Mind the Gap: The Relevance of Post-Change-Periods for Organizational Sensemaking

Systems Research & Behavioral Science, 2013; doi.org/10.1002/sres.2198

37 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2013 Last revised: 13 Nov 2013

See all articles by Ralf Wetzel

Ralf Wetzel

Vlerick Business School

Frank Dievernich

Lucerne Business School

Date Written: June 27, 2013

Abstract

Up to 70% of change initiatives fail. This poor rate of success seems to be caused by a flawed management of change. One of the lacunae for a proper understanding of this situation is the way in which organizations perceive their own change. The activities in self-perception have a crucial impact on the long-term success of, on-going change activities in organizations. However, very little is known about these processes at the point when change initiatives have taken place. Nonetheless, it is the moment of retrospection that defines the relevance and continued impact of previous decisions. This paper explores this gap by introducing a qualitative in-depth case study at the national branch of a multinational communications company, analysed by means of sensemaking theory combined with sociological systems theory and neo-institutionalism. The case shows how retrospection defines the corridor for future success and reveals a previously ignored momentum of change.

Keywords: Change management, sensemaking neo-institutionalism, sociological systems theory

Suggested Citation

Wetzel, Ralf and Dievernich, Frank, Mind the Gap: The Relevance of Post-Change-Periods for Organizational Sensemaking (June 27, 2013). Systems Research & Behavioral Science, 2013; doi.org/10.1002/sres.2198. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2286166

Ralf Wetzel (Contact Author)

Vlerick Business School ( email )

Vlamingenstraat 83
Leuven, BE-3000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.vlerick.com

Frank Dievernich

Lucerne Business School ( email )

Baselstrasse 57
Luzern, CH-6003
Switzerland

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