Zum Inhalt springen

eLearning – Managing Paradoxes | Part 2

Part 2

Types of Paradoxes

Paradoxes can arise in a wide variety of settings. Researchers Wendy K. Smith and Marianne W. Lewis have worked on the topic for over 20 years. Within their research, they found four overarching types of paradoxes that occur in organizational contexts: performing, learning, organizing, and belonging. These paradoxes emerge across many levels. For example, the paradox of today and tomorrow might underlie a dilemma around the next steps of a person’t career and simultaneously infuse challenges that the person faces as a leader of a large organization.  

Below, you find an overview picture of the four types of paradoxes. Click on the small „impagio“-icons to get more information. 

Want to read more about it?

If you want to read the original paper and dig deeper into the topic, please, have a look at the following study:


Smith, W. K., & Lewis, M. W. (2011). Toward a theory of paradox: A dynamic equilibrium model of organizing. Academy of management Review, 36(2), 381-403.



You can directly download the paper by clicking on the picture.