Making sense of and reacting to organizational change : a descriptive study of how change recipients make sense of and react to an organizational change initiative
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- Master Thesis 
The purpose of this study was to gain insight in how employees in an international energy company made sense of and reacted to an organizational change initiative. Furthermore how such responses to change might affect the implementation of the change initiative. The studied change concerns the introduction of a new management system platform. Existing literature highlights employees’ reacting or responding to change in various ways, and that this in turn will have effect on both the change initiative and the organization. This thesis draws on literature on organizational change, sensemaking and reactions to change, while studying employees’ responses and reactions to the new management system platform. In order to examine the research question guiding this thesis, I have studied and analyzed comments submitted by employees in a user survey concerning the management system. The submitted comments are linked to questions answered in a negative manner, thereby revealing only parts of the whole picture in the organization. Findings suggest a fragmented sensemaking scenario, identifying several different accounts comprehending the management system as unclear, difficult to use or even irrelevant to established working procedures. Furthermore, both negative and ambivalent reactions are identified. In addition, the findings suggest there is a need for sensegiving present within the organization, as well as the possible occurrence of interrecipient sensemaking in order to comprehend the management system. Drawing on existing literature, the findings are linked to possible organizational responses to change. This suggests implications for the managers who are to carry out the further implementation of the management system.