We’re excited to announce the winner of the 2014 Best Paper Award from Organization and Environment! Andrew Hoffman of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor received this prestigious award at this year’s Academy of Management 2014 Annual Meeting for his paper “Talking past each other? Cultural framing of skeptical and convinced logics in the climate change debate.” The paper, which first appeared in Organization and Environment in March 2011, looks at the logic and arguments of the two main groups in the climate change debate and analyzes why the groups have been unable to meet eye to eye. In celebration of the award, this paper can be read for free for the next 30 days!
This article analyzes the extent to which two institutional logics around climate change—the climate change “convinced” and the climate change “skeptical” logics—are truly competing or talking past each other in a way that can be described as a logic schism. Drawing on the concept of framing from social movement theory, it uses qualitative field observations from the largest climate deniers conference in the United States and a data set of almost 800 op-eds from major news outlets over a 2-year period to examine how convinced and skeptical arguments of opposing logics employ frames and issue categories to make arguments about climate change. This article finds that the two logics are engaging in different debates on similar issues with the former focusing on solutions while the latter debates the definition of the problem. It concludes that the debate appears to be reaching a level of polarization where one might begin to question whether meaningful dialogue and problem solving has become unavailable to participants. The implications of such a logic schism is a shift from an integrative debate focused on addressing interests, to a distributive battle over concessionary agreements with each side pursuing its goals by demonizing the other. Avoiding such an outcome requires the activation of, as yet, dormant “broker” categories (technology, religion, and national security), the redefinition of existing ones (science, economics, risk, ideology), and the engagement of effective “climate brokers” to deliver them.
“Talking past each other? Cultural framing of skeptical and convinced logics in the climate change debate” can be read for free from Organization and Environment by clicking here. Make sure to sign up for e-alerts by clicking here and get all the latest news from Organization and Environment delivered right to your inbox!