The rhetoric of corporate annual reports: A study of ethos
David Allen Carrell
School: Purdue University (0183)
Date: 1994; pp: 236
Advisor: Lauer, Janice
Source: DAI-A 55/12, p. 3825, Jun 1995
Subjects: Language, General (0679); Business Administration, General (0310)
ProQuest Document Number: 304140646
UMI Number: AAT 9512936
Researchers of business writing have tended to ignore the visual aspects of texts and the contribution large-scale external corporate documents such as annual reports make to the construction of corporate ethos. In addition, previous researchers of corporate annual reports have tended to examine them as isolated texts, without regard for their cultural or historical contexts.
In this ideologic approach to the analysis of the 1992 annual reports of two Fortune 500 companies, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. and Chrysler Corporation, both discursive and visual aspects are examined for the role they play in the projection of corporate ethos. Ethos is viewed as the construction of subject positions that are deemed appropriate, or good, and which can therefore be used as an indicator of the cultures in which they are produced and used. This analysis shows that ethos appeals can be used to assimilate differing, even conflicting subject positions into a corporate ethos appropriate for the primary annual report readers: stockholders and prospective stockholders.