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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Pierre Louart, Rita Durant, Alexis Downs and Dominique Besson

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668

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Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Slimane Haddadj

The purpose of this paper is to examine the paradoxes immanent in CEO succession.

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1796

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the paradoxes immanent in CEO succession.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study is based on stories of organizational change told by different actors in a family organization that experienced a CEO succession.

Findings

Admitting that every organization is complex by nature in the sense that it is an ongoing expression of paradox and uncertainty means that organizations must be complex in order to maintain the relationships with the environment and with employees.

Originality/value

This study examines CEO succession in small and medium‐sized firms. A crucial issue for research on organizations, it has been neglected in studies of organizational change.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Tore Hundsnes and Christine B. Meyer

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

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3197

Abstract

Purpose

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

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

This paper presents new research on organizational “patching”.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Frans Prenkert

The aim of this paper is to provide a solid theoretical base to the study of paradox in organized activity. It draws upon activity theory to show the managerial and…

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4333

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to provide a solid theoretical base to the study of paradox in organized activity. It draws upon activity theory to show the managerial and analytical potential of the activity systems model (ASM) as a systematic tool to analyze paradox in organizational practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology employed in the study can be described as a longitudinal multiple case study approach. The focal organization was followed over a period of three years. About 25 interviews and 50 participatory observations were made. Text documents were analysed using an analytical tool developed from theory – the “Analysis Readiness Review (ARR)” – to structure and categorize data.

Findings

This study shows that the locus of paradox can be empirically identified within and between the constituent elements of an ASM, and that the consequence of such paradox is the emergence of a new genetically more evolved ASM. Hence, paradox in organized activity will eventually usher in change, such as the rearrangement of the elements of organized activity, and the replacement of one or many of those elements.

Research limitations/implications

This research is limited in that it models only two principal types of contradictions in activity systems, both of which are inner contradictions intrinsic to the activity system in question. The case study is merely indicative and more empirical research is needed to further extend our knowledge of paradox in various types of organized activity.

Originality/value

Managers can utilize the ARR‐tool as a systematic checklist to identify the elements of the organizational practice and to locate paradoxes. In doing so, they can actively take part in shaping the dialectical processes of change that the paradoxes create, by paying attention to the contradictions present in the activity system. This is the challenge to management that paradoxical organizational practice poses, and this paper provides one tool to help managers and researchers to better face this challenge.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Mark Neal

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate paradoxes in the development of organizational cultural problems – paradoxes that go undetected by people involved in them. The…

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1221

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate paradoxes in the development of organizational cultural problems – paradoxes that go undetected by people involved in them. The paper explains why these paradoxes remain undetected, and shows how their “invisibility” is a foundation for the development of “cultural problems”.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is phenomenological, in that it explores how actors in cross‐cultural settings understand “difference” and thereby socially construct “cultural problems”.

Findings

Three interrelated paradoxes are uncovered: In dyads, actors perceive two‐way “cultural difference” as being one‐way. “Difference” thus becomes embodied in the “other” – “the other” alone is “different” and “difficult”. In bi‐cultural organizations, perceptions of “the other” as “different” and “difficult” encourage the formation of in‐groups and out‐groups that lead to “cultural problems”. “Difference” becomes embodied in “the others” while “cultural problems” that are the results of their own actions are also embedded in “the others”. In multicultural organizations these understandings break down. “Difference” becomes disembodied, and “cultural problems” become embodied in “difference”. More cultural differences thus engender fewer “cultural problems”.

Research limitations/implications

The novel theoretical part of the study is so far untested. The paper thus calls for studies that apply the developed theoretical approach. The ethnographic observations that support the existence of the multicultural paradox are preliminary and ongoing.

Practical implications

The novel theoretical approach can immediately be applied to other organizational issues.

Originality/value

This paper introduces, for the first time, the Buddhist concept of anatta in the analysis of organizations. The theoretical approach is new, and can be applied to further studies of organizational problems.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Amy Taylor‐Bianco and John Schermerhorn

The purpose of this paper is to present a dispositional model using self‐regulation as a foundation for the strategic leadership of organizational change.

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10511

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a dispositional model using self‐regulation as a foundation for the strategic leadership of organizational change.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews the self‐regulation literature and regulatory‐focus theory in particular, and integrates this literature within the strategic leadership and organizational change literatures to present a dispositional model with propositions about the relationships between these literatures.

Findings

Strategic leadership of organizational change should allow for co‐existent states of both continuity and change. Leadership teams should include a mix of individuals with promotion and prevention foci of self‐regulation and should provide for a regulatory fit that cascades throughout the organization.

Practical implications

Leaders should increase their self‐awareness of promotion and prevention styles of self‐regulation and rely on a mix of individuals that increase the chances of valuing and enhancing both continuity and change in their organizations.

Originality/value

This paper integrates the self‐regulation literature and concepts into discussion and theoretical development in the area of leadership and organizational change.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

María de la luz Fernández‐Alles and Ramón Valle‐Cabrera

The aim of the paper is to review and compare traditional and new institutional postulates in order to address some of the criticism that this theory has received.

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6705

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the paper is to review and compare traditional and new institutional postulates in order to address some of the criticism that this theory has received.

Design/methodology/approach

Throughout this paper, five interesting paradoxes are presented in management contexts of change, the creation of competitive advantages, and organizational behaviour.

Findings

Light is shed on the integration efforts that seek to combine institutional theory with transaction cost theory, the resource‐based view of the firm, and the resource dependence theory.

Originality/value

The paper reviews the Oliver contribution work done around neoinstitutional theory. The paper offers a different view of organizational change, the creation of competitive advantage, and organizational behaviour.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Andrea Whittle

To outline paradoxes found in literature on management consulting and present a novel way of re‐conceptualizing paradox using a performative or action‐oriented approach to…

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5408

Abstract

Purpose

To outline paradoxes found in literature on management consulting and present a novel way of re‐conceptualizing paradox using a performative or action‐oriented approach to discourse.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is based on a theoretical reinterpretation of existing research findings on management consulting. Limited ethnographic data are also used to support the argument.

Findings

The paper argues that paradoxes are an outcome of the many, often conflicting, interpretive repertoires (IR) used to understand management consulting. This suggests that paradoxes may never be resolved but instead may constitute a key resource for agents in affecting change. This idea is illustrated with reference to ethnographic data from a study of management consultants.

Research limitations/implications

The paper suggests that a performative theory of discourse enables researchers to appreciate how and why paradoxes are reproduced in the context of organizational change.

Practical implications

Practitioners are seen to work within paradoxes, using conflicting IR as a toolkit for negotiating change.

Originality/value

Proposes a novel way of viewing paradoxes by shifting the focus away from what paradoxical accounts reflect towards what they achieve in the context of interaction.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Lotte S. Luscher, Marianne Lewis and Amy Ingram

The purpose of this paper is to explain how paradox has become a common label for the organizational complexity, ambiguity and equivocality accentuated by change.

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5507

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain how paradox has become a common label for the organizational complexity, ambiguity and equivocality accentuated by change.

Design/methodology/approach

As a label, paradox is socially constructed – the product of actors' daily discourses. Applying a constructivist lens and insights from systems theories, the paper explores the nature and dynamics of paradox related to changing organizations. Building from related studies, the paper proposes a framework that details recurring paradoxes, their communicative sources, and their paradoxical interplay. This action research study of the Lego Company provides an integrative example.

Findings

Most organizational phenomena that one makes the subject of study are brought out through our own social interactions. Processes and product are two sides of the same coin. Exploring paradoxes often creates circles of reflection. An understanding of paradox does not solve problems, but rather opens new possibilities and sparks circles of even greater complexity.

Originality/value

The paper provides a critique of “resolution”, identifying responses to paradox that may energize change.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Dominique Besson, Alexis Downs, Rita Durant and Marco Roman

The purpose of this paper is to examine proposals for a Tobin tax to curb currency speculation in global markets.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine proposals for a Tobin tax to curb currency speculation in global markets.

Design/methodology/approach

Financial markets are viewed from the perspective of Michel Serres.

Findings

Managing volatility is really about managing relationships that can buffer governments against risk. The resolution of a paradox is embracing the paradox.

Originality/value

The work of Michel Serres has not previously been used in analyses of global currency markets. His theory of parasitical relationships offers a novel response to proposals for a Tobin tax.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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