Sensemaking in Organizations (Foundations for Organizational Science)

Sensemaking in Organizations (Foundations for Organizational Science)

Karl E. Weick

Language: English

Pages: 248

ISBN: 080397177X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The teaching of organization theory and the conduct of organizational research have been dominated by a focus on decision-making and the concept of strategic rationality. However, the rational model ignores the inherent complexity and ambiguity of real-world organizations and their environments. In this landmark volume, Karl E Weick highlights how the `sensemaking' process shapes organizational structure and behaviour. The process is seen as the creation of reality as an ongoing accomplishment that takes form when people make retrospective sense of the situations in which they find themselves.

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produced by new events that were not expected. others, including discrepancy, excess information, complexity, and turbulence, as well as uncertain extrapolation, are interruptions produced by erpected events that did not happen. It is not the mere fact of interruption that is crucial. Rather, it is the fact that interruptions, defined as "any event, external or internal to the individual, O ccasions for Sensemaking 101 that prevents completion of some action, thought sequences, plan, or

they embody generic images of action. If people focus on the articulation of cause maps, which capture their expertise, these symbolic products should increase the capability of subsequent generations, compared with other groups who neglect such articulation. All of this symbolic work should facilitate the more accurate reconstruction of practices and institutions made up of human action. Individuals, groups, and organizations that work hard at articulating their evanescent actions create a

the following comment "If I, or one of my students, want to learn about population ecology, diversification strategies, group dynamics, or personnel selection, we are pretty much limited to academic journal articles or books that are written either for content experts or practitioners. Wouldn t it be wonderful to have access to the teaching notes from a course taught by a master teacher of this topic?" The plans for compiling a set of learning materials focusing on professional development

more eglicit than Nemeth about precisely what it is in minority influence that produces thinking that is more divergent, less defensive, and more focused on the stimulus. They argue that minorities attract greater attention and elicit deeper cognitive processing because (a) Minorities are more distina, therefore they draw more attention, they are evaluated more extremely, and their message is remembered longer and more accurately. (b) Minorities have a lower a priori reilibilitybecause they are

concept of sensemaking is valuable because it highlights the invention that precedes interpretation. It is also valuable because it implies a higher level of engagement by the actor. Interpretation connotes an activity that is more detached and passive than the activityof sensemaking. Sensemaking matters. A failure in sensemaking is consequential as well as existentid.It throws into question the nature of self and the world. As Frost and Morgan (1983) suggest, when people make sense of things,

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