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Martin Parker

This chapter considers the relationship between theory generation and fashion. It pursues the idea that theories – in management or any other social science – aren’t only about being able to see the world more clearly, but are also items to be seen wearing. The usefulness of a theory is at least in part what it says about you, about your sophistication, intelligence or fashionability.
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Martin Parker

The author thinks ‘hope’ probably begins with a consciousness of boredom, of dull inevitability stretching into the future. The repetitions of the present are often so deadening in their rhythm and tone that it is easy enough to drift into daydreams in which something else might happen. Fantasy, romance and glamour are ways of escape from this boredom, and so are science fiction, utopianism and forms of radical politics that imagine a different future. These are methods of thinking and doing within which strangeness might erupt and lives lived inattentively become present to hand. In terms of organizing, the dominant forms in the global north (which can be summarized as ‘market managerial’) seek to produce a future in which the value produced by all production, consumption and exchange is captured by gigantic hierarchical structures. The language of ‘care’, ‘passion’, ‘choice’ and so on, routinely expressed by those who do the marketing and public relations for large organizations, is no more than an invitation to this capture. This, it seems to the author, is boring in the sense that it produces a future of more of the same. More inequality; more advertising; more carbon emissions; more hierarchy; more consumption; more waste; more dull jobs; more claims to be responsible, to care, to be passionate about choice. This is an organizational monoculture, a predictable landscape in which a fundamental repetition is camouflaged by bright colours, smiling faces and a soundtrack by someone who sounds like Coldplay. This is what leads the author and plenty of others to have daydreams about an alternative future, one in which a variety of forms of organizing produce difference. The author’s bet is on a bestiary of forms, on an irreducible pluralism which generates resilient and distinct economies.

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Martin Parker Dixon

Given that it is usually the business of art to make something, theories and claims relating to creativity could with every good reason start with reflection on the nature of the thing being made. In this chapter the author picks up a line of thought from Jean-Paul Sartre: it might be that fundamentally the artist makes artworks in order to possess them; to have not only a thing but also to have the work they ‘put into’ the object (be it constructive work, emotional work, spiritual work, etc.). The chapter will demonstrate that we can suspend speculation about creativity and address instead the experience of possessing, asking what claims are being made to substantiate that possession? Consequently talk of ‘creative process’ amounts to a special manner of making persuasive or compelling possessive claims with regard to an artwork. If possessive claims are suspended, an alternative picture of the creative process appears. Keywords: creativity; possession; moral rights; Sartre; Heidegger; four causes

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Edited by Paul Cook, Colin Kirkpatrick, Martin Minogue and David Parker

This content is available to you

Edited by Paul Cook, Colin Kirkpatrick, Martin Minogue and David Parker

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Edited by Paul Cook, Colin Kirkpatrick, Martin Minogue and David Parker

You do not have access to this content

Paul Cook, Colin Kirkpatrick, Martin Minogue and David Parker

You do not have access to this content

Edited by Paul Cook, Colin Kirkpatrick, Martin Minogue and David Parker

You do not have access to this content

Edited by Paul Cook, Colin Kirkpatrick, Martin Minogue and David Parker