Experiential organizing: Pursuing relational and bureaucratic goals through symbolically- and experientially-oriented work. | Weatherhead

Experiential organizing: Pursuing relational and bureaucratic goals through symbolically- and experientially-oriented work.

Experiential organizing: Pursuing relational and bureaucratic goals through symbolically- and experientially-oriented work.

Authors

  • Njoke Thomas*
  • Keimei Sugiyama*
  • Kylie Rochford*
  • John Paul Stephens*
  • Jason Kanov

Published

Academy of Management Review, April (2nd Quarter/Spring) 2018

Abstract

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.