This paper attempts to answer the research question, “how do senior executives in my organisation make sense of their professional life?” Having reviewed the sensemaking literature, in particular that of the pre‐eminent author in this field, Karl E. Weick, I adopt a phenomenological, interpretist orientation which relies on an ideographic, inductive generation of theory. I situate myself, both as researcher and chief executive of the organisation studied, in the narrative of sensemaking. Using semi‐structured interviews and a combination of grounded theory and template analysis to generate categories, seven themes of sensemaking are tentatively produced which are then compared with Weick's characteristics. The methodological approach is then reflected on, criticised and alternative methodologies are briefly considered. The conclusion reached is that the themes generated by the research may have relevance for sensemaking processes, but that the production of formal theory through social research is problematic.
Parry, J. (2003), "Making sense of executive sensemaking: A phenomenological case study with methodological criticism", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 240-263. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777260310494771Download as .RIS
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