Living with paradox through irony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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In organizations, people have to deal with and manage a variety of paradoxes, and this may involve using discursive means such as irony. However, we still know little about the association between irony and paradox in concrete organizational interaction. Our analysis builds on an ethnographic study of journalists and producers at YLE, the Finnish public service broadcaster. On the basis of our analysis, we argue that contradictions are co-constructed with three different forms of irony: inversive, subversive, and dramatic. This leads us to develop a more general model that helps explain how irony may be used and may move discussions from one phase to another. Especially, we show how irony puts contradictions into context through management strategies called ‘connecting.’ Through ‘connecting’ management strategies organizational members give voice to, energize and embrace poles that are in opposition in contradictions. By so doing, our analysis supplies a missing piece to our understanding of how organizational members deal with paradox and adds to research on irony in organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-82
Early online date19 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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