Ethos as market maker: The creative role of technical marketing communication in an aviation start-up

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This study examines how a very light jet start-up, Eclipse Aviation, changed its ethos appeals in order to survive the loss of its principally declared innovation, a jet aircraft engine. Eclipse Aviation's corporate transformation from a spin-off company to a convergence-of-innovation company hinged on modifying an early marketing strategy. To overcome the loss of the jet engine, employees had to radically modify earlier expert representations and adopt rhetorical appeals that more closely parallel what Miller described as "cyborg discourse." To understand how Eclipse Aviation survived the typically fatal loss of a stated primary innovation and to explore the implications that this particular start-up's rupture has for technology transfer and technical marketing, this study centers its analysis on a Web site that marketers used to "ventilate" the company and prevent financial collapse. The transformation in the company's marketing strategy illustrates how cyborg ethos appeals aggregate and discipline distributed stakeholder roles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-453
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Business and Technical Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Aviation
  • Cyborg
  • Ethos
  • Innovation
  • Start-up
  • Technical marketing
  • Technology transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Communication
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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