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ERIC Number: EJ1003852
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 97
ISSN: ISSN-0162-5748
Sensemaking and New College Presidents: A Conceptual Study of the Transition Process
Smerek, Ryan E.
Review of Higher Education, v36 n3 p371-403 Spr 2013
This study examines the sensemaking processes of new college presidents to understand how they develop plausible, working descriptions of the campus and come to understand their role. Semi-structured interviews were completed with 18 presidents who were organizational outsiders and first-time presidents. As newcomers, presidents were found to act as "lay ethnographers," make different descriptions of sensemaking based on the organization's size and complexity, and rely on peers and mentors to reduce uncertainty. Several barriers to sensemaking also emerged. This study contributes to the understanding of administrative leadership and advances the theoretical perspective of sensemaking (Weick, 1995). (Contains 1 figure.)
Johns Hopkins University Press. 2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218. Tel: 800-548-1784; Tel: 410-516-6987; Fax: 410-516-6968; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A