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In search of subtlety: Discursive devices and rhetorical competence

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andrea Whittle, Professor Frank Mueller

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Abstract

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.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Mueller F; Whittle A; Mangan A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Management Communication Quarterly

Year: 2008

Volume: 22

Issue: 1

Pages: 99-122

Date deposited: 24/04/2015

ISSN (print): 0893-3189

ISSN (electronic): 1552-6798

Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0893318908318515

DOI: 10.1177/0893318908318515


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