Rhetorical profiling is a framework that accounts for the ability of an apparently heterogeneous, complex organization to generate relatively homogeneous action. The rhetorical profiling framework is important for image, identity, and reputation scholars as a mechanism for understanding how meaning construction within an organization, among stakeholders, or by third parties moves in particular directions—that is, to create certain meaningful realities and not other possible realities.

Rhetorical profiling extends from rhetorical constructionist theorizing, which casts organizational meaning generation as a function of rhetorical practices among an organization’s observers. Essentially, organizational reality becomes real, becomes meaningful, only through the rhetorical arguments that individuals use to construct that reality. For example, a CEO when faced with a failing acquisition may rhetorically seek to escalate commitment to the failing plan ...

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