Faculty of Management Research Workshop; Ella Miron-Spektor, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
PARADOX MINDSET AND THE JOB OUTCOMES: THE PROBLEM IS HOW WE THINK ABOUT THE PROBLEM
ELLA MIRON-SPEKTOR, TECHNION – ISRAEL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Thriving in increasingly complex and ambiguous environments requires creativity and the capability to reconcile conflicting demands. Although early paradox theory built upon micro-level insights from psychology and philosophy to understand the nature and management of various competing demands, corresponding empirical studies are rare, offering scarce insights into why some individuals thrive with tensions while others struggle. We suggest that a paradox mindset - the extent to which one is accepting of and energized by tensions - can help individuals leverage competing demands to improve job outcomes. People with a paradox mindset embrace tensions as natural and persistent. They appreciate the interwoven nature of competing forces and see tensions as opportunities for growth and learning. Results from a multi-study and multi-method research program identify resource scarcity (i.e., limited time and funding) as a source of tensions and demonstrate the positive impact a paradox mindset has on employee creativity, innovation, and in-role job performance. Individuals with a paradox mindset are more likely to recognize conflicts, improvise and engage in integrative complex thinking. Further, cross-cultural comparisons reveal differences between Western and East Asian approaches to paradox. Endorses of the East-Asian middle ground approach tend to embrace competing elements without first honoring and scrutinizing their differences, and thus benefit less from conflict and paradox. Together, these findings contribute to the microfoundations of organizational paradox by exploring individuals’ varied approaches to tensions.
Ella Miron-Spektor is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Psychology at the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management, Technion. Currently, she is visiting at Cass Business School, City, University of London. She received her Ph.D. from the Technion and held a post-doctoral position at Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University. Before she arrived at the Technion, she was a faculty member at Bar-Ilan University. Her research interests include paradoxes of creativity and innovation, team learning, and emotions. Her work has been published in leading journals, such as the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organization Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. She serves as the academic director of the Bronica Entrepreneurship Center, Technion. She is a Guest Editor in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and a member of the editorial boards of Organization Science and Journal of Organizational Behavior. Ella is an award-winning teacher. She teaches Team Management for MBAs and courses on Organizational Behavior, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship. She has won multiple best reviewer and best paper awards.
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