Sensemaking is a process people use to give meaning to their actions and experiences. Although people tend to assume that they are acting according to plans or decisions they made previously, a sensemaking perspective suggests that people often interpret and explain what they do retroactively. Organizational scholars have used this insight to help explain how organizations develop and change. This entry summarizes the sensemaking process and discusses its relationship to corporate reputation.

The Sensemaking Process

While there is no single theory of sensemaking, many researchers use the concept to study how people understand (i.e., make sense of) what happens in organizational settings. The leading scholar in this area has been Karl Weick, who began writing about sensemaking in the late 1960s. In several books and articles, ...

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