April 05, 2018

10:00-11:00 a.m.

Please note: This event is for invited researchers only.

Positive Sensemaking: Exploring the interact-commitment link towards organizational change

Talk description:
The objective of our research is to analyze human interaction between corporate groups to explore how and why different levels of commitment (i.e. employee engagement) to an identical change program can arise. Inspired by pragmatism, Positive Organizational Scholarship and the concept of sensemaking, we examine how the change process is framed in a financial services firm. We focus specifically on human interaction, such as talk, nonverbal interaction, and the use of material objects for analyzing how the intended positive culture is actually enacted by organizational actors. The key question we address is: ‘How can specific interaction patterns lead to different commitment levels towards the same change program in the case of a financial services firm?’

Lars Gruss
is a master student of business psychology and sociology at the Copenhagen Business School. Prior to that he received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Mannheim in Germany. Lars’ academic interests lie in organizational behavior with a specific focus on culture change. After holding student positions in finance, accounting and consulting, Lars was thinking about one major question: ‘Why are so many work environments rather toxic, although the related company is performing well and its employer brand is perceived as positive?’ To understand the question more comprehensively, he decided to pursue a PhD in the respective field as his next academic step.

Patrick Borchert’s academic interests and passion lie in business psychology and sociology, in fact organizational dynamics like culture and change. In his undergraduate program he studied business administration in Munich and Paris and after working in several different industries, Patrick became increasingly interested in how to drive and facilitate organizational change in a positive and sustainable manner. To learn more about these topics, he decided to pursue a master’s degree in business psychology and sociology at Copenhagen Business School. With the intention to bridge the gap between academic research and organizational contexts, Patrick co-founded S.I.C. Consulting, a student organization that empowers students to transform their scientific research into tangible business solutions.

Research is the heart of Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS), and we want to make sure that we support each other in developing high quality research. To that end, we created the Adderley Positive Research Incubator for sharing and encouraging POS-related research ideas that are at various stages of development.

Learn more about the Adderley Positive Research Incubator here and direct questions about individual sessions to Amy Young at baldwin@umich.edu.