Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis
Acting Strategically Using Drama Theory / Edition 1

Acting Strategically Using Drama Theory / Edition 1

by James William BryantJames William Bryant


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In today’s confrontational and connected world, communication is the key strategic act. This book uses drama theory—a radical extension of game theory—to show how best to communicate so as to manage the emotionally charged confrontations occurring in any worthwhile relationship. Alongside a toolset that provides a systematic framework for analysing conflicts, drama theory explains why people need to listen to, and rely on, their feelings to help shake themselves out of fixed, unproductive positions and to find new ways of solving tough problems.

This guide provides a sufficient grounding in the approach to enable you to apply it immediately for your own benefit and for the benefit of those with whom you work. A host of inspirational examples are included based upon actual situations in social and personal relations, business and organisational relations, defence and political management. These will give you an entirely fresh way of seeing how power is exercised in everyday interpersonal exchanges and a greater critical awareness of such factors as subtext and plotholes in public narratives. Using this approach you will be able to overcome the dilemmas of credibility and disbelief to build compelling messages that underpin your strategic intent. Moving beyond the vague platitudes of concepts like emotional intelligence, drama theory will also help you to avoid the pathologies that bedevil the process of managing conflicts and find ways of achieving authentic resolutions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781482245318
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 10/09/2015
Pages: 365
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements

Part I Motivation

    1. Introduction
    2. Interdependent Decisions


      Common Knowledge


      All the World’s a Stage

      Dramatic Structure

      The Dramatic Episode


    3. Strategic Interaction

Developing Strategic Competence

Game Theory

Representing Games




The Analysis of Options


Part II Confrontation Analysis

    1. ‘Soft’ Games
    2. Irrational Players

      Emotion in Conflict

      ‘Soft’ Games

      Soft Game Analysis

      Soft Game Process


    3. Drama Theory
    4. Enter Stage Left

      Communicated Common Knowledge

      Defining the Game

      Dilemma Analysis

      Dilemma Management

      The Emotional Process of Frame Transformation

      Mathematical Treatment

    5. Beyond the Text

Behind the Scenes

The Unexpressed



Plotholes and Storyline




Part III Application

    1. Political Management
    2. Corridors of Power

      Electoral Politics and Postures

      In the National Interest

      Speaking Peace between Nations

    3. Defence
    4. Eyeball to Eyeball

      Operations and Deployments

      International Defiance

    5. Business & Organizational Relations
    6. Human Relations

      Horizontal Conflict

      Inter-organizational Relationships

      Reaching and Maintaining Agreements

    7. Social & Personal Relations
    8. Between You and Me

      Life or Soap Opera?

      Conflict in Society

      Clash of Civilisations?

      Part IV Practice

    9. Strategic Action

Analytical Framework

Intervention Processes

Active Processes



Workbook: Step-by-Step with Drama Theory

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