Fading In and Fading Out: The Temporary Nature of Asymmetric Paradoxical Knots within Organizations

Carolin Johanna Waldner, Stephanie Schrage, Andreas Rasche

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportKonferenceabstrakt i proceedingsForskningpeer review


Despite significant advances afforded by recent insights into the coexistence of multiple paradoxes, we still know little about the precise ways in which multiple intertwined or knotted paradoxes relate to one another. In particular, scholars have not yet studied how differences in the perceived intensity of paradoxes influence the development of paradox knots. We draw on a longitudinal qualitative case study of a German development NGO operating in Uganda to elucidate and elaborate upon the knotted nature of two paradoxes faced by this NGO, namely a means-end paradox and an identity elasticity paradox. Our analysis shows how the intensity of these two knotted paradoxes developed inversely, with the NGO’s response to the means-end paradox amplifying the identity elasticity paradox and its response to the identity elasticity paradox mitigating the means-end paradox. Based on these findings, we extend the literature on paradox knots in two ways. First, we show how knotted paradoxes can be asymmetrically aligned, with each alternately amplifying or mitigating the intensity of the other over time. Second, we show that paradox knots need to be understood as temporary and unstable phenomena that can both emerge and decline – or “fade in” and “fade out” – in their effects.
TitelProceedings of the Eighty-second Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
RedaktørerSonja Taneja
Antal sider6
UdgivelsesstedBriarcliff Manor, NY
ForlagAcademy of Management
StatusUdgivet - 2022
BegivenhedThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022: Creating a Better World Together - Seattle, USA
Varighed: 5 aug. 20229 aug. 2022
Konferencens nummer: 82


KonferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022
NavnAcademy of Management Proceedings


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