Managing and Organizations: An Introduction to Theory and Practice: Third Edition (2011) by Stewart R Clegg, Martin Kornberger, and Tyrone Pitsis; Sage Publications: UK. Ch. 1&2
Weick, K. E. (2006). Faith, Evidence, and Action: Better Guesses in an Unknowable World. Organization Studies, 27(11), 1723-1736. Doi: 10.1177/0170840606068351
Sullivan, A. (2008).Why I Blog. [Article]. Atlantic Monthly (10727825), 302(4), 106-113.
According to M & O, organisations are systematically arranged frameworks relating people, knowledge, things and technologies, in a design geared to realise specific goals. So from that we can find that being organised means to therefore be categorised by the systematic framework of parts into a complete whole. Back to the decomposition drawing board again, me thinks. Managing is an activity but the core of managing is sense-making. Weick (2008) defines sense-making as ‘the on-going retrospective development of plausible images that rationalise what people are doing.’ Therefore the individual as an employee in an organisation will have to surrender some degree of freedom of choice and freedom of sense-making. In the book, they mention that sense-making can be problematic if situations are changing rapidly or their definition is becoming contested. I must reaffirm Mintzberg’s observation referring back to my first post that change can be managed if continuity is managed as well. This is fundamental for any manager. An organisation is an interacting network, not a vertical hierarchy. Effective managers work throughout, they do not sit at the ‘top’. With regard to organisational behaviour, I think it is too soon to properly reflect on the psychology with management. The trend at the moment emphasises positive organisational behaviour. Positive psychology in management sense-making is a pursuit to understand and nurture civic merits, social responsibilities, altruism, tolerance, happiness and psychological wellbeing. I guess to manage is those who have analysed the analysis of others and can see where they are coming from and aren’t afraid to examine their own bias or prejudice in their thinking. In a way, a manager has to see things from the ground up while keeping a perspective of the entire organisation at work. Respect is earned through trust and happiness can be a by-product of an organisation that is managed this way.
To get a better perspective on sense-making, I’m borrowing from Weick and what John Dewey portrayed as a fundamental dynamic in life:
‘In every waking moment, the complete balance of the organism (system) and its environment is constantly interfered with and as constantly restored. Hence the ‘stream of consciousness’ in general, and in particular that phase of it celebrated by William James as alteration of flights and perching. Life is interruptions and recoveries.’ (Dewey 1922/2002:178-179)
As Weick puts it: Order; Interruption; Recovery. This is sense-making! Sense-making is conferring close reflexive awareness to social moves taking into account people’s experiences and what are the repercussions for what happens to them while still having the sense to know you’ll never have the full picture. That is sense. Weick mentions that he has two sign in his room, one reads: ‘Be where you are with all your mind. The other reads, ‘A true philosopher says only one thing in his life because he enjoys one contact with the real’. Two, signs one to the past, one to the future. But that is the purpose of reflecting and sense-making, no matter what vocabulary is sent forth. To refold, reflect, and refract experiences is a skill base ‘to see behind in order to look ahead’. ‘You must appreciate the past if you wish to use the present to get to a better future’. Mindful intensity, mindful ordering and mindful listening are all vital skills for managers throughout the world and various organisations but as individuals, they are vital for our well-being.
The etymology of the word blog is a conflation of web and log. It is not surprising that it’s a conflation as one splurges type onto the web, meanings can be distorted, maybe they appear not as clear as original journalism, yet there is immediacy, an urgency that surrounds a blog. A blog is open for criticism; a blog can have brutal comments trailing after it. Yet it is a forum where now people share their voices and learn to articulate thus reflecting on experiences in an on-going capacity. Our generation manage our thoughts, our emotions, our experiences in a public forum therefore we are better able to present ourselves. Sullivan debates that blogging has led to a golden era of journalism. A theorist Goffman testifies to the difficulties of transcending from one lifestyle to another: ‘there are indeed many precautions to imprison a man in what he is, as if we lived in perpetual fear that he might break away and suddenly elude his condition. We perform the self on the basis of our understanding of the role, or more importantly our expectation of the role or lifestyle.’ Yet blogging allows us to develop our reflective selves and develop outside of our worlds onto the World Wide Web. It allows us to stretch, reflect and refract our worlds.