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Making Sense with Institutions: Context, Thought, and Action in Karl Weick's theory, Organization Studies

Abstract

Karl Weick's sensemaking perspective has proven to be a central influence on process theories of organizing. Yet, one persistent criticism leveled at his work has been a neglect of the role of larger social and historical contexts in sensemaking. We address this critique by showing how institutional context is a necessary part of sensemaking. We propose that there are salient but unexplored connections between the institutional and sensemaking perspectives. We explain how three specific mechanisms, priming, editing, and triggering, bring institutional context into processes of sensemaking, beyond a more conventional notion of internalized cognitive constraint. Our contribution seeks to be forward-looking as much as reflective, addressing a critique of one of Karl Weick's key theoretical contributions and offering amendments that extend its reach.

Type

Article

Author(s)

Klaus Weber, MaryAnn Glynn

Date Published

2006

Citations

Weber, Klaus, and MaryAnn Glynn. 2006. Making Sense with Institutions: Context, Thought, and Action in Karl Weick's theory. Organization Studies. 27(11): 1639-1660.

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