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Organizational Rhetoric

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Lindsay Calhoun

on 15 January 2014

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Transcript of Organizational Rhetoric

Aristotle: Western Society's Great Systematizer
Organizational Rhetoric
Charles Conrad preface and Chapter 1
Chapter One
What is rhetoric? What is Organizational Rhetoric? Why are they important?
uses of rhetoric
The Discursive Turn
Three important paradoxes of rhetoric to consider
rhetoric of economics
free-market fundamentalism
myth of leadership
"We now live in a world that is increasingly dominated by multinational corporations, which continually use rhetoric not only to sell products and services, but to influence the political situations within which they operate
The Bad rap of Rhetoric:
goes back 2500 years all the way to Plato

rhetoric: a complex process through which people develop and refine their beliefs, values, and views of reality by communicating with others. In turn, they use rhetoric to persuade audiences to accept their ideas, their underlying values, and their modes of thinking.

rhetoric: ethical/unethical?

organizational rhetoric: understanding organizational rhetoric requires an analysis of the symbolic acts of rhetors, of the processes through which audiences interpret that rhetoric, and of the ways in which acts and interpretation mutually influence one another.
Autocracy, Democracy and the Functions of Rhetoric
Summary: Issues and Lessons from the Classics, or Why Ancient Greeks Matter
Essential Issues in the Study of Organizational Rhetoric
organizations and the power relationships that exist within them
465 BCE, Syracuse, overthrow, institution of democracy and Corax
Plato, Truth, Hegemony, and Social Stability through rhetoric
Ancient Greek thought, the Sophists, Democracy
Plato's absolute definition of truth and his view of perfect society
Plato advocated using rhetoric as a mechanism for suppressing dissent and for maintaining a stable society in which the many were dominated by the few, rather than as a process of testing competing ideas in a democratic intellectual marketplace.
The Sophists, Democracy, and Contingent Truths
the quest for absolute truth is paradoxical. The Sophists believed that truth was relative and that practical knowledge was the most important. Rhetoric was the key to creating a good society and successfully participating in it
Plato's student, differed from his master, a middle ground

How could a rhetor persuade an audience to make good decisions, create good societies?' logos, pathos, ethos

Ideologies: Each society had distinctive laws and economic systems, and its citizens had characteristic modes of thinking, forms of education, rituals, religious beliefs, and types of rhetoric. Members of each society had also come to accept a particular set of ideas, which told them what to think, how to make sense out of events and experiences, how to act, and what kind of social, political, and economic structures to construct.

topoi: Given the incongruities, tensions, and contradictions inherent within socity and ideology, rhetors have a wide range of socially acceptable topoi to draw upon.
Rhetoric and its use inherently involve issues of power and social control.
rhetoric inherently involves issues of truth and claims to knowledge.
Why Study Organizational rhetoric?

organizational rhetoric influences public policies, both directly and indirectly.
Organizational rhetoric also influences popular attitudes and beliefs, even to the extent of molding the core taken-for-granted assumptions that guide and constrain our actions and interpretations of reality.
The American System
1)a preference for large organizations, which 2) are allowed, even encouraged, to be politically active; 3) face little government regulation; and 4) are not expected to be governed in a democratic fashion. Some countries have one or more of these characteristics, but not all four.

Weekend fun #1 p. 19
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