Organizational Culture and Sensemaking for Crisis Counselors: Working in the Gray of Human Experience
Ormson, Ashley J.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Fine Arts and Communication
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Organizational culture is the umbrella under which established rules and norms guide all employee communication and behavior. But when individuals working in an organization are confronted with uncertainty, they will react first and evaluate their actions second. The basic human process of reaction, contemplation and retention are here explored in Weick’s (1979) sensemaking model and applied within an organization’s cultural context. This qualitative study explores how crisis counselors make sense of an environment where ambiguity is the norm and culture is characterized as unrestricted and flexible. First, coping strategies in situations of uncertainty are explored through Weick’s (1979) sensemaking theory, and second are evaluated in the context of this organization’s culture and approach to employees and clients.