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In search of subtlety: discursive devices and rhetorical competence

Whittle, Andrea, Mueller, Frank and Mangan, Anita 2008. In search of subtlety: discursive devices and rhetorical competence. Management Communication Quarterly 22 (1) , pp. 99-122. 10.1177/0893318908318515

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What is the role of contradiction in organizational rhetoric? This article argues that existing research tends to focus on contradiction at an institutional level and then develop a distinct but complementary perspective that views contradictory rhetoric at an interactional level and as a practical concern, especially when routine is disrupted and repair tactics are required. Drawing on data from a study of a quality improvement initiative in the United Kingdom, the authors examine the contradictions that were constructed when a “change champion” attempted to deal with resistance to change. They conclude by depicting how contradiction can emerge when actors reflexively shift their identifications to portray themselves and their actions in a contextually appropriate manner.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Uncontrolled Keywords: Contradiction ; Discourse ; Identity ; Identification ; Rhetoric ; Total quality management
Publisher: Sage
ISSN: 0893-3189
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:30

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