What Paradox? Developing a Process for Organizational Research

Robin Holt, Mike Zundel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter investigates the relationship between paradox and the logical typing of classes and members. Class-based thinking affords efficiency in communication and the progressive, additive development of knowledge, but also creates fissures, shortcuts, truncations, and delimitations that generate paradoxical confusion when the rough ground of experience is brought into communion with the smooth conceptual space occupied by classes and members. The chapter explores possibilities for a different form of analytic reasoning manifest in a physiologically adapted style of movement that emphasizes interconnectedness and interdependency, which Gregory Bateson calls “grace”: the successful integration of smaller with wider arcs of awareness. This is developed here into a method for studying organizational phenomena using the example of an organizational routine, arguing that this may be one way of analytically appreciating the interactive systems that forever evade our conscious and conceptual grasp.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Organizational Paradox
EditorsWendy Schmidt, Marianne Lewis, Paula Jarzabkowski, Ann Langley
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)9780198754428
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Routines
  • Langauge
  • Logical typing
  • Gregory Bateson
  • Grace

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