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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2022

Vibeke Thøis Madsen

This article explores how employees in a public sector organization (PSO) make sense of the introduction of a social intranet and new employee communication roles. The aim…

Abstract

Purpose

This article explores how employees in a public sector organization (PSO) make sense of the introduction of a social intranet and new employee communication roles. The aim is to understand employee sensemaking and how sensemaking influences the change process within the organization.

Design/methodology/approach

The article is based on a case study in a Danish PSO with 30,000 employees. The empirical material includes strategic documents, online observations and seven focus groups with employees conducted before, during and after the introduction of a new social intranet.

Findings

The employees found that making sense of the purpose with the social intranet is difficult. A managerial approach to change communication could easily result in employees' frustrations and concerns being dismissed as signs of resistance to change. From a communication perspective, the findings reveal that the employees engaged in seven different sensemaking enactments.

Research limitations/implications

Change cannot be understood simply as something that employees are for or against. Instead, a change process should be perceived as a set of communication processes or sensemaking enactments happening in interactions between employees that can act in favor of, against or neutrally toward change.

Practical implications

Managers and communication professionals can interact with the seven sensemaking enactments, and some tentative initiatives are suggested in the article.

Originality/value

The article explores the employee perspective in a change process in a PSO and identifies seven employee sensemaking enactments highlighting that change happens in communication processes.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 October 2022

Nhung Thi Hong Hoang

The purpose of this paper is to study how people use competing accounting numbers to make sense of and legitimize actions in a complex environment in times of crisis.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study how people use competing accounting numbers to make sense of and legitimize actions in a complex environment in times of crisis.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyzes the implementation of a standardized budget model at a USA intergovernmental organization, by relying on a triangulation of data sources, including face-to-face interviews, direct observations, and archival documents. The organization faces one of the greatest crises it has ever experienced. An accounting team and a human resources team make sense differently the same reality–staffing. The sensemaking perspective framework is utilized to provide a theoretical structure for the analysis.

Findings

The understudied organization undergoes constant evolution during the budgetary crisis; data reveal different forms of cues, which activate the sensemaking process, such as fading and compressed cues. Although compressed cues subsequently emerge, they play a more crucial role in managers' enactment than pre-existing fading cues. Artificializing accounting numbers refer to the social process of constructing compressed cues or artificial artifacts that are neither wrong nor right, neither soft nor hard and not useful for peoples' sensemaking but used to legitimize managers' strategic decisions.

Practical implications

This artificializing process explains the people's resistance to policy implementation. Furthermore, the multiplicity of cues provides useful information for regulators and managers to understand uncertainty during a crisis.

Originality/value

This study presents a rare case of an international third sector organization amid a budgetary crisis. Among few studies referring to numbers as sensemaking resources, this study focuses on the importance of systematic power and corporate power relative to the process of sensemaking.

Details

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

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 31 July 2013

Rebecca R. Kitzmiller, Reuben R. McDaniel, Constance M. Johnson, E. Allan Lind and Ruth A. Anderson

We examine how interpersonal behavior and social interaction influence team sensemaking and subsequent team actions during a hospital-based health information technology…

Abstract

Purpose

We examine how interpersonal behavior and social interaction influence team sensemaking and subsequent team actions during a hospital-based health information technology (HIT) implementation project.

Design/methodology/approach

Over the course of 18 months, we directly observed the interpersonal interactions of HIT implementation teams using a sensemaking lens.

Findings

We identified three voice-promoting strategies enacted by team leaders that fostered team member voice and sensemaking; communicating a vision; connecting goals to team member values; and seeking team member input. However, infrequent leader expressions of anger quickly undermined team sensemaking, halting dialog essential to problem solving. By seeking team member opinions, team leaders overcame the negative effects of anger.

Practical implications

Leaders must enact voice-promoting behaviors and use them throughout a team’s engagement. Further, training teams in how to use conflict to achieve greater innovation may improve sensemaking essential to project risk mitigation.

Social implications

Health care work processes are complex; teams involved in implementing improvements must be prepared to deal with conflicting, contentious issues, which will arise during change. Therefore, team conflict training may be essential to sustaining sensemaking.

Research implications

Future research should seek to identify team interactions that foster sensemaking, especially when topics are difficult or unwelcome, then determine the association between staff sensemaking and the impact on HIT implementation outcomes.

Value/originality

We are among the first to focus on project teams tasked with HIT implementation. This research extends our understanding of how leaders’ behaviors might facilitate or impeded speaking up among project teams in health care settings.

Details

Leading in Health Care Organizations: Improving Safety, Satisfaction and Financial Performance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-633-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 4 October 2012

Marc A. Flitter, Kelly Rouse Riesenmy and Daved van Stralen

Purpose – To offer a theoretical explanation for observed physician resistance and rejection of high reliability patient safety initiatives.Design/methodology/approach – A…

Abstract

Purpose – To offer a theoretical explanation for observed physician resistance and rejection of high reliability patient safety initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach – A grounded theoretical qualitative approach, utilizing the organizational theory of sensemaking, provided the foundation for inductive and deductive reasoning employed to analyze medical staff rejection of two successfully performing high reliability programs at separate hospitals.

Findings – Physician behaviors resistant to patient-centric high reliability processes were traced to provider-centric physician sensemaking.

Research limitations/implications – Research, conducted with the advantage that prospective studies have over the limitations of this retrospective investigation, is needed to evaluate the potential for overcoming physician resistance to innovation implementation, employing strategies based upon these findings and sensemaking theory in general.

Practical implications – If hospitals are to emulate high reliability industries that do successfully manage environments of extreme hazard, physicians must be fully integrated into the complex teams required to accomplish this goal.

Social implications – Reforming health care, through high reliability organizing, with its attendant continuous focus on patient-centric processes, offers a distinct alternative to efforts directed primarily at reforming health care insurance. It is by changing how health care is provided that true cost efficiencies can be achieved. Technology and the insights of organizational science present the opportunity of replacing the current emphasis on privileged information with collective tools capable of providing quality and safety in health care.

Originality/value – The fictions that have sustained a provider-centric health care system have been challenged. The benefits of patient-centric care should be obtainable.

Details

Annual Review of Health Care Management: Strategy and Policy Perspectives on Reforming Health Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-191-5

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 10 June 2015

Alexandra E. MacDougall, Zhanna Bagdasarov, James F. Johnson and Michael D. Mumford

Business ethics provide a potent source of competitive advantage, placing increasing pressure on organizations to create and maintain an ethical workforce. Nonetheless…

Abstract

Business ethics provide a potent source of competitive advantage, placing increasing pressure on organizations to create and maintain an ethical workforce. Nonetheless, ethical breaches continue to permeate corporate life, suggesting that there is something missing from how we conceptualize and institutionalize organizational ethics. The current effort seeks to fill this void in two ways. First, we introduce an extended ethical framework premised on sensemaking in organizations. Within this framework, we suggest that multiple individual, organizational, and societal factors may differentially influence the ethical sensemaking process. Second, we contend that human resource management plays a central role in sustaining workplace ethics and explore the strategies through which human resource personnel can work to foster an ethical culture and spearhead ethics initiatives. Future research directions applicable to scholars in both the ethics and human resources domains are provided.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-016-6

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 20 July 2005

Tara Lynn Fulton

Marion has just taken on the directorship of a joint university/public library. You, as her protégé, are interested in observing how she approaches the new venture. You…

Abstract

Marion has just taken on the directorship of a joint university/public library. You, as her protégé, are interested in observing how she approaches the new venture. You are curious about what information she will gather, whose advice she will seek, how she will figure out the expectations others have of her and the library, how she will prioritize the many challenges before her, and how she will negotiate her leadership role with the staff. In other words, you want to study Marion's organizational sensemaking.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-338-9

Book part
Publication date: 25 November 2019

Yanfei Hu and Claus Rerup

This study examines how highly disruptive issues cause profound dissonance in societal members that are cognitively and emotionally invested in existing institutions. The…

Abstract

This study examines how highly disruptive issues cause profound dissonance in societal members that are cognitively and emotionally invested in existing institutions. The authors use PETA’s (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) entrepreneurial advocacy for animal rights to show how this highly disruptive issue interrupted and violated taken-for-granted interpretations of institutions and institutional life. The authors compare 30 YouTube videos of PETA’s advocacy to explore pathways to effective sensegiving and sensemaking of highly disruptive issues. The findings augment the analytical synergy that exists between sensemaking and institutional analysis by unpacking the micro-level dynamics that may facilitate transformational institutional change.

Details

Microfoundations of Institutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-123-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 27 June 2015

Luca Solari, David Coghlan and Abraham B. (Rami) Shani

Sensemaking is an integral element of human cognition. It is the activity whereby we find answers to questions that arise from experience. It is at the core of…

Abstract

Sensemaking is an integral element of human cognition. It is the activity whereby we find answers to questions that arise from experience. It is at the core of collaborative management research as researchers and practitioners work together to build a shared understanding of organizational phenomena and take action based on that understanding, thereby generating actionable knowledge. However, mutual understanding is a complex process which requires a great deal of effort by both researchers and practitioners. While research has described in great detail the consequences of collaborative research endeavors, the challenge of creating a shared sensemaking conducive to these results has been left partially explored. The chapter examines the nature of sensemaking in collaborative management research. A comprehensive framework is proposed and then utilized to examine a collaborative management research effort carried out with an Italian social cooperative.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-018-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 6 April 2021

Fatih Pinarbasi and Ibrahim Kircova

Today’s business environment has the nature that challenges the decision-making processes of businesses with its many different factors including technological…

Abstract

Today’s business environment has the nature that challenges the decision-making processes of businesses with its many different factors including technological developments and changing consumer structures. Previous research focused on specific contexts of the business environment regarding marketing and innovation issues, however, an integrative approach can be helpful for understanding and taking actions. This study aims to present a comprehensive framework which employs sensemaking from management literature as an approach to evaluate the market environment. Following a conceptual approach for the methodology, a framework consisting of three stages: discovery, sensemaking, and prediction is included in the study. Proposed framework identifies the stages for the sensemaking of consumers and can guide marketing decision-makers for competitiveness in the digital world.

Details

Strategic Outlook in Business and Finance Innovation: Multidimensional Policies for Emerging Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-445-5

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 July 2022

Jori Pascal Kalkman and Eric-Hans Kramer

Emergency organizations allocate specific tasks to responders in an attempt to resolve increasingly complex incidents. Many studies take a pragmatic perspective by…

Abstract

Purpose

Emergency organizations allocate specific tasks to responders in an attempt to resolve increasingly complex incidents. Many studies take a pragmatic perspective by studying how emergency organizations can more effectively compartmentalize response tasks. Yet, the effects of compartmentalization on responders' sensemaking of moral issues (i.e. moral sensemaking) has received almost no attention.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on existing research, the authors bring together different insights on the relation between compartmentalization and emergency responders’ sensemaking of moral issues.

Findings

The authors demonstrate that emergency organizations may undermine the moral sensemaking of responders through introducing moral blind spots and moral dissociation or, instead, enable moral sensemaking through enhancing moral agency and awareness. The authors argue that emergency organizations need to induce moral sense-discrediting among responders to enhance their moral sensemaking. Finally, the authors conclude with discussing two types of compartmentalizing tasks, functional concentration and the holographic metaphor, to show that the latter is most likely to enhance moral sensemaking among emergency responders.

Originality/value

This study introduces moral sensemaking to the emergency management literature and investigates how organizational design influences it.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

Keywords

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