Sensemaking from Actions
56 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2006
Date Written: April 2000, 12
This study presents a method to establish empirically what drives organization members in their day-to-day behavior. The method starts from the sense employees make of their own actions. The approach consists of two steps: qualitative laddering interviews to determine the most central means and ends that play a role in the sensemaking of organization members, and a follow-up survey to examine in depth the organizational means-end structure. The method was validated by relating the results to independently observed indicators of what guides organization members in their behavior. Apart from the deeper insight it provides in the forces that drive day-to-day behavior in an organization, the method also provides management with a practical tool for addressing employee motivation and for developing credible communication toward stakeholders.
Keywords: means-end analysis, laddering, sensemaking, organizational action, employee motivation
JEL Classification: M, M31, C44, D21
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