What happened to leadership communication? A literature review on leaders’ communication of paradox

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


Paradox theory delivers a framework for managerial action that is robust and resilient yet accepting of vulnerability as a precondition for change and a sensemaking resource for dealing with change and complexity for managers as well as other organizational actors (Lüscher 2018; Schad et al., 2016; Smith and Lewis, 2011). Yet, the sensemaking and decision-making potential of paradox theory for assisting managers is contingent upon collaborations with relevant others. That is, responding to paradox can only be realized through communication about paradox between managers and significant others, i.e., stakeholders with whom the managers need to collaborate in order to purposefully enact the response to the paradox. We expand on paradox theory by drawing attention to leadership communication as an overlooked dimension of managerial attempts to navigate paradox with relevant others in and outside their organizations. To this end, the paper reviews the literature on responses to paradox in organizational and management studies, as research shows, that the ways in which organizational actors respond to - including communicate of - paradox shape the experience, impact, and dealings of paradox (Jarzabkowski et al., 2013; Lewis, 2000; Smith and Lewis, 2011).
  • Paradox Practice Track: Research-Practice Panel

    Rikke Kristine Nielsen (Panel member), Danielle Bjerre Lyndgaard (Panel member), Garima Sharma (Moderator), Michael Pingel Hansen (Panel member), Natalie Slawinski (Panel member) & Angela Greco (Moderator)

    18 Mar 2022

    Activity: Talks and presentationsTalks and presentations in private or public companies


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