Elena Gudova 1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Finding Sense in Organization Studies: Assumptions and Features of K. Weick’s Sensemaking Approach

2020, vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 283–304 [issue contents]

This article discusses some of the theoretical foundation of the sensemaking approach introduced by Karl Weick within the fields of organizational psychology and organizational theory. Weick, Sutcliffe, and Obstfeld wrote that “Sensemaking involves the ongoing retrospective development of plausible images that rationalize what people are doing” (2005: 409), or, in more general terms, making sense out of what is happening in order to reduce uncertainty and to act upon it. For this purpose, according to Weick, an individual deals with two questions: “What is going on? and, what should I do about it?” Answers to these questions and their following implications in the individual’s actions depend on the seven characteristics of the sensemaking: the individual’s identity, retrospective, enactment, social activity, ongoing [events and flux of experience], cues, and plausibility. Weick offers a “navigation of social space [of organization] with cultural maps in hand”, and draws inspiration from the analysis of jazz improvisation. His works, still lacking attention in Russia, offer an instrument for both crisis situations with dramatic “loss of sense” and quite common everyday events. Weick’s ideas were broadly developed within research on communication, identity, language, narratives, power, and other aspects of organizational activity. At the same time, sensemaking is believed to be one of the main theoretical inspirations for the processual approach in organization studies, which is focused on organizational becoming, or organizing.

Citation: Gudova E. (2020) Issledovanie smysla v organizatsiyakh: predposylki i elementy kontseptsii sensemaking K. Veyka [

Finding Sense in Organization Studies: Assumptions and Features of K. Weick’s Sensemaking Approach

]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 19, no 1, pp. 283-304 (in Russian)
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