Call for Papers-Feature Topic BPCQ-The Rhetoric of Sustainability-DEADLINE EXTENSION

Call for Papers:

Business Practices Feature Topic for  

Business and Professional Communication Quarterly

The Rhetoric of Sustainability

For-profit and nonprofit organizations, governments, and other institutions employ words, graphics, videos, and physical artifacts to persuade viewers and readers to adopt behaviors or accept ideas relevant to environmental sustainability practices.  There are many examples of this “rhetoric of sustainability”:

  • Internal corporate communications to employees concerning the organization’s commitment to environmental sustainability
  • Corporate public relations communications to media, activists, regulators, or shareholders regarding sustainability
  • Taglines encouraging environmentally friendly practices (e.g., “Green Living Promises Longer Life,” “Love Your Kids and Go Green”)
  • Written reminders, posted on walls and hallways, to conserve water and electricity and to recycle packaging materials
  • Electronic messages at ATM machines requesting customers to refrain from printing transaction records as an environmentally friendly act
  • Wall art, including large plantings of flowers and grasses, intended to persuade viewers that corporations support sustainability initiatives
  • Labels and graphics on recycling bins

As indicated by these examples, the rhetoric may serve multiple purposes and is occasionally ambiguous.  When, for instance, a hotel requests guests to consider carefully the need for daily clean towels or linens, is the hotel management seeking to preserve the environment or to reduce laundering costs?  Is the term “clean coal” a disingenuous claim that use of carbon-based fuels is, in fact, consistent with a sustainable environment?

Papers for this feature topic of BPCQ will analyze the structures and intent of these types of rhetorical claims.  Case studies, historical analyses, ethnographic treatments, rhetorical and discourse analyses, quantitative studies, or other appropriate research methodologies are acceptable.  Authors must clearly indicate the implications of their study for teaching communication in the workplace.  Please use APA (7th Edition) guidelines for citation and reference methodology.

Deadlines and procedures:
Length:  Approximately 15 – 25 pages (double spaced)
Deadline for BPCQ manuscript submission:  November 1, 2020


Please note the BPCQ manuscript submission procedure
All manuscripts for Feature Topics are processed through Manuscript Central:

  1. Go to   If you do not already have an account, you will need to create one (see the link on webpage).
  2. Then go to the Author Center to begin the submission process. You will be asked for "manuscript type," and select Feature Topic from the dropdown menu. There are a number of other steps to follow to complete the submission process, including the uploading of your file.
  3. You will receive a confirmation email once you have successfully submitted the manuscript.

If you have further questions concerning the Business Practices Committee, please contact the Committee Chair, Sam DeKay, at

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