Leaders’ Sensegiving through Signalling

While sense-giving strategies are cognitive acts made by an individual, the sense-giving phases are acts of translation made between individuals (Maitlis & Lawrence , 2007). The intentionality of a sense-giving act is to influence another individual’s thinking to the point of accepting it as their own, or collective (Gioia and Chittpedi, 1991). Phase 1 of sensegiving proposed by Gioia and Chittpedi (1991) is Envisioning. This phase resembles the leader making sense of the events for themselves. Phase 2 termed Signalling, is where the leader’s forms their schema into communicative acts of sensegiving. Such acts are diverse; they could range from storytelling to analogies of past events. These sensegiving acts may inject ambiguity or ‘stir the setting’ in stable environments (Neumann, 1995). It is viewed as a translation act. The leader reminds (signals) the community about their sensemaking.

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