Making sense of inquiry sensemaking

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This paper presents an analysis of a report of a Tribunal of Inquiry in order to further our understanding of inquiry team sensemaking. The subject of the paper is the Report of the Allitt Inquiry into attacks on children on Ward Four at Grantham and Kesteven Hospital in the UK. Premised on an understanding of the Report as crystallized sensemaking, and sensemaking as a narrative process, the paper illustrates how authorial strategies centred on issues of normalization, observation, and absolution are employed to create a rhetorical and verisimilitudinous artifact. This, it is argued, is accomplished as part of a more general strategy of depoliticizing the disaster event, legitimating social institutions, (especially those connected with the medical profession), ameliorating anxieties by elaborating fantasies of omnipotence and control, and thenceforth acting as a sensitizing narrative archetype.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-75
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of management studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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