Sensegiving in initial strategy implementation: A constructivist grounded theory study on sensegiving and underlying cognitive aspects

University essay from Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för företagande och ledning

Abstract: This study examines important features of the initial sensegiving process in strategy implementation and how those features further can be understood from a cognitive perspective. A qualitative constructivist grounded theory approach to study sensegiving as a collective process in organizations is applied. The findings suggest that sensegiving could be seen as management of perspectives and be further understood by several cognitive concepts. Important features in the sensegiving process are proposed to be (i) lead the sensegiving from inside, (ii) create a meaningful story, (iii) prepare the lower level managers, and (iv) start with 'the why' followed by 'the what'. Cognitive concepts helpful in understanding sensegiving are proposed to be (i) reciprocal causation between cognitive factors and the external environment, (ii) self-motivation, (iii) cognitive flexibility, (iv) double-loop learning, (v) self-leadership, (vi) interpersonal communication, (vii) bounded rationality, and (viii) mental models. The study contributes to previous research by looking at sensegiving in more detail than previous studies, and providing some contradictory findings to previous studies. An idea that the collective process of sensegiving might just be a superficial symbolic cover, is also presented.

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