The Rhetoric of Institutional Change
AuthorBrown, AD; Ainsworth, S; Grant, D
Source TitleOrganization Studies
PublisherSAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD
University of Melbourne Author/sAinsworth, Susan
AffiliationManagement and Marketing
Document TypeConference Paper
CitationsBrown, A. D., Ainsworth, S. & Grant, D. (2012). The Rhetoric of Institutional Change. ORGANIZATION STUDIES, 33, (3), pp.297-321. SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD. https://doi.org/10.1177/0170840611435598.
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Annual Academy of Management Conference
This paper analyses how a case for institutional change is made through rhetoric in an individual text. Drawing on Aristotle’s three types of rhetorical justification, logos, pathos and ethos, we make three contributions. First, we show that the multiple competing logics which often dominate a field can become incorporated into key texts. As a result, the notionally rational argumentation repertoires which underpin each logic exist in tension, and are prone to contradict each other, making it difficult for a text to support convincingly one logic rather than another on the basis of logos appeals. In such instances, the authors of a text may favour one logic over another through the strategic use of ethos (moralizing) and pathos (emotion-evoking) rhetoric. Second, we demonstrate how ethos and pathos function to construct social categories (identities) and draw on dominant cultural myths. Third, we theorize these textual strategies as acts aimed at reconfiguring relations of power/knowledge.
KeywordsBusiness and Management
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