19 Organizational Rhetoric

(Cloud 2005)

  • Speaking loudly with little real material efforts significantly diminishes worker’s power in negotiating with organization.

  • Symbolic actions tend to lead to symbolic changes, not material ones.

  • Staley locked out their workers without much explanation

  • Workers shifts from warriors, to moral shamers, to victims and martyrs (growing material powerlessness)

(Meisenbach et al. 2008)

  • Using Kenneth Burke’s pentadic analysis (Burkean analysis) in the context of maternity leave in the United States

  • analyze not formal text (e.g., those from the companies)

  • Burkean analysis

    • an act

    • an agent

    • a scene

    • some agency

    • a purpose

  • This study focuses on three ratios:

    • scene-agency

    • scene-agent

    • agency-agent

  • The bureaucratic process controls how leaves are arranged

  • Deferral of agents: doctors’ note can serve as agency