This research was an exploratory case study that sought to gain understanding and build upon theory as to how two cognitive constructs of managerial sensemaking and reflective learning interact and create meaning as new CEOs join a health care system. How these two cognitive processes create meaning is different, and yet each one provides a critical learning framework when a new CEO takes on a new role. Managerial sensemaking is about using past experiences or maps to make sense of a new situation. Without such maps, it can be extremely difficult to sort through what new experience is important to pay attention to. Sometimes, though, one's managerial sensemaking maps cannot help one understand all new experiences that new CEOs encounter; in this case, they must challenge their underlying assumptions about what is really going on by applying a reflective learning framework to help change their mental models and learn to learn. How the dynamic of these two cognitive learning constructs occur and overlap when a new CEO joins a health care system was the focus of this research.
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