Six ways to leave a lover: How sensemaking of the purpose of internal social media changes over time in a public sector organization

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review


Internal social media (ISM) make it possible for all employees to participate in knowledge sharing and decision-making and to voice their opinions. However, several studies have found that organizations are far from unlocking the full potential of ISM. This paper seeks to explore and explain this gap further by adopting a sensemaking lens to managers' understanding of a social intranet in a public sector organization.

A longitudinal case study of the process of introducing ISM was conducted in a Danish municipality. Before, during and after the launch of the intranet, interviews with department heads and communication managers in the six different municipal departments were carried out to explore how they made sense of the purpose of ISM.

Findings indicate that during the process of introducing and implementing ISM, department heads' and managers' narratives about the purpose of the intranet changed from being a matter of involving, engaging and hearing the voices of the employees to being an effective administrative tool and a channel for management to reach all employees.

Rather than the traditional focus on whether ISM fail or succeed, the paper offers new understandings of how managers' sensemaking of ISM changes over time, leading to changes in the actual usage of and communication on ISM.
ArtikelnummerAhead of print
TidsskriftCorporate Communications
Sider (fra-til)1-20
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 25 jul. 2021


  • Medier, kommunikation og sprog