Tackling the Complexity of Managing Paradoxes

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Type and Duration

FFF-Förderprojekt, May 2018 until April 2020


Chair of Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management

Main Research

Growth and Complexity

Field of Research



Companies and organizations in general are facing an ever growing set of expectations from their different stakeholders. They are supposed to be efficient and profitable, they must be innovative and shape the future of their firm and the industry, and they shall make valuable contributions to the broader societies around them to only mention a few. All these demands can be mutually enforcing (for example if new technologies increase efficiency or when addressing a social issue triggers a new business opportunity). However, they are in part also competing for resources and attention so that one goal is often pursued at the expense of another. The academic literature frames the relationships between those different goals as paradoxical tensions and has come up with a variety of mechanisms and managerial approaches to deal with them. However, most research remains relatively fragmented in the sense that the mechanisms and approaches are described independently of one another without studying their interaction. This project applies a more integrative view on the systemic interplay of the different paradoxical tensions and management approaches. This shall ultimately advance the ability of organizations and their managers in Liechtenstein and the wider Lake Constance Region to better deal with the complexity and diversity of objectives and thus support their long-term success and survival.


Innovation, Ambidexterity, Paradox, Hybrid Organizations

Principal Investigator


  • Forschungsförderungsfonds der Universität Liechtenstein


  • Zimmermann, A., Hill, S., Birkinshaw, J., & Jäckel, M. (2018). Complements or Substitutes? Investigating the Interplay amongst Drivers of Ambidexterity in SMEs.. Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Chicago, USA.

  • Laamanen, T., Zimmermann, A., & Bian, D. (2018). Not all Roads lead to Rome: Different Approaches to Ambidexterity in Acquisition Sequences.. Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Chicago, USA.