MGMT 8005M:Week 1: Making Sense of Organizations Through Reframing Essay Assignment Paper

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MGMT 8005M:Week 1: Making Sense of Organizations Through Reframing Essay Assignment Paper

MGMT 8005M: Organizational Perspectives and Implications for Leaders | Week 1

How can I know what I think until see (hear) what I do?

– Kar Weick (1995, p. 8)

Organizations are fluid and dynamic. There are factors that impact the organization and can be easily observed. Other factors are not so easily observed; perhaps they are abstract or multidimensional. In addition, there are different leadership styles, management practices, and organizational conditions that are constantly in motion. An effective manager needs a framework to make sense of it all. This week, you become acquainted with Bolman and Deal’s (2017) reframing model and put it to use in both thinking about organizations as well as in looking at your own framing preferences.

The reframing model and metaphors are not to replace hard empirical data; they are tools to help managers conceptualize and communicate about situations that push the boundaries of the organization. Similarly, sensemaking and metaphors can be helpful when addressing persistent and recurring problems in the organization, especially when the current organizational structures are part of the problem and may prevent an objective assessment.

Consider the following example:

A consultant was hired by a hospital to work with the staff on a regulatory compliance issue after complaints by the patients of not receiving hot meals. The team assigned to this issue had collected data and analyzed it over the course of several months. There were daily records of temperatures of food leaving the kitchen, studies of plates and covers to maintain temperatures, distance from kitchen to the rooms on each floor. Yet, the data did not point to the cause of the meals arriving to the patients cold. The team was puzzled.

The consultant asked the team members to bring in some of the food service staff. She had the team members help her draw a map on the whiteboard at the front of the room. When the food staff came in, the consultant asked them to tell her about how they delivered the food and to draw the path of it on the map. She asked how long each step took from the kitchen to the elevators to the room. One of the participants said, “Wait a minute. You know we have to wait at least 10 minutes for the laundry department to get all of their carts off the elevator before we put the food carts on.”

The problem was solved. The laundry carts were to arrive at the elevators 15 minutes after the food carts were loaded and taken up to the upper floors. It did not take numerical data to solve the problem, but making sense from the employee’s actions, the issue, and what was happening in the situation did solve the problem.

This anecdote illustrates that empirical data does not always provide the right information to create knowledge for solving an issue. However, bringing together a group of key employees who are impacted by the issue and are part of the problem can aid at sensemaking. By the selected group dialoguing about what is occurring and their observations from their perspective, they can create new knowledge that can be used in sensemaking to determine the root cause of the problem and a solution.

Note: Within the first 2 weeks of this course, your Instructor will invite you to attend a teleconference, by posting an announcement and sending an e-mail, to share expectations of this course. Please watch for this notice.

Learning Objectives

This week, you will:

  • Define the term “sensemaking” and the signs to use it
  • Determine what situations warrant sensemaking and metaphors
  • Analyze the four-frame model and metaphors for organizations
  • Analyze leadership preferences in relation to the four frames
  • Identify four frames to learning about organizations


You will develop the following skills:

  • Analyze leadership styles
  • Apply theoretical concepts to practical cases

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.


American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Note: This text was required in your previous course and is necessary for your success throughout the doctoral program.

Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2017). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership (6th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

  • Chapter 1, “Introduction: The Power of Reframing” (pp. 3–24)
  • Chapter 2, “Simple Ideas, Complex Organizations” (pp. 25–46)

Bolman, L.G. & Deal, T. E. (n.d.) Leadership orientations: Self-Assessment [Questionnaire]. Retrieved August 5, 2018, from

Morgan, G. (2006). Images of organization. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  • Chapter 1, “Introduction” (pp. 3-8)
  • Chapter 10, “The Challenge of Metaphor” (pp. 337-344)

Sandberg, J. & Tsoukas, H. (2014). Making sense of the sense making perspective: Its constituents, limitations, and opportunities for further development. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 36, S6-632. doi:10.1002/job.1937

Document: Walden University School of Management Graduate Programs Course Discussion FAQ Sheet (PDF)

Document: Writing Resource Handout: APA Summary Sheet (Word document)


Laureate Education (Producer). (2014b). Course introduction [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author


MGMT 8005M:Week 1: Making Sense of Organizations Through Reframing Essay Assignment Paper


As a manager, you are expected to have a good understanding of how things work (or do not work) within the area of your span of influence. Managers have many ways of doing this, some more effective than others. Some managers rely mostly on intuition and continue to use the same familiar strategies to approach new challenges in their organizations. Others push the envelope and make a concerted effort to step outside of their comfort zone in order to solve persistent problems or tackle challenges of innovation and change.


To prepare for this Discussion, go to your Learning Resources and access the Bolman and Deal (n.d.) link titled Leadership Orientations-Self Assessment. Take the assessment to determine your personal preference orientation of frames in the Bolman and Deal model.

Day 3: Initial Post

Post by Day 3 an analysis of your leadership framing orientation within the context of a particular organization with which you are familiar. Include an analysis of strengths and weaknesses with respect to the four frames in your context, and discuss the benefit of using frames.

Be sure to review the Objectives listed for this week, and refer to the Discussion Rubric as guidance for the criteria that will be used to assess your participation in this Discussion. Also consult the list of Hints to be sure you are hitting the target for the content.

Day 7: Response

Respond by Day 7 to at least two colleagues’ posts and provde them with suggestions or observations regarding their post.

Note: Include proper APA citations to support all statements by referencing at least two sources from this week’s recommended readings as well as two additional sources from relevant peer-reviewed publications.

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