Release | Approaching management and organization paradoxes paradoxically: The case for the tetralemma as an expansive encasement strategy

Roth S., Schneckenberg D., Valentinov V., and Kleve H. (in press), Approaching management and organization paradoxes paradoxically: The case for the tetralemma as an expansive encasement strategy, European Management Journal, DOI: 10.1016/j.emj.2021.12.002 [SSCI 5.075, Scopus, CNRS, FNEGE, CABS, VHB***].

Abstract: The field of paradox studies keeps struggling to put the notion of paradox into the very centre of organizational life and managerial decision-making, with mixed success. We argue that this research ambition can be realized much more effectively by anchoring the field in three interrelated conceptual approaches which build on paradox as the paradigmatic point of departure. These approaches include Spencer Brown’s form calculus, Niklas Luhmann’s systems and organization theory, and the traditional Indian logical construct of tetralemma. In the proposed argument, paradox constitutes the very identity of organizations as (re-entries of) distinctions drawn in the environment; it is actualized in every act of organizational decision communication, as well as in the process of the continual vanishing and renewal of such acts. In this conception of organizational life, the key challenge is to debunk false distinctions by using tetralemmatization strategies that entail a radical questioning of the problematic observational perspectives.

The corrected proof version of this article is freely available on the journal website until 11 February 2022 and remains available for download here thereafter.

Featured image: Liquid talk with me again by Christine Ay Tjoe.

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