Doubt management as a tool for change: Karl E. Weick

  • Trond SelnesEmail author
  • Catrien Termeer


The young lieutenant of a small Hungarian detachment in the Alps sent a reconnaissance unit into the icy wilderness. It began to snow immediately, snowed for 2 days and the unit did not return. The lieutenant suffered, fearing that he has despatched his own people to death. But on the third day the unit came back. Where had they been? How had they made their way? Yes, they said, we considered ourselves lost and waited for the end. And then one of us found a map in his pocket. That calmed us down. We pitched camp, lasted the snowstorm, and then with the map we discovered our bearings. And here we are. The lieutenant borrowed this remarkable map and had a good look at it. He discovered to his astonishment that it was not a map of the Alps, but a map of the Pyrenees. (Weick, 1995: 54)


Transition Management Transition Path Wicked Problem Genuine Interest Sensemaking Process 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Argyris, C. (1999) On Organizational Learning. Blackwell Publishing, Boston, MA, USA.Google Scholar
  2. Geirland, J. (1996) Complicate yourself. Interview with Karl E. Weick, Wired (April). Available at:
  3. Rotmans, J. (2003) Transitiemanagement, sleutel voor een duurzame samenleving. Van Gorcum, Assen, the Netherlands.Google Scholar
  4. Rotmans, J., D. Loorbach and R. Van der Brugge (2005) Transitiemanagement en duurzame ontwikkeling: co-evolutionaire sturing in het licht van complexiteit. Beleidswetenschap 19 (2): 3–23.Google Scholar
  5. Termeer, C.J.A.M. and G.F.V. Van der Peet (2009) Governmental strategies and sustainable transitions: monitoring systems for the prevention of animal disease. In: K.J. Poppe, Termeer, C., Slingerland, M. (eds.). Transitions towards sustainable agriculture and food chains in peri-urban areas. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, the Netherlands, pp. 253–273.Google Scholar
  6. Witte, M.H., C.L. Witte and D.L. Way (1990) Medical ignorance, AIDS-Kaposi’s sarcoma complex, and the lymphatic system. Western Journal of Medicine 153 (July): 17–23.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Weick, K.E. (1995) Sensemaking in Organizations. Sage Publication, Thousand Oaks, CA, USA.Google Scholar
  8. Weick, K.E. (2001) Making Sense of the Organization. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK.Google Scholar
  9. Weick, K.E. (2009) Making Sense of the Organization: the impermanent organization (Volume 2). John Wiley and Sons Ltd., Hoboken, NJ, USA.Google Scholar
  10. Weick, K.E. and R.E. Quinn (1999) Organizational change and development. Annual Review of Psychology 50: 361–86.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Weick, K.E. and K.M. Sutcliffe (2007) Managing the Unexpected. Second edition, John Wiley & Sons Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Wageningen Academic Publishers 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI)Wageningen University and Research CentreWageningenNetherlands
  2. 2.Public Administration and Policy GroupWageningen UniversityWageningenNetherlands

Personalised recommendations