Organizational rhetoric from the Oval Office: a Weickian analysis of the Bush administration
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This project attempts to bridge the gap between organizational theory and political rhetoric by approaching the study of the George W. Bush administration through the lens of Weick's theory of organizing. I specifically argue for the Bush administration as a tightly coupled system, as demonstrated by the media and the members of the administration themselves. Second, I argue for the constraining nature of the enacted environment through an analysis of the administration's position on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. I find that Bush's decision to veto stem cell legislation in 2006 was a consequence of his identity as an Evangelical Christian and of his definition of what it means to be a leader. Finally, I argue for the importance of requisite variety in the administration's rhetorical constructions of the problems facing Social Security and the proposed methods of program reform. The administration's proposal demonstrates the necessity for a rhetorical "matching" between the construction of the problem and the construction of the solution. Finally, I turn to Crable and situate the findings within Crable's model of organizational rhetoric.