The Nature of organizational paradox: A view from quantum theory

Tobias Hahn, Eric Knight

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstractpeer-review


Research on organizational paradox has been burgeoning over the last two decades. While there is a growing consensus on the definition of organizational paradox as contradictory yet interdependent demands that appear simultaneously and persist over time, there is ongoing debate on the nature of organizational paradox, in particular with regard to the latency, salience, and persistence of organizational paradox. In this paper, we develop a conceptual analogy to quantum theory to gain new insights into these three fundamental aspects of organizational paradox. We draw analogies to the quantum principles of superposition, measurement, and entanglement to gain a better understanding of the nature of paradox with regard to latency, salience, and persistence, respectively. We develop a framework that elicits that latency, salience, and persistence constitute a dynamic interplay and clarify the role of social construction, contextual factors, and organizational settings for conceptualizing the nature of organizational paradox.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual Meeting of the Academy of Management (78th : 2018) - Chicago, Illinois, United States
Duration: 10 Aug 201814 Aug 2018


ConferenceAnnual Meeting of the Academy of Management (78th : 2018)
Abbreviated titleAOM 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityChicago, Illinois


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