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HaugenR. Preil, J. (2020). We Can't Help Feeding the Monster: The Social Handling of Uncertainty in an Environment of High-Risk and Fast-Paced Change. Organ. Soc. Dyn., 20(1):79-100.

(2020). Organizational and Social Dynamics, 20(1):79-100

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We Can't Help Feeding the Monster: The Social Handling of Uncertainty in an Environment of High-Risk and Fast-Paced Change

Øyvind R. Haugen and Jens Preil

In this article the authors present a case study that they conducted in the research and development organisation of a global pharmaceutical company. The aim of the study was to explore the social handling of uncertainty in a business environment characterised by high-risk and fast-paced change. The authors present a new methodological approach in which they combine grounded theory and depth hermeneutic analysis to gain access to the social reality of the organisation. The creation of work role identities and social imaginaries were the two main variables emerging from the data. The authors discuss how certain coping strategies against anxiety and emotional distress affect the design and execution of work processes. Furthermore, they explore to what extent social-scientific research methods can be applied to study the unique observations and interpretations made by the organisation's members, and how this knowledge can inform the development of organisations and management of change processes.

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