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Making Sense out of Bad Faith: Sartre, Weick and Existential Sensemaking in Organizational Analysis

Anthony R. Yue, Albert J. Mills


Through a nuanced braiding of Weick's (1995) sensemaking epistemology and Sartre's (1957) phenomenological ontology, we propose an approach to organizational analysis which we label existential sensemaking. We first explore the potential to fuse Weick's sensemaking and Sartre's ontology and then examine the case of a Peruvian mountaineering expedition to explore the potential of the existential sensemaking heuristic in understanding the importance of individual decision making in the process of identity work. We conclude that this perspective has profound implications for understanding ethical behaviour in organizing processes as well as within identity construction.


DECISION making; SENSEMAKING theory (Communication); ONTOLOGY; MOUNTAINEERING expeditions; SARTRE, Jean-Paul, 1905-1980; WEICK, Karl

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