Making sense of internal social media: Discovering the employee perspective on a change process in a public organization

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskningpeer review


“It’s important to get employees onboard”. This seems inevitable in every change process, and when it doesn’t happen, it is often framed as employees displaying resistance against change and they are blamed for the failure of change efforts (Lewis, 2019). In other words, resistance to change is perceived as a destructive and counterproductive behavior in change processes. This rather simple understanding of employee reactions during change processes has been challenged by communication approaches to change communication, and Dent and Goldberg (1999) has put forward the idea that resistance to change is more a matter of “resistance towards lack of meaning”. A perspective that places sensemaking as the center of attention in change communication, as sensemaking describes the process that happens when people try to understand novel, unexpected or confusing issues or events (Maitlis and Christianson, 2014). Sensemaking is central to organizing, and it provides a useful lens for understanding and examining organizational life (Maitlis and Christianson, 2014). Furthermore, Lewis (2011, 2019) argue that much consequential communication during organizational change occurs among stakeholders who are not in decision-making roles. They share information with each other to reduce uncertainty and construct plausible understandings of what is happening. This is especially the case in a complex public sector organization where employees often are faced with many changes at the same time (Aggerholm and Thomsen, 2020), and where many different political and contradicting agendas compete (Luoma-aho and Canel, 2020). However, not much research has explored change processes in public organizations from an employee perspective (Aggerholm and Thomsen, 2020; Kuiper et al., 2014; Simonsson and Heide, 2020), and this paper seeks to address the gap by exploring how employees in a Danish public sector organization make sense of the introduction of a social intranet.
Publikationsdato5 okt. 2021
Antal sider2
StatusUnder udarbejdelse - 5 okt. 2021
BegivenhedEuprera 2021: The Camino of Strategic Communication - Pamplona, Spanien
Varighed: 7 okt. 20219 okt. 2021


KonferenceEuprera 2021: The Camino of Strategic Communication


  • Medier, kommunikation og sprog