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The Crisis Paradox - Perceptions of organizational crises in between threats and opportunities

Allbauer, Markus LU and Herrmann, Anna LU (2012) BUSN49 20121
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
This paper identifies and analyzes paradoxes in perception of organizational crisis. Based on the observation of conflicting views on organizational crises that tend to polarize towards either threats or opportunities, we explore contradictions and interrelations in the concept. Our purpose is to reveal ambivalences and dynamics between the paradoxical pairs and thus contribute to a more reflexive understanding of the phenomenon. Our study is an inductive approach based on a qualitative research design and guided by the method of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). We conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 employees, consultants and coaches that experienced organizational crises in order to approach the subject of this... (More)
This paper identifies and analyzes paradoxes in perception of organizational crisis. Based on the observation of conflicting views on organizational crises that tend to polarize towards either threats or opportunities, we explore contradictions and interrelations in the concept. Our purpose is to reveal ambivalences and dynamics between the paradoxical pairs and thus contribute to a more reflexive understanding of the phenomenon. Our study is an inductive approach based on a qualitative research design and guided by the method of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). We conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 employees, consultants and coaches that experienced organizational crises in order to approach the subject of this study from multiple perspectives. We found that paradoxes not only exist at an abstract level between threats and opportunities but emerge at different stages throughout the sensemaking process. Whereas these paradoxes appeared to be contradictory accounts at first sight, a more reflexive evaluation revealed that the respective extremes could be considered two sides of the same coin linked by mutual interdependencies. On a theoretical level, we contributed to bridge a methodological gap between the literature on crisis perception and the research on organizational paradoxes by providing empirical support for the dynamics in the latter domain. As for practical implications, this study invites to embrace a more reflexive attitude towards paradoxical notions in the concept of organizational crises and equips individuals and organizations with guidance for dealing with paradoxes in crisis situations. (Less)
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author
Allbauer, Markus LU and Herrmann, Anna LU
supervisor
organization
course
BUSN49 20121
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Organizational crisis, paradoxes, sensemaking, crisis perception, crisis as opportunity, Yin & Yang, Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS)
language
English
id
2834901
date added to LUP
2012-06-27 12:31:17
date last changed
2012-06-27 12:31:17
@misc{2834901,
  abstract     = {This paper identifies and analyzes paradoxes in perception of organizational crisis. Based on the observation of conflicting views on organizational crises that tend to polarize towards either threats or opportunities, we explore contradictions and interrelations in the concept. Our purpose is to reveal ambivalences and dynamics between the paradoxical pairs and thus contribute to a more reflexive understanding of the phenomenon. Our study is an inductive approach based on a qualitative research design and guided by the method of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). We conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 employees, consultants and coaches that experienced organizational crises in order to approach the subject of this study from multiple perspectives. We found that paradoxes not only exist at an abstract level between threats and opportunities but emerge at different stages throughout the sensemaking process. Whereas these paradoxes appeared to be contradictory accounts at first sight, a more reflexive evaluation revealed that the respective extremes could be considered two sides of the same coin linked by mutual interdependencies. On a theoretical level, we contributed to bridge a methodological gap between the literature on crisis perception and the research on organizational paradoxes by providing empirical support for the dynamics in the latter domain. As for practical implications, this study invites to embrace a more reflexive attitude towards paradoxical notions in the concept of organizational crises and equips individuals and organizations with guidance for dealing with paradoxes in crisis situations.},
  author       = {Allbauer, Markus and Herrmann, Anna},
  keyword      = {Organizational crisis,paradoxes,sensemaking,crisis perception,crisis as opportunity,Yin & Yang,Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS)},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Crisis Paradox - Perceptions of organizational crises in between threats and opportunities},
  year         = {2012},
}