Giver det mening

Jakob Vestphael Larsen

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


As a leader I have always been interested in the organisation and its employees, and as part of my Masters degree I have particularly focused on leadership processes as a basis for change. In the City of Copenhagen change is a fact and over the last couple of years we have experienced a variety of change, eg, in IT systems, personal data protection and the change plan as one of the most important ones. As a leader I need to primarily translate and explain change while being able to show results, both now and in the future. From an employee perspective change needs to be make sense and the management team’s mission to begin with is to inform about change in a way that enables the employees to influence and make their own sense of and action within the change. Working with the mentally challenged is difficult, takes considerable time and may never succeed in the ‘subject’ feeling able to look after themselves. There are few success stories in social psychiatry and therefore a substantial reason to perform strongly, not just professionally but also organisationally. So how do you create a strong organisation that allows few success stories while ensuring independence and flexibility for the employees while maintaining a strong human and professional culture? The answer could be to create meaning and enforce the narrative around professionalism and identity, using as a basis the employee’s perceived reality, and as a leader take a position of showing interest in eg, a recent home visit to verbally express and generate common action. My aim with this paper is to achieve a deeper understanding of the sensemaking processes inherent in the organisation and how the individual employee makes sense of the change process as part of the change plan. In brief, I aim to achieve this understanding and increase my ability to rewrite a stronger narrative by collecting data via qualitative research by using a narrative interview guide to identify the employees’ experience with the change plan. A subset of the empirical evidence will be analysed based on Karl E. Weick’s1 theory on sensemaking, and the conclusions of the analysis will be used to rewrite while applying Schnoor’s narrative organisational process. The method will provide unique insight into the organisation and an understanding of existing narratives to make sense within the existing narratives for me as a leader. At the same time this will enable the deconstruction of these narratives to stress the unique cases/actions that, according to my subjective conviction, can be reinterpreted as a stronger future narrative about the organisation. I remain, and have been from the very first introduction, very keen on Karl E. Weick and his slightly ‘unorthodox’ approach to organisations. I find that his way of ‘thinking’ suits an organisation where the employees are at the same time both 24 organisations and one organisation. For this future rewritten narrative, aimed at reinforcing accountability and support for the change plan, I am using Michala Schnoor’s2 model around the development of preferred narratives. The model focuses on contexts that reinforce narratives to develop the organisation’s preferred processes. The following would be suitable to describe contextual phenomena that provide a background for an interpretation which allows an increased understanding of the phenomenon: Qualitative empirical research to provide knowledge and insight into organisational phenomena expected to deliver access to answers around the topic presented. As an investigator of my own organisation I wish to access the various versions of the world of the interviewees to bring about both positive and negative versions. I have therefore chosen to differentiate as much as possible around gender, profession and experience. The qualitative research interview aims to create a better understanding of the world of the participant which is why I have chosen this approach in combination with the semi-structural interview. This interview model has the advantage that the interviewer can depart from the preplanned questions if the nature of the interviewee’s comments makes the interviewer want to focus further. Weick finds meaning in many complex contexts, and a claim will be that Weick can find meaning in everything. Weick thinks about corners and looks through walls when looking at his sensemaking processes. The complex image of sensemaking and the very detailed picture of what makes sense and what does not make sense, shows how difficult it can be to create common strong narratives. There is a wellknown Weick tale, about firefighters who have to fight a forest fire, but who, for various reasons, lose their identity as firefighters and therefore cannot find meaning in what they would otherwise be best at. When I look at the 3 interviews, they have not lost their identity as home supervisors, but they are challenged on their identity. This thesis concludes: Does it make sense – yes it does – at least as long as we agree that opinion creation is a complex process. Overall, this thesis has shown that sensemakin creation seen through a Weick lens, is not only a complex process, but also that sensemaking takes place on several levels. The thesis and I as a writer have raised a problem which is based on own organization and gained a good insight into the sensemaking processes that are present in an organization during a change process. One of the things that has been interesting and frightening at the same time, is how home counselor’s make conditions for citizens ' involvement in their own recovery process. Analysis and discussion point to the fact that home counselors do not occupy an equal position in cooperation with the citizen, despite the fact that the professional guide specifically writes that there must be equal cooperation relations with the citizens. to get things done through and with people3 is one of the readers I took with me, attending my management basic course and one of the reasons why my problem formulation is divided in two, justifies the choice that in the perspective there is a fairly thorough description of Schnoor 's4 narrative process. Despite the complexity of the sensemaking processes and the fact that a strong tale must reach out to 24 home counselor’s, it is still my conviction Schnoor5 's narrative process is a competent choice because it is a strong method which I feel qualified to manage and because the method takes employees seriously. As a leader and writer, it has been like running a marathon to write this thesis. You know you will reach the finish line when you've been going for an hour, but you don't know at what speed and how many breaks it takes.

EducationsMaster of Public Governance, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages48
SupervisorsMads Mordhorst