Sensemaking and sensegiving in strategic change initiation

Dennis A. Gioia, Kumar Chittipeddi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2290 Scopus citations


This paper reports an ethnographic study of the initiation of a strategic change effort in a large, public university. It develops a new framework for understanding the distinctive character of the beginning stages of strategic change by tracking the first year of the change through four phases (labeled as envisioning, signaling, re‐visioning, and energizing). This interpretive approach suggests that the CEO's primary role in instigating the strategic change process might best be understood in terms of the emergent concepts of ‘sensemaking’ and ‘sensegiving’. Relationships between these central concepts and other important theoretical domains are then drawn and implications for understanding strategic change initiation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-448
Number of pages16
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Sensemaking and sensegiving in strategic change initiation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this