Leaders’ Sensegiving through Signalling

While sense-giving strategies are cognitive acts of the individual, sense-giving phases are acts of translation made between individuals (Maitlis & Lawrence, 2007). The intentionality of a sensegiving act is to influence another individual’s thinking to accept it as their own, or collective (Gioia and Chittpedi, 1991). the 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 two, termed Signalling, is where the leader’s schema is formed 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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