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Practical reasoning in corporate communication with multiple audiences

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Abstract

Corporate strategic communication has to be designed by considering multiple audiences of stakeholders. In this paper, we study the connection between the audience structure of corporate messages and the structure of the practical argumentation advanced to persuasively justify a business proposal. To this purpose, we combine a conceptual and analytical framework for the reconstruction of multiple audiences¬†– the Text Stakeholders model (Palmieri & Mazzali 2016), with a conceptual and analytical framework for the reconstruction of argument schemes¬†– the Argumentum Model of Topics (Rigotti & Greco Morasso 2010). A takeover proposal made by Ryanair for Aer Lingus is examined as an illustrative case in which this integrated framework is applied. We focus our analysis on Ryanair’s offer document to show how the particular structure of the audience is reflected in the selection of specific value and goal premises (endoxa) and in the activation of specific inferential relations (maxims) of practical reasoning.
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Keywords: (text) stakeholders; Argumentum Model of Topics; audience analysis; corporate argumentation; multiple audiences; practical argumentation; ratified readers; strategic communication; takeovers

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 16, 2017

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