A contingency theory of rhetorical congruence

John A A Sillince*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


I argue that attempts to adapt structure to contingencies will be unsuccessful unless there is also rhetorical congruence, which has two parts. First, rhetorical congruence exists if rhetoric is appropriate to contingencies. For example, decentralization aimed at increasing local initiative will lead to more requests by headquarters for advice from subsidiaries. Second, it exists if the various rhetorical processes are in balance with one another. For example, as the environment becomes more uncertain and as more differentiation rhetoric is used in response, further integration rhetoric will be prompted to reestablish balance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-621
Number of pages14
JournalAcademy of Management Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2005


Dive into the research topics of 'A contingency theory of rhetorical congruence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this