Conflict and Power Games in a Multinational Corporation: Sensegiving as a Strategy of Preservation

Israel Drori*, Shemuel Ellis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this paper, we seek to extend existing understandings of how sensegiving is associated with conflict and power games. We look specifically at sensegiving by managers that promotes strategies and actions geared toward preserving their positions against change. Formulating a conceptual framework about sensegiving and power games in organizations may help to address a meaningful gap in the sensemaking/sensegiving literature. Although organizational members are continuously engaged in sensegiving for advocating certain strategies of action, a neglected issue is that members, and in particular managers, may look at sensegiving as a strategy to guard against change. In multinational companies (MNCs), for instance, boundary conditions - cultural and geographical differences - may draw attention to the nature of control and conflict between headquarters and subsidiaries and subsequently militate against substantial change. This assertion underlies our primary research question: Why and through what types of power games do managers of MNCs give sense to issues and events that help to maintain organizational inertia and legitimate behaviors and actions that curtail organizational change?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Management Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • multinational corporation
  • power games
  • sensegiving
  • sensemaking


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