Working Paper Series 2009

Bandwagon has been analyzed as an imitation of practices, ideas, techniques, and innovations that are popular among organizations. It has been considered at the organization level but few scholars have conducted research at the individual level: what happens inside organizations? This paper presents a mathematical model of bandwagon in organizations based on organizational culture and social relations. Both of these determinants are studied on the basis of what Herbert Simon calls human “docility.” The model presents the idea that bandwagon depends on how well organizations manage the ability of individuals to learn from each other (active information processing) instead of imitating each other (passive information processing). We believe that the model shades a new light on the bandwagon effect by (a) broadening its explaining factors and (b) providing scholars with a framework for empirical testing of hypotheses.

02/2009  [pdf]