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ABSTRACT. This paper seeks to answer the research question, “How do press accounts of the dotcom bubble make meaning of dramatic market rises and falls in internet stocks?” To accomplish this goal a qualitative content analysis of 803 Wall Street Journal articles over an eight year period was conducted. Results revealed competing stories of meaning over six time periods. The study demonstrated the iterative nature of sensemaking, finding one sensemaking process during the trend of rising internet stock prices and a second during the subsequent bursting of the bubble. Other insights were sensemaking as a frame for tying existing research on the dotcom bubble into a more complete picture, questions of how the press covers ecological change, and the apparent lack of learning applicable to future bubbles. The content analysis and the resulting insights were suggestive of future research endeavors in the realm of sensemaking and into speculative bubbles. pp. 66–94
JEL Codes: Q57; L86

Keywords: sensemaking; dotcom bubble; content analysis; internet stocks

How to cite: Kury, Kenneth WM (2014), “You Paid How Much for That Dotcom Stock?: Sensemaking during Ecological Change,” Economics, Management, and Financial Markets 9(2): 66–94.

KENNETH WM. KURY
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Saint Joseph’s University

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