Ckarl Weick Decision-Making Theory Critical Vision

Topics: Management, Systems theory, Philosophy of science Pages: 9 (2480 words) Published: November 3, 2009


Critique One

1. Read and understand Karl Weick ‘s theory

2. Use FIVE (5) main principles of a good theory to evaluate the theory

3. Discuss each of the principles in relations to the theory

4. Use APA style ( the latest edition)

5. Please state the reference(s)

Grading of the paper:

1. Introduction: 3%

2. Content: 10%

3. Conclusion: 2%

[pic] Universiti Utara Malaysia [pic]

Faculty of art and science

Department of communication

(Advanced communication theory)

Assignment about:

Karl Weick’s Information Systems Theory Critique

- (Sense-making) -


Khalid Daif (801346)

Date of Submission



DR.Norhafeza Binti Yosof


The task of this assignment is to decide whether Weick’s Information Systems Theory is a good theory by looking at the theory itself and then applying the five principles of a good theory to this particular theory to find out if it complies with these principles. I will do so by first describing Weick’s Information Systems Theory in short and pointing to its main assumptions as well as essential concepts; I will then go on to look at the validity of the theory by checking how it relates to the five principles of a good theory. WEICK’S INFORMATION SYSTEMS THEORY, THE MAIN PRINCIPLES AND CENTRAL ISSUES In order to act cohesively and successfully, people have to organise themselves; in order to organise themselves, they have to communicate and arrange the rules of behaviour accepted as a norm in various settings. All human organisation systems are very complicated and they all depend on the norms accepted by the members, however – in order to set the rules and arrange the acceptable norms, all organisations need effective communication; communication is defined by the Wikipedia online encyclopaedia as: the process to impart information from a sender to a receiver with the use of a medium. (...) Communication happens at many levels (even for one single action), in many different ways, and for most beings, (...) []. In other words, communication is a transfer of meaning between two participants of the act. Communication is an essential factor in running any sort of organisation as all the human activity is based upon successful interaction between people. If we look at organisation as a human collective, where members of the collective group together to achieve specific goals, we have to take into account the need for effective transfer of meaning. Karl Weick looked at the various systems of communication used in different organisations and tried to determine which of them are working well and why; in the process he has started formulating an Information Systems Theory, which will be the focus of this critique.

When accepting the fact that passing information within an organisation is an essential factor in its running, we have to also accept that the information must make sense in order to make it possible for people to understand it. Weick puts sensemaking at the core of his theory; he defines sensemaking as the process of finding ways to cope with disruptions appearing in the daily flow of activity. As James Douglas Orton Says: ‘... stories start in order, (...) there is order first, then all hell breaks loose, then people try to recover some sense of order (...), ["Making Sense of Organizing’’, ICOS presentation 2006, slide 14]. Weick Himself puts his theory of sensemaking very succinctly in one sentence: ‘Order, interruption, recovery. That is sensemaking in a nutshell.’[Weick 2006, p. 1733]. Sensemaking is essential in running any organisation because of the fact that there is not a set of rules and norms do deal with every appearing problem and situation, there are rules that were used...

References: 3. Weick, Karl E. (2006) Faith, Evidence and Action: Better guesses in an unknowable world. Organization Studies 27(11): 1723-1736, accessed on:
4.Karl E
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