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Sense-Making

Patrice Buzzanell


Subject Communication Studies » Organizational Communication

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Extract

Sense-making is an intersubjective process of making meaning for individuals, groups, organizations, and societies. Weick's theorizing about organizing and sense-making ( 1979; 1995 ; 2006 ) has been particularly influential in considerations of sense-making and is oriented toward understanding how people identify and work through puzzling, plausible, or equivocal experiences and how organizing emerges through micro-level and collective communicative practices and improvisations. Weick (1995) characterizes sense-making as a process grounded in identity construction that is retrospective, enactive of environments, social, ongoing, and driven by plausibility rather than accuracy. Although much organizational communication research uses sense-making to depict individual meaning-making of work, identities, and complex situations, sense-making processes actually link micro- through macro-processes such that →  organizational culture , structure, and knowledge are made more resilient (→  Organizational Structure ; Knowledge Management ). Weick (1979) acknowledges the importance of communication in enacting, selecting, and retaining multiple →  meanings through the use of both rules (i.e., past insights, procedures, scripts, and routines) and cycles (i.e., development of possible novel actions and interpretations) that are validated consensually. Organizational members constantly ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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