• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This major work from renowned scholars in the field analyzes the role of language and symbolic media and show how this enables us to move to new levels of understanding of contemporary organizational issues. Chapters examine the role and growing importance of discourse in the study of organizations; the relationship between discourse, action, and interaction and their impact on organizational structure and behavior; the analytical potential of the “store” as a means of illuminating the ways in which organizational members make sense of their experience of organization; the fundamental significance of linguistic usage and discursive construction to the ontologies of “organization.” Finally, a concluding discourse explores the claims and limitations of organizational discourse as a means of enriching our understanding of organization.

The Struggle with Sense
The struggle with sense
AnneWallemacq and DavidSims

This chapter explores the relationship between two perspectives on sense-making - the narrative and the phenomenological. Our aim is not to make a propositional comparison of the two approaches, but to observe them at work as heuristics; as devices which illustrate the process of making sense. At the core of our study is the way each approach can illuminate the process of sense-making by its opposite, which we call ‘non-sense’. The uneasy relationship between sense and non-sense is what we mean by ‘the struggle with sense’. The question of ‘non-sense’ requires more attention. This is for both empirical and theoretical reasons.

The empirical reason for studying the question of non-sense is that in everyday organizational life the ...

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