Organizational rhetoric in the prospectuses of elite private schools : unpacking strategies of persuasion

McDonald, Paula K., Mayes, Robyn, & Pini, Barbara (2009) Organizational rhetoric in the prospectuses of elite private schools : unpacking strategies of persuasion. In The Future of Sociology, Australian Sociological Association , Canberra, Australia.

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Schools have seldom been examined by scholars in studies of organizational sites. Yet schools and the educational context in which they operate, offer potentially important insights into how organizations use rhetoric in their communications to persuade audiences and leverage advantage in the marketplace. This study, which utilises rhetorical analysis to examine the persuasive, yet ambiguous strategies used in 65 school prospectuses in Australia, revealed six strategies consistently used by schools to leverage competitive advantage and persuade internal and external audiences: identification, juxtapositioning, bolstering or self-promotion, partial reporting, selfexpansion and reframing or reversal. As well as illustrating how schools operate in the context of marketisation and privatization discourses in 21st century education, the organizational theory and methods utilised for the research demonstrates how rhetorical strategies draw on, as well as reproduce, socio-political and cultural discourses around economic and social privilege.

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ID Code: 29681
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Schools, Marketisation of Education, Prospectus, Organizational Rhetoric
ISBN: 9780646525013
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Organisation and Management Theory (150310)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 please contact the authors
Deposited On: 14 Jan 2010 06:27
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2014 23:43

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