Reflections on the paradoxes of modernity: A conversation with James March

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Our modern society of organizations is confronted by paradoxes within and of modernity. Technicians of modernity are concerned with the former, providing advice on how to better manage organizations and those within them. Interpreters of modernity focus on the latter, surfacing and addressing the embedded paradoxes that confront all those living and working in modern society. This chapter aims to provoke thought and discussion on the latter by highlighting and elaborating on the significance of the work of James March. A key focus is on the contribution made by James March’s elegant appreciation of three key paradoxes of modernity—paradoxes of rationality, performance, and meaning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford handbook of organizational paradox
EditorsWendy K. Smith, Marianne W. Lewis, Paula Jarzabkowski, Ann Langley
Place of PublicationOxford, UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780191815966
ISBN (Print)9780198754428
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • paradox
  • March
  • modernity
  • aesthetics
  • performativity

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