Not Just for Show: How Aesthetics Underpins Work Within and Around Organizations

  • Ileana Stigliani (Panel member)
  • Candace Jones (Panel member)
  • John Paul Stephens (Panel member)
  • Dennis Jancsary (Panel member)
  • Meyer, R. (Panel member)
  • Mercedes McBride (Panel member)
  • Giada Baldessarelli (Panel member)
  • Elena Bruni (Panel member)
  • Anders Krabbe (Panel member)

Activity: Talk or presentationLecture and oral contribution


Organizational aesthetics is a way of understanding organizational life based on sensory reactions to its material components, such as objects and settings (Baldessarelli, Stigliani, & Elsbach, 2022; Strati, 1992). Following the recent material and spatial turn in organization studies (Boxenbaum et al., 2018; Jones et al., 2017; van Marrewijk & Yanow, 2010), scholars have begun to acknowledge and document the role of aesthetics in organizations and institutions. However, the topic remains relatively unexplored, and substantial opportunities exist in management research for further analysis and theorization. This symposium brings together scholars who empirically study aesthetics in relation to key organizational topics (i.e., coordination, creative collaboration, institutionalization, stigmatization) to provide novel insights into how aesthetics contributes to organizational and institutional processes. In particular, the symposium extends management scholarship by emphasizing how aesthetics influences the construction and disruption of meanings across a variety of research settings. The four empirical papers highlight how material and visual artifacts and the subsequent experiences emerging from their use and manipulation support organizational and institutional work by forming or challenging collective understandings. In doing so, the studies point to novel research directions concerning (1) the role of interactions with artifacts that trigger sensory reactions leading to collective achievements, and (2) the use and manipulation of artifacts to strengthen cognitive and symbolic processes that challenge dominant meanings
Period8 Aug 2022
Event titleThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022: Creating a Better World Together
Event typeConference
Conference number82
OrganiserAcademy of Management
LocationSeattle, United States, WashingtonShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational