Exploring the role of sensegiving and sensereceiving in avoiding strategy execution failure

McKiernan, Peter and MacKay, David (2017) Exploring the role of sensegiving and sensereceiving in avoiding strategy execution failure. In: BAM 2017: 31st Annual Conference of the British Academy of Management, 2017-09-05 - 2017-09-07, Warwick University.

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Abstract

Sensereceiving is a novel concept describing the receptiveness of an individual or group of individuals to the sensegiving messages of others. We explore the impact of varying sensereceiving attitudes and sensegiving activities between hierarchical levels in a case organization struggling with strategy execution performance. We find that a low sensereceiving attitude from a top management team limits the potential for shared strategy meaning making with non-executive employees. As non-executive employee focus is diverted from the content of strategy communications by frustrations at not being heard, engagement and understanding of strategic plans and initiatives is limited. In contrast, a high sensereceiving approach from a top management team to those with less formal power – signaled by an invitation to non-executive others to share ideas – is hypothesized as a communicative mechanism with potential to enable shared meaning making and enhanced strategy execution performance. We propose that further applied and theoretical development of sensereceiving knowledge might improve strategic management governance approaches and enhance strategy execution performance.