Research Handbook of Responsible Management
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Research Handbook of Responsible Management

Edited by Oliver Laasch, Roy Suddaby, R. E. Freeman and Dima Jamali

Outlining origins of the field and latest research trends, this Research Handbook offers a unique and cutting-edge take on the numerous avenues to responsible management in the 21st century. Renowned contributors present iconic viewpoints that have formed the foundation of responsible management research, introducing cutting-edge conceptual lenses for the study of the responsible management process.
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Chapter 29: Responsible management of sustainability tensions: a paradoxical approach to grand challenges

Connie Van der Byl, Natalie Slawinski and Tobias Hahn


As humanity faces ‘grand challenges’ of unprecedented scale, interrelatedness and complexity such as climate change and poverty, management research is joining global efforts to understand these challenges. Both the responsible management and sustainability literatures are well positioned to join these efforts, given that they seek to explore and enable managerial practices that balance social, environmental and economic goals. In particular, the sustainability literature has begun adopting a paradox lens for examining the tensions inherent in balancing these often disparate goals. A paradox perspective approaches tensions as contradictory, interrelated and persistent, and seeks ways to manage these tensions productively. In this chapter, we explore how a paradoxical approach to sustainability tensions has important relevance to responsible management practices for addressing grand challenges.

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