Paradox Tactics: Avoid, Activate, Transcend

  • Jan Heiberg Johansen


When organizational actors approach paradoxes they consciously or unconsciously apply a number of paradox tactics. It is a descriptive term for the handling of paradoxes. Tactics work together with paradoxes in paradox chains and the concept of paradox tactics only makes sense in relation to paradoxes.

This chapter will look into the “tactical logics” that organizational actors form before examining the three clusters of tactics—avoidance, activation, and transcendence. Tactical logics are patterns in the organizational actors’ response to paradoxes (Smets et al. 2015).

Change in tactical logics can take place via “turning points” that work as transitional fields. The five sections—tactical logics, avoidance, activation, transcendence, and turning points—form the chapter’s structure.


The typology of paradox tactics Avoidance, activation and transcendence Paradox theory is a new language on managing complexity 


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Authors and Affiliations

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

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