The COVID-19 pandemic is a massive exogenous shock which reverberated around the world, forcing all types of organizations to change overnight – from the local coffee shop to the international airline. As we try to make sense of the events surrounding the pandemic, one question that has perplexed both scholars and managers alike has been the extent to which this experience is qualitatively different from others. To address the organizational experience during the COVID-19 pandemic through a paradox lens, this paper explores five examples of tensions that have been especially salient during the pandemic crisis: the short-term vs. long-term tensions (Slawinski); social vs. economic goal tensions (Schrage), learning vs. performing tensions (Winther-Hansen, Carmine, Andriopoulos & Gotsi); common good vs. individual privacy tensions (Raza & Keller) and agency tensions (Krzeminska, Mafico & Härtel; Tunarosa). By providing a paradox lens, this article tackles the underlying paradox head-on, which further elucidates the complexity of the pandemic experience facing organizations and the further complexity that lies ahead.
The article is available here