Karl weick s theory of organizing
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Karl Weick’s Theory of Organizing. What did he say???????. Weick’s Definition. Organizing is the resolving of equivocality on an enacted environment by means of interlocked behaviors embedded in conditionally related processes.

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Karl Weick’s Theory of Organizing

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Karl weick s theory of organizing

Karl Weick’s Theory of Organizing

What did he say???????


Weick s definition

Weick’s Definition

Organizing is the resolving of equivocality on an enacted environment by means of interlocked behaviors embedded in conditionally related processes.


Karl weick s theory of organizing

  • Whereas traditional systems theory focuses how an entity tries to maintain itself in a state of equilibrium, Weick’s goal is to account for factors such as complexity, uncertainty, and change. His work is consistent with complexity and chaos theories.

  • It helps to unpack the various concepts in this definition.


Resolving of equivocality

Resolving of equivocality

  • Equivocality – open to more than one interpretation

    • “That’s an interesting idea.”

    • “This company values its employees.”

  • Resolve – settle, figure out, decide

    • making sense - “Sensemaking” is a key concept for Weick. Employees make sense of the organization, its decisions, policies, communication, etc. They make sense of their place and role.


In an enacted environment

In an enacted environment

  • Environment - not just physical, but information (communicated)

    • Subjective – people perceive the same information differently

    • Interpretations and meanings create the environment (sometimes a self-fulfilling prophecy)

      • Collaborative or hostile

      • Powerful or impotent

  • Enacted – next slide


Karl weick s theory of organizing

  • Enacted – created through behaviors

    • Another key concept!

    • Communication behaviors

    • Weick claims that communication is not just something that IN an organization; it creates the organization and its internal environment

    • Communication facilitates sensemaking (resolving equivocality)


By means of interlocked behaviors

By means of interlocked behaviors

  • Behaviors - words and actions

    • Decision-making

    • Conflict management

    • Socializing

  • Interlocked - more than connected, meshed

    • Interdependence

    • Hierarchy - Existing in systems and subsystems


In conditionally related processes

In conditionally related processes

  • Processes

    • Procedures that occur in steps

    • End with an outcome

    • Two kinds of processes

      • Assembly rules

        • Formal, usually written, required procedures

        • Such as hiring processes, production lines, employee manual

        • These are the first “go-to” places for sensemaking

      • Communication cycles

        • Informal or formal discussions among people to address procedures when assembly rules are absent or ineffective


Karl weick s theory of organizing

  • Conditionally related

    • Processes depend upon conditions

      • Assembly rules work in low to moderate equivocality

        • A template for press releases

        • New employee orientation

      • Communication cycles work in high equivocality

        • New legislation

        • Unexpected disaster

        • Death of a key member of the organization


How does it work

How does it work?

In an equivocal situation, assembly rules are selected for sensemaking. If they resolve the equivocality, sense is made. If they don’t, communication cycles are used. If the result works, it then becomes the new assembly rule. If it doesn’t, more communication is enacted until the equivocality is resolved and anew assembly rule is established.

Equivocality

Assembly

Rules

Communication

Cycles


Some questions for reflection

Some Questions for Reflection

What kinds of organizations tend to have equivocal environments?

What kinds of organizations tend to have unequivocal environments?

What kinds of organizations have periods of low or high equivocality?

How do these organizations make sense of these environments?

What is the role of communication in these?


I know what weick said

I know what Weick said!

Organizing is the resolving of equivocality on an enacted environment by means of interlocked behaviors embedded in conditionally related processes.


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