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Sensemaking in Organizations

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  11 reviews
The teaching of organization theory and the conduct of organizational research have been dominated by a focus on decision-making and the concept of strategic rationality. However, the rational model ignores the inherent complexity and ambiguity of real-world organizations and their environments. In this landmark volume, Karl E Weick highlights how the `sensemaking' process ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published May 31st 1995 by Sage Publications, Inc (first published May 1st 1995)
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3.93  · 
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 ·  94 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Alan Valdez
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I borrowed this one from the library, but I will definetively want to have my own copy soon. As a note for myself, the more interesting passages are reproduced below:

The concept of sensemaking is well named because, literally, it means the making of sense. When people put stimuli intro frameworks, this enables them to comprehend, understand, extrapolate and predict. [And therefore, plan and act!]

Ring and Rands (1989) define sensemaking as "a process in which individuals develop cognitive m
Michael Burnam-Fink
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, academic
This is a strange, brilliant, infuriating book. Weick develops a theory of people and organizations as entities that make sense of their word through stories, and the kinds of dsyfunction that can happen when those stories no longer match reality. People only know what they're thinking once they say it, and honest and open communication is a key element of success.

I'll admit that as a social constructivist, this makes a lot of sense to me. I particularly like the way that Weick neatly skewers th
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it

Nice overview of sensemaking in organizations. The seven properties (pg. 61) and resources (p. 65) provide a good foundation for anyone interested in this topic.

Best quotes: "perception, by definition, can never be accurate" (p. 60); "organizations as entities are developed and maintained only through continuous communication activity. If the communication activity stops, the organization disappears. If the communication activity becomes confused, the organization begins to malfunct
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Probably the best business book I have ever read. His earlier work, The Socail Psychology of Organizing, was also excellent.
Mar 22, 2008 marked it as to-read
again, for future research/reference purposes.
Alexander Smith
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a post-positivist perspective, this is an excellent account of the process of how existing organizations contain interdependent actors' experience as a mechanism for making sense through puzzle solving. This is an excellent read for several reasons:
1. It provides ample literature and direction for anyone who wishes to use sensemaking in their own research,
2. It leans on the author's prior research, and others' to develop a nice synthesis in order to explain the prior interests of sensemaking
Jun 15, 2010 rated it did not like it
I had to read this book for a corporate communications class and even though my professor SWEARS BY IT, myself and my classmates found it utterly useless. It is meant for academics and not for their students, maybe it has some useful information in it but it needs to be translated for laypeople.
Vern Glaser
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
another really good book. very insightful, he basically turns the focus off of the decisions organizations make and moves it on to how organizations interpret signals from the environment. quite interesting if you think about management/leadership topics
Steen Sørensen
Exceptionel framwork for undestanding the processes in an organization or just when people en generel observe, interact and react
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's written as a primer on the subject of sensemaking. Weick gives an overview of sociologists', economists', and psychologists' forrays into sensemaking and how they relate.
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American organizational theorist who introduced the concepts of "loose coupling", "mindfulness", and "sensemaking" into organizational studies. He is the Rensis Likert Distinguished University Professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.