Conversations and inspirations for organizational paradox scholarship

R. Bednarek, M.W. Lewis, J. Schad

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


© 2021 by Emerald Publishing Limited.Early paradox research in organization theory contained a remarkable breadth of inspirations from outside disciplines. We wanted to know more about where early scholarship found inspiration to create what has since become paradox theory. To shed light on this, we engaged seminal paradox scholars in conversations: asking about their past experiences drawing from outside disciplines and their views on the future of paradox theory. These conversations surfaced several themes of past and future inspirations: (1) understanding complex phenomena; (2) drawing from related disciplines; (3) combining interdisciplinary insights; and (4) bridging discourses in organization theory. We end the piece with suggestions for future paradox research inspired by these conversations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
PublisherEmerald Group Holdings Ltd.
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
ISSN (Print)0733-558X


We thank all our colleagues who engaged in this project with us: Jean Bartunek, Kim Cameron, Stewart Clegg, Miguel Pina e Cunha, Kathleen Eisenhardt, Mary Jo Hatch, Paula Jarzabkowski, Marshall Scott Poole, Linda Putnam, Robert Quinn, Wendy Smith, Michael Tushman, Russ Vince, and Andrew Van de Ven. It was a privilege to learn from you and include your voices here. We are also grateful to Wendy Smith and Miguel Pina e Cunha for their editorial input into this piece.

FundersFunder number
Marshall Scott Poole, Linda Putnam


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