IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Sensemaking, metaphors and performance evaluation


  • Patriotta, Gerardo
  • Brown, Andrew D.


Summary This paper analyzes the linkages between sensemaking, metaphors and performance evaluation in an organizational setting. Drawing on a study of how university students prepared for examinations, it argues that one way people make sense of being evaluated is through metaphors that conventionalize reality and thus contribute to the maintenance of continuity in everyday social action. This is because metaphorical understandings assist people's effort to assign events and situations to familiar categories and thereby turn the 'unusual' into 'business as usual'. Moreover, metaphors are cognitive and more broadly power-laden social resources, which individuals and groups employ in determining how to make sense of and deal with potentially unsettling events such as performance evaluations.

Suggested Citation

  • Patriotta, Gerardo & Brown, Andrew D., 2011. "Sensemaking, metaphors and performance evaluation," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 34-43, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:scaman:v:27:y:2011:i:1:p:34-43

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Carlos Martin-Rios, 2016. "Innovative management control systems in knowledge work: a middle manager perspective," Journal of Management Control: Zeitschrift für Planung und Unternehmenssteuerung, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 181-204, May.
    2. Atif Açıkgöz & Ayşe Günsel & Cemil Kuzey & Halil Zaim, 2016. "Team Foresight in New Product Development Projects," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 289-323, March.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:scaman:v:27:y:2011:i:1:p:34-43. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.