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In search of a creative space: A conceptual framework of synthesizing paradoxical tensions
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5564-360X
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2016 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Management, ISSN 0956-5221, E-ISSN 1873-3387, Vol. 32, no 1, 33-44 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We examine paradoxes in organizations and the organizations’ ability to deal with the resulting paradoxical tensions. Paradoxes constitute contradictory yet interrelated organizational demands that exist simultaneously, with the resulting tensions persisting over time. Irrespective of the prevailing evidence that engaging paradoxes leads to peak performance in the short-term, which reinforces long-term success, the question of how this might be done remains perplexing. Thus, based on pragmatic philosophy, this paper aims to increase our understanding of what constitutes a paradox and suggests a conceptual framework from which organizations and their members can frame and cope with tensions that result from paradoxes. Specifically, we conceptually map a way to achieve a synthesis of paradoxical tensions that is informed by design thinking. This synthesis is said to occur when competing demands are simultaneously fulfilled to their full potential. In this paper, design thinking – as a management concept – is used to refer to the interplay between perspective, structure, process, and mindset. It provides an alternative framing of how organizations approach paradoxes and deal with the resulting tensions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 32, no 1, 33-44 p.
Keyword [en]
Design thinking, Organizational design, Paradoxical tensions, Symmetric organizational form, Synthesizing
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-113788DOI: 10.1016/j.scaman.2015.12.002ISI: 000371837400004OAI: diva2:890089
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2015-12-30 Created: 2015-12-30 Last updated: 2016-04-07Bibliographically approved

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