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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2008

Ng Pak Tee

This paper aims to discuss why there is often a gulf of difference between policy rhetoric and reality. In particular, the paper seeks to explore issues with the policy…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss why there is often a gulf of difference between policy rhetoric and reality. In particular, the paper seeks to explore issues with the policy rhetoric, implementation process and the lens through which reality is perceived, explaining why these issues can open up a policy rhetoric‐reality gap. This article also suggests a simple matrix framework to analyse a rhetoric‐reality gap.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is a reflection on, and analysis of, the issue of the difference between policy rhetoric and reality. The framework of analysis involves: issues with policy rhetoric; issues with the implementation process; issues with examining reality.

Findings

Although policy rhetoric always has laudable aims, the underlying dynamics of change and interaction among the various actors at different levels of the system often means that the rhetoric may be compromised in reality. However, it is also possible that even when implementation reality may not correspond closely to policy rhetoric, the adaptation of the policy allows for a better fit with the local context while allowing the policy rhetoric to retain its evocative values for an ideal state of affairs.

Practical implications

Policy rhetoric‐reality is not always “evil” and this gap can be systematically investigated.

Originality/value

This paper provides an explanation of the policy rhetoric‐reality gap and suggests a simple matrix framework to analyse such a gap.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2013

Patrick Larsson

The purpose of this paper is to establish that social determinants are vital contributing factors to mental health difficulties and that, similar to physical health…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish that social determinants are vital contributing factors to mental health difficulties and that, similar to physical health, mental health follows a social gradient. Despite this acknowledgement, there is a rhetoric/reality gap found in social determinants of mental health (SDMH). It will be argued in this paper that this rhetoric/reality gap is located on a number of levels, including theoretical, methodological, practical, political and policy based, which are proposed here to be interrelated.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is a conceptual analysis of the rhetoric/reality gap found in SDMH using a critical perspective. It draws on a wide variety of theories in order to provide an analysis of the issues outlined.

Findings

The paper's central finding is that there is a dissonance between the dominant ontological, epistemological and methodological, or axiomatic, focus in contemporary mental health theory and practice and SDMH. This dissonance has led to a form of “analysis paralysis” on all levels, and the initiatives required to tackle SDMH have been marginalised in favour of a narrow interpretation of evidence-based research and its accompanying ideology centring on the individual, which has established itself as a primary position on what constitutes valid knowledge to the detriment of other views.

Originality/value

The paper offers a critical perspective on an area of SDMH which is often alluded to but never explicitly explored, and questions the underlying assumptions inherent to mental health theory and practice. The paper's value is that it draws attention to this particular dilemma on a wider scale, including on a political and policy-based level, which is often neglected in mental health theory, and it makes some recommendations on how to move forward.

Details

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-9322

Keywords

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Executive summary
Publication date: 24 September 2015

INDIA/US: Modi visit to widen rhetoric-reality gap

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-ES205564

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
Topical
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Executive summary
Publication date: 2 October 2015

INDIA: Climate goals reveal rhetoric-reality gap

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-ES205745

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
Topical
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Book part
Publication date: 28 March 2015

György Pataki, Richárd Szántó and Réka Matolay

Online CSR communication of top Hungarian companies has been analysed, aiming at the exploration of the internal and external consistency of corporate communication practices.

Abstract

Purpose

Online CSR communication of top Hungarian companies has been analysed, aiming at the exploration of the internal and external consistency of corporate communication practices.

Methodology/approach

Critical discourse analysis was implemented in the research of selected corporate web pages and social media presence of the companies in the sample. Then a comparison of online disclosure and the unethical/illegal activities of selected industries – telecommunication, construction and retail – was made.

Findings

No positive correlation between the culpability and the intensity of online CSR communication was detected. Therefore, it is not confirmed that disclosure of socially responsible activities and principles on the web is a mere corporate lip service. However, in certain highly controversial industries companies intensively communicate about their CSR actions on the one hand, and commit different forms of misconduct on the other.

Research limitations/implications

Our methodology certainly has limitations since we registered only a few forms of unethical behaviour. Additionally, our focus was on large Hungarian companies, therefore the opportunity for generalization is limited.

Practical implications

Our findings show remarkable dissonances in CSR communication and point to a rhetoric-reality gap that needs more attention from practitioners as well.

Originality/value

Applications of critical discourse analysis of online CSR communication is relatively rare, only few studies have been conducted so far to explore potential dissonances and contradictions within online communication and between communication and real activities.

Details

Corporate Social Responsibility in the Digital Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-582-2

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Article
Publication date: 27 March 2009

Jean Cushen

From the optimistic to the critical, the post‐structural to the market rational there are varied perspectives on normative control at work. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

From the optimistic to the critical, the post‐structural to the market rational there are varied perspectives on normative control at work. The purpose of this paper is to describe a tactical evolution in normative control practices and explore how this development sits with each perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a six month participant ethnography incorporating 75 interviews and document analysis. Data are presented from human resources, executives, managers and employees.

Findings

This paper presents an account of a leading, listed, global firm's attempt to align employees to the organisation's goals through fashioning an ideal employee identity based on the organisation brand. Perspectives are provided on the desired role and ultimate failure of this employee branding initiative. Indeed, branding may be a normative step too far. The paper demonstrates how the workplace comprises of a variety of experiential forces and employees are capable of deciding which are the most substantive. However, the existence of varied perspectives on normative control within the workplace can account for both its failure and perpetuation.

Research limitations/implications

The findings highlight the variety of forces that interact to shape perspectives of normative control within a workplace. Consequently, future research may benefit from adopting a more holistic analytical approach to avoid over or under estimating the role of normative control.

Originality/value

The novelty of this paper comes firstly from the account of a tactical normative development and secondly from the demonstration of the value of considering the role and impact of normative control from a variety of theoretical perspectives.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 6 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

Daniel A. Wren and Arthur G. Bedeian

Lenin advocated “Taylorization” (i.e. scientific management), to rebuild post‐revolutionary Russia's economy. The evidence, however, indicates that Lenin's advocacy caused…

Abstract

Lenin advocated “Taylorization” (i.e. scientific management), to rebuild post‐revolutionary Russia's economy. The evidence, however, indicates that Lenin's advocacy caused conflict within the communist party, and scientific management was rarely implemented successfully. Noting a rhetoric‐reality gap, the paper explains the difference between Lenin's advocacy and actual practice. Lenin wished to convey the message that his regime was progressive, using the latest management techniques. Rather than following scientific management precepts, pressure was placed on Soviet workers to increase productivity without improving work methods. The paper's conclusion is that Lenin's advocacy of scientific management was a leader's rhetoric, a political expediency, and it would be misleading to connect scientific management with the practice of management in post‐revolutionary Russia.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1995

Paul Thompson and Julia O′Connell Davidson

The need for a permanent revolution in organizational structuresand use of human resources is legitimated by reference to the need toadapt to ever more turbulent times…

Abstract

The need for a permanent revolution in organizational structures and use of human resources is legitimated by reference to the need to adapt to ever more turbulent times. This gives rise to and is sustained by a distinctive anti‐bureaucratic rhetoric based largely on over‐hyped, unrepresentative examples and misunderstood processes. However, though empirically unsustainable, the rhetoric survives, in part because this kind of managerial discourse is playing by different rules. Explores and challenges the internal dynamics of this discourse to show that the rhetoric of discontinuity has been a continuous feature. Uses case studies of privatized utilities and analysis of the literature to explore both the gap between rhetoric and reality, and how managers operate in that gap.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 27 March 2007

Jacqueline Fendt

This study explores the nature and role of CEO discourse in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and especially during the highly complex post-merger integration process…

Abstract

This study explores the nature and role of CEO discourse in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and especially during the highly complex post-merger integration process. Abstraction from two extensive empirical data sources suggests that executive discourse in M&A can be seen as fitting a taxonomy involving four categories: dubbed the cartel, aesthetic, videogame and holistic communicator. It is furthermore purported that executive sense-making through discourse may need to be monitored around an ideal and permanently oscillating distance between the executive promise and the many different realities that stakeholders experience in the post-merger process: too little distance prevents change from happening, too much distance erodes the belief in the promised possibilities. This distance, named the promise–realities gap, is different for each (type of) stakeholder, as stakeholders perceive both the discoursed promise as also their everyday corporate realities in different manners. This individual perception of discourse and of the multitude of perceived realities and the volatility of their influencing variables exacerbate the successful management of the promise–realities gap.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-425-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1992

Clarrie Burke

Presents a case study of the emergence and early stages ofimplementation of Queensland Education Department′s policy fordevolution of responsibility to State Schools. Has…

Abstract

Presents a case study of the emergence and early stages of implementation of Queensland Education Department′s policy for devolution of responsibility to State Schools. Has four major purposes: to clarify the rhetoric by which the Department has developed and promoted its devolution policy; critically to examine the efficacy of the policy when it is “played out”, in “reality”, at the “school face”; to explore possible positive outcomes of the policy, potential impediments (within the Department and school community), and prerequisites to effective implementation; and to consider what is needed in pre‐service teacher education to enable future teachers readily to function in a school‐based organizational context. The “message” which emerges from these considerations is that stakeholders at all levels need to be vigilant observers, watching for inconsistencies as they develop, between the rhetoric and the reality of devolution policy in practice – in particular, “regression” towards centralized, bureaucratic control. Proposes an approach to a safeguard mechanism which could be applied at regular intervals. Poses questions at two levels: at the system level and at the level of the community at large.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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