Sensemaking, metaphors and performance evaluation

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35 Citations (SciVal)


This paper analyzes the linkages between sensemaking, metaphors and performance evaluation in an organizational setting. Drawing on a study of how university students prepared for examinations, it argues that one way people make sense of being evaluated is through metaphors that conventionalize reality and thus contribute to the maintenance of continuity in everyday social action. This is because metaphorical understandings assist people's effort to assign events and situations to familiar categories and thereby turn the 'unusual' into 'business as usual'. Moreover, metaphors are cognitive and more broadly power-laden social resources, which individuals and groups employ in determining how to make sense of and deal with potentially unsettling events such as performance evaluations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-43
Number of pages10
JournalScandinavian Journal of Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011


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