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p. 513. What does it mean to be an organization?locked

  • Mary Jo Hatch


‘What does it mean to be an organization?’ focuses on how meaning is created in organizations. Meaning derives from the social construction of reality — how reality is defined by individual interpretations of things and events, and sensemaking — assigning meaning to this reality. This meaning gives rise to institutions, which are mechanisms and behaviours that control society. They can only do this if they are seen to be legitimate—itself another product of sensemaking. Institutions are controlled by markets, hierarchies, and social movements. Institutions are closely related to culture — a collection of symbols and objects given meaning through sensemaking. Organizational culture combines external adaptation with internal integration, enabling stability and change.

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