• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book shows how aesthetic understanding of organizations can extend our knowledge and sharpen our insights into many processes that shape organizational action. Organizational life is pervaded by aesthetics, yet conventional organizational analysis has been dominated by a `scientific', logico-rational tradition that ignores the aesthetic dimension. The book highlights the role of emotion in organizations, the importance of symbol, the subjective influence of culture and the processes of learning and cognition. These phenomena are related to the aesthetic rather than to purify rational, demanding new modes of inquiry that allow us richer insight into the dynamics of organizational life.

Organizational Aesthetics, Experience and Plausibility
Organizational aesthetics, experience and plausibility

For some years I have set the students attending my course on sociology of organization a riddle concerning organizational artefacts. Riddles are a teaching technique often used with children attending nursery or elementary school. Typical ones are the following: ‘Which is heavier, a kilo of feathers or a kilo of lead?’ ‘What colour was Napoleon's white horse?’ ‘If a cock stands on a roof-top, which side will its egg fall?’ These are questions which require guile, and the application of one's own knowledge rather than the mnemonic or factual use of what one knows. A riddle, in fact, is neither a quiz nor a test. It does not require selection of the only correct reply from ...

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