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The reluctant rhetorician: senior managers as rhetoricians in a strategic change context

Nilsson, Tomas LU (2010) In Journal of Organizational Change Management 23(2). p.137-144
Abstract
This paper explores strategic change communication, framed by the idea that managers can be viewed as rhetoricians. The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss senior managers’ subjective experiences of rhetorical aspects of change management.



The paper draws on a case study from ABB Sweden (a power

and automation technology company). In-depth interviews with senior managers, with vast experience of change management, constitute the empirical source.



The most important finding is the managers’ overall reluctance towards rhetoric. According to the managers in this study, a rhetorician is an over-enthusiastic person who “waves his arms when speaking”. To master the art of rhetoric is not... (More)
This paper explores strategic change communication, framed by the idea that managers can be viewed as rhetoricians. The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss senior managers’ subjective experiences of rhetorical aspects of change management.



The paper draws on a case study from ABB Sweden (a power

and automation technology company). In-depth interviews with senior managers, with vast experience of change management, constitute the empirical source.



The most important finding is the managers’ overall reluctance towards rhetoric. According to the managers in this study, a rhetorician is an over-enthusiastic person who “waves his arms when speaking”. To master the art of rhetoric is not believed to be of particular importance when managing strategic change.



This paper contributes to change management communication insofar as it

gives voice to the individual manager. This voice indicates; in a time when rhetoric, storytelling, and charismatic leadership are making ground; that the understanding of rhetoric is much more limited than the general impression might suggest. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Sweden, Organizational change, Communication, Senior managers, Rhetoric
in
Journal of Organizational Change Management
volume
23
issue
2
pages
137 - 144
publisher
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
external identifiers
  • wos:000278084100004
  • scopus:77952139986
ISSN
0953-4814
DOI
10.1108/09534811011031300
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
41deb91a-bac0-4e7c-a135-9ff918cd8019 (old id 1598934)
date added to LUP
2010-05-28 11:38:39
date last changed
2018-05-29 12:23:58
@article{41deb91a-bac0-4e7c-a135-9ff918cd8019,
  abstract     = {This paper explores strategic change communication, framed by the idea that managers can be viewed as rhetoricians. The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss senior managers’ subjective experiences of rhetorical aspects of change management.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The paper draws on a case study from ABB Sweden (a power<br/><br>
and automation technology company). In-depth interviews with senior managers, with vast experience of change management, constitute the empirical source.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The most important finding is the managers’ overall reluctance towards rhetoric. According to the managers in this study, a rhetorician is an over-enthusiastic person who “waves his arms when speaking”. To master the art of rhetoric is not believed to be of particular importance when managing strategic change.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
This paper contributes to change management communication insofar as it<br/><br>
gives voice to the individual manager. This voice indicates; in a time when rhetoric, storytelling, and charismatic leadership are making ground; that the understanding of rhetoric is much more limited than the general impression might suggest.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Tomas},
  issn         = {0953-4814},
  keyword      = {Sweden,Organizational change,Communication,Senior managers,Rhetoric},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {137--144},
  publisher    = {Emerald Group Publishing Limited},
  series       = {Journal of Organizational Change Management},
  title        = {The reluctant rhetorician: senior managers as rhetoricians in a strategic change context},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09534811011031300},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2010},
}