The world we live in is changing rapidly. In the near future we can expect new developments and technologies, such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence and autonomous devices. Such developments are changing organizations as we know them. These changes often occur as planned radical organizational changes (PROC) which alter the power structure, culture, routines and strategy of organizations. It is important for organizations to guide their employees in preparation for these planned radial organizational changes, so that the changes are more likely to be embraced. Therefore, we must understand how employees make sense of planned radical organizational changes. To answer this question, semi-structured interviews and group conversations are conducted in a warehouse of one of the largest retailers in the Netherlands. This organization is transforming one of its warehouses from a manual warehouse to a fully automatic warehouse. The respondents are supporters and opponents of the upcoming PROC. This study concludes that the sensemaking process regarding the PROC has various stages. First, the employees exhibit a need for information about the PROC. The next phase of making sense of the PROC can be described as creating an image of the change. When seeking information about the PROC, it can be concluded that employees are curious about changes to their own personal situations, and they speak most positively about information gained through interaction with others. Various emotions about the PROC arise during both phases, and it is important to understand that negative feelings can be accompanied by positive feelings. New findings show that employees express a need regarding how they receive the information. The behavior, honesty, transparency and frequency with which the top management team TMT communicates can be concluded as notable, but more importantly, as occurring through interaction with others. This has led to the formulation of a new model about sensemaking in the case of a PROC. The literature review presents an overview of the most important literature, before the research design and methods of research and data gathering are explained. In the subsequent chapter the findings are presented thematically, in the form of categories and examples. The final chapter discusses the results, limitations and recommendations for further research.

Additional Metadata
Keywords innovation, organizational change, change management
Thesis Advisor M. S. Kaandorp, Dirk van Dierendonck
Persistent URL
Series Management van Verandering
Jeanne Sas. (2019, October 31). Sensemaking in planned radical organizational changes. Management van Verandering. Retrieved from