Belief driven sensemaking and strategy - arguing to identify and amplify weak signals

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Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis is about arguing as a belief driven sensemaking process within a strategy making environment. It is a conceptual analysis which attempts to shed light on ways to improve the modern strategy making process, through investigating the belief driven aspects of sensemaking, and in particular arguing as a means of identifying and amplifying weak signals. The findings suggest that requisite variety in the identities of the stakeholders in a strategy making team is important; that mindful sensegiving by stakeholders and the leader not only ensures awareness but also a focus on the intuitive application of tacit knowledge to identify weak signals and communicate these to a strategy making team as narratives. Narratives are stories or scenarios which are then debated by the participants in the strategy making, through a sensemaking process of rational debate or arguing which causes participants to set aside previously held beliefs and expectations and create new knowledge, or strengthens existing expectations and knowledge. Although the study has found promising information which may add to the body of knowledge, this will need to be tested through empirical studies.
AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Die tesis handel oor argumentasie as synde ‘n ‘belief driven’ proses van sinmaking in organisasies. Dit is ‘n konseptuele analise wat poog om lig te werp op strategiese prosesse in organisasies veral ten opsigte van swak seine. Die resultate dui daarop dat ‘requisite variety’ met betrekking tot die identiteit van deelnemers aan strategiese denke belangrik is, sowel as die vaardigheid van ‘mindfulness’
Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2016
Sensemaking theory, Strategic planning, Argumentation, Communication in organizations, Belief driven sensemaking, UCTD