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Fiche de cours

Argumentation Skills for Financial Communication (Analyse des discours et de la communication publics)

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

Responsable(s): Marcel Burger
Intervenant(s): -

Période de validité: 2010 -> 2010

Pas d'horaire défini.


Semestre de printemps

Langue(s) d'enseignement: anglais, français
Public: Non
Crédits: 0


Argumentation is a form of reasoning through which people aim at making reasonable decisions starting from available information.


Argumentation is a form of reasoning through which people aim at making reasonable decisions starting from available information. The course considers various financial contexts and practices in which argumentation plays a crucial role: media announcements, communications to shareholders, design and negotiation of financial products, financial decision-making, product and institutional advertising.
The course proposes a method for constructing, analyzing and evaluating arguments in support of a given standpoint elaborated in the context of a financial activity. Different cases are examined in detail with students, ranging from the construction of argumentative interventions, to the analysis of financial advertising, media announcements, and of the argumentative structure of financial products and practices. Several instruments are introduced in support of the analysis and production of argumentative interventions: the synopsis of issues and standpoints in a discussion, the argumentarium (a systematic set of cause-related arguments), the classical model for constructing argumentative texts and the topical model for eliciting, in the structure of arguments, both the inferential and the culture-bound components. The financial interactions considered include cases of mergers and acquisitions, proxy contests, invitations to bid by public institutions, banking advertising.
Particular attention is devoted to the quality of financial argumentation, by distinguishing between sound argumentative processes and manipulation; the analysis of some exemplar cases of financial scandals (like LTCM, 4you and Enron) are largely based on fallacious argumentative moves.
A relevant part of the course considers argumentation in relation to the current global crisis and to the loss of trust derived from it. How troubled companies argue in order to restore their trustworthiness in front of their different stakeholders? The course addresses this issue by focusing on the discourses published by companies, evaluating them not only according to their logical consistency but also in their relational dimension, in which the reputation and the identity of the companies one the one hand, and the sentiments and expectations of the stakeholders on the other hand, are involved.
The course aims at enhancing students´ familiarity with argumentative practices in the financial context. Students will develop their argumentative skills at the level of production of argumentative oral and written interventions as well as at the level of analysis and evaluation of financial messages.
Teaching is based on a blended learning modality, including on-campus and distance learning. The application used for distance-learning is the course designed for the Swiss Virtual Campus project Argumentum (www. argumentum.ch).


M. Dascal, F.H. van Eemeren, E. Rigotti, S. Stati and A. Rocci, (2005, eds), Argumentation in Dialogic Interaction. Special issue of Studies in Communication Sciences.
R. Palmieri (2008). Reconstructing Argumentative Interactions in MÄ offers. Studies in Communication Sciences 8/2: 279-302.
E. Rigotti and S. Greco, Introducing argumentation, argumentum eLearning Module, 2005. www.argumentum.ch.
E. Rigotti, et al., Argumentation for financial communication, argumentum eLearning Module, 2007. www.argumentum.ch.
E. Rigotti, "Towards a typology of manipulative processes", in L. de Saussure, and P. Schulz (2005, eds.), New Perspectives on Manipulation and Ideologies: Theoretical Aspects, John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 2005.
E. Rigotti and R. Palmieri (2008). Argumentative Interactions in Corporate Deliberation at the General Meeting of Shareholders: The case of Carl Icahn and Motorola. Paper presented at the VIII Amsterdam-Lugano Colloquium on Argumentation Theory. Lugano: USI, 28-29 November 2008.
E. Rigotti, A. Rocci, S. Greco, S. Tardini and A. Petruzzella, Argumentieren in der Bank/Argumenter dans la banque, Credit Suisse Advanced Corporate Managers´ Program, Cadro, Working Paper of ILS, n. 2, 2003.
F.H. van Eemeren and R. Grootendorst: "A Pragma-dialectical procedure for a critical discussion", Argumentation 17: 365-86, 2003.
D. Walton and C. Krabbe, Commitment in dialogue: basic concepts of interpersonal reasoning, Albany: State University of N.Y. Press, 1995.
More references can be found in Argumentum.

Informations supplémentaires


Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15