Cass Dean delivers exclusive University of Sydney keynote address

Professor Lewis discusses the power of paradoxes.

Professor Marianne Lewis, Dean, Cass Business School has given an exclusive keynote address on the power of paradoxes at the University of Sydney Business School.

Professor Lewis was speaking at the two-day international research workshop Organisational Paradox: Rethinking Discourse, Strategy and Change which brought together international scholars to consider the emergence and growth of paradox theory within organisational studies.

The keynote considered paradox theory, specifically how great leaders can help their organisations thrive despite tensions intensified by rapid change and rising complexity.

“I’ve been researching in this area for two decades and am fascinated by the interconnected questions around paradoxes, leadership and management,” said Professor Lewis.

The keynote examined key questions such as how can leaders ensure that their organisations excel at disciplined efficiency for today and bold innovation that enables tomorrow? How do they deliver on financial targets to thrill their shareholders, while achieving greater social purpose that ensures sustainability? How do they build global integration and scale, as they meet diverse local needs?

“My research finds that rather than trade-offs, paradoxical leaders stress synergies and learning,” said Professor Lewis.

Professor Lewis was joined at the workshop by colleague Professor Paula Jarzabkowski, Professor of Strategic Management at Cass, who also delivered a keynote speech on Paradox and Rhetoric.

Professor Lewis is an international thought leader in the field of leadership and organisational paradoxes.  Her work appears in leading journals as the Harvard Business Review, Academy of Management Journal, and Organization Science.

She is currently completing two, related books: The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Paradox and Thriving: A Paradox Approach to Leadership.

The workshop was organised by the International Centre Organizational Discourse, Strategy and Change and was convened by Sydney University Business School Associate Professor Jane Lê and Professor Leanne Cutcher.


L-R Professor Marianne Lewis, Cass Business School; Associate Professor Eric Knight, University of Sydney; Associate Professor Jane Lê, University of Sydney; Professor Paula Jarzabkowski, Cass Business School.