• 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.

The Elusiveness of Organizational Aesthetics
The elusiveness of organizational aesthetics

In the previous chapter I stressed the value of empathic, as opposed to causal, understanding for the aesthetic comprehension of meaningful action in organizations. However, using the concept of aesthetics in order to give distinctive characterization to an approach to the study of organizations does not mean that such study must be univocal and standardized.

It is advisable at this point to establish what is meant by ‘aesthetics’, both in philosophical terms and as regards theories of art and studies of creativity. As we shall see in this and in the next chapters, philosophers have always been divided on the definition of aesthetics. And in the course of this century especially, the debate has been joined by ...

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