Primary File Info
Do I Smell Weed? Making Sense of Employee Behavior at a Restaurant
Eric Nelson, Matthew VanSchenkhof, Chad Brown, Jessica Cox
January 1, 2017
Strategy & General Management
sensemaking, drug use, restaurant, manager, Organizational Behavior
Journal of Critical Incidents
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.