“Could he make a picture, and get them all to fit?”

Paul Kelly, To Her Door


“Sensemaking in crisis conditions is made more difficult because action that is instrumental to understanding the crisis often intensifies the crisis. This dilemma is interpreted from the perspective that people enact the environments which constrain them. It is argued that commitment, capacity, and expectations affect sensemaking during crisis and the severity of the crisis itself. It is proposed that the core concepts of enactment may comprise an ideology that reduces the likelihood of crisis.”

Weick, K. 1988. Enacted Sensemaking in Crisis situations. Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 25, pp.305-317.

Weick, K. 1993. The Collapse of Sensemaking in Organizations: The Mann Gulch Disaster. Adminsitrative Science Quarterly, Vol 38, pp.628-652.

Elliot, D., Smith. D. and McGuinness, M. 2000. Exploring the failure to learn: crises and the barriers to learning. Review of Business, 21, 3/4 pp.17-24.

See also the 2010 paper – Maitlis, S and Sonenshein, S. 2010. Sensemaking in Crisis and Change: Inspiration and Insights From Weick (1988). Journal of Management Studies, 47:3 doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6486.2010.00908.x

See also – bounded rationality, cognitive limitations, helmet fire,


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