Publication Details

Morrison, J. K. 2010, 'Making sense in dynamic development policy contexts: socio-cognitive environments as an analytic substitute for 'organizational culture'', in B. Gurd (eds), 24th Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management, Australia, pp. 1-26.


This paper presents socio-cognitive environment (SCE) as an alternative conceptual framework to organizational culture to study dynamic development policy environments where groups of stakeholders engage in high degrees of organizational boundary-crossing to achieve collective aims. This paper summarizes a two year study of a group of Cambodian mid-level managers who were charged with implementing a participatory development policy. Such an effort required staff to engage in a collective sensemaking process that spanned organizational, cultural, social, and historical boundaries. SCE serves as a useful device to consider how both macro and micro interactions influence mid-level manager sensemaking. This paper presents a review of the key bodies of literature which have supported the development of the SCE model, before presenting the analytic model itself. The paper concludes with a discussion of how this model might be useful in other contexts.