Episode Summary

On this episode of Safety of Work, we talk about how to tell the difference between theories and fads in the world of safety.

Episode Notes

In order to frame our discussion, we use the paper Fads and Fashions in Management Practices.


  • Recent changes in the spread of ideas.
  • Where new management techniques come from.
  • How innovations get labeled.
  • How messages often get broadcast.
  • Six Sigma training.
  • The acceleration and deceleration of broadcasting.
  • Why general ideas are more diffuse.
  • Be conscious of the differences between academics, promotors, and researchers.


“Interestingly, when we get into the literature, you may, um, look at those books with a little bit of skepticism, when you see how books on management get published.”

“The fads start off with small groups of innovators solving problems within their own companies. But those initial innovations aren’t able to spread by themselves.”

“But now that industries…not really having the uptake in behavioral safety practices they were maybe twenty years ago, you don’t see much broadcasting in the market for, you know, behavioral safety practices.”


Piazza, A., & Abrahamson, E. (2020). Fads and Fashions in Management Practices: Taking Stock and Looking ForwardInternational Journal of Management Reviews.