Keeping score: Restructuring rhetoric used in Fortune 500 companies and public Research I universities
KeywordsBusiness Administration, General.
Language, Rhetoric and Composition.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractResearchers have discussed the problems of restructuring, the methods used to measure restructuring success, the effectiveness of restructuring efforts, and prescriptions for successful restructuring among specific types of organizations (for-profit and public non-profit). While some have suggested that different challenges face for-profit sector and public non-profit sector restructuring efforts, few have compared the restructuring processes in both sectors based on the statements made by organizational representatives. This research studies both the language of restructuring as used by university and corporate leaders and the actual results of the restructuring plans presented through the theoretical frameworks of isomorphism and resource dependency. The documents collected from each organization were limited to those prepared for public consumption and reflected the language used by top management or administrators. An approach, using multiple case studies, was employed to organize and focus the data collected. The use of individual cases provided the opportunity to examine specific restructuring strategies, language, and results used by different organizations functioning in different economic sectors. The language analysis looked for the expression of different or similar organizational values expressed during the course of restructuring. The organizations studied all underwent recent restructuring efforts, and included two Research I universities and three Fortune 500 businesses. This research indicated that the public rhetoric of restructuring may not reflect the actual activities of restructuring taking place within an organization. Even though the business literature and many businesses themselves have extolled the benefits of a more collaborative management style since the early 1980's, and legislatures have encouraged public universities to be more business-like since the early 1990's, and though much of the rhetoric reflected these pressures, the actual management processes showed very little change in either group. A movement toward one another in management style was not found in these organizations. All five organizations structured rhetoric to satisfy their constituents, all five organizations maintained their traditional management and decision making styles, and, at the end of the restructuring period, all five organizations were still trying to find ways to improve their organizational outcomes.
Degree ProgramGraduate College