• Ana Ester da Costa UFSC
  • Graziela Bresolin
  • Francisco Antônio Pereira Fialho


The present work aims to contribute to the organizational studies about the tensions in organizations. Reflecting organizational tensions on two perspectives: a) Theory of Rationalities that admits the existence of two directional rationalities of human actions: instrumental and substantive. The instrumental rationality refers to a logic of thought based on a utilitarian calculation of consequences. Substantive rationality an attribute by which individuals can conduct their lives in the direction of self-realization based on ethical-value judgments. The effect of interaction between both rationalities results in "tensions", which are part of the life of individuals; b) the perspective of the theory of the organizational paradox, in which the contradictory elements are interrelated, even if they seem logical in an isolated way and their simultaneous existence seems absurd and irracional.The bibliographic research was realized with authors considered keys and important for the understanding of rationality in organizations. It is an essential topic for a better understanding of contemporary organizations, since the dialogue between theories of rationality and paradox shows that organizational tensions can be complementary and coexistent opposing forces, significantly positive, contributing to the sustainability and innovation of organizations making of managing their tensions, as well as shaping their culture and environment so that it is possible for individuals to simultaneously to envolve multiple opposing forces. After all, organizations can not eliminate tensions, but they can enable the individual to transcend them and make them creative. 

Keywords: Substantive Rationality; Instrumental Rationality; Paradox; Tensions.

How to Cite
DA COSTA, Ana Ester; BRESOLIN, Graziela; PEREIRA FIALHO, Francisco Antônio. THE PARADOX OF RATIONALITIES: A POINT OF VIEW OF THE TENSIONS. International Congress of Knowledge and Innovation - Ciki, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 1, sep. 2018. ISSN 2318-5376. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 oct. 2019.