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Methods of Paradox

Andriopoulos, C. & Gotsi, M. (2017). Methods of Paradox. In: Smith, W. K., Lewis, M. W., Jarzabkowski, P. & Langley, A. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Paradox. (pp. 513-529). Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198754428.001.0001


Despite growing scholarly interest in paradoxes, few studies have expressly engaged with the methodological mechanics of ‘doing’ paradox research. First, there are no clearly established guidelines regarding what should count as paradox in research endeavors. Second, there is uncertainty around who sees/thinks/experiences the paradox and what is relevant when it comes to the emergence, choice, interpretation and appropriation of paradoxes in empirical settings. Third, there is still confusion around where one can find evidence of paradoxes. This book chapter aims to shed some light on these methodological shortcomings. We suggest that paradox researchers can deal with these methodological challenges by 1) showing evidence of contradictory, interrelated, simultaneous and persistent paradoxical tensions in the empirical setting, 2) developing reliable and flexible protocols for paradox identification, 3) pushing for multi-level paradox studies, 4) practicing reflexivity, 5) staying close to the context, and 6) leveraging multi-modality.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Andriopoulos, C. & Gotsi, M. (2017). Methods of Paradox. In: W. K. Smith, M. W. Lewis, P. Jarzabkowski & A. Langley (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Paradox. (pp. 513-529), reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press
Publisher Keywords: paradox, methods, qualitative, quantitative, evidence, tensions, paradox identification, multilevel studies, context, reflexivity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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