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Award-winning sense

Paper about ‘sensemaking’ on the Amazon co-authored by Mark de Rond and Jennifer Howard-Grenville wins Best Published Paper Award by OMT division of Academy of Management.

Reflection of a sunset by a lagoon inside the Amazon Rainforest Basin.
Sunset on the Amazon River.

A paper about “sensemaking” and a memorable journey down the Amazon River co-authored by two Cambridge Judge Business School professors and a Cambridge Judge PhD graduate won the Best Published Paper Award by the Organization and Management Theory (OMT) division of the Academy of Management.

The paper by Mark de Rond, Professor of Organisational Ethnography, Jennifer Howard-Grenville, Diageo Professor in Organisation Studies, and Isaac Holeman, now Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Washington Department of Global Health, revolved around a 32-day voyage down the Amazon in 2013 by Mark and a fellow rower, which earned a place in Guinness World Records.

The study published last year in the Academy of Management Journal finds that the body itself initiates the process of making sense of uncertain and ambiguous situations, in contrast to the conventional wisdom that sensemaking is mostly a cognitive activity. The study is entitled “Sensemaking from the body: an enactive ethnography of rowing the Amazon”. The prestigious award by the Academy of Management’s OMT division, which has been granted since 2010, recognises a journal paper published in the previous year “that advances our theoretical understanding of organisations, organising, and management” – and is selected from articles published in a set of the very top management journals, as chosen by the division’s Executive Committee.