Anticipating the End: Exploring Future-oriented Sensemaking of Change through Metaphors

Signe Bruskin*, Elisabeth Naima Mikkelsen

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Abstrakt

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore whether there is a link between retrospective and prospective sensemaking by analyzing metaphors of past and potential future changes.
Design/methodology/approach: The article draws on interview data from employees, team managers and middle managers at an IT department of a Nordic bank.
Findings: The study found that organizational members' sensemaking of changes in the past were characterized by trivializing metaphors. In contrast, future-oriented sensemaking of potential changes were characterized by emotionally charged metaphors of uncertainty, war and the End, indicating that the organizational members anticipating a gloomier future.
Research limitations/implications: These findings might be limited to the organizational context of an IT department of a bank with IT professionals having an urge for control and sharing a history of a financial sector changing dramatically the last decade.
Originality/value: This article contributes to the emerging field of future-oriented sensemaking by showing what characterize past and future-oriented sensemaking of changes at a bank. Further, the paper contributes with an empirical study unpacking how organizational members anticipate an undesired future which might not be grounded in retrospective sensemaking.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Organizational Change Management
Vol/bind33
Udgave nummer7
Sider (fra-til)1401-1415
Antal sider15
ISSN0953-4814
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2020

Bibliografisk note

Published online: 21 July 2020.

Emneord

  • Organizational change
  • Emotions
  • Metaphors
  • Bank
  • Future perfect tense
  • Prospective sensemaking

Citationsformater