A sensemaking perspective on network pictures

Ian Colville, Annie Pye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (SciVal)


This paper examines the concept of network pictures through the lens of the organizational sensemaking perspective. Essentially it develops the concept of network pictures by suggesting we think of them as exercises in sensemaking. It does so by providing an introduction to organizational sensemaking before establishing a degree of commensurability between network pictures and sensemaking. It suggests that what we may then see more clearly is that the concept of network pictures needlessly gets involved in reification when talking of 'the' network picture whereas a more dynamic approach leads to ideas of network picturing in which the complete discrediting or collapse of extant sensemaking and network pictures provides a research opportunity that could be jointly explored by both perspectives. The paper concludes that paradoxically 'finding' this new sense or new network picture appropriate to radically changed times is facilitated by a process that involves first 'becoming lost'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-380
Number of pages9
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • sensemaking
  • requisite variety
  • storytelling
  • network pictures
  • negative capability


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