One important characteristic of the business environment in China since the reform in 1978 is its complexity: environmental complexity, transformational complexity, and latecomer disadvantages. Although the existing literature suggests that it might be helpful to develop a paradoxical frame or a more effective cognitive representation, the question of how firms could do so remain unanswered. In this paper we propose that the application of dialectical thinking could play important roles, because this kind of thinking could be the basis for developing a paradoxical cognition and therefore could be effective at helping executives simultaneously take into consideration multiple problems or challenges in business management and effectively integrate them. We also used two cases to illustrate this proposition.
Keywords: strategy, complexity, dialectical thinking, China