From a Hobby to a Business: Drifting through Paradox While the Business Accelerates



paradox , paradox emergence, user entrepreneurship, hobby


Our longitudinal case study investigates the emergence of an embryonic business from a hobby. As the hobby evolved to become an entrepreneurial venture, the dimensions of play and work engaged in a paradoxical tension that dynamically persisted, spiraling, as the business unfolded. The process of turning a hobby into a business progressively imbricated two opposing disciplines, those of play and work. As a result, inherent tensions between them have to be managed. Turning these tensions into a source of vitality to be nurtured, rather than framing the tension as a dichotomy to be solved, is seen to be vital to the continuation of the venture.


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Author Biographies

Miguel Pina e Cunha, Nova School of Business and EconomicsUniversidade Nova de Lisboa

Miguel Pina e Cunha received his PhD from Tilburg University. He is a professor at the Fundação Amélia de Mello at Nova SBE, NOVA University of Lisbon (Portugal). He studies different dimensions of organizing and organizations, using the lens of paradox.

Stewart Clegg, University of Sydney

Stewart Clegg is a professor at the University of Sydney (Australia), University of Stavanger (Norway), and Nova School of Business and Economics (Portugal). He is the author of many books including Strategy: Theory and Practice (Sage, 2020), Project Management: A Value Creation Approach (Sage, 2020) and Paradoxes of Power and Leadership (Routledge, 2021). He is a prolific contributor to leading journals in the fields of Organization Studies, Political Power and Management.

Arménio Rego, Católica Porto Business School, Porto, Portugal

Arménio Rego (PhD, ISCTE) is a Professor at the Católica Porto Business School, Portugal, and member of the Business Research Unit (ISCTE-IUL, Portugal). He has published in journals such as Human Relations, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Journal of Management, Organization Studies, and The Leadership Quarterly. His research covers topics such as character strengths and virtues in leaders, employees' thriving, and team performance.

Luca Giustiniano, Universidade Luiss, Roma, Itália

Luca Giustiniano (PhD) is Professor of Organization Studies at the Luiss University (Rome, Italy). His research interests are focused on organization design. He is a co-author of the Elgar Introduction to Theories of Organizational Resilience (Elgar, 2018). His papers have appeared in the Journal of ManagementManagement and Organization ReviewBritish Journal of ManagementJournal of Business Ethics, Computers in Human BehaviorManagement LearningEuropean Management Review.



How to Cite

Cunha MP e, Clegg S, Rego A, Giustiniano L. From a Hobby to a Business: Drifting through Paradox While the Business Accelerates. Organ. Soc. [Internet]. 2024May27 [cited 2024Jul.17];31(108). Available from: