Are We There Yet? Are We There Yet? Academic Article uri icon


  • Operating from a perspective suggested by Kenneth Burke's analyses of scope and reduction, in this response essay the authors begin by reconsidering the Aristotelian and Burkean rhetorical traditions that dominate contemporary organizational rhetoric research. They argue that both traditions can be applied in ways that reduce rhetoric to technique or to discourse. Both reductions slight the complex dialectical relationships among action, agency, and structure that define rhetorical action. Using this framework, the authors examine the core essays in this special issue, concluding that although they largely avoid problems related to discoursism, they are less successful in avoiding the other form of reductionism, treating rhetoric as technique and rhetor as magician. In a coda, the authors return to the assumptions of the Platonic/Aristotelian tradition, find that it contains ethical assumptions that are problematic in a world dominated by corporate power, and suggest an alternative approach.

published proceedings

  • Management Communication Quarterly

author list (cited authors)

  • Conrad, C., & Malphurs, R.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Conrad, Charles||Malphurs, Ryan

publication date

  • August 2008