Paradox theory and the paradox of success

Miguel Pina e Cunha, Linda L. Putnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)
324 Downloads (Pure)


The study of paradox in strategy and organization studies has grown rapidly over the last 25 years. Paradox, as contradictory yet interrelated opposites that exist simultaneously and persist over time, can be qualified as a successful area of study. Yet success, however sweet, may come at a price, namely, premature convergence on theoretical concepts, overconfidence in dominant explanations, and institutionalizing labels that protect dominant logics. We discuss the risk of paradox theory being vulnerable to the paradox of success and focus on ways to avoid narrowness in theory building.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-106
Number of pages12
JournalStrategic Organization
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • institutionalization
  • paradox
  • paradox of success
  • paradox theory
  • premature
  • process


Dive into the research topics of 'Paradox theory and the paradox of success'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this