Dualities, Dialectics and Paradoxes in Organizational Life

Edited by: Wendy Smith, Moshe Farjoun, Ann Langley, and Harimodos Tsoukas

Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: September 2018

ISBN-10: 0198827431 / ISBN-13: 978-0198827436

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Contradictions permeate and propel organizational life – including tensions between reaching globally while focusing locally; competing while also cooperating; performing reliably while experimenting, taking risks, and learning; or granting autonomy while constraining freedom. These tensions give organizational members pause, but also spur them to take action; they may be necessary for preserving the social order, but are also required to transform it.

Drawing on the Eighth International Symposium on Process Organization Studies, Dualities, Dialectics, and Paradoxes in Organizational Life examines how contradictions fuel emergent, dynamic systems and stimulate novelty, adaption, and transformations. It uses conceptual and empirical studies to offer insight into how process theorizing advances understanding of organizational contradictions; to shed light on how dialectics, paradoxes, and dualities fuel persistence and transformation; and to explore the convergence and divergence of dialectics, paradox, and dualities. Taken together, it offers key insights to inform persistent, contradictory dynamics in organizations and organizational studies.