Our paper “The role of space for a paradoxical way of thinking and doing: A study of idea work in architectural firms” is now available online. Click here to access the paper.
It is well established that engaging paradoxes and the role of space are important aspects of idea work. Although the significance has been recognized, studies that focus on the intersection between space and paradox are scarce. Accordingly, this article explores the intersection and focuses on the role of space in idea work characterized by paradoxes. More specifically, the aim of this article is twofold. First, the article aims at identifying the spatial conditions that enable organization members to think and act paradoxically. Second, the article aims at exploring how spatial conditions evoke a paradoxical way of thinking and doing. Based on three Scandinavian architectural firms, and through abductive inference, four spatial conditions are identified and outlined. The conditions are conceptualized as organized chaos, boundary(less)ness, premeditated spontaneity, and (re)framing. From the results, and through the discussion, the notion of “generative space” is introduced to explain the overall importance of spatiality, as well as how the interrelatedness of the conditions facilitates a paradoxical way of thinking and doing in idea work.