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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: 8 July 2021

Marco Berti

This chapter investigates the mutual relationship between logic and paradox, showing that paradox is indispensable to test logic, as well as logic is necessary to extend…

Abstract

This chapter investigates the mutual relationship between logic and paradox, showing that paradox is indispensable to test logic, as well as logic is necessary to extend our understanding of paradox. Firstly, I consider the lesson that organizational theory can draw from formal logic’s investigation of semantic and set-theoretic paradoxes. Subsequently, I survey the plural interpretations of the concept of “logic” in organizational theory (as logic of theory, logic of practice, and institutional logics). I argue that this plurality of meanings is not a source of confusion but offers an opportunity to illustrate different manifestations of, and ways to cope with, organizational paradoxes.

Details

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

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2021

Eric Knight and Tobias Hahn

Organizational paradoxes must first be recognized by managers before they can respond to them. Yet scholars have adopted different perspectives on how paradoxical tensions…

Abstract

Organizational paradoxes must first be recognized by managers before they can respond to them. Yet scholars have adopted different perspectives on how paradoxical tensions become salient and engender management responses. Some approaches have focused on the socially constituted nature of paradoxes, and others on the inherent aspects of paradoxes in the environment. The authors propose an approach that gives ontological meaning to both the socially constituted and inherent nature of organizational paradoxes. Our approach, which is inspired by quantum physics, opens up new opportunities for engaging with the socio-materiality of paradoxes, how they are measured, and the implications this has on the probabilities of managing organizational responses to paradox.

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

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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 6 September 2021

Henrik Pålsson and Erik Sandberg

The purpose of this paper is to explore different types of packaging paradoxes and the reasons for their existence in food supply chains.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore different types of packaging paradoxes and the reasons for their existence in food supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses a multiple case study approach with rich empirical data from seven leading companies in Swedish food supply chains. The research uses coding and a paradox theory lens to analyse packaging paradoxes, both within and between companies in a supply chain.

Findings

The paper provides a novel theoretical lens which uses comprehensive empirical data to identify and categorise four types of packaging paradoxes on two system levels in food supply chains. It presents detailed descriptions of, and underlying reasons for, the paradoxes. It also discusses strategies required to manage packaging paradoxes.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should confirm and extend the findings in this study by incorporating data from companies in other countries. It should cover the importance of paradoxes, their impact on company performance and innovation, and how different paradoxes are related to each other. It should also investigate strategies to manage paradoxes further.

Practical implications

The findings should help companies acknowledge and identify management principles for packaging paradoxes in food supply chains.

Originality/value

It is the first study which systematically explores packaging paradoxes in food supply chains. The study offers a new approach to understand the complexity of packaging decisions in food supply chains. It contributes to the packaging logistics literature by extending theoretical knowledge about conflicts of interest related to packaging. The management discussion offers initial insights into management of packaging paradoxes and directions for future research.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 52 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2021

Muhammad Hasan Ashraf, Mehmet G. Yalcin, Jiayuan Zhang and Koray Ozpolat

Third-party logistics (3PL) companies have experienced an explosion of volume during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Special tiers have been introduced to provide…

Abstract

Purpose

Third-party logistics (3PL) companies have experienced an explosion of volume during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Special tiers have been introduced to provide differentiated levels of service to the customers. However, such changes in an organization reveal and intensify tensions known as paradoxes. The purpose of this research is to identify what paradoxes emerged or have become more salient specifically due to COVID-19 in 3PLs' ground operations and how they are dealt with by ground operation managers.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative study conducted in two phases. Phase one utilizes a questionnaire approach to identify the paradoxes within the 3PLs operating in the USA. Phase two, conducted six months after phase one, follows an in-depth one-on-one interview approach. NVivo 12 is employed to analyze the interview data.

Findings

The results show that new paradoxes did in fact emerge due to the COVID-19 and are mostly related to the performing paradox category. Findings from in-depth interviews show that the 3PL managers focus on keeping safety as priority to manage COVID-19 related paradoxes, along with modifying operational plans, improving communication, investing in training, optimizing hub network, introducing modified/new methods and adapting modified human resource policies.

Originality/value

This paper is among the first known to identify paradoxes within the 3PL operations during the COVID-19 and provides insights into how these paradoxes are dealt with at mid-management level. Findings of this study provide foundations for the development of a theoretical framework on handling paradoxes within 3PLs.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2020

Aldona Glińska-Neweś, Iwona Escher, Barbara Józefowicz and Alicja Łuka

Together with increasing ambiguity and frequency of changes, management becomes full of seemingly conflicting choices, i.e. paradoxes, coming up in the process of…

Abstract

Purpose

Together with increasing ambiguity and frequency of changes, management becomes full of seemingly conflicting choices, i.e. paradoxes, coming up in the process of decision-making. Successful management of paradoxes, i.e. treating them as “both/and” constructs leads to innovative solutions and better overall organizational performance. In response to a significant research gap regarding antecedents of managing paradoxes, the aim of the paper is to investigate how individual characteristics of strategic decision-makers, specifically their age, tenure and educational background, affect the ability to combine contradictions in their strategic choices.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical study was conducted among 201 managers representing furniture companies in Poland. The CATI technique with an interview questionnaire was adopted in order to identify respondents' opinions on the main features, traits and dimensions of the strategy implemented in their companies. Participants' tenure, age and education were measured by single items.

Findings

The study suggests that the ability to manage paradoxes increases with age and tenure in a company and at a current position. At the same time economic/business educational background appears to be unsupportive in this regard.

Originality/value

While the issue of managing paradoxes energizes researchers in various disciplines, we still do not know much about antecedents of the process. The study shed light on effects that managers' demographics have on their ability of managing paradoxes. It contributes to the theory on strategic paradoxes as well as theory on the influence of decision-makers' individual characteristics on their decisions.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2020

Piotr Wójcik

The purpose of the current study is to identify the nature, scope and locus of and to systematize, the conceptual contradictions existing in dynamic capabilities research.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the current study is to identify the nature, scope and locus of and to systematize, the conceptual contradictions existing in dynamic capabilities research.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper employs a content analysis literature review of 86 papers on dynamic capabilities published between 1997 and 2019, using two databases – EBSCO and Web of Science/Knowledge databases. To structure the review, Smith and Lewis's (2011) categorization of organizational tensions is adopted.

Findings

First, the findings of this study suggest that DCs not only are shaped by a tension between efficiency and flexibility but also are built upon a large number of contradictory aspects, represented by organizing, performing, belonging and learning paradoxes. Second, the analysis identifies defensive and active responses to these tensions, with the former prevailing in the dynamic capabilities view literature. Both kinds of responses may facilitate or hinder organizational change. Third, it was found that while the literature has focused predominantly on organizing and learning paradoxes, the linkage between these categories remains under-researched.

Originality/value

This study makes three contributions. First, it identifies the scope (i.e. number), locus (analytical level) and nature (paradox categories and sub-categories) of DC-related paradoxes and responses to paradoxical tensions. Second, it shows that the nature and locus of conceptual contradictions are more complex than conceptualized in prior studies, going beyond the contingency and ambidexterity argument of how to deal with DC-related paradoxes. Third, it seeks to extend Di Stefano et al.'s (2014) proposition of integrating paradoxical views on different DC-related aspects. The idea of “audio console” introduced in this study highlights the interrelation of paradoxes between the categories and across analytical levels.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 15 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 February 2010

James M. Bloodgood and Bongsug (Kevin) Chae

The primary purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the importance of viewing paradoxes, which are commonly‐accepted logical perspectives that appear contradictory, as…

2506

Abstract

Purpose

The primary purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the importance of viewing paradoxes, which are commonly‐accepted logical perspectives that appear contradictory, as being useful for organizational learning and to show why organizational paradoxes need to be managed integratively.

Design/methodology/approach

The cultural industries (those that promote art, music and entertainment) are used as a backdrop for developing propositions that explain the benefits of dynamically shifting between poles of a paradox and the relationship between elements of managing multiple paradoxes integratively and organizational outcomes.

Findings

It is expected that organizations which move between the poles of paradoxes are more likely to increase organizational knowledge about their capabilities and to enhance their ability to deal with paradoxes.

Research limitations/implications

Organizational researchers should consider identifying the direction and rate of movement along the poles of paradoxes by organizations when studying the appropriateness of various organizational methods for achieving outcomes such as growth or performance. Future research should examine a larger variety of paradoxes in order to increase understanding of the appropriateness of their integrative management.

Practical implications

Managers should become familiar with the speed and direction of movement (organizational change) between the poles of organizational paradoxes before making operational and strategic decisions. In addition, managers should be cognizant of the variety of paradoxes present in their organization and of the need for their integrative management.

Originality/value

The paper describes how movement along the poles of organizational paradox enhances organizational learning, as well as the importance of managing organizational paradoxes integratively.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 48 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 October 2013

Ana Paula Borges and Luiz Antonio Joia

This paper aims to investigate whether the technological paradoxes identified and prevalent in a series of technologies are also identified in the relationship between…

1114

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate whether the technological paradoxes identified and prevalent in a series of technologies are also identified in the relationship between executives and smartphones, as well as which of these paradoxes is most strongly detected in this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

It was adopted the simple case study method, in which the individual is the unit of analysis. Therefore, a medium-sized company that operates in the Brazilian pharmaceutical market was chosen since the majority of its senior executives use the smartphone as a tool in their day-to-day work.

Findings

Two paradoxes generated strong ambiguity regarding the use of smartphones by the executives, namely continuity vs asynchronicity and autonomy vs addiction. Furthermore, three other paradoxes were moderately associated with the use of smartphones by the executives, namely freedom vs enslavement, dependence vs independence, and planning vs improvisation.

Research limitations/implications

By using only one organisation in the case study, the generalisation of results might be prejudiced.

Practical implications

The identification of technological paradoxes provides input for the development of strategies aimed at minimising these ambiguities on the part of executives.

Originality/value

This paper not only identified some smartphone-enabled paradoxes among Brazilian executives, but also established an approach to measure the intensity of these paradoxes.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 36 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 March 2020

Kaarina Sommarström, Elena Oikkonen and Timo Pihkala

The purpose of this paper studies the role of paradoxes in the adoption of entrepreneurship education (EE) in schools.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper studies the role of paradoxes in the adoption of entrepreneurship education (EE) in schools.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research methods were used, and the data were collected via semi-structured interviews with Finnish teachers and principals.

Findings

Paradoxes are an important factor slowing the adoption of EE. Paradoxes appear to arise from teachers' misunderstandings, high personal standards of pedagogy and an unwillingness to change their routines. In schools, principals still regard EE as a newcomer that is easily abandoned should any difficulties emerge. The principals show unwillingness to take responsibility for managing EE or to establish relationships with companies.

Research limitations/implications

The study represents Finnish practice in basic education. Due to the qualitative methodology applied, the generalizability of the results is limited. Quantitative research on the teachers' and principals' behaviour related to paradoxes in EE is needed. Furthermore, the pedagogical prioritization related to the introduction of EE warrants more research.

Practical implications

The results suggest good opportunities exist in training to prepare teachers and principals to anticipate the difficulties of EE.

Originality/value

The study introduces a new understanding of the difficulties in the adoption of EE. Paradoxes are important factors to take into account in the promotion of EE. Paradoxes stem from teachers' misunderstandings, misconceptions and their unwillingness to change. Principals seem unwilling to assume their responsibilities in managing EE. The study highlights opportunities for managing the emergence of these paradoxes by preparing teachers and principals better on the difficulties and unexpected outcomes of EE.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 62 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

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