Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 303–312 | Cite as

Flexibility in Cognitive Functioning: The Play of Paradox

  • Venkat Ram Reddy GanuthulaEmail author
  • Shuchi Sinha
Original Research


Interactions among motivation, cognitive functioning, and affect shape much of the diversity in human behavior. This study aims to synthesize the literature on these interactions through a narrative review and highlights how a particular class of motivations leads to paradoxical effects. The literature review was conducted by following a rigorous search protocol to identify and filter the research on the topic. A synthesis of the pertinent research suggests that motivation, cognitive functioning, and affect interact cyclically to give rise to behavioral diversity. More importantly, affective and motivational influences lead to flexibility in cognitive functioning. This flexibility in information search and processing gives rise to paradoxical effects in the case of a class of motivations called, desires. Regulation of affect helps tone down these paradoxical effects. To conclude, few implications to theory and practice are discussed.


Affect Cognitive functioning Desire Flexibility Motivation Paradox Regulation 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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© Global Institute of Flexible Systems Management 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management StudiesIndian Institute of Technology DelhiNew DelhiIndia

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