Living with paradoxes of corporate strategy: A complexity perspective

Tore Hundsnes (NHH, Bergen, Norway)
Christine B. Meyer (NHH, Bergen, Norway)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Publication date: 1 July 2006



The purpose of this paper is to challenge the understanding of paradox in corporate strategy as unintended and unwanted consequences that must be overcome.


The paper builds upon the concept of patching and holds the paradoxical nature of multi‐business firms as essential for corporate evolution. It presents an inherent contradiction of corporate organising, closely related to interdependency between patches. These interdependencies vary according to whether the patches are similar or different and whether there exist competing views on centralisation and decentralisation within the company.


Studying reorganizations in a large Norwegian telecommunication corporation, we explore these interdependencies and find that for the corporation to move in novel ways, combinations have to display a dynamic close to the edge of chaos.


This paper presents new research on organizational “patching”.



Hundsnes, T. and Meyer, C.B. (2006), "Living with paradoxes of corporate strategy: A complexity perspective", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 437-446.

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