The Strategic Context: The Mother of Paradox

  • Jan Heiberg Johansen


Scarcity, change, and plurality are widespread contemporary trends. These three factors will be analyzed in this chapter because they are particularly prominent in the paradox literature and can embrace the experience of other contemporary trends, such as technological changes, globalization, and demographic shifts.

The three factors act as provocateurs or strategic catalysts for the specific paradoxes experienced in the organization. They are strategic because they are significant external trends affecting the organization’s ability to create value. They are catalysts because they activate contradictions and amplify organizational paradoxes.

The three factors—scarcity, change, and plurality—form the structure of the chapter. Embedded contradictions can materialize as paradoxes when the organization meets scarcity, change, and plurality. They work as strategic catalysts disrupting organizational boundaries and thereby activating embedded contradictions in the organization.


Strategic context of organizational paradoxes The strategic catalysts Scarcity, change and plurality Value contradictions Challenged organizational boundaries produce paradoxes 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Heiberg Johansen
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarCopenhagenDenmark

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