Weick (1995) tries to persuade us that organizational problems are anchored in the way people see things, but does this mean that Helen is the source of the problem and that she faces the difficulties of sensemaking? Sensemaking perspective implies that organization should work closely with the employees to understand their ways of thinking. Sensemaking is aimed at generating the models of shared thinking or certain common organizational metaphors between the company's management and the employees.
I must state that I understand Helen's feelings: I have spent several years working as an independent contractor. I know all benefits and risks of working from home, and now as I am permanent employee with the company it looks like I know what Helen thinks. The problem is that Helen finds herself in rather limited informational environment. She works at home, and she is confused by information from other employees, which is actually nothing but rumors. Neither Les, nor Akiba are willing to search any common sensemaking models with Helen.
She is the sole participant of this sensemaking fight, and she evidently loses. After years of stable work Helen suddenly appears in an indefinite situation about her employment. She simply cannot make sense of this acquisition and her future with Marketron. Helen has several options: she can either continue working in such informational vacuum; or she can choose more active tactics trying to make sense of her current position; or she can quit and start looking for a new job.
The information from other employees did not ease Helen’s fears, although it is natural for a remote worker to gather information of what others see and hear. Helen did not do everything she could to cope with the situation. She was not active enough in pursuing her goals of being better informed. Waiting for weeks as Helen did could not improve her position. Trying to clarify all issues with Akiba or Les on the phone has proved to be a complete failure. All she had to do was to visit the company and to speak to either Akiba or Les directly.
In this case they would not be able to escape serious talk, and Helen would finally make sense of her position within the company. Acquisition is one of the serious organizational breakdowns. Sensemaking is called for helping employees make sense of their future with the new company. Evidently, the lack of shared communication models results in poorer employee performance. Employees must have full information about their positions and perspectives; otherwise poor sensemaking may result in losing significant portion of qualified workers.