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Arguing for a license to operate: the case of the Swedish wind power industry

Publiceringsår: 2007
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 129-144
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Corporate Communications
Volym: 12
Nummer: 2
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Emerald Group Publishing Limited



Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the way organizational actors argue to obtain a

license to operate for new ventures.

Design/methodology/approach – The design, which addresses the issue at the industry level,

consists of a case study of the ways in which power developers argue for the development of wind

energy in Sweden.

Findings – The study shows that wind power developers proffer a necessity-ability-acceptability

line of argument that relies not only on the convincing character of claims grounded in premises, but

also on the persuasive character of values, knowledge and opinion likely to win the adherence of

the audience.

Research limitations/implications – From a theoretical perspective, this is an illustration of the

relevance of bridging the divide between argumentation theories in tune with formal or informal logic

and those oriented toward rhetoric and the social practice of communication.

Practical implications – More practically, the paper suggests that in order to obtain a license to

operate, managers need to combine and balance in their practice of argumentation a logical approach

to factual knowledge with a situational sense for the rhetoric favored by the audience.

Originality/value – This study emphasizes the key role played by argumentation in corporate



  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • wind power
  • licensing
  • corporate ventures
  • Sweden


  • ISSN: 1356-3289

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