Designing a Model of Managerial Rhetoric in Public Organizations

Document Type : Research Paper


1 MSc. Student, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Ilam, Ilam, Iran.

2 Associate Prof., Department of Management, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Ilam, Ilam, Iran.


Rhetoric is a state of elocution to convince and motivate beneficiaries, customers, co-workers and superior managers by some of managers within organizations. Those managers who use rhetoric often overstate in explaining organizational truths and highlight their own positive actions. Respecting the importance of subject and also due to research gap in this regard, present study was carried out with the aim of examining managers' rhetoric within public organizations.
In terms of approach, this study was an explorative survey and it was a qualitative research in terms of its type. Population of study consisted from a group of experts including executive manages within Khorramabad public organizations among which some individuals were selected as research subjects through purposive sampling way. In order to collect data, semi-structured interviews were applied which continued to reach for a point of theoretical saturation. The number of 17 organizational experts participated in this study. Verification of the validity of contents by using content validity ratio (CVR) and content validity index (CVI) was done by 15 experts. Moreover, reliability of codes was confirmed through inter-coder reliability way.
Obtained findings from analyzing  interviews' data by open, axial and selective coding ways and also using software Maxqda 2018 was led to elicit a paradigmatic model of managers' rhetoric based on the grounded theory with 6 major, 24 axial categories and 56 codes from open coding way. This model was designed by 6 major components including core category, cause factors, ground factors, intervening factors, strategies and outcomes for managers' rhetoric. By this model, categories verbal formalism, feigned speech, political artifices, tip and tricks in speaking were identified as items of core category. Moreover, undesirable real situation, perceptual anxiety, inborn profiteering and personality features were realized as cause factors. During this study, organizational culture, politicization, socio- environmental requirements and lack of beneficiaries' demanding were identifies as ground factors. Weak ethical intelligence, innate vice, lack of managerial proficiency, Pathological moral policy had an intervening impact on managers' rhetoric. Strategies of managers' rhetoric were appeared as administrative trading, Machiavellianism, directing public opinion towards personal interests and showcase management. Finally individual, organizational and social outcomes were recognized.
Theoretically, presented model of managers' rhetoric in this study has identified some themes which have been less addressed before. The findings of the study can make researches and managers within public organizations aware of the concept of managers' rhetoric at public organizations. Since rhetoric can lead to employees' cynicism, decreasing organizational effectiveness, hurting public trust and disrespecting professional ethics within organizations, it is suggested to select and assign managers based on ethical and professional competence to avoid developing an organizational atmosphere encouraging rhetoric.


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