Adaptation and Context
Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Anders Örtenblad
Chapter 18: Artistic interventions in organizations: beyond the fad
Did the 2011 announcement by The Economist that ‘business has much to learn from the arts’ signal another short-lived management fad? Or might it mean that artistic interventions have entered the mainstream so that working with people, products and practices from the world of the arts can help employees to generate meaningful improvements in organizations and society? This chapter draws on multi-stakeholder research to frame the potential for organizational learning with artists, highlighting how they can complement consultants in contextualizing such processes. Three cases illustrate how artistic interventions can offer an aesthetically-aware approach to contextualizing organizational learning. The chapter identifies essential preconditions, namely (a) that managers conceive of artists as partners rather than as suppliers, and of themselves as co-learners with the employees and artists rather than as paymasters and controllers, and (b) that they communicate the value they attach to the process in both word and deed.
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