Emergency calls are high-stake situations characterized by volatile and time-critical conditions. The use of the telephone restricts sensory perception to a single modality—hearing—which makes both sensemaking and embodied sensemaking more difficult. Using observations, interviews, and organizational documents, we unveil how attention to the non-verbal cues of callers and their surroundings assists emergency operators to make sense of incoming calls for help. We find that operators use two practices to prioritize the calls: a frame-confirming practice and a frame-modifying practice. The practices are underpinned by configurations of verbal and non-verbal cues, wherein caller’s emotional expressions and environmental sounds are both considered as distinct input. The non-verbal focus in this study extends our understanding of first-order sensemaking within the emergency domain but also in other sensory deprived settings in high-consequence industries. The contributions of this analysis to sensemaking research reside in the revelation that non-verbal cues contextualize and consequently frame the discursive elements of sensemaking. More specifically, this research offers the insight that embodies sensemaking benefits from attention being given to callers’ non-verbal cues, rather than valuing only one’s own bodily experiences and mere verbal descriptions about events.
Freely available here: https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1X1p3xscsoXER
Global terrorism in the early 21st century appears to be an inevitable part of organizational life. Even among people not personally injured in an attack, the immediate aftermath can be a period of hardship, stress and sensemaking. This paper develops theory about how people give meaning to their work after terrorism. In contrast to views of everyday work as something that loses significance in times of such tragedy, I outline the conditions under which individuals are also likely to find positive meaning in it. Doing so, I integrate varied findings about workplace responses to terrorism and provide a basis for empirical testing rooted in theories of work meaning, sensemaking and the cultural response to disaster. The paper concludes with implications for research and practice.
“Arctic scientists aren’t usually afraid of a little cold. Windy conditions don’t usually get us howling. The beasts we pay attention to are usually polar bears. But last week’s “Beast from the East” triggered a few anxious conversations.
Social media memes aside, our problem isn’t this one extreme weather event per se. Our key fear is that the Beast isn’t really from the East – its birthplace was farther north….” The rest of the article is found here
The book by the late Alan Bryman and David Buchanan explore unconventional methods. A chapter in the book is specifically dedicated to extreme contexts and is perhaps extra interesting to this community.
As part of the network activities a sub-theme was arranged at the EGOS conference. The track was one of the larger ones and received more than 50 submissions.
The third workshop on Extreme contexts was hosted by University of Paris – Sorbonne on the 19-20th of October, 2017. The workshop was organized by Genevieve Musca, Université Paris Ouest, Nanterre la Defence & Frederique Gautier, Sorbonne, Paris, Linda Rouleau at HEC Montreal, and Markus Hällgren at Umeå university. The workshop gathered a group of 37 interdisciplinary international scholars with a interest in a wide a variety of topics. True to the workshop format the two days were filled with paper presentations and master classes.
The second workshop arranged by the Organizing Extreme Contexts network was hosted at Umeå university 28-29th of January, 2016. The theme was “Strategizing and Organizing in Extreme Contexts”. The workshop was organized by Markus Hällgren, Umeå university, Linda Rouleau at HEC Montreal and Daniel Geiger, University of Hamburg. The workshop gathered 35 international and interdisciplinary scholars interested in research on extreme contexts. The two days were filled with a variety of activities including paper discussions and lively master classes. Master classes included how to publish research on Extreme contexts, the use of fiction in research on extreme contexts, methodological access challenges of extreme context research.
Extreme contexts is not necessarily the easiest environment to study and often it require some methodological ingenuity. This was also the theme for the small workshop on experimental methods. Methods such as visual methodologies, walking seminars and meditation was explored for two days. The workshop was hosted by the research group TripleED (www.tripleed.com) The workshop took place xx-xx, 2015.