The rhetoric of organizational stability and creativity: an analysis of the term ‘platform’

  • Larry D. Browning University of Texas at Austin and the Bodo Graduate school of Business, University of Nordlands
  • Joseph Brentlinger University of Texas at Austin
  • Jan-Oddvar Soernes Jan-Oddvar Sørnes Bodø Graduate School of Business
  • Keri K Stephens Department of Communication Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Keywords: platform, inductive, stability, creativity, scene, agency, communication, organizations, Burke

Abstract

This article analyses the term platform as it surfaced in interview data from Norway and the United States that was collected in a field research project on organizational technology use. Through an inductive analysis of the term’s use in six interviews, a conceptualization of the term reveals it to be rhetorical in nature, expressing the interplay between stability and creativity. In order to explain the rhetorical aspects we describe, the authors turn to the rhetorical critic Kenneth Burke’s work to aid in conceptualizing the term, specifically his understanding of scene and agency. The authors present the conceptualization to help researchers on two levels. On the micro-level, we offer an analysis of the term platform. On the macro-level, we illustrate how grounded theory can help locate other terms that have unacknowledged salience to researchers, consultants, and interviewees. 

Author Biographies

Larry D. Browning, University of Texas at Austin and the Bodo Graduate school of Business, University of Nordlands
Professor of organizational Communication, Department of Communiction Studies, Professor of Management, Bodo Graduate School of Business, Nordlands University, Bodo, Norway
Joseph Brentlinger, University of Texas at Austin
Graduate Student, Communication Studies
Jan-Oddvar Soernes, Jan-Oddvar Sørnes Bodø Graduate School of Business
Bodø Graduate School of Business at The University of Nordland, Bodo, Norway
Keri K Stephens, Department of Communication Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Published
2013-11-14
How to Cite
Browning, L. D., Brentlinger, J., Soernes, J.-O., & Stephens, K. K. (2013). The rhetoric of organizational stability and creativity: an analysis of the term ‘platform’. Nordic Journal of Social Research, 4. https://doi.org/10.7577/njsr.2069
Section
Articles