Experiential organizing: Pursuing relational and bureaucratic goals through symbolically- and experientially-oriented work.
Academy of Management Review,
April (2nd Quarter/Spring)
Current scholarship on organizational practices that foster a sense of care and collaboration in work relationships has yet to fully account for the potential misalignment between the goals of a given practice and how it is actually experienced. To address this issue, we develop a theoretical framework for experiential organizing, which we define as an iterative process through which positive relational and bureaucratic goals of a practice are pursued through symbolically and experientially oriented work. We offer theory to explain how organizations move through the experiential organizing process, the different types of work required, and how the different parts of the process inform each other. Experiential organizing offers a holistic approach for organizations to overcome issues of misalignment, thereby mitigating negative outcomes and ensuring symbolic structures have the intended impact on employee experience.