In praise of paradox persistence: Evidence from the Sydney Opera House project

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Organizational paradoxes persist. In their persistence, they resist closure; we demonstrate how, by using an exemplary project, that of the construction of the Sydney Opera House. By analyzing paradoxes encountered in the construction of a notable contemporary architectural project, we discuss how dialogical interactions enable options to emerge in the form of responses that were not previously evident. Engaging paradoxes dialogically requires accepting rather than denying contradictions, meaning that rather than resolving them in favor of one pole or the other, the contradictions remain in play. Monologic interactions—favoring dominant and singular voices, rather than producing consensus—repress dissent, leading to conflict, through suppressing paradox.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-415
JournalProject Management Journal
Volume53
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • architectural project
  • dialogue
  • paradox
  • paradox persistence in projects
  • Sydney Opera House

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