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  • 1.
    Brown, Stephen
    et al.
    Ulster Univ, UK.
    Hackley, Chris
    Royal Holloway Univ London, UK.
    Hunt, Shelby D.
    Texas Tech Univ, USA.
    Marsh, Charles
    Univ Kansas, USA.
    O'Shaughnessy, Nicholas
    Queen Mary Univ London, UK.
    Phillips, Barbara J.
    Univ Saskatchewan, Canada.
    Tonks, David
    Univ Lancaster, UK.
    Miles, Chris
    Bournemouth Univ, UK.
    Nilsson, Tomas
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
    Marketing (as) Rhetoric: paradigms, provocations, and perspectives2018In: Journal of Marketing Management, ISSN 0267-257X, E-ISSN 1472-1376, Vol. 34, no 15-16, p. 1336-1378Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this collection of short, invited essays on the topic of marketing (as) rhetoric we deal with a variety of issues that demonstrate the centrality of rhetoric and rhetorical considerations to the pursuit of marketing scholarship, research and practice. Stephen Brown examines the enduring rhetorical power of the 4Ps; Chris Hackley argues for the critical power of rhetorical orientations in marketing scholarship but cautions us on the need to work harder in conceptually connecting rhetorical theory and modern marketing frameworks; Shelby Hunt explains how rhetorical processes are incorporated in his inductive realist model of theory generation, using one of his most successful publications as an illustration; Charles Marsh demonstrates what Isocrates' broad rhetorical project has to teach us about the importance of reputation cultivation in modern marketing; Nicholas O'Shaughnessy uses an analysis of Trump's discourse to argue that political marketing as it is currently conceived is ill-equipped to engage effectively with the rhetorical force of Trump's 'unmarketing'; Barbara Phillips uses Vygotsky's work on imagination to investigate the important of pleasure and play in advertising rhetoric; and finally, David Tonks, who in many ways started it all, reiterates the need for marketers to recognise the strength of the relationship between marketing and persuasion.

  • 2.
    Chris, Miles
    et al.
    Bournemouth University, UK.
    Nilsson, Tomas
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
    Marketing (as) rhetoric: an introduction2018In: Journal of Marketing Management, ISSN 0267-257X, E-ISSN 1472-1376, Vol. 34, no 15-16, p. 1259-1271Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Nilsson, Tomas
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
    How marketers argue for business – Exploring the rhetorical nature of industrial marketing work2019In: Industrial Marketing Management, ISSN 0019-8501, E-ISSN 1873-2062, Vol. 80, p. 233-241Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper takes a rhetorical approach to the study of everyday marketing work. It seeks to understand how marketers make sense of the work they do, what discourse is used, and with what rhetorical effect. The study is based on interviews, observations and daily interaction with five marketers involved in marketing and selling of consulting services. It was found that these marketers draw on relationship discourse and customer need discourse – among others – when arguing for business. These discourses could be understood as contradictory discursive forces used by marketers to talk up suitable rhetorical selves, by means of which they accomplish their work. As a whole, this paper provides an illustration of the rhetorical nature of marketing, and discuss theoretical implications, aiming to expand the intellectual agenda for future studies of marketing work that takes marketers' use of language seriously.

  • 4.
    Nilsson, Tomas
    Lund University.
    Rhetorical business: a study of marketing work in the spirit of contradiction2015Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Marketing has traditionally been understood from the perspective of marketing management. This causes problems when we study marketing practices because the normative discourse of marketing management is not particularly useful for describing the day-to-day work of marketing practitioners. This calls for marketing research from new perspectives. Rhetorical business – A study of marketing work in the spirit of contradiction investigates marketing work in professional service organizations from a rhetorical perspective. The overall research question – What do marketers do when they do marketing work? – is explored empirically through conversations, observations and daily interaction and argumentation with professionals involved in the marketing of consulting services. The rhetorical theory applied in the analysis builds on the assumption that every reasonable argument can be met with an equally reasonable counterargument, which is not only how we argue but also a representation of how we gain knowledge of the world – namely, by contradicting it. The analysis is organized in three themes – situation, strategy and subject – that address questions such as Where and when do marketers argue for business purposes? What rhetorical strategies are used?, and How can the subjects of marketing work be portrayed? This is followed by a discussion of the analysis under the two headings persuasive marketing talk and marketing work “in-between”. This book concludes that marketing work is accomplished by self-reflexive marketers who argue for business purposes in, through and in-between meetings as they employ versatile and expansive language and enact contradictory selves. In so concluding the book contributes a multifaceted account of marketing work beyond the framework of normative marketing management. It also shows how rhetorical theory can be used in marketing research to analyse aspects of marketing practice that would otherwise have been poorly accounted for. Finally, the book is written as a “confessional tale” by an author with long experience of marketing work, in the hope that it may encourage self-reflexive inquires among professionals involved in marketing.

  • 5.
    Nilsson, Tomas
    Lund University.
    The reluctant rhetorician: Senior managers as rhetoricians in a strategic change context2010In: Journal of Organizational Change Management, ISSN 0953-4814, E-ISSN 1758-7816, Vol. 23, no 2, p. 137-144Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    – This paper explores strategic change communication, framed by the idea that managers can be viewed as rhetoricians. The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss senior managers' subjective experiences of rhetorical aspects of change management.

    Design/methodology/approach

    – The paper draws on a case study from ABB Sweden (a power and automation technology company). In‐depth interviews with senior managers, with vast experience of change management, constitute the empirical source.

    Findings

    – The most important finding is the managers' overall reluctance towards rhetoric. According to the managers in this study, a rhetorician is an over‐enthusiastic person who “waves his arms when speaking”. To master the art of rhetoric is not believed to be of particular importance when managing strategic change.

    Research limitations/implications

    – Senior managers' potentially negative attitude concerning rhetoric should be taken into account when researchers situate change management within a rhetorical frame.

    Practical implications

    – Given the large interest in “efficient” communication, generally managers should be encouraged to overcome their reluctance towards rhetoric to improve their ability to “manage meaning” constructively.

    Originality/value

    – This paper contributes to change management communication insofar as it gives voice to the individual manager. This voice indicates; in a time when rhetoric, storytelling, and charismatic leadership are making ground; that the understanding of rhetoric is much more limited than the general impression might suggest.

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