Leveraging Complexity in (Educational) Practice – Exploring the Dynamics of Tame And Wild Paradoxes in an Action Learning Program

Rikke Kristine Nielsen*, Mette Mogensen (Member of study group), Thomas Duus Henriksen (Member of study group)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


To explore how paradox theory-informed development processes may be facilitated in organizational actors and other learners with mutual consideration for wild complexity and tamed, more simplified framing of paradox, this abstract sets the scene for an examination of paradox development work (in education, training, consulting) as a balancing act between tame and wild paradoxes. We will present and discuss the results of an ongoing analysis of facilitation of managers’ paradox work in an action learning program demonstrating how both facilitators and participants engage with paradox using strategies to both “tame” paradoxes (simplification), while at the same time adding of complexity to paradox work (amplification). We will also discuss how both strategies of “taming” and “wilding” may be activated as both enabling and disabling for paradox work in educational practice.

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