• 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 Beautiful in Organizational Life
The beautiful in organizational life

In previous chapters we have seen what is meant by ‘aesthetics’ with reference to the aesthetic approach to the study of organizational life. I emphasized the pathos of the sensible in knowledge about the meaningful action of the persons who construct and reconstruct organizational life, and I pointed out the importance of their sensory faculties and of their aesthetic judgement – judgement which I described in terms of a sixth sense additional to those of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. In this and the next chapter I shall examine the aesthetic categories that prove useful for the aesthetic understanding of organizational life, and discuss their employment, also independently of the aesthetic approach, in studies of ...

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