Fairhurst, G. T., & Putnam, L. L. Sourcing paradoxical tensions in organizational discourse. Top Four Paper, Organizational Communication Division, National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV, November 19-22, 2015.
As a result of the tremendous outgrowth of studies focusing on tension, contradiction, and paradox as the “new normal” for complex organizational life, there has been an over-reliance on case methods and grounded theory to understand them. However, this paper focuses on the under-examined role of organizational discourse in paradoxical dynamics. We explore several features of organizational discourse—including the manner in which clashing discourses produce tensions, category work, tension clusters, responses to tensions, and local logics—in ways that promote the development of new theory, stronger methods, and greater actor reflexivity for paradoxical dynamics.