Storytelling for the masses: A rhetorical approach to public sector transformations in Lithuania

Zilvinas Zidonis, Neringa Jaskunaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper aims to shed new light on the "old-fashioned" concept of New Public Management from the perspective of rhetorical managerial activities. The role of rhetoric and narratives in governance, management and philosophy of science is discussed. Second, it is showed how and why post-modern private and public management has adopted persuasive speaking and narratives as a new managerial practice. The paper argues that New Public Management, rather to be considered as a theory or normative model, should be approached from the perspective of meta-narrative, based on classic myths, such as the myth of the Manichaean battle between Good (public sector reformers) and Evil (old-fashioned bureaucrats), and the myth of Salvation of Israelites (managers as public sector saviours). The arguments are illustrated with cases of propaganda rhetoric in the Lithuanian public sector: the construction of the nuclear power plant station and the development of knowledge economy. Finally, the article concludes that the rhetoric of public management reforms seeks to direct public opinion and aims to suggest "the agenda of our concern".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-409
Number of pages11
JournalAnalele Stiintifice ale Universitatii Al I Cuza din Iasi - Sectiunea Stiinte Economice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • Managerial rhetoric
  • Myths
  • Narratives
  • New Public Management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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