Using rhetoric to put the structure back in the garbage can

J.A.A. Sillince, P. Jarzabkowski, D. Shaw

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Abstract

    This empirical case study of a business school internationalisation process investigates the relationship between rhetoric, ambiguity and strategic action in a garbage can context. Our data showed that rhetoric structured the garbage can and reduced the randomness of the strategy-making process in two ways. First, rhetoric enabled actors to distinguish between two uses of ambiguity - maximising ambiguity to avoid action, and minimising ambiguity to enact action. Rhetorics that maximised ambiguity were most frequent at the start of the strategy process; rhetorics that minimised ambiguity were most common later in the strategy process. Second, rhetoric provided structure by linking solutions, problems and participants to choice opportunities to enable action and by negating links between solutions, problems and participants and choice opportunities in order to enable inaction.
    LanguageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008
    Event24th EGOS colloquium - Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Duration: 10 Jul 200812 Jul 2008

    Conference

    Conference24th EGOS colloquium
    CityAmsterdam, Netherlands
    Period10/07/0812/07/08

    Fingerprint

    rhetoric
    business school
    internationalization

    Keywords

    • rhetoric
    • ambiguity
    • garbage can
    • strategic action

    Cite this

    Sillince, J. A. A., Jarzabkowski, P., & Shaw, D. (2008). Using rhetoric to put the structure back in the garbage can. Paper presented at 24th EGOS colloquium, Amsterdam, Netherlands, .
    Sillince, J.A.A. ; Jarzabkowski, P. ; Shaw, D. / Using rhetoric to put the structure back in the garbage can. Paper presented at 24th EGOS colloquium, Amsterdam, Netherlands, .
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    keywords = "rhetoric, ambiguity, garbage can, strategic action",
    author = "J.A.A. Sillince and P. Jarzabkowski and D. Shaw",
    note = "'Upsetting Organizations' in sub-theme Sub-theme 37: Transforming Others: The Discourse Strategies and Practices of Change in Amsterdam; 24th EGOS colloquium ; Conference date: 10-07-2008 Through 12-07-2008",
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    Sillince, JAA, Jarzabkowski, P & Shaw, D 2008, 'Using rhetoric to put the structure back in the garbage can' Paper presented at 24th EGOS colloquium, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 10/07/08 - 12/07/08, .

    Using rhetoric to put the structure back in the garbage can. / Sillince, J.A.A.; Jarzabkowski, P.; Shaw, D.

    2008. Paper presented at 24th EGOS colloquium, Amsterdam, Netherlands, .

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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    AU - Jarzabkowski, P.

    AU - Shaw, D.

    N1 - 'Upsetting Organizations' in sub-theme Sub-theme 37: Transforming Others: The Discourse Strategies and Practices of Change in Amsterdam

    PY - 2008/7

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    N2 - This empirical case study of a business school internationalisation process investigates the relationship between rhetoric, ambiguity and strategic action in a garbage can context. Our data showed that rhetoric structured the garbage can and reduced the randomness of the strategy-making process in two ways. First, rhetoric enabled actors to distinguish between two uses of ambiguity - maximising ambiguity to avoid action, and minimising ambiguity to enact action. Rhetorics that maximised ambiguity were most frequent at the start of the strategy process; rhetorics that minimised ambiguity were most common later in the strategy process. Second, rhetoric provided structure by linking solutions, problems and participants to choice opportunities to enable action and by negating links between solutions, problems and participants and choice opportunities in order to enable inaction.

    AB - This empirical case study of a business school internationalisation process investigates the relationship between rhetoric, ambiguity and strategic action in a garbage can context. Our data showed that rhetoric structured the garbage can and reduced the randomness of the strategy-making process in two ways. First, rhetoric enabled actors to distinguish between two uses of ambiguity - maximising ambiguity to avoid action, and minimising ambiguity to enact action. Rhetorics that maximised ambiguity were most frequent at the start of the strategy process; rhetorics that minimised ambiguity were most common later in the strategy process. Second, rhetoric provided structure by linking solutions, problems and participants to choice opportunities to enable action and by negating links between solutions, problems and participants and choice opportunities in order to enable inaction.

    KW - rhetoric

    KW - ambiguity

    KW - garbage can

    KW - strategic action

    UR - http://www.egosnet.org/jart/prj3/egosnet/main.jart

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    ER -

    Sillince JAA, Jarzabkowski P, Shaw D. Using rhetoric to put the structure back in the garbage can. 2008. Paper presented at 24th EGOS colloquium, Amsterdam, Netherlands, .