In this paper we elaborate the idea of ‘dialectical reasoning’ as a way of reconciling managerial paradoxes. Two ‘mental exercises’ have been developed to encourage such dialectical reasoning in the field of quality culture.
The first exercise is an adoption of the core quadrant method developed by Daniel Ofman. After transferring this method from the individual to the organisational level we can use it to make people more sensitive to the dialectical nature of a quality culture and to learn to find creative solutions for organisational paradoxes like empowerment versus management control.
The essence of the second exercise is dialectical reasoning by means of considering opposing cultural values (e.g. teamwork vs. individual specialisation) in a reciprocal way. This way of mental mapping is inspired by the work of Charles Hampden-Turner and Fons Trompenaars on the dilemma reconciliation process in intercultural management.
This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.