Process Management as a Contagious Idea: a Contribution to Røvik’s Virus-Inspired Theory,
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2012

‘Travelling ideas’ denotes the fact that virtually identical management ideas crop up more or less simultaneously in similar organizations. Røvik, who recently launched his ‘virus-inspired theory’ approach, seeks to pinpoint the possibility that the encounter between idea and practice may be lasting, ideas may affect practice, and leaders in organisations may play a more active role than the one often depicted in management fashion theory. This article is a contribution to his virus-inspired theory. It focuses on processes in their pragmatic form, as value-creating flows in organisations. We have studied Process Management (PM) as an idea, and how it has penetrated and flourished in the Swedish Customs Service. We argue that the empirical test in this article supports Røvik's belief that a virus-inspired theory gives a richer picture than the fashion theory. Through our analysis we show that four of our six hypotheses, derived from the virus-inspired theory, are strengthened by the empirical story from the Customs Service.

public sector


management fashion

Process Management

travelling ideas



Andreas Hellström

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Industriell kvalitetsutveckling

Tony Huzzard

Chalmers University of Technology

International Journal of Public Administration

0190-0692 (ISSN) 1532-4265 (eISSN)

Vol. 35 13 901-913


Hållbar utveckling

Innovation och entreprenörskap


Building Futures