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Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2022

Arne Kroeger, Nicole Siebold, Franziska Günzel-Jensen, Fouad Philippe Saade and Jukka-Pekka Heikkilä

In this paper, we contribute to the understanding of how entrepreneurs can deploy their values to enable joint action of heterogeneous stakeholders. Such an understanding

Abstract

In this paper, we contribute to the understanding of how entrepreneurs can deploy their values to enable joint action of heterogeneous stakeholders. Such an understanding forms a critical endeavor to tackle grand challenges adequately. Building on sensegiving research, we conducted a single-case study of an entrepreneurial initiative that tackles gender inequality in Lebanon which has been successful in mobilizing heterogeneous stakeholders who ordinarily would not collaborate with each other. We find that the values of the founders were pivotal for the initiative’s success as those values activated latent values of stakeholders through processes of contextualization and enactment. We subsume these processes under the label value-driven sensegiving. As a result of value-driven sensegiving, heterogeneous stakeholders could make sense of the founders’ aspirational vision and the role they could play in it, which paved ways for tackling grand challenges collaboratively. Our study provides insights into the centrality of values for mobilizing heterogeneous stakeholders across boundaries. Therefore, it contributes to the body of work on sensegiving, societal grand challenges, and new forms of organizing.

Article
Publication date: 23 March 2022

Rebecca Bolt and Helen Tregidga

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role and implications of storytelling and narrative as a means of making sense of, and giving sense to, the ambiguous concept…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role and implications of storytelling and narrative as a means of making sense of, and giving sense to, the ambiguous concept of materiality.

Design/methodology/approach

The use of stories was “discovered” through the authors' attempts to “make sense” of data from 16 interviews with participants from the financial and nonfinancial reporting and assurance contexts. The authors analyse the participants' use of stories through a sensemaking/sensegiving lens.

Findings

While participants struggle to define what materiality is, they are able to tell “stories” about materiality in action. The authors find stories are a key vehicle through which participants make sense of and give sense to materiality, for themselves and (an)other. Participants tell three types of stories in sensemaking/sensegiving processes: the lived, the adopted and the hypothetical. The authors further identify “rehearsed” and “ongoing” narratives, which take any of the three story types. The use of stories to make and give sense to materiality reveals a disconnect between the static, technical definitions of materiality currently favoured by standard setters and guidance providers, and the creative authoring processes the participants employ.

Practical implications

The authors argue for a move towards the use of stories and narratives about materiality in standard setting, specifically “materiality in action”, which the findings suggest may assist in creating shared understandings of the ambiguous concept.

Originality/value

While previous research considers what materiality means within financial and nonfinancial reporting and assurance contexts, the authors empirically analyse how people understand and make sense/give sense to materiality. The authors also contribute to the use of sensemaking/sensegiving processes within the accounting literature.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 February 2012

Timo Vuori and Jouni Virtaharju

This paper aims to increase understanding of how emotional arousal could be used to enhance the adoption of new beliefs during a sensegiving episode.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to increase understanding of how emotional arousal could be used to enhance the adoption of new beliefs during a sensegiving episode.

Design/methodology/approach

Case study about the sensegiving tactics of a successful corporate coach and the reactions of 102 sense‐receivers. Data consist of 39 interviews, 95 hours of observation, a longitudinal survey, and informal discussions.

Findings

Two elements are recognized in sensegiving, which are: increasing sense‐receivers' level of emotional arousal; and cognitively associating that arousal with desired definitions of organizational reality. While the cognitive component determines the beliefs individuals come to hold, the emotional component influences how intensively they will hold these beliefs. Emotional arousal can be amplified in ways that are loosely coupled with the cognitive dimension of sensegiving.

Research limitations/implications

The level of emotional arousal is assessed qualitatively through observations, interviews, and interpretation of open‐ended survey responses. Future research should use more objective measures for assessing the level of emotional arousal and replicate the findings of this study. In addition, future research should investigate different combinations of emotional and cognitive sensegiving that may lead to good results.

Practical implications

This study identifies a sensegiving approach that seems to work. Sensegivers can use these findings by first focusing on increasing sense‐receivers' emotional arousal and only then focusing on delivering their actual message.

Originality/value

Existing sensegiving studies have mainly focused on cognition and identity‐related dynamics and explanations. This study shows that emotional arousal is an alternative explanation for many of the previous findings.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Cathrine Filstad

The aim of this paper is to investigate how political activities and processes influence sensemaking and sensegiving among top management, middle management and employees…

2063

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to investigate how political activities and processes influence sensemaking and sensegiving among top management, middle management and employees and to examine its consequences for implementing new knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected in a Norwegian bank using in-depth interviews with middle managers and financial advisers. Observations of meetings, informal conversations and verbatim notes were also used in data collection among top managers. A practice-based approach was used as an analytical lens.

Findings

Top managers' political activities of excluding others from the decision process affect their sensemaking and resulted in sensegiving contradictions between spoken intent and how to change practice. Middle managers' political activities were to accept top managers' sensegiving instead of managing themselves in their own sensemaking to help financial advisers with how to change their role and practice. As a result, middle managers' sensemaking affects their engagement in sensegiving. For financial advisers, the political processes of top and middle managers resulted in resistance and not making sense of how to change and implement new knowledge.

Research limitations/implications

A total of 30 in-depth interviews, observations of five meetings and informal conversations might call for further studies. In addition, a Norwegian study does not account for other countries' cultural differences concerning leadership style, openness in decisions and employee autonomy.

Originality/value

To the author's knowledge, no studies identify the three-way conceptual relationship between political activities, sensemaking and sensegiving. In addition, the author believes that the originality lies in investigating these relationships using a three-level hierarchy of top management, middle management and employees.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 July 2022

Parijat Lanke, Abhishek Totawar, J. Raghuraman and Palanisamy Saravanan

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are common in today's corporate world, yet nearly half of them fail. Among such failed M&As, hostile takeovers cover a large proportion…

Abstract

Purpose

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are common in today's corporate world, yet nearly half of them fail. Among such failed M&As, hostile takeovers cover a large proportion. The purpose of this paper is to understand the puzzling evidence of a successful hostile takeover amid multiple red flags, including cultural clash. Towards that end, this study explores the case of a recent successful takeover of Mindtree Ltd. by Larsen and Toubro Ltd. and proposes the role of sensemaking and sensegiving and their interaction within the framework of context, employees and leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a secondary data-based case methodology to develop arguments and frameworks. The case study is built on multiple data sources, including newspaper articles, published reports, company data and company reports. This paper also uses public interviews given by the company heads during the process of the takeover. This paper also uses the Corley and Gioia method of qualitative data analysis using thematic coding.

Findings

This paper reports a framework based on a real-world case study. This paper explains that a successful alignment of sensemaking and sensegiving between the acquired firm's employees and new leadership could be an ingredient in managing a hostile takeover. The analysis also revealed eight aggregate dimensions of the data structure based on thematic coding analysis.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed model can be further tested using empirical methods. This paper is limited in its access and analysis of only secondary data.

Practical implications

This paper provides novel implications in terms of sensemaking and sensegiving interaction for managers and executives.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to bring the role of sensemaking and sensegiving into the context of hostile takeovers. This paper would provide a new impetus from an interpretive perspective to research hostile takeovers and give novel insights for managers and executives.

Details

Journal of Indian Business Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4195

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2016

Karl S.J. Anderson and Robert J. Galavan

For organizational leaders, managing strategic change is a primary management activity (By, 2005). Reflecting its significance as a management function, there is now a…

Abstract

For organizational leaders, managing strategic change is a primary management activity (By, 2005). Reflecting its significance as a management function, there is now a substantial body of literature and many dynamic models and “recipes” advising managers how to lead and implement strategic change. These models present an ordered macro approach to what, in reality, is a highly complex, recursive, and messy process. In this chapter we eschew these neatly packaged change management processes and explore the micro level arguments of leaders as they grapple with the uncertainty of strategic change and seek to give primacy to their sense of the change and related issues. Based on the findings of our extensive micro level study, we present a theoretical model which explains the mechanisms that underpin this important activity.

Details

Uncertainty and Strategic Decision Making
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-170-8

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 April 2021

Morteza Namvar, Ali Intezari and Ghiyoung Im

Business analytics (BA) has been a breakthrough technological development in recent years. Although scholars have suggested several solutions in using these technologies…

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Abstract

Purpose

Business analytics (BA) has been a breakthrough technological development in recent years. Although scholars have suggested several solutions in using these technologies to facilitate decision-making, there are as of yet limited studies on how analysts, in practice, improve decision makers' understanding of business environments. This study uses sensemaking theory and proposes a model of how data analysts generate analytical outcomes to improve decision makers' understanding of the business environment.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employs an interpretive field study with thematic analysis. The authors conducted 32 interviews with data analysts and consultants in Australia and New Zealand. The authors then applied thematic analysis to the collected data.

Findings

The thematic analysis discovered four main sensegiving activities, including data integration, trustworthiness analysis, appropriateness analysis and alternative selection. The proposed model demonstrates how these activities support the properties of sensemaking and result in improved decision-making.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides strong empirical evidence for the theory development and practice of sensemaking. It brings together two distinct fields – sensemaking and business analytics – and demonstrates how the approaches advocated by these two fields could improve analytics applications. The findings also propose theoretical implications for information system development (ISD).

Practical implications

This study demonstrates how data analysts could use analytical tools and social mechanisms to improve decision makers' understanding of the business environment.

Originality/value

This study is the first known empirical study to conceptualize the theory of sensemaking in the context of BA and propose a model for analytical sensegiving in organizations.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Manuel Hensmans

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how executives can rapidly gain employee acceptance for strategic change through reciprocal sensegiving. The author draw on a…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how executives can rapidly gain employee acceptance for strategic change through reciprocal sensegiving. The author draw on a processual case study of a transformational European merger to study this question, highlighting the properties of reciprocity in making sense of urgent strategic change, then developing them through the lens of a gift exchange.

Design/methodology/approach

The author draws on several qualitative methods to study sensegiving and sensemaking processes in Alpha and Beta from 2011 to 2014: insider-outsider team meetings at the beginning, mid-way and at the end of the merger integration process, ethnographic field notes during a four-month research internship, one focus group meeting with Alpha and Beta managers after the announcement of the redistribution of managerial positions, interviews with a carefully selected sample of top and middle managers, participant observation in key sensegiving meetings with top managers and “custodians,” triangulation with secondary data from the database Factiva, and finally follow-up insider corroboration of the findings by the research intern who took up a management position at Alpha in 2014.

Findings

Likening executive and employee sensegiving to a gift-giving and gift-returning exchange, the author elucidates how executives induce employees to quickly “give in” to strategic change imperatives. the author single out the key third party role of custodians of reciprocity in the mechanism, using the metaphor of the Trojan horse to illustrate its executive use and point to the underexplored darker side of prosocial sensegiving dynamics.

Research limitations/implications

Further research should clarify the long-term advantages and disadvantages of the mechanism. The Trojan horse mechanism possibly sacrifices long-term reciprocity for short-term purposes. Following the example of executives in this case study, use of the Trojan horse mechanism should be followed by attention to socio-political balance concerns, including new procedures that clarify the link between value creation aims and employees’ collective contribution. Without such a cohesion-building exercise, employees’ feelings of procedural injustice may build up, resulting in negative reciprocity in subsequent change projects.

Practical implications

The work indicates that a leader’s visionary credentials are not the main source of her norm-shaping power in a project of urgent strategic change. Visionary credentials are welcomed by the dominant group of employees as long as they are framed as a symbolic management exercise that will not substantially impact socio-political balance. Substantively, employees make sense of the justice of urgent strategic change primarily through the lens of custodians and their “power from the past.”

Social implications

All in all, executives should use the Trojan horse mechanism sparingly, in contexts of urgent strategic change and institutionalized employee behavior. Working with sources and voices of resistance from lower levels of management is more likely to yield symbiotic integration benefits.

Originality/value

Applied to the problem of rapid strategic change in a non-crisis context, the Trojan horse mechanism is a solution to the question: how can executives avoid lengthy socio-political confrontations and quickly induce employee ownership of painful strategic changes?

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 June 2009

Bino Catasús, Maria Mårtensson and Matti Skoog

The purpose of the paper is to reflect on how sensegiving cues are encapsulated in models of reporting for human resources. This has been by investigating elements…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to reflect on how sensegiving cues are encapsulated in models of reporting for human resources. This has been by investigating elements, arguments and formats of the models.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper focuses on the three discourses of human resource reporting that Jan‐Erik Gröjer is a part of. This paper is an appreciation of the importance of Jan‐Erik's work in the field of human resource communication as well as an illustration of how ideas and models changes over time.

Findings

The paper concludes that: there is no coherent idea of how sensegiving should be made in order to affect the sensemaking processes of human resources, the models emanate from different forms of critiques and the sensegiving cues change accordingly, and accounting for human resources has an ethical dimension.

Practical implications

The choice of model for reporting on human resources affects not only the content of the human resource report (the what and how question), but also affected by which arguments are considered as most efficient in the sensegiving process..

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the understanding of how sensemaking is dependent on which sensegiving cues bring forward in the accounts of human accounts.

Details

Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1401-338X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Frank Louis Kwaku Ohemeng, Emelia Amoako Asiedu and Theresa Obuobisa-Darko

Change in public organisations has become inevitable in modern times. Yet, implementing change continues to be problematic, especially the attempt to introduce performance…

Abstract

Purpose

Change in public organisations has become inevitable in modern times. Yet, implementing change continues to be problematic, especially the attempt to introduce performance management (PM) in the sector. The purpose of this paper is to examine how HR managers are using sensegiving processes to attempt to institutionalise PM in public organisations in Ghana PM in public organisations in Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilises the mixed methods approach to examine the process of sensegiving. In using this method, the authors used focus group, as well as individual interview techniques and a quantitative survey of some selected organisations in the public sector.

Findings

The results of the study show that, four main activities, i.e. workshops, seminars and training, one-on-one communication, and unit meetings are employed in the process. The analysis indicates that these activities have become quite effective in the quest to change perceptions about PM in the sector.

Research limitations/implications

The research was limited to a few organisations. Hence, it will be necessary to expand it, if possible to the entire public sector to see if the same results will be obtained.

Practical implications

It shows that reformers must be cognisant of the views of employees in developing and implementing reforms that focus on changing both individual orientations and organisational and culture.

Originality/value

This is the first time such a study has been done in Ghana. Furthermore, studies on PM institutionalisation and implementation have either been qualitative or quantitative in nature. Studies using the mixed methods approach are rare, with those we know coming mostly from the Western World. Thus, this paper is one of the few to examine this issue using the mixed methods approach and more so from a developing country’s perspective.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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