Master of Arts (MA)
Number of Pages
This study examines the use of sensemaking and power/influence in the governance process of an emerging corporation. It emphasizes the use of the interpretive paradigm in examining the ways in which reality is socially constructed by a board of directors. This text explores the definition of governance at the emerging corporation from the inside. It examines the effects of board decisions on the corporation by focusing on a specific emerging corporation--here fictiously identified as "Softalk Corporation"--in a major American city. Through this case the author examines how situations were officially defined, and, how these official definitions translated into real operating arrangements over twelve months; The ethnographic study makes the following assumptions (1) Symbols are not only expressive medium, but also a medium for substantive action; (2) Symbols are a medium for both sensemaking and power/influence; (3) Symbolic processes associated with the instigation of change involve evolutionary shifts in directionality; (4) Symbolic processes simultaneously occur at multiple levels of understanding; and (5) Symbolic non-action can be important to change initiation.
Corporation; Emerging; Ethnography; Governance; Hard; Softalk; System; Times
Social structure; Psychology, Industrial; Management
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Schmidt, Robert, "Governance systems in the emerging corporation: An ethnography of the hard times at Softalk" (1996). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 3256.