Do I Smell Weed? Making Sense of Employee Behavior at a Restaurant
This critical incident focuses on applying Karl Weick’s (1995) sensemaking theory to help students interpret perspectives in what occurs when a summer intern had to deal with an emerging situation in a restaurant. By applying Weick’s sensemaking theory, students learn how their experiences add value to developing potential solutions. Chad was a shift manager at Italiano’s, a local Italian restaurant in rural Missouri. He experienced a major test less than three weeks into being promoted. The scent of marijuana coming from a bathroom led him to realize that an employee was smoking marijuana while the restaurant was open. With little information at hand and limited experience, Chad had to determine a course of action that the restaurant’s owners, customers, and employees would all respect. Chad was left wondering how his response would construct his identity at Italiano’s and as a future leader in the restaurant industry.
- Explain how constructing identity serves leaders to understand their roles in relation to the world around them.
- Apply retrospective and socialization skills to develop meaning.
- Explain how making sense is an ongoing and predictive process of assigning meaning and building awareness.
- Evaluate the extracted cues to create a plan of action.
- Make recommendations (action-in-context) based on one’s own background and sensemaking skills.