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Sense from silence – a basis for organised action? - How do sensemaking processes with minimal sharing relate to the reproduction of organised action?

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The thesis examines an underexploredarea in sensemaking theory. The theme forthe thesis is to examine the relation between sensemaking and the reproduction oforganised action. Existing sensemaking theory focusses on how shared organisingprocesses support the reproduction of organised action (Smircich & Morgan, 1986;Smircich & Stubbart, 1985; Weick, 2004; Maitlis, 2005; Donnellon et al, 1986).This thesis' contribution is to examine sensemaking processes which do not springfrom shared articulation within the formal organisation and these processes'relation to the reproduction of organised action.In the thesis the phenomenon is illustrated with a case consisting of a youngervoluntary organisation (called the Network Group) whose purpose is to providetuition for children with another ethnic background than Danish. The organisationsurvives and meets its purpose. This, however, takes place largely without thevoluntary tutors talking with each other to make sense of their shared action. Thisfalls outside the expectations produced in the greater part of existing sensemakingtheory.Apart from the relevancy for organisation theory, the interest in thephenomenon organisedaction with limited shared sensemaking and limitedshared articulation – comes from a hypothesis that actors in latemodernitywill beless inclined to invest in shared sensemaking because they zap betweenorganisational contexts (Bauman 2000, Beck 1986, Beck & BeckGernsheim2002and Bellah et al 1985). This is a phenomenon which has drawn particular attentionwithin the Danish voluntary sector in the last 10 years (Isen1, 1999; Goul Andersenet al, 2000; Hermansen & Stavnsager, 2000; Stavnsager & Jantzen, 2000;Christensen & Isen, 2001; Børch & Israelsen, 2001; Wollebæk & Selle, 2002;Nielsen et al 2004; Murphy 2004). Similar concerns in the U. S. are most notablyexpressed by Putnam (1990) in the book “Bowling Alone”. In Denmark thephenomenon is linked to perceived difficulties with filling positions at boards ofvoluntary organisations with younger volunteers.

Resource author

Tine Murphy

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Resource language

eng

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application/pdf

Resource resource URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10398/7790

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