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Enacting Managerial Sensemaking: A multi-site case study examining the dynamic interplay between institutional logics of action and participatory mangerial sensemaking processes of two successful managing partner teams in a large insurance firm Open Access

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Abstract of Dissertation Enacting Managerial Sensemaking: A multi-site case study examining the dynamic interplay between institutional logics of action and sensemaking processes of two successful managing partner teams in a large insurance firmThis study explored the dynamic relationship between institutional logics of action (Thornton et al. 2012; DiMaggio, 1997) and the participatory managerial sensemaking (Weick, 2009; De Jaegher & DiPaolo, 2007) processes of two successful Managing Partner teams in a large insurance firm. To best understand how this relationship emerges, a multi-site case study methodology was employed. Data was collected over a four month time period that coincided with the CEO publically expressing a strategic initiative to distribute leadership. Combining document review, observation, focus groups, and informal interviews, data was collected in three phases intended to mirror the phenomenological interview process (Seidman, 2006) and followed a sequence of description, analysis, and interpretation (Corbin & Strauss, 1990).The findings revealed five noteworthy conclusions. First, colliding or competing institutional logics serve as a trigger for sensemaking. Second, an emerging collective comfort with doubt results from a hyper-interactive environment that fosters mutual curiosity in regards to both successes and failures. Third, an increased comfort with doubt allows for more mindful participatory managerial sensemaking. These two sites prioritized the institutional logics of community, profession, and corporation in varied ways, yet both were able to do so based on the present context they were facing and as a result foster greater reliability. Fourth, institutional logics of action representing relationships, structure and agency can serve to maintain the mutual incorporation of two agents, allowing for extended participatory sensemaking. Finally, understanding institutional logics as a cultural expression, in dialogue with participatory managerial sensemaking processes, enhances the institutionalizing of mindfulness.

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