Paradox as a generative practice


Charmaine Williamson, Peet Venter


Williamson C., Venter P. 2018. Paradox as a generative practice. Eastern European Business and Economics Journal 4(2): 162-188.


Full text



The more conscious management of paradoxical situations is gaining currency as practitioners wrestle with so called ‘wicked problems’ within regulated policy environments. Organisations involved with improving lives, through furthering development goals, often advance linear frameworks for such problems, amidst contradictory and political inter-dependencies. The paper challenges prevailing practice perspectives on rational strategy that are both claimed and assumed by the mandates of development. Instead, core practices around incremental action occur, which in effect massage the grand strategy. The findings theoretically anchor these central adaptions through invoking Brunsson’s political qualities of organisations and inserting acquired practices as conduits between his four qualities. In extending the theoretical context of Brunsson’s analysis, the paper argues that practices and practitioners sustain and are the carriers of both politics and action towards a calibration of organisational hypocrisy, equilibrium and strategic survival.



Strategy Activities and practices (SAP); organisational hypocrisy; nano narratives; development


JEL classification:

M1, 02, 03






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