Now Reading: Paradox mindset? Yes please!


Paradox mindset? Yes please!

Liu et al. (2020) researched a character trait in relation to innovative work behavior which is indeed interesting but little known: The paradox mindset.

Being defined as „the extent to which one is accepting and energized by tensions“ (Miron-Spektor et al., 2018) it is naturally prone to be a fit with innovation as the innovation process by nature asks for dealing with conflicts, contradicting opinions, various pathways and trial and errors before finding the adequate solution.

Individuals with a strong paradox mindset feel comfortable and are even energized by tensions.

Liu et al. (2020) also picked up on the different demands of innovative behavior in the different stages in the innovation process. In their study they looked into how managers with a paradox mindset, meaning that they are rather energized by tension and conflict, affecting the innovative work behavior of employees. They rightly mention that this conflict-seeking mindset is rather needed in the idea generation phase where employees with a paradox mindset are likelier to confront and thus handle contradictions better and thus produce more ideas. In addition, their ability to inhert conflicting elements instead of avoiding them leads to broader attention spans and the ability to make more connections.

The phase of idea implementation though which needs the seeking of allies and peers might be not such a good fit though. 

Miron-Spektor, Erez & Naveh (2011) found the term “innovation paradox” to name the contradicting requirements that are needed. Even though their research was on team innovation, the process is the same for individual innovative work behavior and thus rightly the question can be asked for a more nuanced investigation of the different stages.

paradox mindset is positively related to innovative work behavior through thriving at work The more paradox the mindset of a leader is the more strengthened the positive influence on the paradox mindset of the employee on their innovative behavior is.

Liu, Yanjun, Xu, Shiyong, & Zhang, Bainan. (2020). Thriving at Work: How a Paradox Mindset Influences Innovative Work Behavior. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 56(3), 347-366.


What do you think?

Show comments / Leave a comment

Leave a reply

Quick Navigation
  • 01

    Paradox mindset? Yes please!