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Space and sensemaking in high-reliability task contexts: Insights from a maritime mass rescue exercise
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership (CeFEO). Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Media, Management and Transformation Centre (MMTC).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8304-5321
German Maritime Search and Rescue Service - DGzRS, Research and Development, Bremen, Germany.
2022 (English)In: Organization Studies, ISSN 0170-8406, E-ISSN 1741-3044, Vol. 43, no 5, p. 699-724Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The spatial environment shapes sensemaking in complex situations. While we know that actors in high-reliability task contexts often have a certain degree of control over their spatial environment, it remains unclear how they enact their spatial environment and which effect this has on their sensemaking. In this paper, we use micro-ethnographic video data from two maritime mass rescue exercises to fill this gap. We find that actors that are under a high cognitive load enact space incidentally and fail to re-enact their spatial environment when problems arise. Instead, actors engage in micro-activities that temporarily mitigate the problems created by their space enactment. We develop a model on space and sensemaking in high-reliability task contexts that distinguishes between unenacted, enacted and lived space. Our findings point towards nested sensemaking, where the enacted spatial environment becomes part of the overall 'story' of an operation. Our findings have implications for our understanding of space and sensemaking in high-reliability task contexts, provide opportunities to improve high-reliability organizations' performance and add to research on space and organising.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2022. Vol. 43, no 5, p. 699-724
Keywords [en]
Ethnography, Non-profit organizations, civil society, Research Design and Data Collection, Sensemaking theory, Theoretical Perspectives, Topics
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-54285DOI: 10.1177/01708406211035511ISI: 000686973500001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85113137106Local ID: HOA;intsam;758884OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-54285DiVA, id: diva2:1586270
Available from: 2021-08-19 Created: 2021-08-19 Last updated: 2022-12-18Bibliographically approved

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Steigenberger, Norbert

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