- The first paradox concerns the relationship between assumption of control vs. human and environmental ambiguity. The more one attempts to control and superimpose predictability onto reality, the more imprecise and irregular reality, in fact, becomes. This classic paradox of the manager as an assumed homo oeconomicus is discussed in depth by Kallinikos (2004).
- The second paradox is three-sided: the short, very generic nature of corporate vision and mission statements vs. the corporate search for control and manageability vs. the complexity of the business ecology surrounding the enterprise. The first facet is short and simple, where the second facet strives for precision, detail, and consistency, both which in turn neglect the ecological complexity and institutional pressure (the third facet) of the organisation’s environment.
- The third, most noticeable paradox is the fact that the implicit equivoque of high-level mission/vision statements fosters organisational resilience. The more loosely or ill-defined the strategy, the better will the official policy document fit into the actions and immediate strategies (what Weick (2001) denotes just in time strategies) deployed by employees to fulfil or achieve certain goals and expectations (Astley & Zammuto, 1992). The more ambiguous the official strategy or policy articulation, the more free hands for the individual employee to appropriately navigate the socio-political problems of the business environment. Despite the intended precision of a strategy document, the more possible interpretations of a strategic policy or plan, the more organisational resilience and responsiveness (Weick, 2001).