PDW 07: Learning How to Embrace Paradoxes for a Good Life

Marco Berti
University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Simone Carmine
University of Padova, Italy
Katrin Heucher
University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Camille Pradies
EDHEC Business School, France
Jonathan Schad
VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Harald Tuckermann
University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

Call for Applications


Achieving a good life (in a good society) requires continuous balancing work between elements that are difficult to hold together – such as work-life balance, economic growth and sustainability, individual goals and collective responsibilities (Pradies et al., 2021; Sharma et al., 2021). Paradoxes - i.e.,”“persistent contradictions between interdependent elements" (Schad et al., 2016, p. 6) – need to be navigated in an effort of building a better and more just life and society (Hahn et al., 2018). The paradox literature has stressed the importance of embracing such tensions in order to manage them effectively (Lüscher & Lewis, 2008; Pradies et al., 2020), to achieve positive outcomes at the individual, organizational, and systemic levels (Carmine & De Marchi, 2022). Developing capabilities to navigate paradoxes is therefore crucial for organizational members (e.g., human resource managers, CEOs, employees) to fosters actions in the face of complexity. This requires creating new connections between research, management education, and practice, so that paradox studies fulfil their potential as a new paradigm for understanding and navigating organizational complexity.
In this PDW, hosted by the EGOS sub-theme 34: “Exploring Paradox’ Meta-Theoretical Potential for Theorizing”, we draw on paradox theory to better understand how individuals and organizations can effectively embrace paradoxes for a good life. Our goal is to invite contributions that address, but not limited to, (1) the challenges of teaching students and members of organizations how to embrace and manage contradictory elements, conflicts, and tensions experienced in educational activities; and (2) more broadly the key challenges that people and organizations face in transforming our society for a good life.
The PDW seeks papers that push theoretical and methodological boundaries, and that aim at making bold theoretical and practical contributions. We encourage submissions across research fields, theoretical backgrounds, and philosophical underpinnings that integrate ideas across different sub-themes. The purpose of this PDW is to help scholars to develop their ideas into well-argued papers that can achieve publication in high-ranked journals and also offers focused development sessions liked to an Academy of Management Learning and Education (AMLE) Special Issue.


The PDW is structured in three parts:

1. The first, introductory session is aimed at community building and discussions will be focusing on the challenges of learning about paradoxes with students and practitioners. Further, the guest editors or the AMLE Special Issue will present insights on the topic.

2. The main part of the PDW is centered around interactive roundtables. All participants are expected to have read the papers of their roundtable members to provide feedback. Roundtables will be formed according to the topics of interest and will focus on two main areas.

  • Several roundtables will focus on papers interested in paradox research. In small groups, participants will discuss their papers in detail with one paradox scholar. The aim is to allow vide into smaller groups with in order to allow for in-depth conversation between participants with thematic overlaps to further developing your papers through mutual feedback and support.

  • Several roundtables will be chaired by the guest editors of the AMLE special issue “Learning Through the Paradoxes of Learning & Education” in which accepted papers will receive feedback from experts in the field of paradox research.

3. The PDW will end with a plenary session on the challenges of writing paradox papers. Several scholars will share their insights on navigating the tensions of successfully publishing paradox research.


This PDW is open to all scholars interested in paradoxes and other forms of tensions. PhD students and early career scholars are particularly encouraged to submit, but we will also consider applications from more senior scholars. We will give preference to papers that are not presented in a sub-theme at the main EGOS Colloquium 2023.
Please submit – via the EGOS website – by April 30, 2023 a single application document (.docx or .pdf file) that contains the following mandatory sections:

  • Name + contact details, including title, postal address, e-mail address, phone number.

  • Current role and affiliation. For doctoral students, please include the doctoral program, main area(s) of studies, name(s) of your supervisor(s), and stage of your PhD work (e.g., “3rd year finalizing data collection; initial data analysis ongoing; all coursework completed”). For active researchers, include position and affiliation (early career researchers, please specify the date of PhD completion).

  • Motivation. A paragraph on how you will benefit from this workshop. Please clearly indicate your specific developmental needs (e.g., developing methodology, analyzing data, theorizing from data, improving presentation, choosing a publication outlet, addressing reviewers’ feedback, etc.). In the letter you need to specify if the paper is submitted for the roundtables pertaining to the AMLE Special Issue or general paradox research.

  • A draft/working paper with max. 10 double-spaced pages (typed using a twelve-point Times New Roman font, with margins of at least one-inch), including references, figures, or tables. A full draft of the paper is due two weeks prior to the workshop.


  • Carmine, S., & De Marchi, V. (2022): “Reviewing paradox theory in corporate sustainability toward a systems perspective.” Journal of Business Ethics, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10551-022-05112-2
  • Hahn, T., Figge, F., Pinkse, J., & Preuss, L. (2018): “A paradox perspective on corporate sustainability: Descriptive, instrumental, and normative aspects.” Journal of Business Ethics, 148 (2), 235–248.
  • Lüscher, L.S., & Lewis, M.W. (2008): “Organizational change and managerial sensemaking: Working through paradox.” Academy of Management Journal, 51 (2), 221–240.
  • Pradies, C., Aust, I., Bednarek, R., Brandl, J., Carmine, S., et al. (2021): “The lived experience of paradox: How individuals navigate tensions during the pandemic crisis.” Journal of Management Inquiry, 30 (2), 154–167.
  • Pradies, C., Tunarosa, A., Lewis, M.W., & Courtois, J. (2021): “From vicious to virtuous paradox dynamics: The social-symbolic work of supporting actors.” Organization Studies, 42(8), 1241–1263.
  • Schad, J., Lewis, M.W., Raisch, S., & Smith, W.K. (2016): “Paradox research in management science: Looking back to move forward.” Academy of Management Annals, 10 (1), 5–64.
  • Sharma, G., Bartunek, J., Buzzanell, P.M., Carmine, S., Endres, et al. (2021): “A paradox approach to societal tensions during the pandemic crisis.” Journal of Management Inquiry, 30 (2), 121–137.
Marco Berti is an Associate Professor of Management at UTS Business School, Sydney, Australia. His professional background is in management consulting, while his main academic contributions focus on advancing organizational theory. Marco’s work on organizational paradox, sociology of knowledge, hybrid organizing, and management education has been published in academic journals such as ‘Academy of Management Review,’ ‘Organization Studies’, ‘Journal of Management Studies’, or ‘Academy of Management Learning and Education’.
Simone Carmine is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Padova, Italy. His research lies at the intersection of sustainability and paradox theory aiming at understanding the management and outcomes of sustainability tensions. His research has been published in ‘Journal of Business Ethics’, ‘Journal of Management Studies’, and ‘Journal of Management Inquiry’. Simone has been co-founder and chair of Sustainability PhD Community (2020–2021).
Katrin Heucher is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Innovation Management and Strategy at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Her work research lies at the intersection between organizational sustainability and paradox and has received several awards. In exploring phenomena of organizational sustainability efforts empirically, Katrin uses qualitative methods and, in particular, ethnographic research.
Camille Pradies is an Associate Professor of Management at EDHEC Business School, France. Her research focuses on paradoxes and emotions such as ambivalence at the individual and group levels and on the organizational and institutional conditions that influence them. Camille’s research has been published or is forthcoming in academic journals such as ‘Academy of Management Journal,’ ‘Organization Science,’ ‘Organization Studies’, or ‘Management Learning’.
Jonathan Schad is an Associate Professor in Strategy and Organization at the School of Business and Economics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands. His work on paradox has been published in outlets such as the ‘Academy of Management Annals’, ‘Journal of Management Studies’, and ‘Strategic Organization’.
Harald Tuckermann is Professor for Managing Pluralistic Organizations at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He studies decision-making as process using paradox theories in pluralistic organizations like hospitals. Harald’s interests also include dialogue, advancing executive education and the relationship of practice and research. His publication mirror these interests and occur in academic journals like ‘Organization Studies’ and in practitioner outlets for healthcare professionals.