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      Making sense of executive sensemaking : A phenomenological case study with methodological criticism

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          Abstract

          This paper attempts to answer the research question, how do senior executives in my organisation make sense of their professional life Having reviewed the sensemaking literature, in particular that of the preeminent author in this field, Karl E. Weick, I adopt a phenomenological, interpretist orientation which relies on an ideographic, inductive generation of theory. I situate myself, both as researcher and chief executive of the organisation studied, in the narrative of sensemaking. Using semistructured interviews and a combination of grounded theory and template analysis to generate categories, seven themes of sensemaking are tentatively produced which are then compared with Weick's characteristics. The methodological approach is then reflected on, criticised and alternative methodologies are briefly considered. The conclusion reached is that the themes generated by the research may have relevance for sensemaking processes, but that the production of formal theory through social research is problematic.

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          Most cited references 4

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          The Storytelling Organization: A Study of Story Performance in an Office- Supply Firm

           David M. Boje (1991)
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            Some guidelines for the phenomenological analysis of interview data

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              Phenomenography and “the art of teaching all things to all men'’

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                jhom
                10.1108/jhom
                Journal of Health Organization and Management
                Emerald Publishing
                1477-7266
                01 August 2003
                : 17
                : 4
                : 240-263
                Affiliations
                Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, Ormskirk, Lancashire, UK
                Article
                0250170401.pdf 0250170401
                10.1108/14777260310494771
                © MCB UP Limited
                Product
                Categories
                research-article, Research paper
                case-report, Case study
                cat-HSC, Health & social care
                cat-HMAN, Healthcare management
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