Book Chapter

The historical embededness of organizational paradoxes: Risk-related rituals and realities in emergency management

Citation

Pierides D, Clegg S & Pina e Cunha M (2020) The historical embededness of organizational paradoxes: Risk-related rituals and realities in emergency management. In: Bednarek R & Smith W (eds.) TBC. Research in the Sociology of Organizations. Bingley: Emerald Publishing. https://www.emerald.com/insight/publication/issn/0733-558X

Abstract
Paradoxes are historically embedded in institutions and organizations. Latent paradoxes pose danger if they become salient; sociological analyses can identify historically embedded latent paradoxes. The emergency management paradox, in which the state invests vast resources, establishing formidable organizational arrangements that rely on knowledge to respond to unanticipated events in advance of their occurrence, even though such events can only ever be known after they occur, is a paradox of this kind. Deploying methodological ‘dual integrity’ we trace through historical description and sociological conceptualization the institutional and organizational history of the emergency management paradox in Australia, where uncontrollable bushfires are becoming increasingly common, before drawing more general conclusions about how a response to grand challenges, such as climate change, demands an interdisciplinary understanding of the rituals and realities of paradoxes that emerge historically from our collective attempts to handle uncertainty via risk. Our research serves as a warning of the grave consequences that can result from ignoring a paradox’s history, whether intentionally or unwittingly.

Keywords
Paradox; risk and uncertainty; emergency management; unexpected events; organizational history; dual integrity

Notes
Output Status: Forthcoming

StatusAccepted
Title of seriesResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/31914
PublisherEmerald Publishing
Publisher URLhttps://www.emerald.com/insight/publication/issn/0733-558X
Place of publicationBingley
ISSN of series0733-558X

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