The Materiality of Sensemaking

John Bakke, Cynthia Bean


Two influential perspectives in organizational studies that focus on different aspects of enabling, constraining, and forming organizational action are the notion of sensemaking and the influence of material objects on organizational functioning. This paper explores the coupling of these two perspectives, which often are seen as opposite. Based on evidence from two case studies, we argue that these perspectives, taken together, unlock a deeper understanding of the processes that unfold in organizations and call attention to the materiality of sensemaking as important to understanding organizations. 

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