Organizations are rife with paradoxes. Contradictory and interdependent tensions emerge from and within multiple levels, including individual interactions, group dynamics, organizational strategies, and the broader institutional context. Examples abound such as those between stability and change, empowerment and alienation, flexibility and control, diversity and inclusion, exploration and exploitation, social and commercial, competition and collaboration, learning and performing. These examples accentuate the distinctions between concepts, positing their potential opposition; either A or B. Yet the social world is pluralistic, and comprises multiple, interwoven tensions, in which the relationship between A and B persists in a dynamic, ever-changing relationship. In the last thirty years, the depth and breadth of paradox studies in organizational theory has grown exponentially, surfacing new insights and applications while challenging foundational ideas, and raising questions around definitions, overlapping lenses, and varied research and managerial approaches. In this book, renowned organizational scholars draw from diverse lenses, theories, and empirics to depict paradox within organizational studies and provide a range of lenses and tools with which to understand and conduct research into such phenomena. In doing so, we hope these chapters re-energize continued insight on organizational paradox, plurality, tensions, and contractions.
Reinsurance is a financial market that trades in the risk of unpredictable and devastating disasters - such as Hurricane Katrina, the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre. Such disasters are increasing in both frequency and severity, with the cost of their losses mounting rapidly. Reinsurance insures insurance companies, enabling them to pay claims arising from these losses. It is thus a market mechanism that is a critical part of the social and economic safety net, helping to pick up the pieces after disasters. Yet, how is the risk of such disasters calculated and traded in a global market? This book brings to life the reinsurance market through vivid real-life tales that draw from an ethnographic, "fly-on-the-wall" study of the global reinsurance industry over three annual cycles. The authors shadowed underwriters around the world as they traded risks through multiple disasters. For instance, this book takes readers into the desperate hours of pricing Japanese risks during March 2011, while the devastating aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake is unfolding. To show how the market works, the book offers authentic tales gathered from observations of reinsurers in Bermuda, Lloyd's of London, Continental Europe and SE Asia as they evaluate, price and compete for different risks as part of their everyday practice.
This pioneering book is the first research monograph in the now established field of strategy-as-practice research. Strategy is not just something a firm has – a position. It is also something that a firm and its multiple actors do. The problem of doing strategy, how it is done, who does it and what they use to do it, is important for both practitioners and strategy theorists. On the one hand, managers at all levels of the firm want better answers to these questions so that they might become more skilled practitioners of strategy. On the other hand, academics face the perplexing problem of a gap between their theories of what strategy is and its actual practice. This is because much strategy research has remained remote from the study of that myriad of activities and practices involved in doing strategy. This book explains the strategy-as-practice perspective, lays out theoretical foundations for the field and draws on a longitudinal comparative study to provide a detailed explanation of strategy making in practice. It has been and remains a critical foundation for the field.