Browsing by Subject "sensemaking"

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  • Vaara, Eero; Tienari, Janne; Björkman, Ingmar (Nordic Organization Studies, 2012)
    We argue in this article that an ‘essentialist’ conception of knowledge has prevented both researchers and practitioners from understanding some of the fundamental reasons for the problems and disappointments often encountered in knowledge transfer processes in the context of mergers and acquisitions. As a step towards developing alternative approaches, we outline in this article a sensemaking perspective on the transfer of knowledge. We focus on a particularly revealing empirical case – the creation of the pan-Nordic financial services group called Nordea – to uncover sensemaking processes and patterns that are likely to characterize post-merger knowledge transfer. In our analysis, we identify four specific sensemaking processes around the transfer of ‘best practices’: identification, evaluation, (re)contextualization, and (re)configuration. We in particular highlight how these processes are characterized by inherent complexity, ambiguity and politics that are often bypassed in more ‘essentialist’ analyses.
  • Franck, Henrika (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2012)
    Economics and Society – 242
    Strategic management and ethics impose contradictory pressures on managerial sensemaking. Using concepts from Paul Ricoeur’s philosophical work as a theoretical lens, this thesis analyzes a longitudinal data set, produced within strategy meetings and interviews in a multinational corporation undergoing a radical change process. It induces a model of ethical sensemaking in strategic management, founded on the processes of irony, compromise and conflict. The thesis demonstrates how the ethical can become possible and tangible in practice. It is an ethics that prompts reactions with on-going practicalities and acknowledges the unpredictable nature of change.Whereas normative business ethics literature has focused on how strategy is fair, leads to good deeds or is made by virtuous people, this study suggests that ethics is not something separate from the day-to-day, or moment-to-moment activity. It cannot be controlled from a distance. The study shows that business and ethics are not separate – it is about how we live with one another outside of being merely means for one another to gain. Through two interconnected analyses the thesis reveals how strategy work is riddled with tensions and how individuals rely on a number of tactics to navigate in order to live up to the demands of ethics.
  • Husu, Elisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    During this century, political fact-checking has emerged as a novel genre in journalism to combat challenges to journalism’s legitimacy crisis relating to political, economic, and social changes. In the new media ecology, journalism has lost its gatekeeper status and authority as the central information mediator, and journalists are increasingly coping with challenges of so-called fake news and disinformation. Political fact-checking reflects journalists’ defense against the current situation where their fact-based discipline is constantly under reputation threat. However, journalists proceeding to judge whether politicians’ predicated knowledge claims are verifiable facts, they confront their capabilities and shortcomings in making such judgements. Journalists directly deal with the essence of facts and their ability to place them in contexts. This study contributes to the field of journalism and fact-checking by employing an epistemological framework, which has only recently been reintroduced as a theoretical approach to journalism studies. This thesis is a qualitative research with six semi-structured interviews with Finnish journalists to analyze journalists’ sensemaking in the context of political fact-checking. The method applies discourse analysis to study the regular interpretative practices through which participants construct their fact-checking. In addition, the thesis analyzes emerging aspects of the journalists’ epistemic authority based on their sensemaking performance. The results indicate that journalists approach political fact-checking through problem-oriented and solution-oriented repertoires. Discourses within problem-oriented repertoires unveil several epistemological problems that journalists encounter as they proceed to judge politicians’ claims as true or false: Political communication often creates difficulties to identify fact-based discourse, and journalists tend to lack evidence in convincing themselves of their judgement because facts may turn out to be unsettled on close inspection. Furthermore, social media that utilizes fact-checking can be problematic since journalistic fact-checks are taken out of their initial context. Within a solution-oriented repertoire, journalists construct methods to cope with these presented challenges. They advocate for more collaboration in the newsroom, involve colleagues in verification, and support making this process transparent to the public. This thesis approaches journalists’ role as epistemic authorities critically: Journalistic fact-checking relies on collaborative context construction rather than on journalists’ individual reasoning. Journalistic authority is to be distinct from political authority, and journalists defend their neutral role with the journalistic methods and values that guide their practice. Fact-checking is influenced not only by journalism’s internal procedures and values, especially fairness, balance, and public service but also by the external institutional structures.
  • Kähärä, Sari (2003)
    Organisaatiossa luodaan merkityksiä jatkuvasti, etenkin toimintaympäristön muutosten analysoimiseksi. Nämä merkitykset vaikuttavat organisaatiokulttuuriin ja uuden tiedon luomiseen organisaatiossa. Tutkimuksen kohteena ovat organisaatiokulttuurin sekä merkityksen ja tiedon luomisen suhteet organisaatiossa. Työn tavoitteena on tutkia merkityksen luomisen muutosta ja tätä kautta muutosta organisaatiokulttuurissa sekä tiedon luomisen prosessia muutostilanteessa olevassa LEL Työeläkekassan organisaatiossa. Lisäksi tutkimuksessa valotetaan organisaation tapoja suhtautua ulkoisen toimintaympäristön muutoksiin ja pohditaan toimintaympäristön merkitystä organisaation toiminnalle tapausorganisaation kautta. LEL Työeläkekassa on tutkimusongelman kannalta mielenkiintoinen, sillä toimintaympäristön muutokset pakottavat organisaation luomaan uusia merkityksiä olemassaolonsa perustaksi sekä menestyksensä turvaamiseksi tulevaisuudessa uudenlaisessa toimintaympäristössä. Organisaatiokulttuurissa tapahtuneita muutoksia tutkitaan henkilöstön asiakkuuteen liittyvien, eri aikakausien asiakkuuskäsityksiä kuvaavien puhetapojen kautta. Merkityksen luomista tutkitaan vertaamalla asiakkuuskäsityksiä organisaation viralliseen tapaan luoda merkityksiä asiakkuuteen liittyen uudessa tilanteessa. Tiedon syntymistä tutkitaan tapausorganisaatiossa käynnissä olleen asiakkuusprojektin vaiheiden kautta sekä vertaamalla henkilöstön nykyisyyteen ja tulevaisuuteen liittyviä asiakkuuskäsityksiä organisaation virallisiin asiakkuusdokumentteihin. Tutkimusmenetelmänä on diskurssianalyysi. Tutkimustulokset osoittavat, että tapausorganisaatiossa asiakkuuteen liittyvien merkitysten kautta analysoituna organisaatiokulttuuri on muuttunut yhtenäisemmästä moninaisempaan suuntaa. Asiakkuuteen liittyvä merkityksen luominen on epävirallisella ja virallisella tasolla tutkimushetkellä osin yhtenäistä, mutta eroja löytyy. Lainsäädäntö nousee epävirallisen tason merkityksissä olennaiseksi puhetavaksi, mutta virallisen tason merkityksissä sitä ei mainita. Asiakkuusprojektin kautta organisaatiossa syntyi uutta tietoa, piiloista tietoa muutettiin näkyvään muotoon ja sitä pyritään jalkauttamaan henkilöstön keskuudessa. Tämän tutkimuksen tulokset eivät vielä osoita, että uusi tieto olisi tutkimushetkellä sisäistetty koko henkilöstön keskuudessa. Merkityksen luominen, organisaatiokulttuuri ja tiedon luominen ovat tutkimuksen mukaan voimakkaasti sidoksissa toisiinsa. Sekä viitekehyksen että aineiston analyysin perusteella organisaatiokulttuuri vaikuttaa tapaa, jolla organisaatiossa luodaan merkityksiä. Uudet merkitykset käynnistävät tarpeen uudelle tiedolle. Uusi tieto vaikuttaa organisaatiokulttuuriin joko muuttuneiden käsitysten tai esimerkiksi uusien toimintatapojen tai rakenteiden kautta.
  • Koveshnikov, Alexei (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014)
    Economics and Society – 278
    Multinational corporations (MNC) are often presented as powerful but ‘faceless’ institutional actors that shape the world we live in. However, we have lately seen increasing interest in actual ‘faces,’ that is the key actors, behind the MNC’s functioning in relation to the cases of fraud and bankruptcy that, together with other factors, led to the severe financial crisis at the end of 2000s. The cases of Enron and Lehman Brothers easily come to mind. It raised concerns that power abuses and tricky political games developing and proliferating within MNCs can have tremendous corporate as well as societal impacts and consequences. Yet, as of now, the micro-level power and political relations between actors in MNCs and their implications, i.e. what I call in this thesis ‘micro-politics,’ are seldom examined. Moreover, neither is the role that the institutional, cultural and sociopolitical contexts play in these micro-political relations among actors within MNCs sufficiently understood. Against this background, in this thesis I attempt to give ‘a face’ to the MNC. That is, I apply a number of ideas from comparative institutional theory, social cognition and translation studies to examine micro-political aspects of the interactions between organizational actors in MNCs that determine how these corporations function both on day to day basis and in a longer run. By so doing, I strive to offer a more nuanced, contextualized, and actor-focused sociological understanding of power and political interactions among organizational actors within the MNC. It is important to study and comprehend these processes in order to better explain them and to some extent control them.
  • Lönnroth, Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Organisaatiomuutokset aiheuttavat epävarmuutta työntekijöissä ja ihmiset pohtivat mitä muutos tarkoittaa heidän kannaltaan. Havainnot oikeudenmukaisesta kohtelusta ja oikeudenmukaisista prosesseista muutosten aikana auttavat ihmisiä käsittelemään epävarmuuden kokemustaan. Arviot tulevasta oikeudenmukaisesta kohtelusta alkavat myös jo ennen kuin muutokset astuvat voimaan. Tämän tutkimuksen tarkoitus on selvittää, miten asiantuntijaorganisaation tukihenkilöstön puhe muuttuu organisaatiomuutoksen edetessä. Tämän tutkimuksen teoreettisena viitekehyksenä toimii Jonesin ja Skarlickin (2013) dynaaminen malli, joka kuvaa miten käsitykset oikeudenmukaisuudesta voivat muuttua ajan kuluessa. Toinen viitekehys on Weickin (1995) tolkullistamis (sensemaking)- teoria, jonka mukaan on seitsemän eri tapaa, joilla ihmiset rakentavat yhteistä ymmärrystä yllättäville tapahtumille. Oikeudenmukaisuuden käsitteitä on tutkittu pääasiallisesti määrällisin menetelmin poikkileikkausaineistoilla. Tämän tutkimuksen tarkoituksena onkin tuoda erilainen näkemys sille, miten ihmiset rakentavat käsitystään oikeudenmukaisuudesta ja organisaatiomuutoksesta. Tutkimuksen tarkoitus ei siis ole kuvata miten organisaatiomuutokset yleensä ymmärretään, vaan kuvata miten vastaajat loivat ymmärryksen tapahtuneesta tässä kontekstissa. Tutkimus toteutettiin kahdessa osassa: ennen muutoksen voimaan tuloa ja puoli vuotta muutoksen voimaan tulon jälkeen. Tutkimus toteutettiin sähköpostitse lähetettävällä kyselylomakkeella. 1.kyselyssä oli neljä avointa kysymystä ja kuusi monivalintakysymystä. 2.kyselyssä oli neljä avointa kysymystä. Vastaajat rakentavat pääasiallisesti epäoikeudenmukaisen kuvan organisaatiomuutoksesta. Vastaajien kuvausten mukaan muutoksen toteutus ja suunnittelu prosessi oli epäoikeudenmukainen, eikä vastaajille tiedotettu muutoksesta. Vastaajat kuvailivat myös yleisemmin, kuinka heitä ei arvosteta organisaation tasolla. Muutos aiheutti vastaajissa negatiivisia tunteita: epätietoisuutta ja epävarmuutta. Puhe muuttui muutoksen edetessä hyvin vähän: samat teemat puhututtivat ennen ja jälkeen muutoksen. Muutos aiheutti kahdenlaista puhetapaa vastaajissa: toisaalta he ennakoivat tulevan muutoksen huonoksi. Toisaalta muutos oli yllättävä ja vastaajat tolkullistivat sitä; he yrittivät luoda yhteisen ymmärryksen muutoksesta. Ennakoiva puhe muutoksesta ja sen epäoikeudenmukaisesta toteutuksesta näyttää toteutuneen kuten ennakoitu: huonona lopputuloksena. Vastaajat tolkullistivat muutosta eri retorisin keinoin ja tolkullistaminen jatkui myös puoli vuotta muutoksen implementoinnin jälkeen.
  • Breit, Eric (Hanken School of Economics, 2011)
    Economics and Society - 227
    While extant studies have greatly advanced our understanding of corruption, we still know little of the processes through which specific practices or events come to be labeled as corruption. In a time when public attention devoted to corruption and other forms of corporate misbehavior has exploded, this thesis raises – and seeks to answer – crucial questions related to how the phenomenon is socially and discursively constructed. What kinds of struggles are manifested in public disputes about corruption? How do constructions of corruption relate with broader conceptions of (il)legitimacy in and around organizations? What are the discursive dynamics involved in the emergence and evolution of corruption scandals? The thesis consists of four essays that each employ different research designs and tackle these questions in slightly different theoretical and methodological ways. The empirical focus is on the media coverage of a number of significant and widely discussed scandals in Norway in the period 2003-2008. By illuminating crucial processes through which conceptions of corruption were constructed, reproduced, and transformed in these scandals, the thesis seeks to paint a more nuanced picture of corruption than what is currently offered in the literature. In particular, the thesis challenges traditional conceptions of corruption as a dysfunctional feature of organizations in and of itself by emphasizing the ambiguous, temporal, context-specific, and at times even contradictory features of corruption in public discussions.
  • Fougère, Martin (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004)
    Working Papers
    This conceptual paper examines bicultural interactions in organizations as they are experienced by the involved individuals. Notions from Bakhtinian dialogism are used in order to conceptualize the sensemaking opportunities provided by the encounter with a cultural otherness. It is argued that in such bicultural situations, because of the lack of intimate understanding of the other culture, the third element in the dialogic relation - ‘thirdness’, i.e. the relation itself, without which there would be no sensemaking potential - may be lacking as a result of the distorting combination of projected similarity and stereotyping, added to certain counterproductive organizational dynamics. Therefore, it is suggested that, to make the bicultural work interaction the rewarding relation it could be, thirdness should be coordinated by management in a way that can transcend the spontaneous negative dynamics of the confrontational situation. If management was to fail to organize (with) thirdness appropriately, bringing in a third party could be a possible alternative in order to initiate the necessary mutual understanding that should eventually lead to a fruitful work interaction.
  • Fougère, Martin (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005)
    Economics and Society
    Research on cross-cultural and intercultural aspects in organizations has been traditionally conducted from an objectivist, functionalist perspective, with culture treated as an independent variable, and often the key explanatory factor. In order to do justice to the ontological relativity of the phenomena studied, more subjectivist research on intercultural interactions, and especially on their relationships with the dynamics of cultural identity construction, is needed. The present research seeks to address this gap by focusing on bicultural interactions in organizations, as they are experienced by the involved individuals. It is argued that such bicultural situations see the emergence of a space of hybridity, which is here called a ‘third space’, and which can be understood as providing ‘occasions for sensemaking’: it is this individual sensemaking that is of particular interest in the empirical narrative study. A first overall aim of the study is to reach an understanding of the dynamics of bicultural interactions in organizations; an understanding not only of the potential for learning and emancipatory sensemaking, but also of the possibility of conflict and alienatory ordering (this is mainly addressed in the theoretical essays 1 and 2). Further, a second overall aim of the study is to analyze the reflexive identity construction of four young French expatriates involved in such bicultural interactions in organizations in Finland, in order to examine the extent to which their expatriation experiences have allowed for an emancipatory opportunity in their cases (in essays 3 and 4). The primary theoretical contribution in this study lies in its new articulation of the dynamics of bicultural interactions in organizations. The ways in which the empirical material is analyzed bring about methodological contributions: since the expatriates’ accounts are bound to be some kind of construction, the analysis is made from angles that point to how the self-narratives construct reality. There are two such angles here: a ‘performative’ one and a ‘spatial’ one. The most important empirical contributions lie in the analysis of, on the one hand, the alternative uses that the young expatriates made of the notion of ‘national culture’ in their self-narratives, and, on the other hand, their ‘narrative practices of the third space’: their politics of escape or stabilization, their exploration of space or search for place, their emancipation from their origin or return to home as only horizon.
  • Cornelissen, Joep P.; Mantere, Saku; Vaara, Eero (Hanken School of Economics, 2013)
    In this article, we seek to understand how individuals, as part of a collective, commit themselves to a single, and possibly erroneous, frame, as a basis for sensemaking and coordinated actions. Using real-time data from an anti-terrorist police operation that led to the accidental shooting of an innocent civilian, we analyze how individual actors framed their circumstances in communication with one another and how this affected their subsequent interpretations and actions as events unfolded. Our analysis reveals, first of all, how the collective commitment to a framing of a civilian as a terrorist suicide bomber was built up and reinforced across episodes of collective sensemaking. Secondly, we elaborate on how the interaction between verbal communication, expressed and felt emotions and material cues led to a contraction of meaning. This contraction stabilized and reinforced the overall framing at the exclusion of alternative interpretations. With our study we extend prior sensemaking research on environmental enactment and the escalation of commitment and elaborate on the role of emotions and materiality as part of sensemaking.