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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2007

Hervé Corvellec

The purpose of this paper is to examine the way organizational actors argue to obtain a license to operate for new ventures.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the way organizational actors argue to obtain a license to operate for new ventures.

Design/methodology/approach

The design, which addresses the issue at the industry level, consists of a case study of the ways in which power developers argue for the development of wind energy in Sweden.

Findings

The study shows that wind power developers proffer a necessity‐ability‐acceptability line of argument that relies not only on the convincing character of claims grounded in premises, but also on the persuasive character of values, knowledge and opinion likely to win the adherence of the audience.

Research limitations/implications

From a theoretical perspective, this is an illustration of the relevance of bridging the divide between argumentation theories in tune with formal or informal logic and those oriented toward rhetoric and the social practice of communication.

Practical implications

More practically, the paper suggests that in order to obtain a license to operate, managers need to combine and balance in their practice of argumentation a logical approach to factual knowledge with a situational sense for the rhetoric favored by the audience.

Originality/value

This study emphasizes the key role played by argumentation in corporate communication.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2001

Andrej Skerlep

The paper criticises the dominant paradigm of public relations theory for lack of interest in discursive and rhetorical dimensions of public relations. An alternative…

Abstract

The paper criticises the dominant paradigm of public relations theory for lack of interest in discursive and rhetorical dimensions of public relations. An alternative theoretical approach to public relations is identified that does treat discursive and rhetorical dimensions of public relations, but it is indicated that at present it has not been sufficiently integrated into dominant public relations theory. The paper explores the points of convergence between rhetoric and public relations. The narrow and broad conceptions of rhetoric are presented, the first characterising rhetoric with persuasive and argumentative discourse, the second with different types of discourse. It is suggested that elements of the broad conception of rhetoric could provide heuristics for analysing public relations techniques as “genre repertoire” of public relations discourse. In the second part, an enquiry into the narrow conception of rhetoric as persuasive and argumentative discourse is made. Positivistic understanding of “truth” and “objectivity” as normative criteria of public relations discourse is criticised on the basis of the so‐called “rhetoric as epistemic” view. It is argued that in corporate discourse, especially in situations of confrontation with active publics, key managerial decisions have to be justified in argumentation. In the last part of the paper, Toulmin’s model of argumentation is suggested as especially suitable for analysis of the argumentative nature of corporate discourse.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Hervé Corvellec

Braiding organization theory and argumentation theory, the paper seeks to unfold how organizations act as social loci for the production, diffusion and development of arguments.

Abstract

Purpose

Braiding organization theory and argumentation theory, the paper seeks to unfold how organizations act as social loci for the production, diffusion and development of arguments.

Design/methodology/approach

A Swedish association dedicated to the defense and promotion of nuclear power, Miljövänner För Kärnkraft (approximately Environmentalists for Nuclear Power) serves as a case study, describing the association's argumentative activity with a particular focus on its argument that “nuclear power is environment friendly as it produces no greenhouse gas emissions”.

Findings

The manner in which the association contextualizes this key argument illustrates the inter‐relationships that exist between organizing and arguing.

Originality/value

Organizing and arguing belong to each other's conditions of possibility, and it is therefore argued that an understanding of the organized character of argumentation is symmetrical to the argumentative character of organizing.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1992

J.A.A. SILLINCE

Current indexing methods used in automated bibliographic and full text information retrieval assume that knowledge can be adequately represented as a semantic network…

Abstract

Current indexing methods used in automated bibliographic and full text information retrieval assume that knowledge can be adequately represented as a semantic network which is manipulable by means of Boolean operators. However, this semantic approach requires the user to state formally what it is that he wants to find. This paper presents an alternative argumentation‐based method. It involves representing a learned article by means of rhetorical structure rather than by a semantic representation of content.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2021

Ashish Pandey

This study aims to examine some of the commonly proposed deviants associated with the banking industry in the context of the capital structure puzzle. The paper considers…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine some of the commonly proposed deviants associated with the banking industry in the context of the capital structure puzzle. The paper considers the role of guarantees, information asymmetry and other frictional factors in the context of modern financial markets and examines whether these factors deserve special consideration in solving the capital structure puzzle for banks.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopt the argumentation theory model proposed by Toulmin (1958) as the methodological approach in this paper.

Findings

The findings from this paper demonstrate that any solution to the capital structure puzzle, whenever available, will also solve the capital structure puzzle for banks without additional efforts. The focus of future research should be on solving the generic capital structure puzzle for a universal set of firms rather than focusing on the banking industry as a subset with unique features.

Originality/value

The paper adopts a novel methodological approach offered by argumentation theory to pursue the enquiry. To the best of the knowledge, this paper is the first paper in the finance literature that uses argumentation theory to develop a theoretical construct. The finding from this study offers guidance for the proliferation of research paradigms in the capital structure puzzle.

Details

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4179

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2010

Thomas J. Farrell

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to discuss certain key issues involved in the science wars; second, to review William Rehg's Cogent Science in Context: The

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to discuss certain key issues involved in the science wars; second, to review William Rehg's Cogent Science in Context: The Science Wars, Argumentation Theory, and Habermas (Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, Cambridge, 2009).

Design/methodology/approach

In accord with the genre of a review paper, the author sets the larger intellectual context of Rehg's book, and then highlights Rehg's book.

Findings

The findings suggest that Rehg has done an excellent job of explaining and expanding Habermas's argumentation theory, thereby working out a nonrelativist and nonskeptical framework for science studies (e.g. science and technology studies, studies in the sociology of scientific knowledge, and ethnomethodological studies of scientific work). However, the present author's findings also suggest that Rehg has not addressed the concerns of Protestant fundamentalists in the science wars as strongly as those concerns can be addressed. In addition, the present author's findings show that Rehg is silent about those academic critics in the science wars who criticize scientism in the pejorative sense of the term.

Originality/value

In the final analysis, Rehg's use of Habermas's argumentation theory is credited with offering rich implications for taking the science wars to a new level of sophistication.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2021

Nor Haslinda Abas, Nick Blismas and Helen Lingard

The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of a risk assessment model to assess the occupational safety and health (OSH) risks presented by different…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of a risk assessment model to assess the occupational safety and health (OSH) risks presented by different construction approaches, namely traditional and industrialised building system (IBS). The development process applies the concept of argumentation theory, which helps construction designers integrate the management of OSH risk into the design process. In addition, an energy damage model is used as an underpinning framework for developing the model.

Design/methodology/approach

Development of the model was achieved through two phases. Phase I involved collection of data on the activities involved in the construction process and their associated OSH risks, derived from five different case studies, field observation and interviews. Knowledge of design aspects that have the potential to impact on OSH was obtained from document analysis. Using the knowledge obtained in phase I, a model was developed in the form of argument trees (Phase II), which represent a reasoning template with regard to options available to designers when they make judgements about aspects of their designs. Inferences from these aspects eventually determined the magnitude of the damaging energies for every activity involved. Finally, the model was validated by panels of experts, and revisions and amendments were made to the model accordingly.

Findings

The risk assessment model development revealed that the concept of argumentation theory and energy damage model is suitable to represent design safety risk knowledge and effectively address the designer's role in making decisions in their designs and further illuminate the level of OSH risk their designs pose.

Practical implications

The developed model provides best-practice reasoning support for construction designers, which help them to understand the impact of their designs decisions on worker's safety and health, and thereby assist them to further mitigate the risk to an acceptable level.

Originality/value

This study departs from the existing tool in that the model was developed based upon the combination of argumentation theory and energy damage model. The significance of the model is discussed.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2021

Franck Taillandier, Cédric Baudrit, Claudio Carvajal, Benjamin Delhomme and Bruno Beullac

Civil engineering structures are regularly confronted with failures that can lead to catastrophic consequences. It is important, after a failure, to be able to identify…

Abstract

Purpose

Civil engineering structures are regularly confronted with failures that can lead to catastrophic consequences. It is important, after a failure, to be able to identify the origin and the sequence of factors that led to it. This failure analysis by experts, called forensic engineering investigation, generally leads to the drafting of an expert report. These reports do not inform on the processes that guided the experts to a conclusion and the uncertainties involved. This paper aims to propose a new methodological approach to formalize the opinions of experts in forensic engineering.

Design/methodology/approach

The research consists in combining abstract argumentation with the theory of imprecise probabilities to take into account epistemic and stochastic uncertainties to support forensic engineering investigation.

Findings

A model and a tool to support forensic analysis are presented. An application on the collapse of the Brumadinho dam highlights the interest of the chosen approach.

Originality/value

This work is the first use of the abstract argument framework in civil engineering, and so in forensic engineering. Furthermore, it provides an innovative model based on imprecise probability for AAF.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2019

Frieder Lempp

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new agent-based simulation model of bilateral negotiation based on a synthesis of established theories and empirical studies of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new agent-based simulation model of bilateral negotiation based on a synthesis of established theories and empirical studies of negotiation research. The central units of the model are negotiators who pursue goals, have attributes (trust, assertiveness, cooperativeness, creativity, time, etc.) and perform actions (proposing and accepting offers, exchanging information, creating value, etc).

Design/methodology/approach

Methodologically, the model follows the agent-based approach to modeling. This approach is chosen because negotiations can be described as complex, non-linear systems involving autonomous agents (i.e. the negotiators), who interact with each other, pursue goals and perform actions aimed at achieving their goals.

Findings

This paper illustrates how the model can simulate experiments involving variables such as negotiation strategy, creativity, reservation value or time in negotiation. An example simulation is presented which investigates the main and interaction effects of negotiators’ reservation value and their time available for a negotiation. A software implementation of the model is freely accessible at https://tinyurl.com/y7oj6jo8.

Research limitations/implications

The model, as developed at this point, provides the basis for future research projects. One project could address the representation of emotions and their impact on the process and outcome of negotiations. Another project could extend the model by allowing negotiators to convey false information (i.e. to bluff). Yet another project could be aimed at refining the routines used for making and accepting offers with a view to allow parties to reach partial settlements during a negotiation.

Practical implications

Due to its broad scope and wide applicability, the model can be used by practitioners and researchers alike. As a decision-support system, the model allows users to simulate negotiation situations and estimate the likelihood of negotiation outcomes. As a research platform, it can generate simulation data in a cost- and time-effective way, allowing researchers to simulate complex, large-N studies at no cost or time.

Originality/value

The model presented in this paper synthesizes in a novel way a comprehensive range of concepts and theories of current negotiation research. It complements other computational models, in that it can simulate a more diverse range of negotiation strategies (distributive, integrative and compromise) and is applicable to a greater variety of negotiation scenarios.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Book part
Publication date: 9 November 2020

Sarah Horrod

Building on the proposition that Bernstein's ideas are due for a revival in higher education research, the call for studies in which theory is put to use and for policy…

Abstract

Building on the proposition that Bernstein's ideas are due for a revival in higher education research, the call for studies in which theory is put to use and for policy studies to engage in textual analysis, this chapter argues for the affordances of the theoretical underpinnings of Bernstein's pedagogic device and critical discourse studies in investigating connections between policy and practice. Drawing on the sociology of pedagogy and applied linguistics, this chapter aims to explore the theoretical complementarities of the chosen approaches for exploring how policy ideas move through time and space. A focus on the notion of recontextualisation enables an understanding of how influences beyond the discipline itself, including policy discourses, can shape learning, teaching and assessment practices. The illustrating case examines policy on learning and teaching and how these ideas are recontextualised from national policy through to institutional policy and individual practices. The critical or questioning angle of both approaches in seeing ideas, including policy, as never value-free but as situated within their sociopolitical context can shed light on how policy ideas make their way into universities and in whose interests.

Details

Theory and Method in Higher Education Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-321-2

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