Sparr, Jennifer L.

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Jennifer L.
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The Critical Role of Moderators in Leader Sensegiving : A Literature Review

2015, Kraft, Anna, Sparr, Jennifer L., Peus, Claudia

Change initiatives entail a high risk of failure if leaders cannot convey the underlying sense to employees. However, the effectiveness of leader sensegiving depends on external as well as internal factors. Moderators of the leader sensegiving process represent a critical but underexplored factor of sensegiving during organizational change. We derive a theoretical model of contextual factors by reviewing existing sensegiving literature. Drawing on information-processing theory, we highlight the influence of crucial moderators at the organizational and individual levels during two phases of the sensegiving process: in the first phase, moderators affect how leaders set up sensegiving; in the second phase, moderators affect how employees engage in sensemaking. The moderators in the first phase are (a) schema consistency at the organizational level and (b) legitimate power at the individual level. During the second phase, the moderating effect of (c) schema consistency at the organizational level and (d) employee emotions at the individual level is explored. We contribute to literature by demonstrating how moderators affect sensegiving during organizational change at two phases of the process and providing a multi-level perspective by distinguishing between moderators at the organizational and individual levels.