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Towards a conceptual framework

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After having reviewed, in chapter two, the general propositions made by fashion theory and the literature on organizational innovation, I focus, in this chapter, on clarifying the different theoretical perspectives on innovation adoption that underlie the general theoretical propositions. Most theoretical contributions can be shown to build upon an understanding of innovation adoption belonging to an instrumental/rational, a power/politics, a social/institutional, or a symbolic-interpretive/sensemaking perspective. The instrumental/ rational perspective considers organizations as outcomes of rational processes of maximizing organizational effectiveness, from a power/politics perspective organizational action serves particular constellations of powerful actors, the social/institutional view holds that organizations act to maximize external legitimacy, and the symbolic-interpretive/sensemaking perspective concentrates on how organizational actors create meaning out of an ongoing stream of events. While most of the organizational innovation literature reviewed in the precedent chapter concentrates on the first and to a lesser extent on the second and the third of the approaches (see, for example, Palmer et al., 1993), sensemaking and identity construction — the two core concepts from the symbolic-interpretive perspective on organizations — are virtually absent from the literature.

Like human beings in general, managers reflecting on their lives and their work in the organizations that employ them, face the challenge of making sense of who they are and what it is that they do. (Watson & Bargiela-Chiappini, 1998: 285)

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© 2002 Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden

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Rüling, CC. (2002). Towards a conceptual framework. In: Management Fashion Adoption. Deutscher Universitätsverlag, Wiesbaden.

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  • Publisher Name: Deutscher Universitätsverlag, Wiesbaden

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-8244-7647-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-663-10707-1

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