Supporting Sensemaking to Promote a Systemic View of Organizational Change Contributions from Activity Theory

Arja Ala-Laurinaho*, Anna Leena Kurki, Johan Simonsen Abildgaard

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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In this case study, the potential of intentional arenas and tools to promote collective sensemaking during major structural and technical transformations in a specialist organization in the Finnish forestry sector is examined. The results suggest that sensemaking processes in complex change situations are intimately linked to the temporal development of tensions concerning new ways and structures of working. The article demonstrates how Change Workshops, based on activity theoretical methods and tools, shaped sensemaking by offering means to collectively investigate developmental tensions and their potential resolutions and promoted the creation of a systemic view of changing work. This research thus provides an insight into ways in which to foster systemic and future-orientated perspectives in collective sensemaking processes, which in turn improve the management of organizational change.
TidsskriftJournal of Change Management
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)367-387
Antal sider21
StatusUdgivet - 2 okt. 2017
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Activity theory
  • Developmental tension
  • Organizational change
  • Systemic
  • Sensemaking