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date: 31 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Although cognition has been a central tenet in organizational paradox theory, an understanding of how cognition might influence individuals’ experience with paradoxes has been underexplored. By incorporating insights from cognitive sciences and organizational paradox research, this chapter develops an initial road map to discuss how the mind shapes the experience with paradoxes. It first explores the question of why an individual experiences a paradox by discussing the role of categories—specifically antonymic categories and categorization processes and then explores the question of how individuals experience a paradox by discussing the role of perception, affect, and reasoning. The chapter discusses domain-specific knowledge and metacognitive knowledge to address how an individual can learn to manage paradoxes. Finally, how social conventions influence the experience with paradoxes and how cultural metacognition may be able to alter these effects is discussed. By constructing this initial road map, this chapter contributes to research on organizations and cognition.

Keywords: organizational paradox, cognition, categories, categorization processes, paradox management

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