Research Futures: Organizing solidarity in times of disruption

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Join the 27th session in the University of Portsmouth's Interdisciplinary Webinar Series, chaired by Leïla Choukroune, Professor of International Law and Director of the University of Portsmouth Thematic Area in Democratic Citizenship, and presented by Dr Hamid Foroughi, Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management at the Portsmouth Business School.

In this webinar, we contribute to the understanding of the predicaments of 'othered communities' in organizing solidarity in times of disruption. We examine how the leader of a Muslim community organization worked to foster solidarity in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, a tragedy that disrupted the city and intensified long-standing societal divisions. Our findings underscore the role of redemptive narratives – atonement, emancipation, recovery, upward mobility, development – as a catalyst for organizing solidarity by enabling purpose and agency.

We further present our study as a specific case of how schematic ‘narrative templates’ can be used in the sensegiving process. Our study shows how leadership processes of sense-giving and sensemaking are intertwined. In our case, we show that redemptive narratives – as specific narrative templates – developed during sensemaking process, were then used in leadership sensegiving. This new conceptualisation helps to explain how leaders sensemaking influences their sensegiving.

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