Responding to competing strategic demands: How organizing, belonging, and performing paradoxes coevolve

Paula Jarzabkowski, Jane K. Lê, Andrew H. Van de Ven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

376 Scopus citations


This article develops an empirically grounded process model of how managers in organizations respond to coexisting paradoxical tensions. With a longitudinal real-time study, we examine how a telecommunications firm copes with an organizing paradox between market and regulatory demands and how this paradox influences belonging and performing paradoxes for managers. These paradoxes coevolve over time as managers shift from defensive responses that attempt to circumvent paradox to active responses that accept and work within paradox. Our process model clarifies the recursive relationship between different kinds of paradox, the cumulative impact of responses to paradox over time, and the way that responses to paradox become embedded in organizational structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-280
Number of pages36
JournalStrategic Organization
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study received funding from the Advanced Institute of Management/Economic and Social Research Council (grant number: RES-331-25-3013), the British Academy (grant number: SG-45273), The Freda and Len Lansbury Early Career Researcher Support Fund (University of Sydney), and the University of Sydney Business School Faculty Research Grant.


  • Change
  • dialectics
  • organizing
  • paradox


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