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Persuasive speech in multi-professional change facilitation meetings: A rhetorical discourse analysis

Hanna Komulainen (Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland) (Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland)
Elisa Mertaniemi (Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland) (Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland)
Nina Lunkka (Department of Marketing, Management and International Business, Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
Noora Jansson (Department of Marketing, Management and International Business, Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
Merja Meriläinen (Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland) (Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
Heikki Wiik (Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland) (Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
Marjo Suhonen (Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland) (Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)

Journal of Health Organization and Management

ISSN: 1477-7266

Article publication date: 20 June 2019

Issue publication date: 8 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe persuasive speech and discourses in multi-professional organizational change facilitation meetings at a hospital through rhetorical discourse analysis. Previous research has often considered organizational change to be a managerial issue, with other employees given the rather passive role of implementators. This study takes an alternative approach in assuming that organizational change could benefit by involving those who are most familiar with the tasks to be changed.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed a qualitative, case study approach and focused on the construction of a hospitalist model within multi-professional change facilitation meetings. Eight videos of these multi-professional change facilitation meetings – which occurred between January and September 2017 – were observed and the material was analyzed by rhetorical discourse analysis. An average of 10–20 actors from different professional groups participated in the meetings. The change actors comprised physicians, nursing staff and nursing managers, along with a secretary and hospitalist. The meetings were conducted by a change facilitator.

Findings

The persuasive speech in the analyzed organizational change meetings occurred within five distinct discourses: constructing the change together, positive feedback, strategic change in speech, patient perspective and driving change. The content of these discourses revealed topics that are relevant to persuading members of healthcare organizations to adopt a planned change.

Originality/value

The presented research provides new knowledge about how persuasive speech is used in organizational change and describes the discourses in which persuasive speech is used in a healthcare context.

Keywords

Citation

Komulainen, H., Mertaniemi, E., Lunkka, N., Jansson, N., Meriläinen, M., Wiik, H. and Suhonen, M. (2019), "Persuasive speech in multi-professional change facilitation meetings: A rhetorical discourse analysis", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 396-412. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHOM-12-2018-0366

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited