82nd AoM Seattle

Grand Challenges and the Rhetoric of Collective Action

Grand Challenges and the Rhetoric of Collective Action

The objective of this PDW is to engage in a conversation and exchange of knowledge and ideas between interested scholars, both junior and established, on the role of the rhetoric perspective for collective action in the context of grand challenges. We start from the observation that articulating such challenges, known for their complex and multifaceted nature, is key to stimulate dialogue among different actors (George et al., 2016) and promote collective action to help solve or manage them (Ostrom, 1990). Accordingly, numerous stakeholders at different institutions, ideologies and levels are competing for influencing the public and decision makers to champion their world view and interests. It is therefore surprising, that the rhetorical perspective is fairly absent from the debate on grand challenges. The rhetorical perspective has emerged as both a key theoretical construct and effective toolkit for practical application in organizational and social life and does provide insights on how social actors demarcate the boundaries of social relations to motivate collective action in navigating complex social problems. The theoretical agenda we propose can be viewed as the possible integration of currently disparate streams of research on collective action and rhetoric, as combining these theoretical traditions offers new theoretical, methodological and empirical research perspectives on adaptive responses to grand challenges. This agenda corresponds closely to the all-Academy theme of “Creating a Better World Together” as it aims at understanding how collective action can be stimulated among relevant stakeholders for contributing to solving grand challenges societies are facing today.

 82nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management: Virtual Meeting Details (aom.org)

Co-Organizer:
Kees Boersma, Vrije U. Amsterdam
Yiannis Kyratsis, Vrije U. Amsterdam
Estefaniea Santacreu-Vasut, ESSEC Business School
Roy Suddaby, University of Victoria
Israel Drori, VU Amsterdam
Kerstin Neumann, University of Innsbruck
Eero Vaara, Said Business School University of Oxford
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