Leadership as Construction of Meaning

The questions to be discussed and answered are the following:

  1. Weick states in his texts that sensemaking requires basically three elements: frame/frames, a cue and a relation between these two. Explain (and when appropriate give examples) these three elements and how they contribute to sensemaking, using the Weick’s texts and the messages from the lectures.
  2. One argument put forward in this course is that leadership should be understood as a relationship between leaders and followers. Explain this argument using the theories and perspectives presented in the course.
  3. Why is leadership a “multi-communicative” activity?
  4. One other idea being argued for during our course is that frames of reference both enables our sensemaking but in the same time restricts our sensemaking. Discuss why this is so and also some practical implications following from this idea from a business leadership point of view.
  5. Do a short rhetorical analysis using the concepts and ideas from the course of the enclosed speech given by the former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton the 6th of December 2011 (see below). Discuss and argue also if you believe the speech is well written and arranged or not.

Sensemaking

It is an ordinary requirement for human beings to participate in putting meaning on things that occur in their environment for them to understand the world. The process of finding the meaning of the unknown is referred to as sensemaking. Weick describes the process of sensemaking as a means by which people interpret, analyze events and arrange them in context to understand the unfolding situation. The process entails a social construction that is evoked by discrepant cues that interrupt the ongoing activities triggering a retrospective response that rationalize the significance of the event (Weick 56). Sensemaking is followed by individuals creating reasonable explanations of the event, and then they engage in necessary actions. The understanding developed is not necessarily correct and may result in undertaking the wrong action. The development of conceivable meaning is associated with cues from the surroundings and their interpretation through noticeable frames. There is no fixed environment for sensemaking and there exists a mutual influence between it and the person. Weick explains that sensemaking requires something reasonable that makes sense for us, he states that what is necessary is a good story (Weick 61). Weick alludes that sensemaking is triggered by three elements that include clues, frames, and a connection of the two and it is developed regardless of which elements come first (Weick 111).

Frames. Weick reviews that an investigation into the components that make up sensemaking involves studying what people draw on to perform certain actions and interpret objects (Weick 199). The appraisal further explains that the idea that individuals draw from something advocates for the involvement of frames. For instance, organizational culture can form a frame on which people in a certain region draw content that enables them to understand a situation in a company. Weick explains that it’s from the frames that cues are born and logic is created. Frames contribute to sensemaking by facilitating a person to pinpoint, distinguish, categorize and tag situations in their existence and surroundings. Frames are regarded as past experiences. Weick states that elements in organizational sensemaking originate from the past. The experience interacts with the present situation to develop an understanding. Expanding on this, Weick gives the example of a forest fire that explodes, which prolong the period of finding meaning because it is unprecedented (111). Frames also determine the accuracy of sensemaking because they dictate what the people know and what they do not know (Weick 60). Human interactions influence the frames of reference because meaning is shared between individuals….

Leader-Follower Relationship

The leader-follower relationship suggests that there no leaders who are not followers, nor followers who are not leaders (Riggio, Chaleff and Lipman-Blumen 18). For long, studies in management depict leaders as the causal agents of almost situation that develop in an organized setting while followers are the passive non-leaders who are taken for granted. Changes in the field show that the success of any organizations is determined by how followers follow. The significance of understanding the leader-follower relationship is rooted in that even leaders are supporters in some circumstances and the fact that companies require active and creative workers. The following discussion evaluates the theories and perspectives that articulate that leadership is a leader-follower relationship….

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