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Making sense of sensemaking narratives

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Human Relations
Issue number8
Volume61
Number of pages28
Pages (from-to)1035-1062
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article analyses the agreed and discrepant sensemaking of members of a project team. Embedded in a narratological approach to sensemaking research, we argue that before scholars may be able to understand in detail how agreements are reached and action becomes coordinated, we need first to take seriously the proposition that sensemaking occurs in the context of individuals' idiosyncratic efforts at identity construction. This, we suggest, means attending to the narratives that actors tell about their work and self both for others and their selves. The key research contribution that we make is to demonstrate how work on `impression management' and `attributional egotism' may be employed in order to account for discrepant sensemaking. This is important in the context of a literature that has left relatively unexplored the reasons why people interpret differently experiences they have in common.