Forms of Talk-Action-Inconsistency: Introducing Reverse Coupling

Peter Winkler, Michael Etter, Stefan Wehmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debateResearchpeer-review


Several management approaches challenge the idea of consistency and strict coupling between managerial talk, understood as official proclamations and policies, and corresponding organizational action (see introduction to this forum). While there seems to be a shared line of critique toward the ideal of consistency, little analytic focus has been placed on different emphases and evaluations of inconsistency developed by these approaches. This essay presents a systematic comparison of these differences and contributes a more comprehensive understanding of inconsistency in terms of different emphases on talk, action, and the coupling of talk and action. Based on this comparison, we introduce the concept of reverse coupling which describes organizational actions that counteract, and thereby compensate for, ambitious managerial talk.
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)479–485
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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