Managing paradoxes and tensions: a key element of entrepreneurs’ leadership behaviour

Thierry Volery, Susan Mueller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Paradoxes denote contradictory yet interrelated elements that seem logical in isolation but absurd and irrational when appearing simultaneously. The emergence of new business ventures and the management of entrepreneurial firms raise multiple tensions such effectuation-causation, exploration-exploitation, delegation-control, tradition-innovation, flexibility-efficiency, growth-stability, regional-global, and emotional-rational. As the business venture grows and become more complex, contradictory demands are likely to intensify. By drawing on the strategic leadership theory, we posit that a central role of the entrepreneur is to navigate the conflicting demands arising from these paradoxes. As strategic leaders, entrepreneurs must ideally have the ability to consider the long-term future of their business ventures, seeing the big picture, as well as understanding the current contextual setting and pressing operative issues. The objective of this chapter is to investigate the paradoxes facing entrepreneurs in growth-oriented ventures and to gain an insight about their behaviours while dealing with the underlying tension pertaining these paradoxes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Entrepreneurship and Leadership
EditorsRichard T. Harrison, Claire M. Leitch
Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9781783473762
ISBN (Print)9781783473755
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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