Sensemaking from Actions

56 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2006

See all articles by Johan van Rekom

Johan van Rekom

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

C.B.M. van Riel

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Berend Wierenga

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Date Written: April 2000, 12

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

van Rekom, Johan and van Riel, Cees B.M. and Wierenga, Berend, Sensemaking from Actions (April 2000, 12). ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2000-52-MKT, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=370854

Johan Van Rekom (Contact Author)

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
31/10/408/.1967 (Phone)
31/10/4089011 (Fax)

Cees B.M. Van Riel

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Berend Wierenga

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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