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Guru Theory

Guru theory was articulated in the early 1990s as an explanation for the way in which new management ideas presented to managers by charismatic figures gain intense but short-lived popularity. One of the most prominent examples is Tom Peters, one of the authors of the bestsellerIn Search of Excellence, published in 1982. Guru theory can be seen as a stage in the development of a related, broader stream of research concerned with management fashions that investigates diffusion of innovation in management. This entry introduces guru theory and then extends the explanation to the concept of management fashion before offering a brief reflection on the relevance of this approach to the concepts of reputation and corporate reputation.

Guru is a Sanskrit word that means “teacher” or ...

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