Hollow phrase or lived reality: Using sensemaking theory to highlight the role of higher education middle managers in initiating change processes

Aktivität: Gespräch oder VortragVortrag


This contribution addresses mechanisms at play in the implementation of inclusion and diversity management (IDM) – as political or institutional priorities or strategies – and shows how these priorities are enacted amongst study programme leaders. It uses and applies Weick’s (1995) sensemaking concept to illustrate how meaning and “sense” is attributed to external demands such as the introduction of IDM - or how it is rejected. This paper focuses on initiating change among programme leaders, a highly influential, but often overlooked group of academic middle managers who are able to exert considerable (informal) influence on other staff and, ultimately, possess the power to implement inclusive practice in their programmes. It further highlights the fact that HEI as expert organisations cannot be steered “from the top” and that in order for changes to take root, i.e., to become a lived reality, plausibility has to be constructed first.
Zeitraum8 Juli 2021
Ereignistitel37th EGOS Colloquium: Organizing for an Inclusive Society