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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

While dating back to ancient philosophy, only recently have organizational scholars started to explore paradox. Drawing from insights across disciplines including psychoanalysis and macro sociology, some provocative theorists urged researchers to take seriously the study of paradox and deepen understanding of plurality, tensions, and contradictions. Scholars responded. Studies of organizational paradox have grown exponentially over twenty years, canvassing varied phenomena, methods, and levels of analysis. As paradox studies grow, new insights challenge foundational ideas, and raise questions around definitions, overlapping lenses, and varied research and managerial approaches. Alternative perspectives highlight divides while inviting complementary approaches. Reflecting on the state of paradox studies, the editors became aware that they were surfacing the paradoxes of paradoxes—contradictory, yet interdependent perspectives on paradox enveloped in the core theoretical assumptions. The introduction surfaces these paradoxes of paradoxes, noting how the chapters in this handbook both engage these tensions, while expanding insight into the field.

Keywords: paradox, pluralism, interdependence, contradiction, dialectics, dualities

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