Karl Weick's sensemaking perspective has proven to be a central influence on process theories of organizing. Yet, one persistent criticism levelled at his work has been a neglect of the role of larger social and historical contexts in sensemaking. We address this critique by showing how institutional context is a necessary part of sensemaking. We propose that there are salient but unexplored connections between the institutional and sensemaking perspectives. We explain how three specific mechanisms - priming, editing and triggering - bring institutional context into processes of sensemaking, beyond a more conventional notion of internalized cognitive constraint. Our contribution seeks to be forward-looking as much as reflective, addressing a critique of one of Karl Weick's key theoretical contributions and offering amendments that extend its reach.
- Institutional theory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation