Approaching paradox: Loving and hating mega-events

Martin Muller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
203 Downloads (Pure)


This paper examines the role of paradoxes in research and proposes strategies of engaging with them. For this purpose, it analyses the ways in which six paradoxes are constitutive of sports mega-events such as the Olympic Games: the universalism paradox, the compliance paradox, the winner's paradox, the participation paradox, the uniqueness paradox and the passion paradox. It then develops three strategies of how researchers and practitioners can approach paradox. The first, exploration, examines the consequences and effects of the ambiguity of paradoxes. The second, differentiation, enquires into the spatio-temporal and social make-up of paradoxes. The third, reframing, recasts paradoxes by shifting theoretical perspectives. Instead of pressing to resolve paradoxes, researchers and practitioners alike should make productive use of their ambiguity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-241
JournalTourism Management
Early online date29 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


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