Conferences - Seminars

  Thursday 29 March 2018 10:30 - 12:00 ODY 4 03 VIP room

Seminar by Prof. Claus Rerup, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

By Prof. Claus Rerup, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

"Distributed Sensemaking: Split Updating in the Baltic Ferry Industry"

To examine distributed sensemaking across the “sharp-end” and “blunt-end” of the Baltic ro-ro ferry industry, we conducted a longitudinal, inductive study of 59 bow-door locking incidents that occurred over 25 years prior to the Estonia ferry accident in 1994 where 852 people died. Our analysis identified three patterns of updating (editing, priming, and triggering) that actors engaged in to make sense of minor, moderate and major incidents. We observed that one or more fractures in updating occurred in each of the three patterns of adaptive sensemaking, leading us to develop the new construct “split updating.” Split updating shifts our focus away from the idea that adaptive sensemaking is a monolithic process. This shift highlights the distributed and variegated nature of adaptive sensemaking and highlights the importance of studying boundary crossing sensemaking processes. Our findings and theoretical insights make two contributions. First, we expand sensemaking research from a bifurcated “micro” or “macro” phenomenon to a distributed phenomenon that stretches across the sharp-end and blunt-end. Second, we extend existing work on adaptive sensemaking by showing how incidents can lead to updating of some aspects of sensemaking while cause others to remain stable. This adaptive instability can lead people to falsely conclude that the cause of a problem has been addressed through updating, and disguise unsafe practices. 


Organization College of Management of Technology


Accessibility General public

Admittance Free