Rhetoric and Authority in a Polarized Transition: The Case of China’s Stock Market

Yuan Li*, Sandy E. Green, Paul M. Hirsch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


How do actors in positions of authority attempt to justify their right to rule while introducing controversial institutional practices that potentially delegitimate their authority? China’s reform leaders have found themselves in a legitimacy conundrum when they established and developed the stock market, yet have been able to assert a central role for the party-state in managing the stock market. Using a critical rhetorical perspective, we analyze how actors use “rhetorical genres,” that is, argumentation and narration with differing content and style, to construct new roles of the speaker and speaker–audience relationships that imply new bases of authority, and how these rhetorical genres can be conceptualized as “discursive spaces” that could accommodate contradictions in the rhetorical situations characterized by polarization in ideologies and interests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-95
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Management Inquiry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • communication
  • content analysis
  • institutional theory
  • legitimacy
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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