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Framing financial culture – rhetorical struggles over the meaning of “Liborgate”

Sine Nørholm Just (Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Nico Mouton (Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 11 August 2014



The meaning of scandals like “Liborgate” is not given beforehand; it is constructed in the course of framing contests. The purpose of this paper is to provide a nuanced framework for understanding such framing contests by re-conceptualizing them as rhetorical struggles.


A conceptual framework that combines modern framing theory, and classical stasis theory is applied to the rhetorical struggles over the meaning of “Liborgate.”


While rhetorical struggles over “Liborgate” overtly center on the issue of who is to blame, an analysis of the argumentative relations between competing frames leads to the conclusion that this political “blame game” is related to struggles over how to define the scandal, how to conceptualize its causes, and policy recommendations. Banks may have lost the battle of “Liborgate,” but the war over the meaning of financial culture is far from over.


The paper is theoretically and methodologically original in its combination of the theories of framing and stasis, and it provides analytical insights into how sense is made of financial culture in the wake of the financial crisis.



Just, S.N. and Mouton, N. (2014), "Framing financial culture – rhetorical struggles over the meaning of “Liborgate”", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 732-743.



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