Title: Practice and sensemaking: re-thinking senior selection with Bourdieu and Weick

Authors: Douglas Board

Addresses: Faculty of Management, Cass Business School, City University London, 106 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TZ, UK

Abstract: Human action takes place under multiple pressures: limited time, patchy understanding and pre-existing commitments to important stakes. Understanding better how intelligent individual action and social order arise in these conditions was a lifelong focus for both Pierre Bourdieu and Karl Weick, articulators, respectively, of the concepts of practice and sensemaking. Working with both concepts, the paper re-thinks what happens when executives are selected to fill senior positions in industries and environments far from the ones in which they learned their skills. An alternative conceptualisation to transferable skills is outlined. In so doing, differences and potential complementarity between practice and sensemaking are explored.

Keywords: practice; sensemaking; senior selection; career change; Bourdieu; Weick; structuration; habitus; senior executives; transferable skills.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLC.2011.041868

International Journal of Learning and Change, 2011 Vol.5 No.1, pp.1 - 15

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 09 Aug 2011 *

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