Sensing and organising : an interpretation of the thought of Karel E. Weick

Joubert, Carel W. T. (2005-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The focus in this thesis is on sensemaking in organisations and the aim was to offer an interpretation of the thought of Karl E. Weick. The interpretation subsequently consists of a description and discussion of concepts, underlying theories and paradigmatic perspectives that are integrated into and deployed in Weick's sensemaking framework. After a description and definition of sensemaking terms and concepts, it is argued that a process cosmology forms the ground theory in Weick's sensemaking framework. In order to elucidate this interpretation, the organic model of the world of Bergson and Whitehead is introduced. Special attention is given to pragmatism's underlying process ontology and themes which social consructionism, symbolic interactionism and ethnomethodology share in common with pragmatism. The aim is to show how these perspectives and themes are taken up in Weick's sensemaking in organisations and organisational theory. A failure to make sense is both consequential and existential. This aspect of Weick's thought is discussed in the context of Bergson's process cosmology. It is followed by a description and discussion of Weick's use of systems theory with special attention given to Weick's concept of 'enactment' . How and why does an organisation becomes what it becomes? This question is addressed in the context of a description and discussion of complexity theory. A core concept in both complexity theory and Weick's thought is self-organisation. The aim is to show how sense making appears on systems level. Finally, this thesis attempts to addresses the question of the relationship between organisation and organising and how both terms is to be understood in terms of Weick's ontological view of the world. This aim is to show that Weick's understanding of "the" organisation (noun) can be conceived of as an abstraction and organisation (verb - 'organising') in terms of relating and as process in becoming and how he thereby gives social construction an ontological twist. The conclusion reached is that, in the type of world Weick describes, it makes sense to make sense.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis fokus op 'sensemaking' in organisasies - om die dubbelsinnige, onduidelike en onverwagse meer duidelik, begryplik and redelik te maak vir persone om te weet wat besig is om te gebeur en gepaste aksies te neem. Die doel was derhalwe 'n interpretasie van die denke van Karl E. Weick. Die interpretasie omvat gevolglik 'n beskrywing en bespreking van konsepte, teorieë en paradigmatiese perspektiewe wat Weick in sy sensemaking raamwerk integreer en ontplooi. Ná 'n definiëring en beskrywing van terme en konsepte word geargumenteer dat 'n proses beskouing van die werklikheid Weick se sensemaking raamwerk onderlê. Hierdie interpretasie word toegelig met 'n bespreking en beskrywing van die organiese model van Bergson en Whitehead, sowel as die proses ontologie onderliggend aan pragmatisme. Gevolglik kom pragmatisme, sosiale konstruksionisme, simboliese interaksionisme en etnometodologie aan die orde. Verskeie temas word beskryf en bespreek in die konteks van sensemaking en organisasie-teorie. 'n Mislukking in sensemaking het newe gevolge en is dit ook eksistensieël van aard. Hierdie aspek van Weick se denke word beskryf en bespreek in die konteks van Bergson se proses kosmologie en word die interpretasie opgevolg met 'n bespreking van sisteem-teorie. Hoe en waarom verander organisasies wanneer hulle verander? Die antwoord op hierdie vraag kom aan die orde in die konteks van 'n bespreking van kompleksiteits-teorie. 'n Kern konsep in beide Weick se sensemaking en kompleksiteits-teorie is self-organisasie. 'n Baie belangrike doel is om aan te dui hoe sensemaking voorkom en plaasvind op sisteem-vlak. Ten slotte poog die tesis om die verband tussen organisasie en organisering in Weick se denke meer verstaanbaar te maak. Die argument hier is dat Weick se verstaan van "die" organisasie (selfstandige naamwoord) as 'n abstraksie en organisasie (werkwoord) in terme van relasies en proses in wording geïnterpreteer kan word, en Weick sodoende 'n ontologiese kinkel in die verstaan van sosiale konstruksionisme teweeg bring. Die slotsom tot waartoe in hierdie studie gekom word is dat, in die wêreld wat Weick beskryf, maak dit 'sense' om 'sense' te maak.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50447
This item appears in the following collections: