Temporal Sensemaking: Managers' Use of Time to Frame Organizational Change

Elden Wiebe

in Process, Sensemaking, and Organizing

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199594566
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595721 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives on Process Organization

Temporal Sensemaking: Managers' Use of Time to Frame Organizational Change

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This qualitative study explores the relationship between time and organizational change, a recently emerging area of scholarly interest. Through the narrative analysis of managers' own stories of change, this chapter discerns five distinct ‘worlds’ of organizational change within the ‘same’ significant government mandated organizational change in the ‘same’ organizational context. The analysis provides evidence that managers temporally make sense of their experiences of change, actively configuring the relationship between the past, present, and future in different ways. In doing so, managers construct the organizational change and their enacted reality of that organizational change in different ways. This research augments recent work linking time and agency, demonstrates a broader temporal basis than retrospection for sensemaking, and contributes to our knowledge of researching and implementing organizational change.

Keywords: time; organizational change; sensemaking

Chapter.  11239 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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