Sensemaking and sensegiving in strategic change initiation
Article first published online: 8 NOV 2006
Copyright © 1991 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Strategic Management Journal
Volume 12, Issue 6, pages 433–448, September 1991
How to Cite
Gioia, D. A. and Chittipeddi, K. (1991), Sensemaking and sensegiving in strategic change initiation. Strat. Mgmt. J., 12: 433–448. doi: 10.1002/smj.4250120604
- Issue published online: 8 NOV 2006
- Article first published online: 8 NOV 2006
- Manuscript Revised: 7 FEB 1991
- Manuscript Received: 10 APR 1989
- strategic change;
This paper reports an ethnographic study of the initiation of a strategic change effort in a large, public university. It develops a new framework for understanding the distinctive character of the beginning stages of strategic change by tracking the first year of the change through four phases (labeled as envisioning, signaling, re-visioning, and energizing). This interpretive approach suggests that the CEO's primary role in instigating the strategic change process might best be understood in terms of the emergent concepts of ‘sensemaking’ and ‘sensegiving’. Relationships between these central concepts and other important theoretical domains are then drawn and implications for understanding strategic change initiation are discussed.