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Transcending Paradox: The Chinese “Middle Way” Perspective


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  • Ming-Jer Chen


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    Western thought is noted for its strengths in categorization and analysis; Eastern, or Chinese thought, is noted for its integrative and encompassing nature. This article seeks to bridge the two. Specifically, it aims to enrich Western thinking and the existing body of paradox literature by proposing the idea of paradoxical integration, a concept derived from the Chinese middle way philosophy. Paradoxical integration, the notion that two opposites (such as “self” and “other”) may be interdependent in nature and together constitute a totality (“integration”), is introduced as one means of transcending paradox and the conventional Western conceptualization of exclusive opposites. It suggests how we can apply the concept of interdependent opposites in a both/and framework to foster reconciliation of the apparent polarities of such dichotomies as competition and cooperation. The article concludes with a discussion of the broad implications of the concept of paradoxical integration upon both academic research and business practice. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Asia Pacific Journal of Management.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 2 (August)
    Pages: 179-199

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:asiapa:v:19:y:2002:i:2:p:179-199

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    1. Chen, M.J. & Smith, K.G. & Grimm, C.M., 1991. "Action Charasteristics As Predictors of Competitive Responses," Papers fb-_91-12, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
    2. Karen L Newman & Stanley D Nollen, 1996. "Culture and Congruence: The Fit Between Management Practices and national Culture," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(4), pages 753-779, December.
    3. Kim S. Cameron, 1986. "Effectiveness as Paradox: Consensus and Conflict in Conceptions of Organizational Effectiveness," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(5), pages 539-553, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Päivikki Kuoppakangas, 2013. "Adopting the Municipal Enterprise Form in Finland: Core Dilemmas in the Transformation of Public Healthcare Organizations," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 155-165, June.


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