Management and organization studies has recently expressed heightened interest in the concept of paradox. Paradox, etymologically para-doxa, is that which challenges the norm. Frequently representative cases drawn from the terrain of the arts and of artistic work have provided a context for exploring going against the norm, usually under the label of the avant-garde. In this article we explore the case of one artist, Banksy, whose art per se is not necessarily avant-garde but who, through systematic use of paradox, composes a persona that embodies and thrives on paradoxical meanings, aiming not at finding some form of balance but at performatively expressing an avant-garde disruption of art world norms. The case of Banksy can be transposed to organizational analysis with the intention of illuminating how paradox may be embraced by avant-garde organizational scholarship that thrives on anti-normative moves.
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