A "worldview" of disaster: Organizational sensemaking in a wildland firefighting tragedy

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Using the 1994, South Canyon fire in Colorado as a case study, this article suggests Taylor's (1993) concept of worldview functions as an important "frame" for organizational sensemaking (Weick, 1995a). Taylor argues that organizations use either an "activity" or "particle" orientation. An activity view focuses attention on organizational units while a particle view sees the organization from the point of view of the product or customer. Results from this study indicate that an organization's worldview functions as an overarching metaphor that influences sensemaking and decisionmaking processes, and that the worldview perspective in retrospective accounts may differ from that of the participants themselves. copyright 2002, ACJ.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Communication Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2003


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