An unprecedented text explains how to analyze the role of rhetoric in organizations
Integrating rhetorical theories and methods with principles of organizational communication, this pioneering text provides students with a step-by-step method for analyzing and critiquing examples of organizational rhetoric. The first half of the book offers an accessible introduction to rhetorical research, theory, and criticism and equips students for analyzing the messages of organizations in a variety of contexts. The second half focuses on needs in real-life organizational situations: to create and maintain identity; to manage messages about issues, risk, and crisis; and to communicate with those “inside” the organization.
Contemporary examples and case studies (including a dispute over clean energy in Texas, efforts on the part of restaurant owners in New York to fight food labeling requirements, and a university's announcement that it is building a “body farm”) illustrate the importance of this area of study and provide opportunities for students to apply their emerging analytical and critical thinking skills.
- Grounds the explanation and critique of persuasive organizational messages in traditional and contemporary rhetorical literature
- Shows students how to critique the messages organizations use to create and maintain organizational power
- Demonstrates the importance of rhetoric to the success of the organization
- Uses case studies and accompanying worksheets to help students move through the process of analyzing sample situations and messages
- Covers image/impression management, issue management, crisis management, and other key facets of organizational rhetoric
- Includes models of the book's method for analysis at the beginning of each chapter to help students visualize how each step fits into the larger system
Organizational Rhetoric: Situations and Strategies is ideal for a wide range of courses at the upper-level undergraduate and master's level, including Organizational Communication, Organizational Studies, Public Relations, and Rhetorical Studies. This first-of-its-kind textbook is also an essential addition to the libraries of Communication/Rhetoric and Business instructors.
Figure 9.1 Process for Analyzing Organizational Rhetoric (Crisis Rhetoric)
On March 24, 1989, an oil tanker named the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in Alaska, spilling 270,000 barrels of oil into Prince William Sound, and creating the largest tanker spill in U.S. history (Shabecoff, 1989). While no humans lost lives or were injured, [Page 186]thousands of birds and animals were killed and gas prices climbed in the United States (Associated Press [AP], 1989; Shabecoff, 1989). The ship's commander, Captain Joseph J. Hazelwood, was charged with operating a vessel while intoxicated (AP, 1989). Exxon immediately began cleanup processes, but the progress was slow. Thus, Exxon faced two major threats to its identity: the problem of the oil spill itself, and negative reports ...