Sensing from the Middle: Middle Managers’ Sensemaking of Change Process in Public Organizations

Feim Blakcori, Alexandros Psychogios

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    At the core of sense-making is its fundamental function of creating discursive order to equivocal occurrences. Although researchers have emphasized the organizational and managerial factors that trigger sense-making in settings, fewer things are known on how middle managers’ discursive sensemaking is constructed during the process of change in the public sector. In this empirical study, we explore middle managers’ sense-making in public organizations, that constrain the flow of change in reforming public governance. The research draws on qualitative data garnered from 31 interviews with middle managers in three public organizations in two periods of time (2016 and 2017). We illustrate managing divergences and strategizing sensemaking of the change process as intricate and multidimensional means of middle managers’ sense-making framework of ensuring change in the public sector. We argue that middle managers intensify their commitment to learning from change and therefore live the organizational life that sometimes demands commiserating the lack of exerting structural power by highlighting the contextual myopic circumstances of institutional dependence. Theoretical and practical implications are also elaborated.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Studies of Management and Organization
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 May 2021

    Keywords

    • change
    • middle managers
    • public organizatioins
    • sense-making

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