A study of the efforts employed among scientific, engineering, and support staff in the early phases of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project outside Marseille, France, found that the management of communication tools as part of a strategic sense-giving process enabled the formation of a transitional identity. This eased employees' transition into their new surroundings and fostered their engagement with the organization and its mission. Having implications for both the motivation and retention of employees, the findings show that sense making and sense giving using communication tools affects the pace at which an organization can forge an organizational identity. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.