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Process, Sensemaking, and Organizing$
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Tor Hernes and Sally Maitlis

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199594566

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199594566.001.0001

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The Poetics of Process: Theorizing the Ineffable in Organization Studies

The Poetics of Process: Theorizing the Ineffable in Organization Studies

(p.102) 6 The Poetics of Process: Theorizing the Ineffable in Organization Studies
Process, Sensemaking, and Organizing

Karl E. Weick (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues here for the poetics of process—the imaginative process of creating forms out of “airy nothing”. Managerial work, it further notes, is akin to the work of a poet. Process thinking helps us pay attention to concrete details and the constitution of things. Through gerund forms of thinking we recover some of the process that generates nouns and gives us apparent stability. Nouns and verbs are best seen as co-evolving. Scholars who practice process theorizing accept reluctantly the ineffability underlying the stabilization of differences and reaffirm their commitment to draw attention to indications of nouns being unwound and set in motion as verbs, as well as verbs being wound into slower motion as nouns. The naming and the winding are the work of process theorizing just as they are the work of everyday life as organizing.

Keywords:   process, sensemaking, organizing, imagination, poetics

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