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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Joshua Keller and Marianne W. Lewis

This paper comments on “Global implications of the indigenous epistemological system from the east” (Li, 2016), which provides an indigenous Chinese perspective on…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper comments on “Global implications of the indigenous epistemological system from the east” (Li, 2016), which provides an indigenous Chinese perspective on organizational paradox. Li introduces Yin-Yang balancing as an epistemological system that can help scholars examine and practitioners manage paradoxes. In this commentary, the purpose of this paper is to discuss the merits of Yin-Yang balancing and how this approach and other indigenous theories might enrich organizational paradox theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors provide a commentary and suggestions for future research. The authors distinguish between Yin-Yang balancing as a normative theory, a meta-theory and a lay theory. The authors encourage both geocentrism and polycentrism as goals for future paradox research, enabling attention to the diversity of ideas across and within varied cultures.

Originality/value

The commentary connects Yin-Ying balancing with extant research on organizational paradox.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

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Article
Publication date: 23 June 2018

Joshua Keller, Erica Wen Chen and Angela K.-Y. Leung

The purpose of this paper is to examine how national culture influences individuals’ subjective experience of tension when confronting paradoxical demands that arise…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how national culture influences individuals’ subjective experience of tension when confronting paradoxical demands that arise during their day-to-day organizational experience. The paper further explores two types of paradoxical demands (task oriented and relational oriented) and two mediating mechanisms (tolerance for contradictions and harmony enhancement concerns) that exhibit contrary cultural effects.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing from a sample of white-collar workers in China and the USA, the authors first inductively generated scenarios with task-oriented and relational-oriented paradoxical demands and then conducted three studies where participants rated the perceived tension from the scenarios. In Study 1, they examined cross-cultural differences in perceived tension and the mediating role of tolerance for contradictions. In Study 2, they primed Americans with proverbs that promoted tolerance for contradictions. In Study 3, they examined the indirect effects of harmony enhancement concerns in China in relational-oriented paradoxical demands.

Findings

The results found that for task-oriented paradoxical demands, Chinese participants were less likely than American participants to experience tension and the effects were mediated by a higher tolerance for contradictions. Americans exposed to proverbs that promoted tolerance for contradictions also experienced less tension. For relational-oriented paradoxical demands, on the other hand, the authors found no cross-cultural differences, as the indirect effects of a tolerance for contradictions were mitigated by negative indirect effects of greater harmony enhancement concerns.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates that culture can influence the tension that individuals subjectively experience when they confront paradoxical conditions, suggesting that individuals learn implicitly how to cope with tensions associated with paradoxes from their broader cultural environment. However, the authors also found different cultural effects within different paradoxical conditions, suggesting that the knowledge that individuals acquire from their broader cultural environment is multifaceted.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

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Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2021

Joshua Keller and Ping Tian

The way organizational actors use language to think about and communicate their organizational experiences is central to how organizational actors enact organizational…

Abstract

The way organizational actors use language to think about and communicate their organizational experiences is central to how organizational actors enact organizational paradox. However, most inquiries into the role of language in the organizational paradox literature has focused on specific components of language (e.g., discourse), without attention to the complex, multi-level linguistic system that is interconnected to organizational processes. In this chapter, we expand our knowledge of the role of language by integrating paradox research with research from the linguistics discipline. We identify a series of linguistic tensions (i.e., generalizability-specificity, universalism-particularism, and explicitness-implicitness) that are nested within organizational paradoxes. In the process, we reveal how the organizing paradox of control and autonomy is interconnected to other paradoxes (i.e., performing, learning, and belonging) through the instantiation of linguistic paradoxes. We discuss the implications of our findings for research on paradox and language.

Details

Interdisciplinary Dialogues on Organizational Paradox: Investigating Social Structures and Human Expression, Part B
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-187-8

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Book part
Publication date: 25 November 2019

Joshua Keller

The author introduces cultural consensus theory as a theoretical and methodological tool for examining the microfoundations of institutions by linking variance in…

Abstract

The author introduces cultural consensus theory as a theoretical and methodological tool for examining the microfoundations of institutions by linking variance in individuals’ micro-level conditions with cross-level variance in individuals’ adoption of macro-level socially constructed knowledge. The author describes the theory and methods, which include the use of cultural and subcultural congruence as cross-level variables. The author then provides an illustrative example of the theory and methods’ application for studying institutions, incorporating primary survey data of US-based ethics and compliance officers (ECOs). Results of the survey revealed variance in ECOs’ level of congruence associated with their direct communication with executives, their experience implementing ethics practices, and their educational background. Finally, the author discusses additional ways to use this approach for researching the microfoundations of institutions.

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Book part
Publication date: 1 August 2012

Joshua Keller and Catherine Wu

Purpose – This chapter introduces two empirical models that could be used to examine the influence of Eastern and Western culture on strategic management: the cultural…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter introduces two empirical models that could be used to examine the influence of Eastern and Western culture on strategic management: the cultural consensus model (CCM) and the cultural mixture model (CMM).

Methodology/approach – We describe how strategic management scholars can use these models and suggest areas where these models can be of greatest use, including international market entry, international mergers and acquisitions and international alliances, global headquarters and subsidiary relationships, and corporate governance.

Findings – Originally developed by cognitive anthropologists and cultural psychologists, these models can measure domain specificity, scope, and heterogeneity of cultural influences within and across Eastern and Western societies; can address multilevel issues; and can measure an individual or firm's representativeness of the culture.

Social implications – This new research methodology can help strategic management researchers address the impact of “West meets East” on strategic management outcomes and processes.

Originality/value of chapter – The two empirical models provide methodologies that integrate qualitative and quantitative methods.

Details

West Meets East: Toward Methodological Exchange
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-026-0

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Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2021

Rebecca Bednarek, Miguel Pina e Cunha, Jonathan Schad and Wendy Smith

Over the past decades, scholars advanced foundational insights about paradox in organization theory. In this double volume, we seek to expand upon these insights through…

Abstract

Over the past decades, scholars advanced foundational insights about paradox in organization theory. In this double volume, we seek to expand upon these insights through interdisciplinary theorizing. We do so for two reasons. First, we think that now is a moment to build on those foundations toward richer, more complex insights by learning from disciplines outside of organization theory. Second, as our world increasingly faces grand challenges, scholars turn to paradox theory. Yet as the challenges become more complex, authors turn to other disciplines to ensure the requisite complexity of our own theories. To advance these goals, we invited scholars with knowledge in paradox theory to explore how these ideas could be expanded by outside disciplines. This provides a both/and opportunity for paradox theory: both learning from outside disciplines beyond existing boundaries and enriching our insights in organization scholarship. The result is an impressive collection of papers about paradox theory that draws from four outside realms – the realm of belief, the realm of physical systems, the realm of social structures, and the realm of expression. In this introduction, we expand on why paradox theory is ripe for interdisciplinary theorizing, explore the benefits of doing so, and introduce the papers in this double volume.

Details

Interdisciplinary Dialogues on Organizational Paradox: Learning from Belief and Science, Part A
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-184-7

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2021

Abstract

Details

Interdisciplinary Dialogues on Organizational Paradox: Investigating Social Structures and Human Expression, Part B
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-187-8

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Book part
Publication date: 25 November 2019

Abstract

Details

Microfoundations of Institutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-123-0

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Book part
Publication date: 25 November 2019

Abstract

Details

Microfoundations of Institutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-127-8

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Book part
Publication date: 1 August 2012

Abstract

Details

West Meets East: Toward Methodological Exchange
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-026-0

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