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M. van Vuuren on Communication, Sensemaking and Change Essay (Article)

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Updated: Nov 15th, 2021

The article named “Communication, sensemaking and change as a chord of three strands” revolves around the discussion that highlights the need and importance of change, along with the ways that enable the successful transformation of change. Of those methods, emphasis is laid on the vital role of communication. Information and communication are different things; they need to change and its criteria can be published, but it’s not necessary that it would be communicated or understood. Participation is the element that enables the proper understanding of the information and creates a willing attitude towards change. Two perspectives of change approach include the Planned Approach and Development Approach; the former states that the change plan prevails over the organizational problems if communicated to persuade, the latter tells that the organization must involve its workforce in identifying and solving problems. The distinction between the two perspectives depends on the nature of the change to be brought in.

The practical implications for the change practitioners include the idea that an organization is not a stagnant thing that works in a stagnant environment; so the change must be incurred as time passes on. Secondly, sensemaking is all about understanding and consensually agreeing with the idea; or in other words, sensemaking becomes an issue if there is no proper talk, communication, or language used. Other important implications are 1 – the importance of interpersonal communication and 2 – the meaning that is drawn from communication. The way the message is communicated has a great influence on how it is interpreted and understood. People want energy, motivation, and benefits in the proposed idea; therefore, the practitioners should effectively understand the emotions and psyche of the workforce and present the idea of change in a way that entices the audience. That may include typical communication skills; such as starting with buffer, though-provoking questions, emphasizing needs and benefits, giving examples, and zeroing in. Secondly, certain conditions, need, and benefits for the proposed change must be put in front of the audience. Moreover, a comfort zone and connection should be established in order to let the message be perceived positively, thus creates a sensemaking process. This practice definitely removes the probability of the confrontation of the workforce due to misunderstanding or misinterpretation.

Another part of the article discusses the research agenda that identifies the causes that lead to confrontation of the proposed change. The organizational workforce opposes the change due to the uncertainty that is linked with the change; for instance, fear of losing a job, fear of losing power, status, remuneration, and the uneasiness with the upcoming change. To overcome these issues, communication must be effective to reduce uncertainty and that can be done by three approaches: conflicts, informal communication and storytelling.

Conflicts arise due to ineffective conceptualization of the change idea. These conflicts can be handled by framing the proper consideration of the change process; it means that certain aspects must be put in front and at the back of people’s minds regarding its importance. Information communication must be there in the organization to a certain extent; managers, supervisors, and subordinates must coordinate and communicate with each other to discuss ideas and problems and reduce misunderstanding. Feedback also helps to minimize uncertainty. Lastly, storytelling must be done by the senior staff or management of the success anecdotes, in order to motivate the workforce and incite in them the need to change and excel.

References

Vuuren. M. V. and Elving. W. J. L. (n.d). Communication, sensemaking and change as a chord of three strands. Communicating Organizational Change.

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IvyPanda. (2021, November 15). M. van Vuuren on Communication, Sensemaking and Change. https://ivypanda.com/essays/m-van-vuuren-on-communication-sensemaking-and-change/

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"M. van Vuuren on Communication, Sensemaking and Change." IvyPanda, 15 Nov. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/m-van-vuuren-on-communication-sensemaking-and-change/.

1. IvyPanda. "M. van Vuuren on Communication, Sensemaking and Change." November 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/m-van-vuuren-on-communication-sensemaking-and-change/.


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IvyPanda. "M. van Vuuren on Communication, Sensemaking and Change." November 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/m-van-vuuren-on-communication-sensemaking-and-change/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "M. van Vuuren on Communication, Sensemaking and Change." November 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/m-van-vuuren-on-communication-sensemaking-and-change/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'M. van Vuuren on Communication, Sensemaking and Change'. 15 November.

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