A Review: Structuration Theory and Sensemaking

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  • Topic: Sociology, Anthony Giddens, Structure and agency
  • Pages : 8 (2751 words )
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  • Published : November 14, 2011
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Organizational Communications
Organizational Communications

Esperanza A. Collado

A Review: Sensemaking and
Structuration Theory: Giddens Explored

Esperanza A. Collado

A Review: Sensemaking and
Structuration Theory: Giddens Explored

Dr. Lalaine Ocampo
11/5/2011

Dr. Lalaine Ocampo
11/5/2011

An in-depth background should form the reader's foundation regarding the materials on hand. In the items given, considering we are discussing theories, I believe it should be enlightening at the least. However, the lack of specifics and the vagueness of the thoughts expressed and the examples stated altogether create an obscure picture of the topics. The authors, and their articles for that matter, has left much to be understood as it becomes a prerequisite to know firsthand and perhaps to read for one's self what he has read and that which is under evaluation. Fortunately, after being thrown off at the beginning, a clearer account awaits as the pages turn, as more articles are read and more sites are browsed.

A Review on Sensemaking:
To start with a quote, “The activities of organizing are directed toward the establishment of a workable level of certainty. An organization attempts to transform equivocal information into a degree of unequivocality with which it can work and to which it is accustomed.” (Weick, K., 1969) Karl Weick developed a theory that communicating and organizing are directed toward the reduction of equivocality of information. Information is said to be equivocal when it can be given different interpretations because it is ambiguous, conflicted, and obscure or introduces uncertainty into a situation. When something new happens, new regulations, new technology, and so on, it relates to equivocality. Equivocality is related to something the organization has not experienced before. Equivocality means confusion and lack of understanding. Equivocality is considered as a force that influences information processing in organizations. Organization structure and internal systems determine both the amount and richness of information provided to managers. There are models that show how organizations can be designed to meet the information needs of technology, interdepartmental relations, and the environment. One major problem for managers in communicating is the lack of clarity, not lack of data. All organizations face equivocality, and the degree of equivocality in the environment is constantly increasing...the world is becoming more and more complex. In an environment of unequivocal information (certainty), organizations can rely on established rules (assembly rules) and procedures to guide decisions and actions. In dealing with organizational issues, sensemaking requires us to look for explanations and answers in terms of how people see things rather than structures or systems. Sensemaking suggests that organizational issues - 'strategies', 'breakdowns', 'change', 'goals', 'plans', 'tasks', 'teams', and so on are not things that one can find out in the world or that exist in the organization. Rather, their source is people's way of thinking. Sensemaking literally "means the making of sense" (Weick, 1995, p. 4). It occurs when there is a shock to the organizational system that either produces uncertainty or ambiguity. Sensemaking provides a means to return a sense of stability to the organizational life world. Key to sensemaking is the idea that organizational members make sense of disruptions to the organizing process. While this process has been variously called incongruous events (Starbuck & Milliken, 1988), interruptions (Mandler, 1984), and unmet expectations (Jablin & Kramer, 1998), there is a common recognition that sensemaking occurs when the flow of work is disrupted. It is the notion of "shock" or system disruption. The theory of sensemaking in organizations suggests that people make retrospective sense of unexpected and...
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