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Paradoxes, conflicts and tensions in establishing master data management function

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionProfessional


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication24th European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2016
Subtitle of host publicationBogazici UniversityIstanbul; Turkey; 12 June 2016 through 15 June 2016
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication typeD3 Professional conference proceedings
EventEuropean Conference on Information Systems -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Information Systems
Period1/01/00 → …


Managing master data as an organization-wide function enforces changes in responsibilities and established ways of working. These changes cause tensions in the organization and can result in conflicts. Understanding these tensions and mechanisms helps the organization to manage the change more effectively. The tensions and conflicts are studied through the theory of paradox. The object of this paper is to identify paradoxes in a Master Data Management (MDM) development process and the factors that contribute to the emergence of these conflicts. Altogether thirteen MDM specific paradoxes were identified and factors leading to them were presented. Paradoxes were grouped into categories that represent the organization's core activities to understand how tensions are embedded within the organization, and how they are experienced. Five paradoxes were observed more closely to illustrate the circumstances they appear. Working through the tensions also sheds light on the question of how these paradoxes should be managed. This example illustrates how problems emerge as dilemmas and evolve into paradoxes.

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Change, Data governance, Data management, Master data management, MDM, Paradox, Tension

Field of science, Statistics Finland