Medarbejdernes sensemaking omkring performance: Hvilken effekt har medarbejdersamtaler?

Tina Dahøj

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this thesis is to take a deeper look at employees’ sensemaking according to performance. The design of the research involved selection of the case study method. Sensemaking among the employees is examined in relation to a performance review system in a specific financial organization’s department. This topic lacks broad research in the HR field, and the work presented herein adds another view within the traditional performance management literature. Weick’s sensemaking theory is used to examine the case from a sensemaking perspective. In the fourth part of the analysis a strategic HR perspective and a traditional performance management perspective is added to the sensemaking perspective. Methodologically this research paper is based on eight qualitative semi-structured interviews with employees working in a specific department. The analysis in this research paper concerned four areas. The first concerns which elements of performance are essential to sensemaking among the employees. The second examines how the sensemaking process works. The third considers employee performance reviews and how they affect sensemaking about performance among the employees. And in the fourth and last part of the analysis, sensemaking among the employees and the implications for the employee performance review process is examined. The case study shows that sensemaking among the employees about what constitutes good performance is very heterogenic. Sensemaking among employees can be described as occurring along a continuum. Here quantitative performance goals are at one end of this continuum and the qualitative aspect of performance is at the other. Although sensemaking among employees about what a good performance concerns is heterogeneous, the process in which the employees make sense of things is very much the same. Direct effects of the employee performance review process on sensemaking among the employees were not uncovered directly. Instead this case study shows that the employee performance review process is only is one of many clues that affects the sensemaking process. To make a change in the process among the employees, it is thus necessary to take the culture and HR processes into account. Sense-making theory, strategic HR, and performance management has involved a best fit perspective on the use of employee performance reviews. In the last part of the analysis the strategic HR perspective and the performance management perspective are seen as complementary in sensemaking theory in relation to how to improve the employee review process in specific departments. The results of this case study can be phenomenologically generalized to the specific department in which the respondents were employed, the generalizations valid only at that specific time when the interviews where held because of the ongoing nature of the process among the employees.

EducationsMSc in Human Resource Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages208