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The Saliency of Synecdoche: The Part and the Whole of Employment Relations


  • Peter M. Hamilton


Literary and rhetorical tropes invoke a transference of meaning from the common usage of a word or phrase. Organizational analysis research and writing in this area has concentrated upon the trope of metaphor. In this article it is argued that we should extend our attention to other tropes. To that end, the article identifies and illustrates the saliency of the trope of synecdoche through a discussion of employment relations. Following a brief identification of metaphor within writings on employment relations, the article goes onto discuss synecdoche as one of the 'four master tropes'. We then argue that the trope is important in relation to how we write about and understand employment relations. Use of the trope is then illustrated through analysis of interview comments on local pay in the National Health Service. Finally, the saliency or prominence of synecdoche is argued through two related arguments, the nature of the rhetorical setting and the rhetorical nature of the employment relations setting. Copyright 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

Suggested Citation

  • Peter M. Hamilton, 2003. "The Saliency of Synecdoche: The Part and the Whole of Employment Relations," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(7), pages 1569-1585, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:40:y:2003:i:7:p:1569-1585

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