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Do I Smell Weed? Making Sense of Employee Behavior at a Restaurant

Eric Nelson, Matthew VanSchenkhof, Chad Brown, Jessica Cox
January 1, 2017
North America
Strategy & General Management
3 pages
sensemaking, drug use, restaurant, manager, Organizational Behavior
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.41)
Average rating: 

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.