Paradoxes of Leading Innovative Endeavors: Summary, Solutions, and Future Directions

Samuel T. Hunter, Christian N. Thoroughgood, Adam T. Myer, Gina Scott Ligon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Leading innovative pursuits requires a unique set of leadership behaviors-behaviors that are frequently at odds with traditional forms of management and organizational functioning. We have identified 14 of these tensions, or paradoxes, associated with leading innovative endeavors categorizing them into four clusters: internal/localized, team-level, organization-level, and situational. In addition, we consider some industry-derived solutions to these paradoxes, revealing how some highly innovative organizations have been able to successfully manage these tensions. Supplementing these solutions, we offer suggestions on how organizations might approach those remaining paradoxes, concluding with a discussion on necessary future research endeavors. Finally, we argue that the pursuit of innovation requires a unique leadership approach-one that may not be currently captured by traditional views of leadership.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-66
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Applied Psychology


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