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On the emergence and management of paradoxical tensions: The case of architectural firms
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5564-360X
2017 (English)In: European Management Journal, ISSN 0263-2373, E-ISSN 1873-5681, 1-22 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Paradoxical tensions are pervasive and unavoidable in the everyday practice of creativity-based contexts, such as architectural firms. Whilst the existing literature has extensively explored both coping strategies and multiple ways of approaching paradoxical tensions, we still have a limited understanding of how individuals engage with paradoxical tensions and how organizations support their members' efforts to sustain such tensions. Accordingly, my purpose here is to explore paradoxical tensions in the context of architectural firms and explain how firms and their members make sense of these tensions. I use a multiple case study to investigate empirically the salient paradoxical tensions central to architectural firms and to develop an understanding of what makes them salient. I explain how triggers evoke latent tensions and make them salient and also outline salient paradoxical tensions prevalent within this context. In exploring how architectural firms and their members make sense of these tensions, I outline and explain the importance of a paradoxical mindset, a paradoxical practice, and supporting organizational arrangements. I conclude by discussing the interplay among mindsets, practices, and arrangements as an organizing platform—a conceptual framework that future studies could explore further.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. 1-22 p.
Keyword [en]
Architectural firms; Organizing platform; Paradoxical tensions; Paradoxical mindset; Paradoxical practices; Paradox theory; Creativity
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-139534DOI: 10.1016/j.emj.2017.09.001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-139534DiVA: diva2:1141795
Note

Highlights

•Four triggers that render latent tensions salient are identified.

•Three salient paradoxical tensions are identified at an individual, project and firm levels.

•Individuals' paradoxical mindsets and practices that are used to make sense of and respond to the tensions are discussed.

•Organizational arrangements that support individuals' paradoxical mindset and practices are outlined.

Available from: 2017-09-15 Created: 2017-09-15 Last updated: 2017-09-21

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf