A contingency theory of rhetorical congruence

John A.A. Sillince

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    63 Citations (Scopus)


    I argue that attempts to adapt structure to contingencies will be unsuccessful unless there is also rhetorical congruence, which has two parts. First, rhetorical congurence exists if rhetoric is appropriate to contingencies. For example, decentralization aimed at increasing local initiative will lead to more requests by headquarters for advice from subsidiaries. Second, it exists if the various rhetorical processes are in balance with one another. For example, as the environment becomes more uncertain and as more differentiation rhetoric is used in response, further integration rhetoric will be prompted to establish balance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)608-621
    Number of pages13
    JournalAcademy of Management Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


    • organisational behaviour
    • rhetorical congruence


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