The Neither-And Solution to Paradox: Inspirations from Buddhism, Quantum Physics, and James March

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The mainstream perspective on organizational paradox is underpinned by a both/and thinking, i.e., striving to achieve both of two opposite things. Yet, pursuing contradictory objectives simultaneously is not an easy task to do, which often leads to stress. From a Buddhist perspective, any human suffering (including stress) is caused by one’s desire for more (e.g., more than one objective). Therefore, the both/and thinking, or the desire for having both opposite things can be seen as the cause of rather than the solution to the paradoxical tension. In this paper, I present a ‘Neither-And’ solution – a unique combination of neither/nor as the primary thinking and both/and the secondary – to paradox that is inspired by Buddhism, quantum physics, and James March’s writings. The Neither-And solution can be called Confucian Buddhist solution to paradox, with ‘Buddhist’ (neither/nor) denoting giving up or letting go the extrinsic desire to meet two opposite goals as extrinsic expectations and ‘Confucian’ (both/and) denoting pursuing with intrinsic desire for either or both of opposite goals according to the logic of appropriateness.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event“Remember James March” Conference - New International Conference Center, University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Ningbo, China
Duration: 17 Jun 201918 Jun 2019


Conference“Remember James March” Conference
LocationNew International Conference Center, University of Nottingham Ningbo China
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