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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | International Business | 2015
Thesis number: 14261
Outsourced employees' sensemaking process in adjusting to a new organization
Author: Paavola, Mikko
Title: Outsourced employees' sensemaking process in adjusting to a new organization
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; johtaminen; management; organisaatio; organization; muutos; change; työntekijät; workers; ulkoistaminen; outsourcing; kokemus; experience; identiteetti; identity; yrityskulttuuri; corporate culture
Pages: 63
Key terms: sensemaking; sensegiving; organizational change; outsourcing
Purpose of the research The purpose of this research was to study the sensemaking process of one group of employees who are transferred to a new organization. In order to do so, the research question posed was "how did the transferred employees make sense of their outsourcing?"

Methodology This research was a qualitative case study with an abductive approach concentrating on an outsourcing event and the employees affected by it with. This approach made it feasible to conduct an in-depth analysis of a multifaceted event with the focus on the employees' interpretation of the situation. The study was conducted with a combination of ethnographic methods to formulate the initial research using in-depth thematic interviews for further data collection. This combination of approaches made it possible to refine the interviews questions as the study progressed.

Findings This thesis supports sensemaking research that has seen previous experiences, identity reconstruction and management sensegiving as central factors that influence employee sensemaking. In this case, employees transferred to company B adjusted to their new environment slowly, as employment at company A had been a source of satisfaction and part of their identity, and sensegiving by the management of company B was scarce. This study has also practical implication. In order to support employees reconstructing their identities and adjusting to their new environment, management sensegiving is crucial. While transferred employees and the management are very likely to hold divergent understandings of the success and fairness of the outsourcing process, scant sensegiving fuels uncertainties, distrust and slow integration to the new organization.
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