Title: Trust and continuous sensemaking: case study on internal dynamics in an industrial company

Authors: Hanna Lehtimäki; Johanna Kujala

Addresses: Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, 70211 Kuopio, Finland ' School of Management, University of Tampere, 33014 University of Tampere, Finland

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine how sense is made in an organisation with regard to its future. This involves a case study of sensemaking that takes place in a continuous dialogue between the top management, middle management and shop stewards in a company preparing for international growth after the global financial crisis. By using a sensemaking framework, the study examines the discourse of trust and shows how different organisational groups participate in creating, shaping and sustaining the organisation and its future. The study contributes to sensemaking literature in organisation studies, first by viewing an organisation as a socially constructed verbal system and showing how sensemaking is created through language and is a continuous process in the organisational dialogue. Second, this study demonstrates how sensemaking analysis can be used to unravel the narratives that legitimise different organisational identities and surface in the politics of sensemaking.

Keywords: sensemaking; critical sensemaking; emotion; middle management; trust; narrative; dialogue; qualitative analysis; case study.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRDM.2017.087119

International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 2017 Vol.17 No.3/4, pp.301 - 314

Received: 29 Mar 2016
Accepted: 12 Aug 2016

Published online: 29 Aug 2017 *

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