European consulting organisation FEACO. Kipping and Armbruester (1999, p. 30) report data from 1997, which points out that the largest share of the fees, one-fourth, are coming from strategy and organisation, followed by IT, one-fifth. This means that almost half of the fees are coming from strategy, organisation and IT. Other fields with about one-tenth each of the fee shares were human resources, financial systems and production management. These shares are of course both an effect of the amount of services provided and the price charged for the services. It is therefore relevant to point out that the high share of the fees in strategy, organisation and IT may to a certain extent be the result of the uncertainty of the knowledge provided. It can be expected that the price sensitivity of clients is lower the more uncertain the field of advice. Looking at the future use of consultants a recent study of ten Swedish top executives (Engwall and Eriksson, 1999) provide some evidence (Table 17). It then turns out that they expect advice on financial services, PR/Communication, and education to increase, while they think that advice regarding strategy, IT and production will decrease.

only took outside advice on matters like computer systems and international strategy, since they did not consider it appropriate to take advice about core, domestic strategic issues from outsiders.

55

Table 17. Views on the Future Use of Consultancies among Ten Swedish Top Executives.
Type of Service Financial Services PR/Communication Education Recruitment Outsourcing Manpower Functional Improvements Marketing/Market studies Change Management BPR Auditing Strategy IT Production Increase=1 No change=0 Decrease=-1 8 5 5 4 5 2 3 2 2 0 0 3 0 0 1 5 5 5 3 8 6 6 6 10 10 3 8 7 1 0 0 1 2 0 1 2 2 0 0 4 2 3 Average Change 0.7 0.5 0.5 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 -0.1 -0.2 -0.3 Present Use 10 10 10 9 8 6 9 10 7 2 10 6 10 9

Source: Engwall and Eriksson (1999, Table 9).

The above reasoning implies that it seems appropriate to apply a broad definition of management consulting and not only to limit the discussion to strategy consultants. This point of view is motivated by the fact that the large global players have a very wide assortment of services and that strategic and operational counselling are often combined. As pointed out by the Economist (22 March, 1997, p. 3):
the boundary between offering advice and managing systems is blurring. The strategic firms no longer just put forward bright ideas, but offer to implement them as well. Conversely, many information-technology and outsourcing firms are employing a swelling army of strategic consultants.

It should also be pointed out that consultancies combine highly visible and spectacular activities with a lot of bread-and-butter problem solving. Clark (1995, Ch. 5-6) thus makes a distinction between back-stage and front-stage activities. As an example of the former type of consulting he mentions executive search, while the management guru is used to illustrate the latter.53 In the back-stage mode the consultant prepares for the performance (the hearings with the candidates), while in the front-stage mode the consultant himself is performing. Clarks metaphor is quite attractive and appears applicable to all sorts of stage setting activities, i.e. the conditions for the performance irrespective if it is made by the consultant himself or people he

53

On management gurus, see further Huczynski (1993).

56

has selected. This seems particularly important, since present-day consulting to an increasing extent include the introduction of information systems and management accounting systems (cf. Section 2.2 above). Against the earlier discussion it is also appropriate to make distinctions with respect to the specificity and the permanency of the advice. This is especially important in relation to the earlier mentioned discussion of Abrahamson (1996) on management fads or management fashions. General ideas on strategy or organisation can be changed relatively easy in comparison to information systems, which require a lot of learning throughout the organisation (see further below Section 8.3.1). 6.3. The Scale of Consultancies It should be evident that, in addition to scope, scale is important in consulting like in most other industries. Scale often goes hand in hand with internationalisation. A small group of very large consultancies are thus operating globally, while others, considerably smaller, are doing business on a national scale. Quite a number of the latter are even one-man or few-men operations. For the diffusion of standardised management ideas the very large consultancies that operate globally play a particularly significant role. First, their size implies that they are very visible and shape the expectations on the behaviour of other consultants. This in turn can be expected to make them more attractive for executives in large corporations, which may follow each other in hiring consultants carrying well-known brand-names (cf. again Figure 3). As a result it will be difficult for other consultancies, who like to compete in the same markets as the global consultancies, to behave in a different way.54 These circumstances can in themselves be expected to reinforce homogenisation. However, there is also another feature that intensifies the homogenisation process: the possibility for the large global actors to apply standardised methods, and in this way keep their costs down. In addition the development of ready-made tools will be important for a growing business, since they will facilitate the introduction of new persons into the organisations. Certain tendencies to adapt to local conditions have been observed by Kipping, Furusten and Gammels (1998, Section 4.2), however.55 ter

54

For a study demonstrating these difficulties, see an earlier study of the Swedish consultant company SIAR (Engwall, Furusten and Wallerstedt, 1997).
55

On the methods of management consultants, see further Werr (1999).

57

Among the large global players a US domination can again be observed.56 In 1995 thus only one of the then largest consultancies (Computer Management Group) in Europe was without US links (see Table 18). The rest had full or divided US ownership. The share of the US consultancies among the ten in terms of number was 60 per cent and in terms of joint revenues 70 per cent. Table 18 also demonstrates the penetration of the big accounting firms on the consultancy market. Among the ten we thus find all the companies, which at the time were mentioned as Big Six: Andersen, Coopers & Lybrand, Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, KPMG and Price Waterhouse.57

Table 18. The Largest Consulting Firms in Europe 1995. Revenues MUSD Percent 1,366 29 % 621 13 % 546 12 % 451 10 % 322 7% 321 7% 290 6% 281 6% 245 5% 245 5% 3,220 69 %

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Company Andersen Consulting McKinsey & Co Coopers & Lybrand KPMG Ernst & Young Gemini Consulting Deloitte & Touche Boston Consulting Group Computer Management Group Price Waterhouse US Share

Origin US US US/UK US/UK US/UK F/US US/UK US UK US/UK 60 %

Cumulated 29 % 42 % 54 % 64 % 71 % 78 % 84 % 90 % 95 % 100 %

Source: Kipping, Furusten and Gammels (1998, p. 27) with the permission of the authors. Their source is ter Management Consultant International, July 1996. Note: In calculating the shares double origin has been divided equally between the nations mentioned.

In a historical study Kipping (1999) has shown that the expansion of the American management consultancies occurred already between the World Wars. Since then Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse have merged, thus leaving presently a group of Big Five (see e.g. Financial Times, 19 October 1998, p. 1). Another event demonstrating the turbulence in the field is the recent move of the French consultancy unit of KPMG to break away from the mother company to join a rival (ibid.).
57

56

58

Similar patterns as those summarised in Table 18 was obtained as Kipping, Furusten and Gammels (1998) analysed the largest consultancies in Britain, France and Germany ter (Table 19). US firms rank first and the shares of US consultancies are 60 per cent in Britain and Germany, and 50 per cent in France. In all countries there are at least one domestic player among the ten largest. In Britain, in addition to the Anglo-American accountancies, there is PA Consulting Group (ranked fifth), in France Bossard Consultants (ranked second; later merged with Gemini Consulting), Gemini Consulting (ranked sixth), and Groupe Coutard (ranked tenth), and in Germany Roland Berger & Partner (ranked third).58 Table 19. The Largest Consultancies in Britain, France, and Germany in 1994/95. Rank
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Britain
Andersen Consulting (US) Coopers & Lybrand (US/UK) Mercer Consulting Group (US) PA Consulting Group (UK) Ernst & Young (US/UK) Deloitte & Touche (US/UK) Price Waterhouse (US/UK) KPMG (US/UK) McKinsey & Co. (US)

France
Andersen Consulting (US) Bossard Consultants (F/S) Ernst & Young (US/UK) McKinsey Co. (US) Gemini Consulting (F/US) Coopers & Lybrand (US/UK) Sema Group (F) Groupe Courtard (F)

Germany
McKinsey & Co (US) Andersen Consulting (US) Roland Berger & Partner (G) CSC Ploenzke (US) Boston Consulting Group (US) Gemini (Gruber Titze) (F/US) KPMG (US/UK) Schitag Ernst & Young (US/UK) Mummert + Partner (G)

Sedwick Noble Lowndes (UK/US) Price Waterhouse (US/UK)

Boston Consulting Group (US) Coopers & Lybrand (US/UK

US Share

60 %

50 %

60 %

Source: Kipping, Furusten and Gammels (1998) with the permission of the authors. The data in the table ter has been compiled from various issues of Management Consultant International.

With reference to the evidence provided by Kipping, Furusten and Gammels (1998) ter it can thus again be argued that US actors through mere size and higher visibility will provide role models for others, both for competitors and for customers of consultant services. However, as already pointed out by Kipping, Furusten and Gammels (1998, pp. 20-22), the ter consultancy field does not only contain the giant global players. There are also a large number of small national consultancies, which in line with the reasoning of Penrose (1959, pp. 222224), are taking advantage of the possibilities left in the interstices between the giants. They can even be expected to be more numerous than in other industries, because of the low barriers

58

Similar evidence is provided for other European countries in Kipping and Armbruester (1999, Chapter 4).

59

to entry in the industry. In this way they could be expected to counterbalance the homogenisation process created by the large consultancies. However, this does not necessarily have to be the case, because many of the small firms are either former executives, who for one reason or another have left their top management jobs, or former employees of the giant consultancies. In this way also the smaller ones may introduce standardised methods. The former executives may bring with them and diffuse management methods, which were once introduced into their companies through consultancies.59 The former employees of the giants may practice what they learnt in the super business school provided inside a global consultancy (Econo-mist 22 March 1997, p. 16). The super business school is not always that glamorous, however. Many consultants perform a lot of what Clark (1995) refers to as back-stage activities in order to prepare for the work of the senior partners or to follow up the selling work of the latter. The foot-work of these mostly junior consultants are of course very important for the functioning of the consultancies. In the words of OShea and Madigan (1998, p. 12):
The revenues generated by low-level consultants and associates fund the fat salaries garnered by those million-dollar-a-year-partners. It is in the interest of the consulting partnership, then, to send as many raw recruits to the scene as a client will accept.

The incentive for the young consultants is of course to eventually become partners and senior partners, thereby obtaining all sorts of executive rewards. And, the latter are important, since as pointed out by Tom Tierny in an interview in the Financial Times (March 20, p. 13):
Companies like ours are driven by stars. [...] You don't just have to recruit them, you have to keep them, which is often a bigger battle.

However, at the same time it has to be kept in mind that a great deal of the consulting is breadand-butter business. Eriksson and Lindvall (1999) therefore even claim that the spectacular strategy consulting to a large extent resembles the haute-couture in the fashion industry: it is just used by a few, if any, while most part of the consulting has similarities to the prt--porter clothes.

59

There also appears to be evidence that peer groups are very widely used by top managers, i.e. that that they ask CEOs of non-competing companies for advice.

60

6.4. Conclusions Above we have seen that the drive for scope creates large actors, which cover a wide range of problems in companies. In this way we can expect these global players to standardise the advises even more, particularly as modern information technology becomes a significant part of consulting. Similarly we can expect economies of scale to reinforce homogenisation, since the more a standardised piece of advice is used the lower the costs and the higher the profits. In addition it can be argued that the circumstance that consultants are moving around between clients is also instrumental for homogenisation, since they are able to bring good practices to other companies. Finally, it should also be stressed that former employees of the global players and former executives can be expected to contribute to homogenisation by spreading the knowledge they have acquired within their own consultancies. The fact that we can also observe small consultancies will therefore not guarantee a counterbalancing power against homogenisation. In concluding the analysis of consultants it is also appropriate to modify somewhat the widely spread stereotype model of consultants as only hostile carriers, which are communicating management fashions to passive managers.60 The reason is that CEMP research (see e.g. Engwall and Eriksson, 1999) indicates the relevance of focusing on the interaction between consultants and managers. It is also evident that there are variations in the consultancy field in terms of size, specialisation, reputation, social capital, etc., and that consultancies are linked together in networks.61 This means that it is also appropriate to take into consideration the variations among the clients of consultancies. It should then be clear that there is a need to differentiate between the needs of actors in different sectors. There is thus significant evidence showing that companies use several consultancies simultaneously.62 They also have varying purposes for their use of consultants such as part of power games, organisation learning, legitimisation, etc.

60

See for instance OShea and Madigan (1997), who provide a critical examination of management consultants, and Ashford (1998), who seeks to reveal the secrets of consulting for prospective clients.
61

Significant questions with such an approach are: (1) How are contacts created?, (2) How is the process developing over time?, (3) What is the contents in the interchange?, and (4) To what extent does there exist a asymmetry in the relationship?
62

According to Crainer (1997, p. 186) top executives tend not to listen to gurus, instead he argues that aspiring managers cast around for recipes for success and ideas which can distinguish them from the crowd.

61

The described alternative views on consultancies and their clients implies that there are good reasons to be open up for alternative theoretical approaches in studying consultancies. Strong candidates in that context are new institutional theory, service marketing models, and network approaches. Such alternative approaches are likely to provide even further evidence for the homogenisation hypothesis. 7. Management Fields in Interaction 7.1. A Basic Model The previous four sections have discussed the homogenisation processes within the four fields of management: practice, academic institutions, publishing and consultancy. The next step is now to dwell on the effects of the interaction between the four fields. For this purpose the model presented in Figure 4 can be used. Figure 4. Management Fields in Interaction.

Present Management Publishing Past Management Consulting Academic Institutions Practice Future Management

A basic feature of the model in Figure 4 is the link between past, present and future management. For all three there is an interaction between academic institutions, publishing, consulting and practice. Needless to say the development in each of the four fields of management is a result of past, present and future management.

62

Past management influences present management through the flow of people to academic institutions (for post-experience training and the taking up teaching positions) and to consultancies (particularly former executives who open their own firms). There are also flows of information to publishing through manuscripts accepted by successful executives. These flows, particularly the last one, can to a certain extent be expected to have a conserving effect, and to advocate solutions that have been successful in a particular context. An issue of special interest in relation to the time factor is the tendency that some sectors of a society is faster than others to adopt new ideas. This is especially relevant to note with respect to the diffusion processes between the private and the public sector. As pointed out by Ramstrm (1976) it is not uncommon that the public sector is taking up management ideas and methods from the private sector at a time when actors there have realised the problems with these recipes and are moving away from them. 7.2 Academic Institutions and Practice The link between academic institutions and practice is very obvious, since the task of management education is to prepare their students for practical life. Business schools therefore have a need to adapt to changes in their environment and to the reception of their graduates in the job market.63 The latter is one important group of criteria in evaluations and rankings. In addition institutions for management education to an increasing extent link up to management practice through the appointment of advisory boards. These have several purposes. First, they aim at communicating legitimacy by showing that the school has good connections into business and that it has the support of prestigious advisors. Second, particularly in the United States, they are means in the fund raising programmes of the schools. Third, the advisory boards are supposed to give their views on the design of curricula and programmes. In addition to the advisory boards alumni play a significant role for business schools, again especially in the United States, but also for the international business schools such as INSEAD, IMD and London Business School. These provide important networks for former graduates, for the new graduates, for the students, for the faculty and for the management of the schools. For the former graduates other alumni are important just for the networks they provide, while the chances for new graduates to get good jobs will be positively correlated to the number of graduates from their school in the market. For students and faculty, alumni will
63

For a study of strategic change in academia, see Gioia and Thomas (1996).

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be significant for the access to companies and the opportunities to recruit external lecturers. For management, finally, advice and financing, will, as already pointed out in relation to advisory boards, be the main reasons for contacts. However, initiatives may also be taken from non-alumni, particularly large corporations and interest organisations, having views on the existing management education. This is now happening in the United Kingdom, where a project has been launched to set up a virtual management centre by cherry-picking the best professors from different UK business schools (Financial Times, November 8, 1999, p. 14). Similarly German corporations have been active in promoting new ventures in management education area after a change in the German laws of higher education (Financial Times, March 29, 1999, p. VIII in a survey on business education). A significant link between academic institutions and practice is of course management research, which implies that faculty members and students are undertaking studies in companies. Sometimes such research is commissioned and even sponsored by the companies, a circumstance which may lead to ethical questions. However, as long as the companies only poses the questions without intervening in the methodological issues and the formulation of results this should be possible to handle. This link between academic institutions and practice may instead have another significant implications for the processes we are considering here, since it may reinforce homogenisation (see above). The communication between management education and practice of course also goes in the other direction, i.e. that companies buy education and advice from business schools. Some even look upon such collaboration with business schools as a necessity in order to gain access to the latest management thinking, before it gets published in trade journals or popular books (Crainer and Dearlove, 1999, p. 53).64 Tailor-made programmes, which have become more frequent in the last decade, are also quite natural in times of outsourcing. In conclusion there are thus since long close links between management education and management practice. As time goes by we can expect this connection to become stronger and stronger. In the terminology of Granovetter (1985) business schools thus become more and more embedded in the business environment. This in turn can be expected to provide the early

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For a discussion of corporate universities and business schools, see Crainer and Dearlove (1999, Ch. 9).

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entrants what Williamson (1975, pp. 34-35) mentions as first mover advantages. Needless to say they will imply barriers to entry for new actors. 7.3. Academic Institutions and Consultancies One factor that is particularly significant for the homogenisation processes is the recruitment of business graduates to consultancies. It is a fact that this flow of people is considerable. In 1996 it was thus estimated that almost a third of those who gained an MBA went into consulting (Economist, 22 March 1997, p. 3). Similar evidence is provided by Crainer and Dearlove (1999, p. 63), who report that the share of MBAs going into consulting from the Stanford and Wharton 1994 classes had doubled in ten years from 15 percent to one-third. The share of Kellogg MBA graduates choosing consulting was even higher: 42 per cent.65 An important reason for this state of affair is the high salaries offered by consultancies. The Financial Times (December 6, 1999, p. 10) thus reported that
the starting salary for MBA graduates from the best business schools rose from 58,000- 60,000 last year to 60,000- 65,000 this year. The package can reach 100,000, including golden hellos performance bonuses and benefits.

The large recruitment of MBAs to consulting has led Kipping and Amorim (1999) to point to the existence of a symbiotic relationship between business schools and management consultancies. Some foresee an even more developed blurring of the borders between the different fields of management and envisage the possibility of a Harvard Business School-McKinsey MBA (Crainer and Dearlove, 1999, p. 231). However, already to-day such links exist: Booz . Allen & Hamilton thus has a research alliance with INSEAD (ibid., p. 64). 7.4. Academic Institutions and Publishing In terms of the relationship between academic institutions and publishing one significant link is constituted by a flow of information to academic institutions through empirical studies of management practice undertaken by academic scholars.66 The results of these empirical studies are sent for publishing, and some of the manuscripts will be accepted. As pointed out already

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European evidence of the tendency of business graduates to go into consulting can also be found in a recent self-evaluation report from the Copenhagen School of Business (Selvevaluering af Den erhvervskonomiske kandidatuddannelse (Cand.merc.-uddanelsen) ved Handelshjskolen i Kbenhavn , December 1998, pp. 75-76).
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Evidence of the significance of empirical research in management is provided in Engwall (1992b, p. 136). In a study of the 270 doctoral dissertations that were defended in Sweden until 1985 as much as 95.6 per cent were based on empirical studies.

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above in Section 5.2 the vast majority of the accepted papers in academic publishing are coming from American authors. As a result we can expect them to report on a US practice. Therefore, through the interaction between the academic institutions and the publishing field the Americanisation is likely to be reinforced. US research is becoming more visible and is later on turned into text-books, which will be circulated in academic institutions all over the globe. Students who have studied these texts will move into future management, and in his way use and spread the ideas they have acquired in their management education. As far as future management is concerned it can be foreseen that the exchange between academic institutions and publishing is not only a delivery of manuscripts from the academic side and the provision of management texts from the publishing side. Instead there are indications of a much closer co-operation between the actors in the two fields. Crainer and Dearlove (1999, p. 8) thus point out that the combination of a big name business school brand with a major software or publishing and media group would offer a powerful alternative delivery system. A recent evidence of such plans is the establishment by the media giant Rupert Murdoch of a London based enterprise called Worldwide Learning with the intention to enter the educational sector. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education Murdoch is negotiating with "Universitas 21", a body of 21 research universities from several continents. (Internationellt om Hgskolan. Information fr Hgskoleverket , 3 December 1999). Needless to say, the den velopment of information technology will be very significant for these closer links between academic institutions and media. However, already to-day there is evidence of a symbiotic relationship between management education and publishing. The Financial Times carries regularly information on management education and publishes now and then special editions containing presentation of schools and ads (see e.g. Financial Times, January 25, 1999, and March 29, 1999). The same group has also recently published a marketing book to be used in MBA programmes in collaboration with INSEAD, Kellogg, London Business School and Wharton (see Financial Times, 1999). 7.5. Consultancies and Publishing A still further exchange of information is going on between consultancies and publishing. Although consultants can be expected to consume some of the management literature produced in publishing, the most important flow goes in the other direction. Consultants have increasingly in the last decades tended to support their consulting activities by the publication of popular management books. McKinsey was earlier rather ambivalent about publishing but has 66

more recently produced a large number of books (Crainer and Dearlove, 1999, p. 60).67 The same goes for other consulting companies: Arthur Anderson (Hiebeler, Kelly and Ketteman, 1998), Ernst & Young (e.g. McGee and Prusak, 1993), PriceWaterhouseCoopers (Redwood, Goldwasser and Street, 1999), and Mercer Management Consulting (Slywotsky et al., 1999). Booz Allen & Hamilton has even their own quarterly magazine: Strategy & Business.68 Two of the more spectacular examples of the described tendency are two of the titles mentioned in Section 5.3.1: Hammer and Champy (1993), which sold 17 million copies and Peters and Waterman (1982), which reached a circulation of 5 million Economist (March 22, 1997, p. 9).69 These books by consultants and other management books are finding their way to present and future practice. In this way ideas are spread and the consulting business is promoted. In the words of OShea and Madigan (1998, p. 198):
The recipe: Get an article in the Harvard Business Review, pump it up into a book, pray for a best-seller, then market the idea for all it is worth through a consulting company.

7.6. Consultancies and Practice Another significant link between the fields is of course constituted by a flow of information between consultancies and practice. Consultants are giving advice on the basis of what they have learnt in academic institutions and in their practice. In this way a limited number of standardised methods may be further diffused in practice. Among the consultants one type has a particular relevance for the issues addressed here and it is the M/A-consultants. The reason is that they will stimulate the concentration process and the creation of still larger actors, which in turn will become still further visible and dominant as role models. However, there is also an important flow of people between consultancies and practice. Some thus argue that the global consultancies have become the graduate graduate school of business. Henry Mintzberg (1996, p. 66) describes the typical career in the following way:70

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There are also books by former McKinsey employees, see e.g. Raisel (1999). Issue 16 appeared in the third quarter of 1999.

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The significance attributed to circulation figures in this area can be illustrated by the scandal, which broke out when it was detected that Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema had bought a large number of copies of their own management book in order to raise publication figures (Economist, 22 March, 1997, p. 18). A similar description is provided by Crainer and Dearlove (1999, p. 163), who mention four steps in management careers: (1) a bachelors degree at a good university, (2) an MBA program at a top business school, (3) a well-paying job at a prestigious management consultancy, and (4) just about anything you want.
70

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After the M.B.A., you work as a consultant with some prestigious firm for a time, skipping from one client organization to another. And then you leap straight into the chief executive chair of some company, making judicious moves to others in the hope that you may one day end up running a company like IBM.

As a result Economist (22 March 1997, p. 18) mentions a work period with a consultancy as the standard route to membership of a new global elite, which may lead to top positions in various types of companies. It is thus pointed out that former McKinsey men run organizations as disparate as IBM, American Express and in the investment arm of SBC Warburg and according to the Financial Times, no fewer than a quarter of the directors of the Fortune 500 companies are Harvard alumni. (Crainer and Dearlove, 1999, p. 157).71 This goes also for the European based INSEAD, whose alumni can be found in 120 countries and of which 36 percent are company chairmen or CEOs (ibid., p. 159). It should of course also be mentioned that the fact that consultants are moving between different companies in practice will imply that they learn a lot of past and present management practice. This in turn is likely to reinforce homogenisation. 7.7. Publishing and Practice The link between management publishing and practice definitely is a two-way road. On the one hand management publishing to a high extent is constituted by the reporting and analysis in journals, magazines and books of events in practice. In this way management publishing is instrumental in creating views of the world. Persons in management practice as a consequence get acquainted with present practice and what their competitors and colleagues are doing. However, this is still a rather traditional view of the interaction between publishing and practice. As the business press has developed and the coverage of business events has grown considerably companies have been under an increasing pressure to handle their relationships with media. Directors of communication are therefore to-day often members of the top management team of large companies. Their task is to handle upcoming problematic questions in a favourable way for the company but also to communicate information from the company in an advantageous way. Kjaer and Strandgaard (1999, p. 101) thus even put the questions whether the press is a profiling device for firms and industries in relation to stakeholders. This tendency is

A recent example is the promotion in April 1999 of Mr. Rick Thoman to CEO of Xerox. He had been a senior associate with McKinsey until 1979 before entering an executive career in American Express, Nabisco and IBM (Financial Times, April 7 1999, p. 18).

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particularly reinforced by the fact that large modern corporations are financed through the stock market. The way executives and communication officers handle media can thus be instrumental for the valuation of a company. Communication training has therefore become an important feature of modern management. Byrkjeflot (1999b) even argues that modern leadership to a high extent is a question about communication. An important reason for this is of course the development of modern media technology and the growth of broadcasted entertainment. Shakespeares words from As you like it that all the worlds stage thus appear to become more and more true in modern management. This also implies that executives tend to have increasingly intensive relationships with representatives of the business press and financial analysts. 7.8. Conclusions The reasoning above implies that we cannot see the four fields of management in isolation, but that they have to be considered as parts of an interactive system and with a time dimension. If this is done the hypothesis about a homogenisation process appears even stronger. The US management models seem to have even larger chances to be diffused. For the future it is even envisaged that the interaction between the different fields will lead to a blurring of the borderlines. Crainer and Dearlove (1999, pp. 234-236) thus conceive of future networks and alliances between business schools, corporate universities, corporations and consulting firms. This in turn may imply a need for the application of network approaches in the analysis of the management field. There are also reasons to pay attention to the fact that already today actors in the different fields are living in symbiosis and that this is an effect of their need for legitimacy. Business schools are to an increasing extent setting up advisory boards in order to show their business relationships. They also link to other business schools in order to provide signals of quality.72 For the same reason accreditation organisation are eager to link to the best business

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An example of this is the CEMS programme, which links a selection of European business schools together. Such co-operation goes also over the Atlantic. One example is the alliance between Dartmouth, HEC in Paris and Templeton College at Oxford, another such case is the collaboration between Cambridges Judge Institute and MITs Sloan School (Financial Times, June 2, 1997, p. 15 and November 15, 1999, p. 14).

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schools. Publishing houses use distinguished academics as editorial boards. Consultants get prestige by providing services to prominent firms. And, so on.73 However, even if the actors in the different fields are coming closer together we can foresee a certain division of labour between them. Academic institutions can also in the future be expected to lag somewhat behind practitioners, journalists and consultants in reporting their ideas. The basic reason for this state of affairs is of course the work procedures in academia, where you need references and systematic evidence before you can claim anything. Therefore the usual process in academia is: paper presentation, journal article and eventually books. Practitioners and consultants can go more directly. Academic institutions, on the other hand, play a role as control functions to scrutinise management knowledge. 8. Perspectives on Homogenisation 8.1. Introduction A basic argument above has been that the development within the different fields is characterised by homogenisation, i. e. that that the behaviour of the actors within these fields is becoming more and more similar. It has also been argued that the interaction between actors in the different fields of management will reinforce this development. Basically the evidence and reasoning above provide the basis for three propositions:
Proposition 1: Homogenisation in business behaviour is occurring as a result of the examples provided by dominant actors. (Social construction of reality: cf. Berger and Luckmann, 1966). Proposition 2: National differences are reduced as a result of competition between countries regarding economic performance. (Regulatory competition: cf. e.g. Bratton, 1996 and Crew, 1999). Proposition 3: Homogenisation is reinforced by the interaction of management practice, management education, management consulting, and management publishing. (The CEMP Programme: see Section 7 above).

Looking at these three proposition it is important to note that they do not imply a claim that the behaviour of the different actors already is similar. They only point to the direction of change. However, even with this clarification it is appropriate at this stage to dwell somewhat

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Investment banking provides a particularly good example of this legitimacy by reputation: as corporate placement programmes have been carried through the lead manager puts in an advertisement (a tomb-stone) announcing the programme. However, at this stage the securities are already sold and the only purpose of the advertisement is to communicate the capability of the lead manager.

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on the meaning of homogenisation and to discuss some forces that may hamper the process of homogenisation. 8.2. The Concept of Homogenisation Looking closer at the concept of homogenisation we have to go back to the adjective homogeneous, which by the Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary is defined as: (1) of the same or a similar kind of nature, and (2) of uniform structure or composition throughout. In these definitions there are a few words that are particularly relevant to notice: same, similar and uniform. These in turn are by the above mentioned dictionary defined as:
same [.. ] 1: a resembling in every relevant aspect, 1b conforming in every respect, 2a: being one without addition, change, or discontinuance: identical. [] 3: corresponding so closely as to be indistinguishable. similar [] 1: having characteristics in common, strictly comparable, 2: alike in substance or essentials. uniform [] 3: of the form with others: conforming to one role or model.

It is evident from these definitions that the degree to which objects are similar is an empirical question. They should resemble each other in every relevant aspect, have characteristics in common, be alike in substance or essentials or conform to one role or model. This means that we need to define the criteria for comparison. Doing so we should be aware of the fact that the more detailed the criteria the larger the probability to identify differences between the objects under comparison. If we, on the other hand, apply very rough criteria we should be able to find more similarities. Another significant factor for the comparison is what Ramstrm (1967, p. 39) labels as description level and describes in the following way:
One description will be said to be at a higher description level than another, if the number of components distinguished in the former case is smaller than in the latter case, provided that it is true for every component contained in the description with the greater number of components that its elements can all be found within one and the same component in the former description.

In other words: the more detailed our studies, the more components we will be able to observe. This in turn will increase the probability of finding differences. This circumstance has made Rvik (1998, p. 27) to point out that on a global level there are large similarities, while there are large differences on local levels:
On one side when the level of analysis is the global organisation society, it is easy to see that there are a large and rapidly growing selection of organisation recipes

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that hardly feel any limits for its spreading, they are almost everywhere at the same time. On the other side when the level of analysis is shifting to the local level, i.e. individual organisations, it is similarly easy to see that almost everywhere special local variants of the institutionalised super-standards are developed (My translation from the Norwegian).

This discussion of Rvik is also closely related to the debate regarding the character of diffusion processes. A basic view in this context, which stands on the innovation literature (see e.g. Rogers, 1962), is that management ideas are diffused like any other product. According to this perspective the ideas are produced and gradually penetrate the market by first appealing to early adopters, then hit the major part of the market, and finally late adopters. A fundamental assumption of this view is that products are not adapted to local conditions. However, even for physical products this view have been challenged. We thus to-day see many examples how some of the global producers adapt to local markets. In business-to-business marketing this even seems to be the rule rather than the exception (H kansson, 1987 and 1989). Similar arguments have been put forward regarding the diffusion of management ideas. Building on Latour (1986) Czarniawska and Joerges (1996) advocate that translations are taking place as the ideas travel from one organisation to another, while Sahlin-Andersson (1996) argues that the local adaptations should be seen as editions of the ideas that move around.74 These perspectives imply that we observe that some widely accepted ideas are used in different ways in different contexts. Thus although the fundamental ideas are the same, the applications differ. Again with reference to Ramstrm (1967) the description level is very important for the conclusions regarding the degree of homogeneity. The conclusion of the above discussion is of course that the concept of homogenisation is not univocal. For future studies we need to be more specific regarding the criteria to evaluate similarity. There is also a necessity to be more definite about the description level under study, and to study further empirically in which form ideas travel, i.e. whether they are just diffused, translated or edited.

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For still further discussions of the same topic, see the other contributions in Czarniawska and Sevn (1996). Another concept used by Botti (1998) to label the transformation is hybridization. In a similar way Bjarnar and Kipping (1998, p. 14) conclude that the ultimate success of the Americanisation process resulted from a selective and partial adaptation of different elements of the US management model rather than a full-fledged adoption. See also Tiratsoo and Tomlinson (1997).

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8.3. Forces Hampering Homogenisation Having thus established the need to be more precise in the analysis of homogenisation processes we should also point out forces hampering homogenisation. Three such forces will be pointed out: (1) inertia and sedimentation, (2) structural differences between countries, and (3) entries of new actors. 8.3.1. Inertia and Sedimentation First, it is appropriate to point out that principles of management are developing in an historical process. As shown in Figure 4 future management is dependent on present management, which in turn is dependent on past management. We can therefore not expect radical shifts to take place in management. This has been pointed out by Guilln (1994) in an analysis of the diffusion of management models in the United States, Germany, Spain and Great Britain. Stressing in his analysis a distinction between ideologies and techniques, he concludes that sedimentation constitutes a significant component of management practice (Guilln, 1994, p. 291): 75
In the murky world of ideological and technical practice, however, the most adequate metaphor seems to be one of layers or sediments of different organizational paradigms, not one of periodically dominant paradigms that totally replace old approaches and, in turn, disappear completely with the success of the next paradigm.

In a recent doctoral thesis (Bckstrm, 1999), building on Guilln (1994), it is even argued that the techniques are changing much slower than ideologies, since the techniques are so deeply embedded in the individual organisations. Thus we could expect ideologies to become more similar world-wide than the actual technical practice, which is actually consistent with the reasoning of Rvik of global similarities on one hand and local differences on the other (see above Section 8.2). This reasoning leads us to fourth proposition:
Proposition 4: Homogenisation is hampered by organisational inertia and sedimentation processes (Historical perspectives: cf. e. g. Guilln, 1994).

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In a more recent work Guilln (1997) has even shown in a comparative study that the European modernist architecture in the period 1890-1930 was inspired by scientific management.

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8.3.2. Structural Differences between Countries A second group of factors hampering homogenisation is constituted by the structural differences between countries. These have particularly been stressed by Richard Whitley and his collaborators in their research of business systems (see Whitley, 1992, Whitley and Kristensen, 1996 and 1997, and Whitley, 1999). They argue that we should expect business practice to differ as an effect of variations in (1) the nature of the firm, (2) the market organisation, and (3) the authoritative co-ordination and control systems. Such a view is also consistent with the literature on cultural differences between countries. Earlier evidence on this point provided by Geert Hofstede (1980) has recently been clearly supported by Zander (1997) in an analysis of employee preferences regarding interpersonal leadership styles in eighteen countries. It is also supported by research showing that there are many different ways of organising, even at the level of the factory, which formerly was believed to be constituted solely by technological considerations. A comparative analysis of British and Japanese factories (Dore, 1973), an analysis of flexible specialisation in Third Italy (Sabel, 1982) and comparative studies of France and Germany (Maurice, Sellier and Silvestre, 1986) are outstanding examples of how diversity has not only been cultivated but also proven to be a precondition for recent industrial successes in Japan, Italy and Germany. Against evidence such as these the business systems advocates argue that the formation of social (occupational) groups and institutions differ among countries. Thus, the nature of firms, their use of authority and relations to other firms are expected to be highly dependent on these differing social circumstances such as systems of political governance (Putnam, Leonardi and Nanetti, 1993), corporate governance (Roe, 1994 and Zysman, 1983), selection of elites (Bourdieu, 1989), religion (Guilln, 1994), etc. Consequently, managing a firm in Germany, for instance, is very different from managing one in France (Maurice, Sellier and Silvestre, 1986). A growing amount of literature focusing on management confirm these findings (Stewart et al., 1994, Hickson, 1993, and Hickson and Pugh, 1995). Thus it is important to acknowledge that configurations of institutional factors at the country level of analysis directly affect the management of organizations as well as competition among firms (Guilln, 1994, p. 298). As a consequence we have reasons to formulate the following fifth proposition:
Proposition 5: Homogenisation is hampered by national differences in terms of regulation, industrial structure, culture, educational systems, etc. (Business systems approach: cf. e.g. Whitley, 1999).

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8.3.3. The Entries of New Actors A third factor that can be expected to hamper homogenisation is entries of new actors in the different fields of management: practice, education and research, publishing and consultancies. Again we can, as in the introductory section, refer to the reasoning of the industrial organisation literature regarding competition. It points out that a significant factor for the development of a market is the degree to which barriers to entry exist. Thus, if barriers to entry are high we can expect concentration to be increasing, and eventually lead to oligopolistic or even monopolistic power. If, on the other hand barriers to entry are low, we can anticipate new actors to be attracted to the market, thereby increasing competition and putting pressures for price cuts. Generally we should thus expect price levels to be dependent on the degree of concentration in a market (see e.g. Scherer, 1970).76 In the same way as scholars of industrial organisation have argued that the inflow of new actors will provide alternatives and reduce price levels, it could be maintained that the addition of new actors in the management field may hamper the process of homogenisation. They may provide alternatives to the dominant paradigm, and in this way question the rationality in following the leaders of the field. However, for this to occur also fields of management have to be characterised by low barriers to entry. New actors should have the possibility to be accepted in the field as a serious despite a behaviour different from the dominant actors. To a certain extent this is already happening to-day. For academic institutions we as a matter of fact can see efforts from European governments to increase competition for students. In many countries educational opportunities are to an increasing extent spread out over the geographical territory by the creation of new institutions. It is even argued that these entrants will provide renewal to an extent that has not been able to offer at the established institutions (see further Engwall, Levay and Lidman, 1999, and Engwall and Morgan, 1999). For consultancies we have already above pointed out that the consultancy field is characterised by low barriers of entry. As a matter of fact any person can start up a consulting business, since there are no particular requirements in terms of professional authorisation like in auditing and legal business. Another factor reducing the barriers to entry is constituted by

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Concentration in industrial organisation often refers to the position of the largest firms in terms of market shares for the largest, the four largest, the eight largest, etc. It can also be expressed as an overall index like the Gini-coefficient, Herfindahls index and entropy (see further Engwall, 1973, pp. 18-22).

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the fact that management consulting includes a wide range of advice and specialities. As a result it could be argued that smaller specialist consultants may be able to challenge the giants. In publishing the development of communication technology provides opportunities for new actors to provide alternatives to the large established institutions. Some would even argue that modern information technology will provide possibilities for management scholars to control publishing without the intervention of giant publishing houses. Finally, in terms of management practice it is a question about the dynamics of industrial systems, i.e. the extent to which entrepreneurs are able to set up new businesses. Thus, even if some of the traditional industries are becoming more concentrated, we could expect new ventures, for instance in the information technology industry, to be challenges to the old actors. Already more than fifty years ago Schumpeter (1950/1942, p. 132), who by Martinelli (1994, p. 478) is mentioned as the theorist of entrepreneurship par excellence, argued that
the function of entrepreneurs is to reform or revolutionize, the pattern of production by exploiting an invention or, more generally, an untried technological possibility by producing a new commodity or producing a new one in a new way, by opening up a new source of supply of materials or a new outlet for products, by reorganizing an industry and so on. [] To undertake such new things is difficult and constitutes a
distinct economic function, first, because they lie outside of the routine tasks which everybody understands and, secondly, because the environment resists in many ways that vary, according to social conditions, from simple refusal either to finance or to buy a new thing, to physical attack on the man who tries to produce it.

The significance of the entrepreneur is hence according to Schumpeter to exploit new opportunities by overcoming resistance among the established actors. The same goes for the field of management, which means that we can formulate a sixth proposition:

Proposition 6: Homogenisation is hampered by the entry of new actors in the field. (Industrial organisation).

8.4. A Model of Homogenisation The above reasoning can now be summarised as in Figure 5. It implies that we expect homogenisation to be promoted by competition between countries, the visibility of large actors as role models and the interaction between the four management fields. The model also points out that inertia and sedimentation, structural differences between countries, and the entries of new actors in the four management fields as hampering factors in the homogenisation process. However, we also expect that the structural differences between countries will decrease as a result

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of competition between countries, and that the interaction between management fields will create barriers to entry of new actors. Figure 5. A Model of Homogenisation

Competition between Countries


+

Structural Differences between Countries

Visible Actors as Role Models


+

Homogenisation of Management

Inertia and Sedimentation

Interaction between Fields of Management Entries of New Actors

8.5. Conclusions on Homogenisation Even if we thus can see factors that are hampering the homogenisation process, there are reasons to believe that the factors working for homogenisation will be stronger. Again it is appropriate to point to the development of deregulated financial markets, which has tended to put pressures on both countries and companies to adopt international standards. The increasing interest of large companies to raise capital on international capital markets through quotations in international financial centres like London, New York, Honk Kong and Tokyo, mentioned above in Section 3.3, has certainly been very significant for the accounting systems in these companies, since a quotation requires adoption of the standard specified by the stock exchanges in order to provide investors with relevant and comparable information. Parallel to this we can also see an increasing emphasis of shareholder value as the management doctrine as a result of an increasing institutionalisation of corporate ownership. More and more corporate assets are held by institutional investors such as pensions funds, insurance companies, investment companies, banks (in some countries), and mutual trusts. In this process we may note, as shown in a recent report on institutional investments (Institutional Investment Report, 1999), a

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particular growth in the position of US institutional investors (Financial Times, May 6, 1999, p. 17):
US institutional investors now have assets six times those of the UK, and four times those of Japan, giving greater influence to American corporate governance activists. Large pension funds have also increased their share of total international investment by US investors, as private investors and mutual fund holders have withdrawn from international markets.

Institutional investors such as these are likely to be very active in following the performance of their portfolios. Sophisticated analyses of risk and return, as well as rougher bench marking exercises lead to continuous trading on the market. In terms of Hirschmans (1970) concepts, exit has become a much more common method to express ownership dissatisfaction than voice.77 Feedback to top management thus comes primarily through stock market prices. The managers of modern companies are therefore under strong pressure to look after the value and short-term financial performance of their stocks. If they do not they risk being fired, or that their company will be taken over by another company in a game that could be labelled Eat or Be Eaten. The above reasoning can be expected to imply that the degrees of freedom for top management are decreasing, and that they to a large extent are dependent on pressures from the outside. This will reinforce the observations made already fifty years ago by Sune Carlson (1991/1951, p. 46) in a classical study of executives, which led him to describe the executive as the puppet in a puppet-show with hundreds of people pulling the strings and forcing him to act in one way or another [rather than] the conductor of an orchestra, standing aloof on his platform. This conclusion, based on the observation that executives were continuously interrupted by contacts, meetings, and so on, were later confirmed by scholars such as John P. Kotter (1982a), Henry Mintzberg (1973), and Rosemary Stewart (1967).78 Their findings were very similar to those of Carlson. Thus, Mintzberg (1991, p. 98), in a paper commenting on Carlsons study on the occasion of its fortieth anniversary, therefore wrote:
Executive Behaviour remains perfectly contemporary and insightful. This is largely because of the current state of this body of research as well as the sophistication of Carlsons original work, as I have indicated above, but also becausehappily for

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Institutional investors holding very large positions in particular companies may though be locked in by the fact that selling on their part might lead to significant turbulence in the market, which eventually would be to their disadvantage.
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Kotter summarised his book in a Harvard Business Review article (Kotter, 1982b), which was reprinted in the MarchApril 1999 issue of HBR. Recently Kotter has also published a new book on the same topic (Kotter, 1999).

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Professor Carlsonmanagerial work does not really change over time. Thus rereading Executive Behaviour in the 1990s is a bit like rereading a cherished old novel: it never gets dated because insights into human nature never lose their appeal. Indeed, again like that novel, the passage of time can render those insights even more penetrating.

The present pressures for shareholder value appear likely to make Carlsons findings even more relevant.79 They can also be expected to weaken the hampering factors in the homogenisation process. 9. Conclusions, Implications and Future Work 9.1. Management Practice in a Globalised World It has been argued above that modern management is undergoing a rapid homogenisation. Two basic prerequisites for this development have been pointed out: (1) the removal of a large number of barriers for the mobility of goods, services and financial resources, and (2) a rapid development of computer and communication technology. These two changes have stimulated a globalisation of business. In this way national business systems are more and more exposed to international influence and even competition regarding working conditions of business. In relation to these tendencies towards homogenisation we have noted that differences in government structures, legal systems, industrial structures, elite selection procedures, etc. may slow down the process. However, in a longer perspective it anyway seems likely that also the slow movers will eventually become part of the globalisation process. In the described globalisation US actors seem to play a particularly significant role. In practice they tend to become role models just by sheer size but also through reputation. However, the homogenisation is not only a question about increasing similarity in behaviour in management practice. In addition the three other fields of management are subject to a process of homogenisation: academic institutions, publications and consultancies. Although, such processes can be expected to occur in many fields they are likely to become particularly strong in management due to the difficulties to establish with certitude relationships between cause and effect especially in a longer perspective. As a result reputation and image play extremely important roles in the choice between different actors. This in turn appears to

A recent survey of top managers in the UK suggests that the pressure on executives continues to rise (Financial Times, October 22, 1999).

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be related to visibility, which can be acquired in the present time through mere size or over time through seniority. Often the two correlate: the large actors happens to be early movers. 9.2. Three Fields of Management Interacting with Practice As we look at the four fields of management academic institutions in management has since long been under a very strong US influence through the literature, study trips and personal relationships. More recently the trend of external evaluations and accreditation has reinforced this homogenisation. In evaluations American professors are not seldom chosen as advisors, and in the building up accreditation systems the US appears to be the model. In publishing US practices are spreading world wide. Many scholars outside the US try to get published in the leading journals on the other side of the Atlantic. Since few succeed many US-oriented articles will find their way into European journals. In addition to the scientific publishing North American text-books and popular management books play an important role in the diffusion of US models. Even books in European languages may have a US touch trough inspiration on their authors from the American management field. Consulting, finally, is a field that has developed rapidly in the past decades. The large global players are American and are in this way able to diffuse US models on a broad scale. In addition they may just through their mere size provide prototypes both for competitors and customers. Even smaller competitors may be operating in a similar manner, since many of them are constituted by earlier employees or customers (former executives of clients) of global players. For all the fields a significant issue concerns, the extent to which players, national as well as global, adapt to local conditions. Academic institutions, no doubt make such adaptations, particularly on issues which are related to national practices, norms and rules. Similarly, large international publishers tend to prepare special editions for certain markets, thereby taking into consideration the local characteristics and providing national examples. Global consultants, finally, are in the same way striving for national approaches in some of their markets. These tendencies may imply that we will be able to observe differing tendencies globally and locally, i.e. that homogenisation is increasing as we observe tendencies with a global perspective, while practical applications on the micro level may provide indications of variations. This difference is of course dependent on the level of description and our criteria of homogeneity.

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9.3. Policy Implications One of the most significant implications of the reasoning and evidence provided above is that management education and research, publishing and consultants have come to play vital roles in the modern economies. All three fields have expanded considerably in the period after Second World War, particularly in the last decades. Many of the actors in these fields interact with giant companies with turnover many times higher that of the GNP of smaller nations. As a result the development discussed here may lead to a number of dilemmas for politicians. On the one hand they may be interested to protect local models and cultures, on the other hand they may feel forced to take part in the process of globalisation and modernisation. In the first case they may be able to exploit comparative advantages of their own system, while they risk of being left outside what is described as a larger dynamic economic system. In the second case they, and their electorate, may feel that they are giving in to transnational companies in general, and the US such companies in particular. In view of the above discussion and data provided the degrees of freedom for politicians seems to be limited in a world with deregulated financial markets. This has for a long time been true in relation to the transnational companies, although they may be attracted by advantageous working conditions in specific geographical areas. However, as mega-mergers are continuing the power position of the resulting corporations may become extremely strong. Similar tendencies are now happening in the publishing industry which is more and more becoming a media industry. As pointed out above this part of society is getting more and more significant and therefore should be of particular interest for politicians. However, also in this field the degrees of freedom are limited, since modern communication technology is difficult to control. In a way politicians appear to live in an increasing symbiosis with media due to the fact that it is extremely important for them to communicate their own views. In a similar way we can observe closer relationship between consultants and governments, since the latter are to an increasing extent hiring consultants for the reorganisation of public administration.80 The only alternative here seems to be to stimulate alternatives. Education and research, finally, constitute the area where politicians still have a considerable influence, since in a large number of countries these activities are supported by government. However, also in this field the pressures from outside are getting strong. Private initia-

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Some consultants even go into politics. Kenichi Ohmae, who was a successful management consultant with McKinsey went into politics, found this only to be simply a question of changing clients, from corporations to all Japan (Crainer, 1997, p. 166).

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tives are becoming more and more common like the foreign entries of established business schools. In this competitive world education and research policy may become key issues in the future political debate. The transnational companies can be expected to take over a large part of the front-line research, while media and consulting companies will become more active in management education. In this situation it will be extremely important for politicians to decide where and how to allocate the funds for higher education and research. In that debate it may be argued that the number of persons with management education is now so high that reductions are necessary.81 However, the evidence provided above may point in the other direction. It may imply that knowledge in management in the modern society has become equally important as the proficiency in English, which has developed into the a joint means of communication world-wide. Thus since management ideas and management concepts are used to a growing extent in an increasing number of context it is becoming essential for both opponents and advocates of modern management to know what it is all about. Thus, it could even be argued that the stronger the processes of globalisation and homogenisation in management the more need there is for management education and research. Needless to say such further investments in management education and research are likely to contribute to the homogenisation processes discussed above. However, this is as a matter of fact the basic dilemma of the development we are studying: even if there are actors or groups of actors who would like to stop or slow down the process the possibilities are very limited. The only really feasible alternative from a policy point of view appears to be efforts to provide for variation through the entry of new actors. This in turn may have significant implications for evaluations of management education and research by requiring more flexible procedures. The globalisation and the following homogenisation thus seem to provide politicians with increasingly difficult dilemmas. They may though, if they like it, provide counter-forces by stimulating entries into the fields of management. In any case they have to realise that the conditions for political action have changed. Albrow (1997, p. 4) thus argues that
There are at least five major ways in which globality has taken us beyond the assumptions of modernity. They include the global environmental consequences of aggregate human activities; the loss of security where weaponry has global destructiveness; the globality of communication systems; the rise of the global economy; and the reflexivity of globalism, where people and groups of all kinds refer to the globe as the frame for their beliefs. [] [T]his challenge to nation-states encourages their citizens and other agencies to cross and transgress their physical and conceptual borders.

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As a matter of fact this conclusion has already been presented in a recent Swedish report on the organisation of research (see SOU 1998:128, p. 88).

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9.4. Future Studies Although the CEMP programme has been able to provide considerable empirical evidence about the creation of European management practice, there is quite clear that the topic the issue of homogenisation in management needs further studies. Particularly, it is an important task to establish to which extent and why there are variations within Europe, i.e. whether some countries or some clusters of countries are less subject to the homogenisation processes than others. It is also of considerable interest to find out if and how global management concepts and ideas are translated or edited when transferred to a European context. The way to investigate these issues is to undertake further studies of the development of the different fields of management and how they deal with the various sub-areas in different national contexts. This is also the ambition of the CEMP programme. The next steps will be to focus on the contents of the management gospel and its use in practice. In so doing it has been found appropriate to focus on a few concepts and to select ideas that have been introduced during different decades in the post-war period. Presently three such concepts have been selected: the M-form, Total Quality Management (TQM), and Shareholder value (Table 20). They will represent different decades in terms of their introduction (1960s-1970s, 1980s, and the 1990s, respectively) and in terms of the stakeholders they are related to (internal providers, customers, and external providers, respectively). In addition they are responses to different factors: increasing need for decentralisation in growing firms, internationalisation of markets for goods and services, and the deregulation and globalisation of financial markets, respectively. Table 20. Main Concepts to be in Focus for the Subsequent Analysis
Stake-holders Concept Period Response to External Providers Shareholder Value 1990s Internal Providers M-form 1960s and 1970s Customers Total Quality Management 1980s

Deregulation and globalisa- Increasing need for decen- Internationalisation of martion of financial market tralisation in growing firms kets for goods and services.

The suggested studies will hopefully provide some answers to the above questions within the next few years. They may even be able to illuminate some other issues, since, although the publication of research is undergoing homogenisation, research should always, even in times of homogenisation, be expected to provide the unexpected.

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