Paradox Theory as a Lens of Theorising for Sustainable HRM

  • Ina Ehnert
Part of the Contributions to Management Science book series (MANAGEMENT SC.)


In Chap.  2, the notion of sustainability has been opened up for HRM and possible links to HRM theory were identified. In Chap.  3, Strategic HRM literature has been reviewed from a sustainability perspective to identify “blind spots” in the theory development of the HRM field (see Sect. 3.5). Although Chaps. 2 and 3 serve as basis for developing a conceptual model for a sustainability approach to HRM, this chapter explores paradox theory as a lens of theorising for Sustainable HRM. The term “paradox theory” refers to organisational literature on paradoxical phenomena – i.e. for this work the literature on paradoxes, dualities, and dilemmas. Although “paradox theory” is not a theory as, for instance, the RBV, the theoretical elements presented in this chapter constitute a part of interim struggles of organisation and HRM scholars to apply paradox and related concepts for theory development (see Sect. 1.5.2). The literature on paradoxes, dualities, and dilemmas is regarded as one school of thought. Although there are subtle differences between these concepts, several similar elements can be identified which justify studying them together and integrating them into one lens.


Coping Strategy Theory Development Blind Spot Social Dilemma Paradoxical Phenomenon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Physica-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BremenBremenGermany

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