Eric Abrahamson

Hughie E. Mills Professor of Business

Management

Bernstein Faculty Leader

Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics

BA, Haverford, 1982; MPhil, New York University, 1987; PhD, 1990

Joined CBS in 1989

Download Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Eric Abrahamson

Office
722 Uris

Phone
212-854-4432

E-mail
ea1@columbia.edu

Fax
212-316-9355

Teaching and research interest

Professor Abrahamson studies the creation, spread, use and rejection of innovative techniques for managing organizations and their employees. He is best known for his work on fads and fashions in management techniques. He is also an expert on the management of organizational change. He has explored the topic of change management in Change Without Pain: How Managers Can Overcome Initiative Overload, Organizational Chaos, and Employee Burnout (Harvard Business School Press, 2005), which won a Best Book of the Year award from Strategy and Business.

More recently, Abrahamson has been studying the dynamics of moderately messy system - offices, organizations and even industrial districts - that would function less well were they any less messy or any more orderly. A summary of his scholarly work was published in Research in Organizational Behavior under the title "Disorganizational Theory and Disorganizational Behavior: Towards and Etiology of Messes" (2002). Most recently, Abrahamson has coauthored, with David Freedman, a book that popularizes these ideas about the benefits of moderately messy system: A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder, How cluttered closets, jumbled offices, and on-the-fly planning make the world a better place (Little, Brown and Company, 2007).

He lectures and consults on these topics for companies around the world.

Chapters

Fads, Fashions and the Fluidity of Knowledge: The Story of Peter Senge's 'The Learning Organization' In The Blackwell Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management (2011)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson, Mikelle Calhoun, William Starbuck

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What Lies Behind Organizational Facades and How Organizational Facades Lie: An Untold Story of Organizational Decision Making In The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Decision Making (2008)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson, Phillipe Beaumard

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Journal articles

The Iron Cage: Ugly, Uncool, and Unfashionable In Organizational Studies (2011)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson

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Researchers Should Make Thoughtful Assessments Instead of Null-Hypothesis In Organizational Science (2011)
Author(s): Andreas Schwab, Eric Abrahamson, William Starbuck, Fiona Fidler

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Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship in China In Management and Organization Review (2010)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson, P. Phan

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Necessary Conditions for the Study of Fads and Fashions in Science In Scandinavian Journal of Management (2009)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson

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22 Things I Hate: Mini Rants on Management Research In Journal of Management Inquiry (2008)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson

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Employee-Management Techniques: Transient Fads or Trending Fashions? In Administrative Science Quarterly (2008)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson, Micki Eisenman

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Disorganization Theory and Disorganizational Behavior: Towards an Etiology of Messes In Research in Organizational Behavior (2002)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson

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Change Without Pain In Harvard Business Review (2000)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson

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Management Fashion: Life Cycle, Triggers, and Collective Learning Processes In Administrative Science Quarterly (1999)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson, Gregory Fairchild

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Movements, Bandwagons, and Clones: Industry Evolution and the Entrepreneurial Process In Journal of Business Venturing (1997)
Author(s): Murray Low, Eric Abrahamson

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Social Network Effects on the Extent of Innovation Diffusion: A Computer Simulation In Organization Science (1997)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson, Lori Rosenkopf

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The Emergence and Prevalence of Employee Management Rhetorics: The Effect of Long Waves, Labor Unions, and Turnover, 1875 to 1992 In Academy of Management Journal (1997)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson

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Management Fashion In Academy of Management Review (1996)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson

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Assessing Managerial Discretion Across Industries: A Multimethod Approach In Academy of Management Journal (1995)
Author(s): Donald Hambrick, Eric Abrahamson

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Concealment of Negative Organizational Outcomes: An Agency Theory Perspective In Academy of Management Journal (1994)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson, Choelsoon Park

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Macrocultures: Determinants and Consequences In Academy of Management Review (1994)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson, Charles Fombrun

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Institutional and Competitive Bandwagons: Using Mathematical Modeling as a Tool to Explore Innovation Diffusion In Academy of Management Review (1993)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson, Lori Rosenkopf

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Managerial Fads and Fashions: The Diffusion and Rejection of Innovations In Academy of Management Review (1991)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson

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CaseWorks

Ed Heffernan at Alliance Data: Summer 2012
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson

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Donna Dubinsky: Act II: Fall 2008
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson

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Jean Spire at Teleswitches Ltd.: Fall 2011
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson, James Kitts, Ozgecan Kocak

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Navigating Organizational Politics: The Case of Kristen Peters: Spring 2009
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson, Todd Jick, James Kitts

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Books

Change Without Pain: How Managers Can Overcome Initiative Overload, Organizational Chaos, and Employee Burnout (2004)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson

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Forthcoming Articles

The interrelation between supply and demand in the market for management fashions In Academy of Management Review (2005)
Author(s): Eric Abrahamson, Ryan Michigan

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