Managing Impressions Rather Than Emissions: Volkswagen and the false mastery of paradox

@article{Gaim2019ManagingIR,
  title={Managing Impressions Rather Than Emissions: Volkswagen and the false mastery of paradox},
  author={Medhanie Gaim and Stewart R. Clegg and Miguel Pina E. Cunha},
  journal={Organization Studies},
  year={2019},
  volume={42},
  pages={949 - 970}
}
The challenge of dealing with paradoxes has become a central issue in management and organization studies. Present research literature is largely inclined to idealize paradoxical framing in thinking and theorizing. We critically explore the perils paradoxes present when generated by stretch goals whose ‘achievement’ is accomplished through impression management. Using the Volkswagen emissions scandal we show how paradoxical promises, embraced discursively but not substantively, created false… 

Figures from this paper

In Praise of Paradox Persistence: Evidence from the Sydney Opera House Project

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

(Un)resolving digital technology paradoxes through the rhetoric of balance

The organizational benefits of digital technologies are increasingly contrasted with negative societal consequences. Such tensions are contradictory, persistent and interrelated, suggesting

Rethinking Organizations and Society from Paradoxes

  • M. Cunha
  • Business
    Organizações & Sociedade
  • 2022
Abstract The theory of organizational paradoxes provides a lens for observing organizations and society, based on the role of tensions and contradictions. Taking the existence of opposing forces as

Organizational Guilt Management: A Paradox Perspective

Alleged organizational wrongdoings are often characterized by high levels of uncertainty about what happened, which can take years to be established judicially. In this study, we examine

Crazy, stupid, disobedience: The dark side of paradoxical leadership

In organizations, paradoxes are not only an expression of growing dynamism and complexity. Leaders can also generate them intentionally by means of double-bind rhetoric in order to exercise power. In

Repensar Organizações e Sociedade a partir de Paradoxos

Abstract The theory of organizational paradoxes provides a lens for observing organizations and society, based on the role of tensions and contradictions. Taking the existence of opposing forces as

Non-naïve organizational positivity through a generative paradox pedagogy

Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS), with positivity as a core conceptual component, is a major innovation in recent decades in management and organizational studies. Just as organization is an

Paradox Beyond East/West Orthodoxy: The Case of Ubuntu

  • M. GaimS. Clegg
  • Art
    Interdisciplinary Dialogues on Organizational Paradox: Learning from Belief and Science, Part A
  • 2021
That life is inundated with constant push–pull between contradictory demands is indisputable. Different traditions and worldviews inform individuals’ approaches to dealing with the ensuing paradoxes.

The Lived Experience of Paradox: How Individuals Navigate Tensions during the Pandemic Crisis

Organizational life has always been filled with tensions, but the COVID-19 pandemic is amplifying this experience in fundamental ways. Across the globe, employees were forced to quickly adjust to

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 99 REFERENCES

Responding to competing strategic demands: How organizing, belonging, and performing paradoxes coevolve

This article develops an empirically grounded process model of how managers in organizations respond to coexisting paradoxical tensions. With a longitudinal real-time study, we examine how a

Paradox theory and the paradox of success

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

The Learning Spiral: A Process Perspective on Paradox

Paradox theory enables management research to replace either/or thinking with more integrative both/and approaches. Despite this achievement, greater theoretical complexity is needed to account for

Having your cake and eating it too: discourses of transcendence and their role in organizational change dynamics

Purpose – Previous work on paradox and contradiction has argued for management approaches that transcend dilemmas through a kind of creative synthesis. The purpose of this paper is to investigate

Dynamic Decision Making: A Model of Senior Leaders Managing Strategic Paradoxes

Senior leaders increasingly embed paradoxes into their organization's strategy, but struggle to manage them effectively. To better understand how they do so, I compared in-depth qualitative data from

Microfoundations of Organizational Paradox: The Problem Is How We Think about the Problem

Competing tensions and demands pervade our work lives. Accumulating research examines organizational and leadership approaches to leveraging these tensions. But what about individuals within firms?

Transcendence through Rhetorical Practices: Responding to Paradox in the Science Sector

Organizations are often required to meet contradictory but interrelated objectives. An important response to such paradoxes is transcendence: the ability to view both poles of the paradox as

Paradox Research in Management Science: Looking Back to Move Forward

Paradox studies offer vital and timely insights into an array of organizational tensions. Yet this field stands at a critical juncture. Over the past 25 years, management scholars have drawn

Both/and leadership

Leaders face a multitude of strategic paradoxes-contradictory pressures that are too often viewed as "either/or" choices. There are "innovation paradoxes," in which the pursuit of new offerings and

Methods of Paradox

Despite growing scholarly interest in paradoxes, few studies have expressly engaged with the methodological mechanics of ‘doing’ paradox research. First, there are no clearly established guidelines
...