A newcomer in this context is a person who has just joined an organization and is not yet familiar with the surroundings and the people around them. These kinds of people are often viewed differently by the other people already in that place, they are often faced with the challenge of how they will socialize and get to know their colleagues, the kind of experience they will need to advance and how they will finally settle-in, in their new environment. Rhetoric expertise as proposed by Beverly, J. (2002), comes in in a work place because convincing people that you are the best in the particular thing that you do will lead them to believe you are the best and thus gain position not because you really are the best.
Susan Katz, (1998), says that power is defined differently by the males who would rather take the traditional definition of authority invested in someone but the females define it as, ‘the capacity to produce change.’ The feminist focus on an intrapersonal definition of power; a more correct way of defining power without any confusion on the subject. Confusion in the definition of power could arise through discussions of influence, a word that has four uses in literature including, a subset of power, equivalent term to both power and authority, a function of authority and a word that contains all power, Bacharach and Lawler, (1980).
Rhetorical expertise in this excerpt shall be taken as the ‘awareness of the basic concerns of audience and purpose; successful strategies for invention. Representation of knowledge cannot be separated from the knowledge itself, but the rhetoricians, according to Beverly, do not separate their rhetorical practice from the technical expertise. Rhetorical expertise however produces knowledge and understanding to the transformation that comes with the new representations. The gaining of power for the rhetoric expert will come in different ways like the control of the resources at their disposal and the influence that comes with a personal relationship with someone at a powerful position. Power can however just come from the power possessed in an individual in terms of their ability to perform the different tasks assigned to them. Rhetorical expertise is never seen as power but the rhetoric skill of persuasion is the one that leads to the gain of power. The skills of rhetorical expertise help in avoidance of suffering as proposed by Jennifer Richards, (2008). An expert at a particular field can be said not to be completely enough, having rhetorical expertise can not only lead to the gain of more power, but also of recognition as illustrated by the example of Darlene in Katz excerpt. The opportunity to achieve the set goals through having everything done as it was suppose to can be said to be the gaining of power.
Rhetorical expertise can be associated with power with people containing the rhetorical skills at a greater chance of gaining power faster and easier with the use of their skills. Newcomers are faced with the challenge of proving themselves to their colleagues that they can handle the task ahead of them even when they are seen as inexperienced in their new work place. The only problem with rhetoricians is that they cannot distinguish the good from the bad; they are seen to only care about the gain of power because their happiness is dependent on it. Rhetorical expertise cannot exist in isolation; it is like a communal thing. It involves brainstorming with other individuals to get their points of view and incorporating them into your ideas to achieve a bigger and better idea. It involves the listening of the proposal of others in order to achieve the ideas that are already incorporated in the mind. Rhetorical expertise can therefore be said to be the use of others ideas gained through brainstorming, to get a higher convincing power in order to have more influence over the others and thus have more power.
It can be concluded that Katz research led to the explaining of how people in organizations view newcomers and also it proved that rhetorical expertise leads to the gain of power easily. It shows that possessing rhetoric expertise can work to one’s advantage.
Susan, M. Katz. (1998). The dynamics of writing reviews: opportunities for growth and change. United Kingdom: JAI press Ltd.
Jennifer, Richards. (2008). rhetoric. New York: Routledge publishers.
Beverly, J. Sauer. (2002). the rhetoric of risk: technical documentation in hazardous environments. New York: Routledge publishers.