Sensemaking and sensegiving in strategic change initiation

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Citation: D.A. Gioia, K. Chittipeddi (1991) Sensemaking and sensegiving in strategic change initiation. Strategic Management Journal (RSS)

doi: 10.1002/smj.4250120604 Wikidata: Q73305174

Tagged: Business (RSS)


This article serves as both a description of conducting ethnography to gain insight in organizational processes and contains its own empirical example. The authors suggest that strategic change leadership can be understood as a process which tacks between sensemaking and sensegiving on the part of a strategic leader. They identify a four-stage process of envisioning (a sensemaking action), then signaling (a sensegiving action), then re-visioning (a sense-making action) and energizing (a sensegiving action). The last two components repeat, re-visioning and energizing, sensemaking and sensegiving.

Theoretical and practical relevance:

This study provides a concise explanation and example of ethnographic methods in the analysis of organizational processes.