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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2021

Bhavesh Sarna, Tiina Onkila and Marileena Mäkelä

Although emotional tensions related to organizational sustainability have been identified, little is known about how employees aim to resolve such situations. This study…

Abstract

Purpose

Although emotional tensions related to organizational sustainability have been identified, little is known about how employees aim to resolve such situations. This study aims to explore how employees use sensemaking to resolve emotionally tense situations concerning organizational sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors studied a case in which, while employees attached positive emotions to organizational sustainability, external stakeholders viewed it negatively. Specifically, the study analyzed how employees used sensemaking to resolve such tense experiences and how this sensemaking eventually influenced their actions. To this end, the authors interviewed 25 employees at an energy company who had experience participating in its sustainability work.

Findings

The analysis revealed three sensemaking mechanisms for resolving emotional tensions related to organizational sustainability caused by discrepancies between external reputation and internal personal experience: rational sensemaking, experiential sensemaking and identity work. The complexity of sensemaking was reflected in the mixed-use of these three mechanisms, as employees constantly moved from one to another.

Originality/value

This study demonstrates employees’ tendency to defend their positive emotions about their organization’s sustainability in tense situations. It further provides insights into related sensemaking processes and shows how they can result in different levels of action.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Article
Publication date: 11 August 2021

Michael Thomas Hayden, Ruth Mattimoe and Lisa Jack

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of the financial decision-making process of farmers and to highlight the potential role that improved…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of the financial decision-making process of farmers and to highlight the potential role that improved farm financial management (FFM) could play in developing sustainable farm enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts a qualitative approach with 27 semi-structured interviews exploring farmers’ financial decision-making processes. Subsequently, the interview findings were presented to a focus group. Sensemaking theory is adopted as a theoretical lens to develop the empirical findings.

Findings

The evidence highlights that FFM has a dual role to play in farmer decision-making. Some FFM activities may act as a cue, which triggers a sensebreaking activity, causing the farmer to enter a process of sensemaking whilst some/other FFM activities are drawn upon to provide a sensegiving role in the sensemaking process. The role of FFM in farmer decision-making is strongly influenced by the decision type (strategic or operational) being undertaken and the farm type (dairy, tillage or beef) in operation.

Originality/value

The literature suggests that the majority of farmers spend little time on financial management. However, there are farmers who have quite a high level of engagement in FFM activities, when undertaking strategic farm expansion decisions. Those FFM activities help them to navigate through operational decision-making and to make sense of their strategic decision-making.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2021

Bronte van der Hoorn and Catherine P. Killen

To prepare project managers for the human aspects of project work using a new classroom-based approach to foster abilities in collective sensemaking.

Abstract

Purpose

To prepare project managers for the human aspects of project work using a new classroom-based approach to foster abilities in collective sensemaking.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors developed an approach for fostering collective sensemaking abilities through three class sessions inspired by Merrill's First Principles of Instruction. The authors implemented the sessions in two cohorts of students, with a total of 57 participants, and evaluated its impact through a series of surveys.

Findings

Findings demonstrated how each component of the educational approach contributed to an increase in students' sensemaking understanding and ability. Through explanation, demonstration and application components, students reported increasing levels of confidence in their ability to facilitate collective sensemaking in practice.

Research limitations/implications

The authors’ findings are based on a sample of 57 students in one university setting. Further studies are required to evaluate the educational approach; such studies could use larger numbers of students or other education settings. Triangulating students' reported understanding and abilities would increase confidence in the effectiveness of this approach.

Practical implications

By explaining the authors’ approach to sensemaking education and providing initial evidence of its success, they provide educators with an example of how to foster collective sensemaking through classroom-based project management education. The approach has potential for teaching other interpersonal skills.

Originality/value

This research provides a novel classroom-based approach to foster sensemaking awareness and skills, and for dispersing contemporary project management thinking and tools to practitioners.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 14 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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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

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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

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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

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