Organization and Management Theory OMT

  • 1.  New Book Announcement

    Posted 09-29-2023 20:53

    New Book Announcement: Performing Organizational Paradoxes


    By: Gail Fairhurst (

           Linda Putnam (


    Publisher: Routledge (hardcover, e-book)


    Performing Organizational Paradoxes takes a constitutive, process approach to organizational paradoxes. It underscores the performative nature of paradox through its underlying dialectical tensions, its sociomaterial foundations, and power features that bring paradoxes to life, sustain them, and enable their transformation.


    The book broadens the research on organizational paradox by embracing a constitutive approach and delineating the debates and misconceptions of this perspective. For the novice reader, several chapters focus on identifying paradoxical tensions in organizations, developing repertoires of responses to them, and relating them to outcomes of organizational processes.


    For the advanced reader, key chapters focus on the ubiquity of power and paradox, how bodies enter into paradox in narratives and emotional reactions, and how language cues categories that inventively aid in responding to power and paradox. The last chapter sets forth an agenda for future research that challenges scholars to focus on the ongoing development of organizational paradox. Also, the book employs multiple case analyses and exemplars to illustrate these features of organizational paradoxes.


    Filling an important gap in the existing literature, this book is a key resource for scholars and students in the fields of communication, management, educational administration, organizational psychology, and any other fields that study organizations. It is an essential read for scholars interested in the organizing aspects of tensions, contradictions, dialectics, and paradox.


    Table of Contents:


    1 Introduction

    2 Theoretical Perspectives

    3 Multiple Paradoxical Tensions

    4 Responding to Paradox

    5 Paradox and Process Outcomes

    6 Paradox and Power

    7 Narrating Paradox, Bodies, and Emotions

    8 Paradox Category Work

    9 Possible Futures for Paradox Research



    To Order the Book: 




    This is a masterful book, written by two masters of the craft. In Performing

    Organizational Paradoxes, Fairhurst and Putnam offer what this scholarship

    has long needed: an extended treatment of paradox as a unique stance

    on the very constitution of organization. Drawing on their grasp of theory,

    Fairhurst and Putnam's performativity framework sets forth a unique lens

    to the notion of organizing. Their perspective reveals important insights

    regarding the multiplicity of knotted tensions, the sociomateriality of all

    practice, and the centrality of power. This book holds revelations galore for

    readers who are willing to follow the pursuit and promise of paradox.


                    Timothy Kuhn, Chair and Professor of Organizational Communication,

                    Department of Communication, University of Colorado, Boulder


    Fairhurst and Putnam offer thought-provoking insights into the nature,

    responses to and role of paradox in our world. Intricate yet clear, bold yet

    nuanced, they empower a constitutive approach. Their research unpacks

    paradox-related phenomena, including a sociomaterial ontology and dialectical

    dynamics as well as the interplay of power, performativity and

    narrative sensemaking. Their creativity and rigor will inspire scholars who

    explore paradoxical tensions across disciplines.


                    Marianne W. Lewis, Dean and Professor of Management, Carl H.

                    Lindner College of Business, University of Cincinnati, USA


    Fairhurst and Putnam are experts in paradox theory. I am always eager to

    read their work as I continue to learn from it and I was delighted to do so

    with this book. They have again produced a masterpiece by clarifying and

    advancing a constitutive approach to paradox. In doing so, they challenge

    our assumptions, deepen our insights, and invite us to improve our understanding.

    Anyone who is interested in unpacking how the world operates

    needs to read this book.


                    Wendy K. Smith, Dana J. Johnson Professor of Management,

                    University of Delaware, USA


    These days, organizational scholars tend to reserve their most original and

    interesting ideas for academic articles, relegating books to the task of integrating

    or elucidating previous research. Fairhurst and Putnam's volume

    breaks with this tradition by offering a trove of stimulating, ground-breaking

    concepts that greatly enrich paradox literature and push it in new

    directions. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the study of organizational

    tensions and contradictions.


                    Marco Berti, Associate Professor, UTS Business School, University of

                    Technology, Sydney, AUS