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					                    Welcome To
           The Art of Management and
                  Organisation

                                 A conference
                                 Presented by

                        The Essex Management Centre
                             University of Essex

                                        at
                         King's College, London,
                        3rd - 6th September, 2002



                                  Organisers

                                    Ian King
                                 Steve Linstead
                                  Ceri Watkins




                           Proceedings



  Due to varied and innovative nature of the presentations in these proceedings,
   we beg the authors’ and readers’ indulgence for any variations, omissions or
 additions, introduced by the gremlins of electronic publication, from the intended
format of these papers. The contents list is an active navigation document so you
              only need to click on the title of any work you wish to visit


                                        1
                                                 Contents
The Speakers ................................................................................................................... 6

Mind the Gap: Process and Improvization .................................................................................. 6
       Iain Mangham & Neil Mullarkey .................................................................................... 6


LIEDERSHIP manging intensisty- extensity .............................................................................. 8
     Pierre Guillet de Monthoux ............................................................................................. 8


Art and the Politics of Administration: Managing Creativity......................................................10
       Jonathan Vickery ...........................................................................................................10


The Play Ethic ...........................................................................................................................11
       Pat Kane ........................................................................................................................11


The Papers ........................................................................................................................13

Female Managers – The Gendered Selves in Context, ...............................................................13
      Iiris Aaltio .....................................................................................................................13


Stage Center-ing: (Re-)Positioning the Body .............................................................................26
       Chris Abbot, Astrid Kersten, Bridget Kilroy & Lauren Lampe .......................................26


Principles and the Practice of Reflective Management ...............................................................29
       Martin Beirne and Stephanie Knight ..............................................................................29


Rembrandt and the power station: organisation and graphic representation ................................49
      Jan Betts ........................................................................................................................49


Conversations with Organisations and Other Objects .................................................................51
      Peter Bond .....................................................................................................................51


What Matters Most ....................................................................................................................71
      Laura Brearley ...............................................................................................................71



                                                               2
The Pea Project .........................................................................................................................96
      Pete Burrows & Daria Loi..............................................................................................96


Frankie Goes to Hollywood: .................................................................................................... 107
       George Cairns .............................................................................................................. 107


Simple Diagram, Contested Concept: the Pyramid in Management.......................................... 120
       Derrick Chong ............................................................................................................. 120


Artistic Intelligence and Leadership Framing: ......................................................................... 122
        David A. Cowan .......................................................................................................... 122


.:: Arts in Business: Proposing a Theoretical Framework ....................................................... 155
        Lotte Darsø and Michael Dawids ................................................................................. 155


The management theorist in the post-modern era: .................................................................... 166
      Cynthia Dereli ............................................................................................................. 166


Between Heaven and Earth: ..................................................................................................... 180
      Michael Elmes ............................................................................................................. 180


Taking risks and taking care: constructing a sculpture and an organization .............................. 184
       Yvonne Guerrier .......................................................................................................... 184


The hidden landscape: metaphor and business culture ............................................................. 199
       Nikki Highmore ........................................................................................................... 199


Finding the eye of the storm .................................................................................................... 215
       Bridget Kilroy.............................................................................................................. 215


After Lunch: ............................................................................................................................ 217
       Scott Lawley ................................................................................................................ 217


The Art of Leadership- The examples of Ingvar Kamprad, Ingmar Bergman and
      Sven-Göran Eriksson ...................................................................................................220
      Lars Lindkvist.............................................................................................................. 220


The Cost of Control: The Impact of Management .................................................................... 258


                                                                3
          Stuart Macdonald ......................................................................................................... 258


A Case Study: Images and Influences of Situation Drama ....................................................... 301
      Stefan Meisiek ............................................................................................................. 301


Evocative and heuristic insights from a drumming circle: a powerful learning
       activity for management students ................................................................................. 305
       Sarah Moore and Ann Marie Ryan ............................................................................... 305


Art, Management and Organisation ......................................................................................... 324
       Ed Moreton .................................................................................................................. 324


Representing Representation ...................................................................................................326
       Sally Riad and Sherif Millad ........................................................................................ 326


Evocative and heuristic insights from a drumming circle: a powerful learning
       activity for management students ................................................................................. 352
       Sarah Moore and Ann Marie Ryan ............................................................................... 352


“Leadership: In Their Own Image and Likeness”.................................................................... 371
      Bruce T. Murphy ......................................................................................................... 371


The ‘engine of visualisation’: a dialogue on how photography can count as
       research ....................................................................................................................... 372
       Ann Noble and Deborah Jones ..................................................................................... 372


The Art of Leadership: Balancing and Blending Wisdom, Courage and
      Compassion ................................................................................................................. 389
      Hugh O'Doherty and Jack Richford .............................................................................. 389


Art for management's sake? A doubt ....................................................................................... 404
        Peter Pelzer .................................................................................................................. 404


Leadership for What? A Humanistic Approach to Leadership Development .......................... 426
       Gama Perruci and Stephen W. Schwartz ...................................................................... 426


'Art and the Organisation of Life Itself': A Bakhtinian exploration of strategy and
        struggle ........................................................................................................................ 450


                                                                4
          Helen Rodgers & Jeff Gold .......................................................................................... 450


Knowledge Art: Visual Sensemaking Using Combined Compendium and Visual
      Explorer Methodologies .............................................................................................. 457
      Albert M. Selvin, Simon J. Buckingham, David Magellan Horth, Charles
             J. Palus, Maarten Sierhuis................................................................................. 457


Sketching as an Academic Tool for Research Management: .................................................... 467
       Hiroshi Tanaka Shimazaki ........................................................................................... 467


The Use of Art Therapy in the Corporate World: .................................................................... 497
      Ellen Speert ................................................................................................................. 497


New Circus and the Aesthetics of the Post-Industrial Dream ................................................... 500
      Emma Stenstrom.......................................................................................................... 500


Management & Art – Changing Perception? ............................................................................ 501
      Denise Sumpf .............................................................................................................. 501


Management Understood through the Art of Tonal Harmony .................................................. 525
      Donna M. Trent ........................................................................................................... 525


The Poetry of Leadership ........................................................................................................ 546
      Sylvia Vriesendorp ...................................................................................................... 546


A poetry for managers: Land fit for heroes or the heroism of mediocrity ? ............................... 549
       David Weir .................................................................................................................. 549


Trilogy: Vision, Pendulum, and Guru ...................................................................................... 551
       Pauline Ling-Hwai Wu ................................................................................................ 551




                                                             5
                            The Speakers

Mind the Gap: Process and Improvization
Iain Mangham & Neil Mullarkey



Iain was formerly Head of department and Professor of Management
Development at the University of Bath and is now Professor and Senior
Research Fellow in Management Development at Kings College, University of
London. Iain has written extensively and well respected across a number of
academic arenas and his academic publications include:

 Power and performance in organizations : an exploration of
executive process [1986]
Organizations as Theatre: A Social Psychology of Dramatic
Appearances [with Michael Overington] [1987]
The Doing of Managing [with Annie Pye] [1991]
Beyond Goffman: Some Notes on Life and Theatre as Art [1996




                                Neil Mullarkey




 Neil Mullarkey was educated at Cambridge University where, while studying
  Economics, Social and Political Sciences, he was President of the Cambridge



                                      6
   Footlights, directing their pantomime and revue and touring the UK and
                                    Australia.

    He's done two double-acts, with Mike Myers and with Nick Hancock.

  Since 1985 he has improvised sketches and stories with the Comedy Store
                 Players, of which he is a founder-member.

He starred with Eddie Izzard in the sell-out West End run of One Word Improv
  and has guested with The Groundlings in Los Angeles and Second City in
    Toronto. He also teaches improvisation (the Mullarkey Workshop) as a
        communication tool for both actors and corporate executives.

             On television, Neil's numerous appearances include

                        Whose Line is it Anyway
                              The Manageress
                                  Lovejoy
                              Smith and Jones
                               Saturday Live
                            Carrott Confidential
                        Paul Merton – The Series
                                Absolutely.
                               01 For London
                         It's Only TV But I Like It
                     (Upcoming July 12 BBC1 9.30pm)

 He co-wrote (with Tony Hawks) the BBC1 sitcom Morris Minor's Marvellous
  Motors and (with Greg Proops) The Amazing Colossal Show for BBC2. He
         hosted American Freak for America's Comedy Central TV.

                         He has acted in the films:

                            Leon the Pig Farmer
                            A Fistful of Fingers
                               Solitaire for 2
                       (of which he wrote the novelisation)
              Austin Powers 1 – International Man of Mystery
                     Austin Powers 3 – Gold Member
                                Comic Act
                          Spiceworld - The Movie



                                        7
          and Neil helped Mike Myers with (uncredited) re-writes on
                        So I Married An Axe Murderer

              He has written and performed four one-man shows

                               A Bit of Quiet Fun
                             Memoirs of Lord Naughty
                                All That Mullarkey
                        Don't Be Needy, Be Succeedy
              (based on Men Are From Mars, Neil Is From Surrey)

  and Neil has recently starred in Then Again, a revue with Dawn French and
 Sheila Hancock, and Ugly Rumours in which he played a Prime Minister called
              Tony, and alongside Eric Sykes in Charley's Aunt.

 For Radio Four he hosted Missed Demeanours, was a regular performer on Bits
 from Last Week's Radio, co-wrote and starred in FAB TV and has appeared on
                                Just a Minute,
                               The News Quiz
                               Quote...Unquote,
                        and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.

   Neil wrote and presented the documentary Ten Years of the Comedy Store
                                   Players.

   He directed the hit West End interactive comedy whodunit Scissor Happy.




LIEDERSHIP manging intensisty- extensity
Pierre Guillet de Monthoux




                                        8
Pierre Guillet de Monthoux



     Dr. Pi er re Guillet de Monthoux, professor at Stockhol m
     University and holding vi si ting posts at Copenhagen
     Business School , Uni versi ty of Innsbruck, Åbo Akademi
     and Universi ty Wi tten -Herdecke heads E cam offices in
     France, Sweden and Swi tzerl and offering coaching a nd
     educati on in aesthetic management. E cam is founded on
     professor Guillet de Monthoux's own research in
     managerial aestheti cs.

     Selected biography
     1991
     L'esthetique du management public, journal arti cle in
     Poli tiques et management public

     1993
     The spiritu al in organizati ons -on Kandinsky and the
     aestheti cs of organizational work, chapter in S. Laske, S.
     Gorbach edts. Spannungsfeld Personal entwicklung, Wi en:
     Manz

     1994
     Dr. Cl érambaul t in Zola's paradise -notes on naturalist
     studies of passion in organizati on, chapter in B.
     Czarniawska -Joerges, P. Guillet de Monthoux edts. Good
     novel s, better management -reading organizati onal
     realiti es in ficti on, Chur: Harwood academic publishers

     1996
     The theatre of war; art, organizati on and the aestheti cs of
     strategy, journ al arti cle in Studies of culture, organisati on
     and soci ety

     1998
     L'esthetique du management, Pari s: L'Harmattan (in
     Swedi sh 1993)

     2000
     The art management of aestheti c organizing, chapter in S.
     Linstead, H. Hopfl edts. The aesthetics of organizing,
     London: Sage

     2000
     Performing the absolute; Marina Abramovi c organizing the
     unfinished business of Arthur Schopenhauer, journal
     arti cle in Organi zati onal Studies

     2001
     Financial art: on organizati on and monetarizati on, chapter
     in M. Martin and R. T ell er edts. La decision managerial
     aujourd'hui - mél anges en l 'honneur de Jacques Lebraty.

     2002
     Moderni ty/art and marketing/aestheti cs - a note on the




                                         9
      soci al aestheti cs of Georg Si mmel , journal arti cl e together
      wi th Antoni o Strati in Consumpti on markets and cul ture

      2002
      Special issue of Consumpti on markets and culture (5: 1)
      on: aestheti cs and management - business bridges to art,
      edi ted together with Antonio Strati

      2002
      Special issue of Human Relati ons (55:7) on: aestheti cs
      and organisati on, edited together wi th Antonio Strati

      2002
      T riptychs of curating, chapter in H. Hopfl , M. Kostera
      edts. Motherl y Organizing (London:Routl edge)

      2003
      L'entreprise d'art, Paris:L'Harmattan (forthcoming)

      2003
      The art firm, aesthetic management and metaphysical
      marketing from Wagner to Wilson (forthcoming)

      2003
      Corporate art or artful corporation - the emerging the
      philosophy firm, together wi th Sven E rik Sjöstrand arti cle
      in B. Czarniawska, G. Sévon -Berg Nordic Light -
      organizati on theory from Scandinavia, Mal mö: Liber
      (forthcoming)




Art and the Politics of Administration: Managing Creativity.
Jonathan Vickery


Dr Jonathan Vickery
Department of History of Art
University of Warwick
Coventry
CV4 7AL
West Midlands

J.P.Vickery@warwick.ac.uk
Tel. 02476-522489
07801-544-956

Dr Jonathan Vickery is Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art in the
Department of History of Art at the University of Warwick. He was previously
Henry Moore Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Art History and Theory
at the University of Essex, where he completed his PhD. He is at present writing


                                          10
a book on sculpture and aesthetic theory in the 1960s, and has published on
contemporary art and theory, including ‘Art and the Ethical: Modernism and the
Problem of Minimalism’ in Dana Arnold and Margaret Iversen (eds.), Art and
Thought, Oxford: Blackwell, 2002.

Paper Title: Art and the Politics of Administration: Managing Creativity.

Abstract:
This paper is concerned with the Artworld as social institution and organisational
system as portrayed by the London avant-garde art collective, BANK. As BANK
point out, the Artworld is dominated by professional networks whose interests,
commercial or otherwise, ensure that it is not the neutral administrative structure
it claims to be, but it operates according to a value-system. As heterogeneous as
this value-system may appear, its impact on art production is coherent, politically
motivated, and represses the social potential of creativity and aesthetic
experience in general. This paper will articulate and assess BANK’s claims in the
context of a broader analysis of the nature of aesthetic value and the problem of
institutionalisation.



The Play Ethic
Pat Kane



PAT KANE - BIOGRAPHY




PAT KANE, 38, is director of ThePlayEthic.com, a cultural consultancy based in Glasgow,
Scotland. Since its founding in October 2000, Pat Kane's clients have included Bartle Bogle
Hegarty, Lowe Lintas, St.Luke's, Demos, Forum for the Future, the Design Council,
Poiesis, The Strategic Futures Unit @ The Cabinet Office, International Futures Forum/BP,
and the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA).

He is developing a comprehensive "play audit" for organisations, institutions and enterprises,
based on his cutting-edge research into the past, present and future of ludic culture.



                                               11
Pat Kane is also writing a book for Macmillan about the ideas and practice of the modern player,
titled "The Play Ethic: Living Creatively in the New Century", due out in late 2002/early 2003. He
is a regular commentator for UK publications like the Independent and the Sunday Times, and
for the Sunday Herald in Scotland. In the 90's he was a political activist for Scottish self-
government (now achieved!). In the 80's, Pat was one half of the jazz-pop group Hue & Cry
(performing with James Brown, Ray Charles, Madonna, Simply Red, among many others), and
is still writing, playing and recording today.

Contact: patkane@theplayethic.com.




                                               12
                                           The Papers


Female Managers – The Gendered Selves in Context,
Iiris Aaltio


Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland




Paper presented at “The Art of Management and Organization” Conference, King’s College,
London, 2-5th September 2002.




Abstract:

Research is a way of framing people’s experiences using concepts and research methods. In
this paper we discuss, how female managers escape the framings and fronts given to them
during the interview by the interviewer, and how the dynamics of the interview is impacted
by the active responses and reactions from their side. At the same time we are able to study
the institutional framings and fronts given to female managers, while learning from their
individual situations, local life contexts and organizations is possible as well.


1. From individual to organizational selves

Growing critique in the 1990s has led to a discussion about the assumptions regarding
individuality and personality in different organizational settings, accompanied by feminist
research which has solidly criticized socio-biological theories (Aaltio-Marjosola &
Kovalainen, 2001, 34). Theoretical discource stems mainly from one crucial idea, and that
has been the move away from the notion of the “essential” individual as normatively male.
This means to challenge the conventional school of thought, where identity is to be found in
the individuals themselves, whether in their genotype or in their “soul”, and according to
which to acquire one’s identity, therefore, means to find one’s true “I” and express it. On
the other hand, instead of essentializing the individual one can claim, as the social
environmental school does, that it is the society which creates the individual, and, at the
same time, reproduces and changes society as well. Society, its rules, its language, values
and institutions build one’s individual identity. The organization is a kind of “superperson”




                                                 13
in this transforming of identity, while the individual is “an institutional myth developed
within rational theories or choice” (Czarniawska-Joerges, 1994, 195).

This line of thought complies at a deeper level with historical developments in the 20th
century (Ashmore, 1990; Trew, 1998, 4): first, in 1894-1936 there was a phase of sex
differences in intelligence, based on seeing gender as a subject variable that can be
measured in the same way as any other individual difference; secondly, in 1936-1974,
masculinity and femininity were treated as global personality traits and as single
psychological dimensions, created through family practices leading men to task-orientation
and bread-winning, and making women socio-emotional, nurturant and caring; third, in
1974-1982, androgyny was a sex-role ideal, signifying both the masculine and the feminine
traits of individuals; and finally, from the 1980s onwards, sex came to be seen as a social
category, and the idea of masculinity and femininity as dimensions of personality, and as
traits, came to be challenged. As Trew (1998, 6) notes, “Following the paradigm shift in the
1980s most theoretical accounts of gender now concentrate almost exclusively on gender
as a social category, thus implicating differences between men and women in terms of their
relative power and prestige in society. Such societal-based realities are assumed to have an
impact on how an individual thinks, acts and feels.”

One of the doubts has been, whether the discource concerning organizational identities
indicates a loss of individual identities, “… loss of the referent, and anchor, a sense of self
with respect to participation in and interaction between organizations” (Czarniawska-
Joerges, 1994, 233). According to Kavolis (cited by Czarniawska-Joerges, 1994, 197),
modern identity encompasses the following elements: 1) an overall coherence between an
individual’s experience and the way it is expressed, 2) a memory – on the part of the
individual and others – of a continuity in the course of the individual’s life, and 3) a
conscious but not excessive commitment to the manner in which the individual understands
and deals with his or her “self”. This explanation expands beyond the “essential self” to the
idea of self-narrative as a way of achieving one’s identity. Modern identity emerges from
the individual’s life history, presents it and separates it from the collective identity.
Individual identities are shaped in the process of telling one’s own story, in social conditions
where discourses are no longer so grand and stable as they used to be.

In any description of the relationship between gender and social behaviour, gender identity
and the gendered self are looked upon as integral components within social and personality
psychology (Trew, 1998, 3-10). Gender is assumed to have an impact on how one thinks
and understands the nature of one’s self, whereas gender identity is a complex, dynamic and
multifaceted social phenomenon. Due acknowledgement of this complexity aims at a
genuine understanding of this issue. Overall, men and women tend to identify themselves
differently, with men presenting themselves as separate and independent of others, while
women define themselves in terms of closeness with others. Construing the self is a process,
and it has been suggested (Cross & Madson, 1997) that most women develop an
independent self-construct in which the self is flexible, encompassing various roles and
relationships. The gender is “done” in the process of communication, given the emphasis of
language and meaning rather than the structural elements of it, seeing communication more




                                              14
as water than as glue (Newell, 2001, 81). Gendered discourses in organizations can,
accordingly, be regarded as their essential integral dynamics.

However, individual subjectivity is still a key concept in the story. Elliott (1999, 2) points
out that the problem of human subjectivity is crucial within social theory at the turn of the
21st century, not as some pre-given substance but rather as a reflexively constituted project.
The “death of the subject” as an early post-modern idea attracts criticism, and concern is
now given to the complex and contradictory ways in which men and women seek to
appropriate and exert control over their lives (Elliott, 1999, 1-11). This will presumably lead
to a theoretical discourse on identity and self in the creation of subjectivity, both in local and
global contexts.

2. Identity of female managers

Work, as the opposite of non-work, is a public domain. The boundaries between work and
non-work do not divide life at the individual experimental level as sharply as they seemingly
do in everyday language. In organizations, work is based on shared meanings (Smircich &
Morgan, 1982, 257-253) created by individual selves that constitute the identities of the
organizations and also of the individuals. The whole issue of public vs. private is crucial in
the discourse concerning women’s and men’s places in society, in families and in work-
organizations, since men “his”storically relate to the public and women to the private
spheres of life (Grosholz, 1987, 218-226). By extending their roles and breaking into public
institutions women challenge the prevalent male “grand story” and bring private issues into
public and institutional spheres.

The segregation of work is based on the classical stereotypes of men’s and women’s
behaviour and orientations (Gerzon, 1982): men are orientated towards technical and
industrial work, whereas women are engaged in occupations where one needs caring ability
and social integration, such as teachers and nurses. Culturally, men and women are creating,
structuring and reforming our publicly as well as privately shared ideals. Statistics show
clear evidence that women are still in the minority as decision-makers in working life: for
example, as top managers who have broken the invisible glass-ceilings in the organization,
as board members of big enterprises, as CEO’s and even as top-level politicians, both world-
wide and locally. Overall, there is a high degree of vertical segregation in work within
organizations: that means, there are few women in managerial positions compared to men
(Czarniawska & Calas, 1997, 326; Acker, 1994, 117-130; Acker, 1990, 390-407). In
addition to the figures that show the inequality between men and women as decision-
makers, their work in organizations also differs from each other qualitatively: men and
women end up doing different kinds of work: in terms of organizational structure, their jobs
differ horizontally. Even in Nordic economies like in Finland, where 70% of adult women
participate in working life and thus combine their private and working-life issues, there still
remains a strict segregation of work, both horizontally and vertically, in the work
organizations (Veikkola, 1999).

There is also segregation of work in managerial positions: a closer look at the statistics
based on body-counts within industries shows an equal number of women and men working



                                               15
in positions of personnel management in Finland, whereas men are predominant as
managers in all other areas, such as managers in industrial enterprises and in strategic
decision-making (Tienari, 1999; Tienari, 2000; Kauppinen & Otala, 1999). The female
ideals of relationship-orientation, caring and focusing on “personal growth” are apparent in
these figures, whereas male managers find their place in strategic management where they
can spread their ideas in marketing and in expanding the company. Statistics further show
that women form the majority of the work-force in public administration in the Nordic
countries (see Chapter 5 by Alvesson and Billing in this book). The same tendency, even
stronger, can be seen in Finnish data on female entrepreneurs (Kovalainen, 1995), who
occupy entrepreneurial roles in line with the traditional ideals of female behaviour: women
are encountered as entrepreneurs in restaurants and hotels, in nursing firms and in
handicrafts, often working in small or even micro-sized enterprises, while men are in the
majority in industrial enterprises and in venture-capital, growth-seeking business enterprises.
Surprisingly, studies of leadership rarely analyze the sex or sex roles of the leaders. “We
read as if leaders have no sex” (Metcalfe & Altman, 2001, 104), even if a closer reading
reveals realizations of masculine ideals, and an implicit male emphasis is shown as well
(Calas & Smircich, 1991, 227-53; Oseen, 1997, 170; Collinson & Hearn, 1996).

A naive objectivistic approach (Sayer, 1984) tends to see organizations as “natural”, as pure
empirical facts. An attempt to investigate their gendered nature means reaching over to a
culturally bound understanding of them. Behind the selected research method there is the
epistemology of the gendered organization, a profound idea of organizations as gendered
liaisons that are qualified with cultural traits based on masculine and feminine, the man and
the woman. While gender is a constitutive element of any social structure, and of any
organizational structure, these structures become moulded by the relationships that stem
from the division of work and the hierarchical nature of the organization. As Britton (2000,
422) notes, “it becomes impossible to see one organization as somehow less gendered than
another”. Organizations can be seen as inherently gendered, that is, gender has an
ontological status.

When the researcher enters to study the empirical realities of a gendered organization,
however, there is the dilemma and problem of experience in the study of organizations: we
can study individuals and small groups directly, but we cannot experience large
organizations that way. This fact has many implications for scientific theories of
organizations (Sandelands & Srivatsan, 1993, 1-21); it makes them especially theory-based.
Nevertheless, it should be self-evident that people working in organizations have rich
experience that is gendered, and they should be able to describe this when asked.

3. Female managers presenting gendered selves

Organizational identities and organizational cultures

Organizations are culturally held liaisons, constructed through social as well as political
processes. As such they are created and changed by the management of meanings, partly by
organizational leaders who are given that role by the subordinates (Smircich & Morgan,
1982, Berger & Luckmann, 1966). While the gender aspects of organizations have been



                                             16
studied widely in recent years, many of these studies are based on a critical understanding of
individual life patterns and their organizationally bound behaviour, biased because the
differences between men and women are not taken into account in studies classically
conducted by male researchers (Mills, 1988, 351-69). Since organizations are products of
culture and they produce culture (Czarniawska-Joerges, 1992), the managers – male and
female – have a significant role in this process as well as in its single gender-biased
incidents. Feminist approaches have drawn attention to the inequity aspects in these cultural
productions in a practical sense by asking, for instance, why there are so few female
managers, and whose economic life is it actually – including the cultural orientations – that
we are working within (Acker, 1990). Other similar questions refer to the gendered limits of
scientific approaches, inquiring whose sciences, whose knowledges do we base our
understandings on (Harding, 1991, 296-312), pointing out the small minority of female
researchers in early classical knowledge among the various disciplines (like Hearn & Parkin,
1983; Mills, 1988).

Organizational cultures are generally written as if they were gender-neutral, even if their
gendered nature is demonstrated daily by a multitude of differences predicted on gender –
for instance, pay, promotion, status and job segregation. Gender and organizational culture
are closely knit together, and the gendered nature of the cultural values and basic
assumptions has, accordingly, been recognized in a number of studies (Wilson, 1997, 289-
303 and 2001, 178-181; Wicks & Bradschaw, chapter in this book). The fact that
sociological and psychological knowledge underline some basic differences between men
and women (Paludi, 1996; Kanter, 1977; Gilligan, 1982; Miller, 1987; Trew & Kremer,
1998) makes it natural to ask related questions concerning business life, for instance: do
men and women as managers lead to qualitatively different organizational cultures? If not,
why not? Are there reasons that are due to organizational cultures for why there are fewer
women than men in managerial positions?

Nevertheless, the fact that females comprise a minority as business managers, both globally
and locally, is an issue of inequality, which leads to women’s lower salary level and minor
role as political decision-makers compared to men. It has been argued that one more reason
why women should hold more managerial positions is that no class in society should end up
in a decisive role over the others – for example, men should not occupy managerial
positions over women. Moreover, it has been suggested that women in managerial positions
could bring along alternative values and, in so doing, give a special contribution over men.
Women could bring “new” cultural insights into management situations, perhaps even
giving birth to “alternative” cultures in those organizations (Alvesson & Billing, 1997, 153-
176). The discourse in the media often emphasizes that women as leaders would show the
way to “softer”, more “humanistic”, “people-orientated” organizational cultures, and,
overall, that their management style would differ from that of their male counterparts. What
if women managers, who are often seen as mere tokens (Kanter, 1977), formed the majority
on committees, for instance? What if there were more female managers, would that mean
different, maybe “better” - according to some measure - organizational cultures?

In studies about female managers both similarities and differences are found compared to
male managers. As shown by a number of studies, however, female managers do not differ
so much with regard to their management styles as compared to male managers (Donnell &


                                             17
Hall, 1980; Marshall, 1984; Kovalainen, 1990, 143-159; Rosener, 1990, 119-125; Alvesson
& D. Billing, 1997, 163; Grant, 1988, 56-63). While indicating the imbalance between
men’s and women’s positioning at management levels in organizational hierarchies, some
feministically orientated studies also argue for various differences between men and women
as organizational leaders with respect to their values (Rosener, 1990, 119-125; Marshall,
1984; Bayes, 1987), their differing ethical standards (Kanter, 1977; Mumby & Putnam,
1992, 465-486; Gilligan, 1982) and, in general, their different roles in reshaping
organizational realities into a more feminine-orientated direction (Zimmer, 1987, Grant,
1988).

Some of the approaches even challenge the hierarchical organizational structure itself,
pointing out its masculine features (Iannello, 1992, Garsombke, 1988, 46-57) and argue for
organizational practices that are less hierarchy-orientated and less embodied by masculine
tones. The language that we use in research as well as in everyday organizational discourses
should be dismantled from its masculine features to allow more space for female
presentation, is the statement. Methodological and method-like arguments have also been
put forward in an attempt to understand why there has been so much gender-blindness in
organizational studies in the past, arguing for a better understanding of private-life issues
and pointing out the invisibility of women in the essence of organizational behaviour and
management (Sherif, 1987, 37-56; Millman & Kanter, 1987, 29-36; Calas & Smircich,
1991, 567-600).

Presenting the front

As noted earlier, surprisingly, when questions of inequality are focused on, females do not
present very rich data for the analysis. Even if we essentialize organizational as well as
institutional dimensions of gender inequity, gender issues should become visible also at the
individual level and in the making of gendered selves. In interviews the issue of gender
often seemingly disappears, like in interviews with female top managers, as seen in the
pieces of interview material cited below.

Again, how to understand these findings? As females are often determined as being part of
the category of “women” instead of individuals, the interview situation, and the request to
talk as a female manager, challenges the professional identity of the interviewees. Their
managerial professional identity competes with the identity of the “natural” or “essential”
woman. During the interview the women perform a speech act that will be referred to here
as “speaking themselves ‘away’ from the assumed female self ideal construct”. The use of
this terminology tries to show a dynamic, active separation from the essential, “natural”
woman, i.e. the women speak themselves “away” from any that kind of assumption on the
interviewer’s part. The terminology emphasizes the inner dynamics of the interviewing
situation that creates talking and texted talk. The talk of the interviewees can be understood
by simultaneously taking into account their front.

By giving the interview these women present an idealized female manager, being females
and top-level managers at the same time. For instance, one of the female managers tells:
“Female managers easily become separated from the other managers and other female



                                             18
employees in the organization, and there are certain merits that come from my being
unexceptional in the position I hold. In this respect my company differs from others.” As
one of the interviewed top managers remarks, “Sometimes you sense that you are invited to
some committee mainly because you are a woman, and you get labelled from the first
beginning.” Female managers search for professional identity, be it somewhat different
compared to the male colleagues’, they feel empowered if they are treated as part of the
category of “natural woman” without the professional label at the time. One of the
interviewees makes that separation in a very solid way: “You should not trow yourself into a
woman’s role. Helplessness makes knights of men, and the bipolarity of men vs. women
strengthens.” Woman’s role, in this citation, looks to carry the assumptions of passivity and
weakness, both typical for the classic female ideal.

Also Erving Goffman (1959, 39) describes the presenting of the female self in traditional
girl behaviour in the 1950s American context: “ college girls did  play down their
intelligence, skills, and determinativeness when in the presence of datable boys... These
performers are reported to allow their boy friends to explain things to them tediously that
they already know; they conceal proficiency in mathematics from their less able consorts;
they lose ping-pong games just before the ending. Through all of this the natural superiority
of the male is demonstrated, and the weaker role of the female affirmed.” We can find that
Goffman’s description is near to the idea of “the natural woman”: the assumptions of
women being nice, helpless, and empowered.

The women also talk themselves into an equal position with their male colleagues. In the
words of the female university dean: “I am firstly the dean, and I am the one who feels my
femaleness. I have been voted to the position of dean of this university three times now.
The first period as a dean was a difficult one, I really had to work my way in because of a
difficult year economically. I had to convince the others, really get into the details of the
economic situation of the university, and there were many doubts of how a woman with a
humanistic background could succeed in the position. I did, and I later got my second
tenure as well.” Being managers, these women differ in their lifestyles from many other
women and, in some cases, they point out this distance in the interview: “When I talk with
the mothers of my daughter's friends, I sometimes feel apart and distant, as if we live in two
separate worlds. I have no time, for instance, for baking as they seem to do, I usually buy
my things from the store.”

The interviewed top managers emphasize their professional roles first and speak themselves
“away” from any idea that their femaleness would partly contribute to their career
advancement. A top manager working in a wholesale business and leading one of its
branches says: “I have accepted the male way to behave, it is the business culture that
determines the operating model. I have made my career on my own – they did not give it to
me because I am a female.” This is partly due to the front: these women feel responsible as
representatives of female management and speak themselves “away” from the requirement
to be “natural women”. “I keep a low profile, I don’t emphasize my position, I manage my
life and get along, and my male colleagues are proud of this. I feel accepted here, but it is
because my work is evaluated as anyone else’s”, describes one of the interviewed female top
managers.



                                             19
The identity of female managers is built locally in the various contexts within which they
talk in the interview situation. These contexts are built around subordinateship, around
publicly held conceptions of what it means to be a female manager in regard to their
subordinates, often with the requirement of presenting oneself soft, nice and empowered.
The individual female managers may struggle with the global and local images by
presenting themselves as gender-neutral professionals and, in that way, “speak” themselves
out of reach of the global and local requirements to lead and manage according to the
stereotypes of the universal female character. The idea that the relationship between the
female manager and her subordinates differs from that of the male managers is strengthened
by the “alternative values” ideology as well as by the specific contribution ideology,
according to which female managers bring different values and contribution to leadership
situations compared to their male colleagues (Alvesson & Billing, 1997, 153-176).

There are more female managers at the personnel departments, which proves that
professional work segregation (Acker, 1990) exists also at the management level. Looking
behind the statistics shows multiple kinds of empowerment tendencies, one of those is the
glass-ceilings, the difficulty of female managers to rise to the boards and reach the top
management level in organizational hierarchy (Tienari, 1999). The stereotypes do not hinder
women’s career advancement to the middle management level, and also the personnel
managerial positions fit well with the image of relationship-orientation of female character,
but to break the glass-ceilings upwards means to challenge the stereotypes that emphasize
female passivity and being nice, over the labels that empower as well as flatter in some
cases.

During the interviews there is a struggle, which encompasses all the various identities, in
which the researcher tries to capture a sense of the gendered, individual self of the person
presenting herself in the interview situation. What is found as a result of the talk is a self that
is in process, not a stagnated self. Moreover, a “manager” is an indefinite concept in
organizational hierarchy. There are many types of managers, managers – and also their
leadership span differs, from top-level managers with hundreds of subordinates to managers
with none. The management contexts differ from each other, and the female managers’
identity building and presentation of the self are dependent on those frontal contexts. There
are multiple identities present in an interview situation, the gendered self is processed in the
interaction between the researcher and the interviewed.

4. Discussion

In order to understand how organizations are gendered, it is necessary to look at the various
other categories as well – for example, cross-cultural categories, class, race, age and
educational background and experiences. Although the women in the interviews emphasized
that their femaleness was not supportive of their managerial position nor a reason for their
advancement, and gender issues did not come up in the interview situation directly, a “front”
could be discerned as the women identified themselves as representatives of female
management professionals as a social and organizational category. This front is evident even
at the level of local organizational identity: the wholesale enterprise where one of the



                                               20
interviewees had earlier encountered some difficulties with the media when the company
had been labelled “chauvinistic”. The female manager working in that enterprise talked a lot
about the subject and thereby exhibited loyalty towards her colleagues, be they male or
female. Thus the interviewed managers speak both within a local, organizational identity
context, which has its historical background (see chapter 7 by Mills; Mills, 1997) and in a
more general, public context when asserted their careers in the interview situation.

Local organizational contexts also support the tendency of female managers to bring forth
female management in a way that is neither ideological nor manipulative. They do not
present themselves as advocating any feminine ideology, but they may portray themselves
as working somewhat differently compared to men. They exhibit and share a sense of
responsibility by presenting and representing the front of idealized female management in
their texted talk. Stereotypes of femaleness, describing women as nurturing, caring, soft and
relationship-oriented, generally appear to lead females to managerial positions where such
features are particularly emphasized in the public image – to personnel management, for
instance – but not easily to top-level strategic management positions with the stereotyped
masculine values. Female managers are thrust to the frontlines of cultural change in
organizations: by female management one gives voice to expectations towards “better” and
human ways to manage organizations. At the same time, the argued feminization of
organizational cultures is a challenge from the standpoint of women managers, which may
burden them as well: they may feel pressured to present an universalized feminine ideal of
“girls being nice” (see chapter 10 by Katila & Merilainen). Women easily get the label of
being ruthless when they deviate from this ideal. Accordingly, at the interview situation the
female manager professionals attempt to distance themselves, to speak themselves away
from those universal ideals by essentializing gender neutrality in any issue of their position
at the organization.

Gender inequality in organizations is evidenced by body-count figures, which show that
men and women are unequal as biological categories in multiple ways (see also chapter 5 by
Alvesson & Due Billing, in the book). Since gender is socially constructed, the ideas about
gender tend to be pervasive and are easily presented as “natural”. Gender identity gains
political significance particularly in the presence of orthodox ideas about gender, challenged
by those who have an interest in breaking down the existing gender order, (Krause, 1996,
107). There are no “natural selves”, but instead, our individual selves derive from various
political discourses within which they are created and changed. Indeed, we learn from a
gender perspective, “genderedly”, about power structures from those discourses, be they
institutional or organization-specific.

In studying gender and inequality aspects, what can we gain by interviews: truths, emotional
reactions, lies, hidden talk that is never spoken outloud – what is this text we obtain from the
discourse? There is, in fact, a multiplicity to be gained. By presenting their ‘selves’ in the
interviews, the interviewees reach far beyond the question of whether they are telling the
truth or hiding something, and, in fact, speak out their cultural frames from within the
inorganizational, interorganizational and even institutional realities they inhabit. Their
speech broadens from their individual life stories, their unique realities, to outer contextual
realities at the same time. To the cultural researcher these stories are contextualized data,



                                              21
rooted in a cultural frame with ideals, values and prejudices, which in themselves tell about
the sources of inequity within those cultural contexts. The interplay between the interviewer
and the interviewed creates local, contextually situated stories, the interviewee being the
actor and giving the performance, and the interviewer being the invisible director of the
action - metaphorically - which takes place in the study laboratory or, using Erving
Goffman’s words (1959, 17-76), at the theatre.

Femaleness is an institutional category, both in a local and a global context, which reaches
beyond body-count issues and beyond the idea of the “natural” woman, and turns to
prevailing cultural realities as the context of any talk. Such issues gain more importance in
an interview concerning gender inequality than in the case of other topics of study, and
moreover, the question relates to the gender of the interviewee and the interviewer. In order
to obtain knowledge from the women’s point of view, the interviewer must be reflective to
the shared context of the interview participants in the research situation, to the context
within which the talk is created and texted. This is not to make the data more objective in
universal terms, but to make the data meaningful for the specific topic of study and truly
sensitive to the cultural, local and broad contexts of the talk. In fact, this is one way of
reaching beyond the individual and unique, as well as beyond the preassumption of the
existence of a “natural, essential woman”, to study the multiple, gendered identities and
selves that are presented within the given context.

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                                          25
              Stage Center-ing: (Re-)Positioning the Body

            Chris Abbot, Astrid Kersten, Bridget Kilroy & Lauren Lampe


                             Panel Proposal Submitted to:
                         Theatre and Drama Stream
                                            or
                                    Open Stream
                                          for the

          Art of Management and OrganizationConference
                     King’s College, London
                     3rd - 7th September, 2002

Short Panel Description: This half-day panel provides a critical, conceptual and
experiential exploration of the organization as performance/stage. Using visual, literary,
movement art, the various presentations engage the audience in a critical examination of
the ways in which the organizational experience positions and constrains its members.
Through a variety of experiential activities, the panel encourages participants to imagine
and rehearse alternative images and paths for individual and collective action.


Participants: (in alphabetical order)
Chris Abbott, Director of Writing Center, La Roche College, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Astrid Kersten, Professor of Management, La Roche College, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Bridget Kilroy, Assistant Professor of Communication, La Roche College, Pittsburgh,
PA, USA
Lauren Lampe, Assistant Professor of Design, La Roche College, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Contact Information:

Dr. Bridget Kilroy
La Roche College
9000 Babcock Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA     15237
U.S.A.
(412) 536-1025
kilroyb1@laroche.edu


Extended Panel Description:


                                            26
                       Stage Centering: (Re-)Positioning the Body

           The notion of organizations as physical, psychological, emotional and cultural
"performance spaces" has recently garnered cache in academic circles because it helps
articulate aspects of organizations not previously highlighted. This proposal assumes that
there is value in focusing on how organizational "performance" parallels theatrical
practices.

          To fulfill their roles, performers learn stage blocking, wear costumes,
familiarize themselves with props and sets, and study and deliver lines which carry the
plot forward. So too must they adopt the subtle physical nuances of posture and
movement to convey the personality and attitudes of their roles. If organizational life is
akin to stage performance, then organizational actors must also embody the nuances of
the organizational “set.”

This proposed half-day panel seeks to provide a critical, conceptual and experiential
exploration of organizational life, using the image of the organization as a stage. In using
this image, the panel will pull together a number of strands and themes suggested by the
conference call, including not only the theatrical streams itself but also critical theory, the
impact of the frame, and the insights provided by the arts, be they visual, literary or
kinesthetic.

The first presentation “Positioning the Viewer: Exploring the Relationship between
Audience, Art and the Artist” by Lauren Lampe discusses her recent art exhibit Marking
Time. In this exhibit, Lauren Lampe used a variety of media to portray the daily events
and emotions of her battle with breast cancer. While the presentation will include sample
portions of the exhibit itself, it will focus on Lauren’s exhibit design strategies that were
aimed at altering the traditional viewer/art exhibit/gallery relationships. In her
presentation, Lauren will encourage the audience to experience the ways in which her
choice of media and exhibit formats challenged traditional positions, responses and
performances, both on the part of the artist and the viewer, opening up ways to consider
the transformative impact and role of art in our personal and collective lives.

The second part of this panel is an experiential session that explores the felt sense of
embodied organizational roles through simple guided movement exploration. Because
most organizational performers do not think of themselves as performers or their
organizations as stage sets, members learn to embody their situated roles at an
unconscious, unexamined level. Raising the level of awareness of the subtle body habits
and attitudes that organizational "actors", adopt allows performers to gain critical
distance on their accepted characterization and decide whether or not those habits
optimize the quality of their organizational experience. By exploring new ways of
standing, sitting, breathing, sensing and moving, actors may expand their repetoire not
only of how they enact their roles physically, but also how their physical experience
articulates with perceptions, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes. Suggestions for new ways to
move are drawn from a variety of movement awareness traditions, including tai chi,



                                              27
Alexander technique, and Laban movement analysis. All movement will be within the
range or normal workplace experience, and can be done in business attire, although
loosing of belts and ties will be desirable.

The third presentation “Caught in the Set: Physical Space and Gender Positioning” by
Astrid Kersten will continue on the theme of the organizational stage by examining the
ways in which organizations demand ‘preferred performances’ from their participants.
Taking Lauren’s exhibit as a starting point, Astrid explores the impact of physical set
design in organizations, looking at the way in which hospitals in particular script roles
and behaviors for their patients through the design of physical space. Through theatrical
re-enactment, the presentation explores ways in which this set design regulates, limits and
controls behavior, interaction and emotions, primarily for the convenience of the
organization. It also invites the audience to participate in imagining the re-design of these
spaces and relationships, using Marking Time as a visual tool.

The fourth presentation “The Untold Story: Repressed Emotion, Concealed Images, and
Pretty Pictures” by Chris Abbott and Astrid Kersten will explore absent performances:
those stories, images, and plays that are not performed in organizations. Using sources
from literature (stories, plays, poetry), Chris and Astrid will not only explore the form
and content of the untold stories; they will also discuss the reasons for their absence from
the organizational stage drawing on critical theory and psychoanalytic literature and the
vital role of literature in the potential transformation of organizations. The presentation
will include brief, dramatic, participatory performances and examples of the use of drama
and other forms of literature in organizational development designs.




                                             28
           The Art of Management and Organisation Conference
                      King’s College, September 2002




Principles and the Practice of Reflective Management
Martin Beirne and Stephanie Knight




1.     Dramatic Insights from Community Theatre



Martin Beirne, University of Glasgow and

Stephanie Knight, Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh


Abstract

Artists and arts workers are now active members of the broad-ranging
community that passionately objects to the influence of over-rationalised
conceptions of management. Many of their organisations have passively
imported management prescriptions from the corporate sector,
unreflectively endorsing top-down controls and tight job structures with
little sense of counterproductive consequences. At the same time,
management theorists and consultants who peddle rationalism have
appropriated art, reducing classical drama and theatre conventions to
quirky motivational techniques and teambuilding exercises, for example.

Rejecting these rationalistic impulses, this paper argues for a more
liberating conception of the relationship between art and management.
Recognising consistent themes across critical commentaries in the arts,
social sciences and technology, together with common ideals for a more
principled approach to management, we highlight established community
arts practices that can usefully promote change. Our core argument is
that conventions which encourage reflective practice in collaborative art
making have wider applicability, and can help committed managers in a
range of contexts give practical meaning to concepts like direct
participation, empowerment and even emancipation.




Biographical Notes
Dr Martin Beirne is Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour at the University of
Glasgow. Contact details: Dept of Business and Management, Gilbert Scott Building,
Glasgow, G12 8QQ; Tel:0141-330-5661; Email: M.J.Beirne@mgt.gla.ac.uk


Stephanie Knight is a collaborative artist who currently runs the Community Development
Unit for the School of Drama at the Gateway Theatre, Queen Margaret University College
in Edinburgh. Contact details: Drama Department, The Gateway Theatre, 42 Elm Row,
Edinburgh, EH7 4AH; Tel: 0131-317-3979; Email:sknight@qmuc.ac.uk.




                                          30
A.    Introduction
Historically, the visual and performing arts have made a significant
contribution to our understanding of management and organisation.
There is a long and distinguished tradition of artists portraying the
realities of working life and prompting critical scrutiny of difficult or
oppressive management regimes. There is also an emerging tendency for
artists to become involved with management training, replicating the
processes of dance or theatre performance to help practising managers
cultivate team-building and communication skills. This is often regarded
as a novel way of supplementing income.          However, novelty and
innovation are not so evident in the management of arts organisations
themselves.

Managerialism is now a central theme in the development of British
theatre, with concerns about funding and the effective use of resources
prompting a transfer of business skills and management techniques
directly from the corporate sector. Funding agencies and boards of
management regularly privilege external ideas about how to manage,
relying upon independent consultants for ‘expert solutions’ on everything
from marketing and budgetary control, to the organisation of work and
management of staff. Available evidence suggests that reactions to this
passive importing of management knowledge are hardening. Towards
the end of an acerbic review of recent developments, Protherough and
Pick (2002:204) capture the sentiments of many artists and arts workers
with this comment:

      “…it is sensible for those who manage to have some experience and
knowledge both of what they are managing and of the people whom they
control.”

Arts practitioners are increasingly expressing a concern that their
organisations should be arts-led, rather than administratively or
managerially driven. In a previous paper (Beirne and Knight 2002) we
explained their concerns, arguing against the passive importing of
managerial knowledge and highlighting the damaging impact of top-
down, ‘expert driven’ initiatives (for example, in stifling the voluntary
commitment that so many arts workers bring to their employment). Here
we extend the focus of our research, moving beyond the critique of
counterproductive managerialsm to an open exploration of the
management value that can be found in creative arts practice.

In adding this applied dimension, we relate critical accounts of arts
management to broader intellectual and social movements that challenge
orthodox views on how organisations should be run. We find that the


                                   31
concerns of arts workers and commentators resonate with those of social
scientists, engineers and technologists, facilitating a constructive
dialogue on the practicalities of challenging over-rationalised behaviour
within organisations, and levering open notions of principled and
reflective management as an alternative way forward for committed
practitioners.

A.
B.    Finding Management in Art

Ironically, at a time when managerial prescriptions are provoking intense
controversy in the arts, theatre and drama are being absorbed into
corporate life. Companies such as British Airways and IBM have
appropriated art, using it as a resource in culture moulding schemes
that aim to ‘turn people on’ to high performance lifestyles and an
unswerving allegiance to business priorities.          Elaborately staged
productions and dramatic corporate events deliberately tug at the heart-
strings of staff, though usually with a limited sense of possible reactions
or contrasts with actual work experience. The latest turn in this
managerialisation of art involves leadership training through
Shakespearian readings and role play episodes, and even short scene
performances based on business scenarios and problems, all with the
intention of enhancing communication skills, team bonding and multi-
tasking capabilities (Arkin 1998, Tweedy 2001, Financial Times 2001).

Though often informed by innovative thinking and positive intentions,
rationalistic management provides a very harsh backdrop to these
developments. In a calculative fashion that is entirely consistent with
the top-down, expert-driven, ‘plug in resource’ model of organisational
development, companies and gurus are reducing art to a set of efficiency
enhancing techniques. Their attachment to the art is superficial. It is
not authentically rooted in artistic processes, or values other than
rationalistic control. Instead it wrenches a product, a training tool, out
of art in pursuit of a narrow vision of the technically efficient
organisation.

This is what the critics’ of arts management rail against.      They are
objecting to a movement that simultaneously imposes management
orthodoxy onto the arts while devaluing artistic creativity. There is so
much more to be gleaned from the creative engagement of artists with
those in wider organisational settings. Collective art making, especially
in a community theatre context, provides a more promising basis for
dialogue and the cross-fertilisation of ideas.

Management is inherently part of collective arts practice, although the
principles behind it are remote from, and at odds with, conventional


                                    32
rationalistic assumptions. In this realm of the arts, very little can be
achieved with a ‘manager knows best’ mentality. Successful outcomes
depend crucially upon the artist’s ability to promote mutual learning and
a collaborative commitment to the sharing and development of
knowledge.

There is a clear consensus that the driving principles of community arts
centre on active participation, reflective practice and negotiated learning.
Creativity in this area is not confined to the ‘inner world’ of actors and
artistic directors. It is not, in other words, decisively dependent upon
purveyors of independent expertise. Success requires that members of
the public figure in the creative process of producing involving drama or
engaging in theatre that speaks to social concerns or connects with local
issues. This means that effective community artists are also de facto
managers, co-ordinating and enabling participants to articulate their
own values and express their views in a telling, effective manner.

Unsurprisingly, arts workers who subscribe to this view tend to be the
most strident critics of the top-down, prescriptive approach to managing
their own organisations. However, by contrast with the oppositional
stance adopted by Protherough and Pick (2002), many are actively
reflecting upon their own role and effectiveness as managers. Their
reaction to the experience of being managed in rationalistic terms is not
just to cry foul, or urge general managers and consultants to ‘back off’.
The community arts critique of prescribed management has also
encouraged a process of capturing, formalising and generalising
information about the effective running of principled community arts
projects. During our own research with practitioners at three Scottish
theatre companies (and developing ties with a contemporary dance
company), we became acutely aware of efforts to support colleagues and
like-minded artists by adding a sense of ‘safe’ and viable management
activities to the development of artistic insights and abilities. Promoting
consistent and non-contradictory practices across art and management
was considered essential to counteract the debilitating effects of imposed
management learning and to enable arts practitioners to liberate artistic
talents in community settings.

There is a significant degree of correspondence between this approach
and broader transformative movements that have their roots in critiques
of management orthodoxy in the social sciences (see Alvesson and
Willmott 1992), engineering and technological innovation (e.g.
Greenbaum and Kyng 1991). Critical commentators in these areas have
stimulated a great deal of creative thinking and soul searching about the
everyday meaning of principled, humanistic and transformative
management. The introspection of community artists, and their efforts
to draw management insights from their own traditions of reflective


                                    33
practice, provide a new opportunity to flesh-out notions of applied
research and to connect critical thinking with everyday management
activities.


A.      Critical Commentaries and Progressive Images of Management

Critical writers in the social sciences, and in the fields of engineering and
technological innovation, have railed against rationalistic conceptions of
management for many years. Their empirical work has highlighted the
unpalatable realities of life at the sharp end of rationalism, counteracting
the simplistic imagery of management gurus and prescriptive theorists.
Their disillusionment with orthodox thinking has also produced many
calls for action. Alvesson and Willmott voice the considered view of many
critics when they argue that:
       “…management is too potent in its effects upon the lives of
employees, consumers and citizens to be guided by a narrow,
instrumental form of rationality.” (1992:1)

Adding to the stock of knowledge is not the only, or even the major,
concern of these researchers. Challenging the ideology of rational
management and the seeming inevitability and reasonableness of its
prescriptions is a key part of their project, anticipating alternative
possibilities and considering the conditions necessary for their success.
This applied agenda is informed by consistent themes and ideals which
guide “emancipatory” or “tranformative” projects. The most prominent
can be summarised as follows:

    Management is not self evidently a neutral or virtuous activity. It
     cannot be reduced to objective techniques, or to professional expertise
     that logically and impartially responds to market or other external
     imperatives. Political and ethical issues are intimately connected to
     the practice of management, and must be considered openly and
     honestly. Professional mangers carry some responsibility for the
     conditions of work in their organisations; for the terms of employment
     and unemployment; for the integrity of organisational affairs; the
     psychological and social well-being of staff; the value of products and
     services; and the consequences of their delivery, including pollution
     and illness, for example.

    Psychological distress and social misery are unacceptable, yet
     frequent, consequences of an instrumental rationality that reduces
     human beings to the status of cogs in a soulless machine. The
     ideology of rationalism perpetuates a view of people as commodities
     that perform at the highest output and maximum quality when their



                                        34
    opportunities for exercising discretion are tightly controlled. The
    assumptions underpinning this ideology, and its everyday
    consequences for organisational life, must be challenged as part of
    routine management practice.


   Management is conducted in the historical and politically charged
    context of dynamic power relationships. Elite interests are usually
    privileged in decision-making structures, development plans,
    investment priorities and reward systems, at the expense of wider
    organisational communities.        Staff, including managers and
    professionals, can be alienated and constrained by the interests and
    activities of these dominating elites, and should be encouraged to
    question the rationality of the structures they inhabit and to reduce
    the disadvantage of other constituents.

    The corollary of recognising dynamics and imbalances in the working
    out of power relations is that problems of under-representation and
    silence in decision-making are taken seriously by managers who see
    empowerment, in the literal sense of democratic development, as an
    essential part of their role.


   Those who occupy management positions, even within tight elite
    structures, are never so rigidly constrained or hemmed in that
    progressive action is impossible. Managers cannot be reduced to
    ciphers of rationalistic knowledge, nor consider themselves to be mere
    functionaries who escape responsibility for their behaviour. Relating
    organisational pressures and demands to personal, social and ethical
    considerations is inevitably part of the job, and central to perceptions
    of self-worth and integrity. These processes of reflection should be
    encouraged and broadened to become regular and systematic features
    of routine practice.

   Although managers are important players, their contribution should
    not be exaggerated to the exclusion of other constituents. Employees
    are not the passive objects of managerial action. Nor are they entirely
    helpless when confronting elite interests. Their experience and tacit
    knowledge enable forms of expression, and often resistance, that can
    be highly meaningful and rewarding, even under difficult conditions.
    Drawing upon experiential knowledge and developing tacit skills and
    insights provide crucial means of counteracting the poverty of work
    experience under rationalism. This means respecting employees as
    talented practitioners, introducing arrangements that liberate talent




                                     35
    and latent energy rather than subjecting people to “idiot proof”
    systems and control regimes.


   Conflicts are inherent in the political processes of management, and
    can be expected to find an outlet in everyday encounters.
    Acknowledging tensions where they exist, and recognising the
    legitimacy of micro political exchanges and collaborative means of
    addressing them, is essential to open and reflective management
    practice.

These themes and ideals frame the debate on alternative possibilities for
management, raising consciousness and projecting an image of more
autonomous, less constrained behaviour that can express social and
moral principles.      This is an optimistic agenda for challenging
established arrangements and elite interests. Managers have room for
manoeuvre, space to act as purposeful critics and agents for meaningful
change. Their greatest achievements are likely to come through mutual
learning and shared practice, interpreting the requirements of others,
targeting constraints and factors that inhibit collaboration, and enabling
people to express their views and talents in a valued manner.

What emerges from this is a very clear sense of the emancipatory
potential of management, and the role of committed practitioners. Less
obvious are the means by which this vision can be operationalised, and
the principles enacted. Very practical questions remain about viable
means of advancing the alternative agenda. Many critical commentators
unfortunately adopt an abstentionist position on practice, certainly in
the social sciences. Their attention to the plight of those on the receiving
end of rationalism is rarely matched by applied knowledge that can
speak to those in the position, or with the inclination, to do something
about it.

Of course, there are justifiable worries about ‘managerialising the debate’
(Thompson 1986), or somehow encouraging the appropriation of critical
knowledge by enthusiasts for management control (Nord and Jermier,
1992). The dangers of slippage or misappropriation of progressive ideas
are very real. Yet they provide more of a justification for applied research
than a reason to avoid it. Part of the challenge of emancipatory
management is to find ways of dealing with contradictory impulses, and
sustaining challenges to rationalistic interests.

Critical writers in business school environments (e.g. Goulding and
Currie, 2000) and especially those working on technological innovation
(e.g. Greenbaum and Kyng, 1991) have shown more of an appetite for



                                    36
this work, producing books that have a practical edge. These can be
extremely useful in promoting active reflection, either by encouraging
managers to ‘stand back’ from everyday pressures and question their
behaviour patterns, or by mapping out techniques that enable users of
work technology to shape their own computing systems. However, there
is little to guide emancipatory practice at the sharp end of general
management.         The most developed applied work is either very
specialised, as in finding alternatives to rationalistic computing design,
or partial in the sense of prompting practitioners just to think about
what they are doing and what they are involved with. There is a need to
plug this gap in the emancipatory project, and to follow through on the
practicalities of transformative management. This is where the traditions
and conventions of collective art making and community theatre may
prove to be quite liberating.


A.      The Craft of the Community Arts Practitioner

Two years of focused research with three Scottish theatre companies has
enabled us to look in detail at the processes of reflective art making and
to relate them to contemporary concerns about transformative practice.
A further two theatres and a contemporary dance company have now
joined us in a project to explore the development of practical change
programmes that can promote emancipatory management within and
beyond arts organisations. The methodological appendix to this paper
provides details of our collaborators and approach.

Our research was initially triggered by an invitation to help one theatre deal with the fallout
from appointing independent management ‘experts’. Through a participative work redesign
process, it became clear that established performing arts practices had significant potential to
counteract staff preoccupations with standard management prescriptions and techniques.
For example, administrators and theatre workers became highly positive in redesigning their
work roles when the artistic director seemed to prompt them with the same devising and
confidence-building techniques that he used in rehearsals with actors, essentially to draw
them out of themselves and to encourage collective engagement.            Developments along
these lines eventually took us into the community theatre traditions of our collaborating
companies, and to more detailed work on the transferable knowledge that may be gleaned
from artistic processes.

(1)     By contrast with management subjects, there is a distinct absence of


                                              37
textbooks and ‘how to do it guides’ that purport to train community artists. There
is also a dearth of research detail on how they actually conduct their work. Their
sense of practice, of how values can be enacted, is locked into experiential
insights that are shared within the profession and through collective discussion
rather than written forms of communication. These artists share a distinctive
sense of identity, largely attributable to consistent pressures to claim space for
their art. Accessing tacit knowledge and informal understandings of useful
practice thus became a key part of the research.

It was common for practitioners at interview to talk about layers of learning and engagement
that straddled the emotional, logical and creative dimensions of their work. At one level,
they called upon habitual experience, structuring encounters intuitively with ideas and
behaviour that realised performances in the past. This was linked to personal sense-making,
and very regular attempts to stand back and consider how principles and practice were
coming together as projects unfolded. This seems similar to what Schon (1983) calls
‘reflection-in-action’, where professionals draw on repertoires of established knowledge
which they apply, appraise and develop in the context of unique situations.


This has been a recurring theme in empirical accounts of what managers really do, although
not in the sense of any principled challenges to rationalism or dominating elites. Schon talks
about managers having an internal conversation about their situation, demonstrating through
this that professionals are self-aware people that actively think about their situations and
behaviour. Watson (1994) extends this with a image of managers having debates within
themselves as they make sense of what happens around them and endeavour to exert some
control over events. What we see with community artists is more than personal or sectional
sense making and preoccupations with control, however. Reflection is connected to artistic
principles and collective engagement, and how unfolding events stack up against them.


As previously mentioned, community arts is not about building appreciation for art that
already exists or is driven by independent artists. Nor is it about fitting people into approved
systems that can produce quality assured art for local communities. Instead the declared
purpose is to find creative ways of enabling people to make their own art and develop
critiques of the situations they confront. This means that the process is grounded in the
views, emotions and situated actions of the participants, with management involving a



                                              38
continuous process of exploring, improvising, trying things out, discussing, revisiting and
researching. As one practitioner put it:
              “Each time we meet, we discuss our thinking and our reflections about the
work. We are constantly striving for beauty and truth. We are constantly trying to find the
best way to make the story work. We endeavour to make sure that everyone’s contribution
is valued and heard as clearly as everyone else’s.”


This is an approach to art making that has captured more attention and funding in recent
years, certainly in Scotland, basically because it appeals to political notions of social
inclusion, active citizenship and life-long learning. Yet the management possibilities are
equally appealing, though not, we should say, in the prescriptive fashion of exemplar
models or ‘plug in’ techniques for emulation by more principled practitioners.              The
attraction does not lie in the replacement of one brand of directive management with
another. It is the reflective process and the capacity to enlarge our sense of options and
possibilities that have wider applicability (of which more will be said in our final section).


The processes of community theatre involve devising and developing work collaboratively.
While the artistic director or community drama worker essentially fulfils a management
role, continuous processes of negotiating, collective reflecting and revisiting take place en
route to public performance. Our interviewees often referred to the ‘wealth model of
education’ as an underpinning principle, acknowledging that people are equipped to decide
for themselves how their learning and development should proceed. The practitioners
challenge was to develop sufficient sensitivity and perception to draw out their capabilities
and help them reach their full potential.


There are clear parallels here with the expressed logic of empowerment, respecting the
experience, insight and often unreflected ability of participants to become performers in
powerful, beautiful drama. Grounding the process in the situated experience of participants
is crucial, however. It cannot be a matter of steering people into costume or character
through a stockpile of standard routines and techniques. To quote one of the maxims of
community art, “the context is half the work”.



                                              39
Of course management theory is pervaded with contingency models of context-driven
practice. Most of these amount to ‘best fit’ scenarios that, in truth, are decontextualised and
ahistorical. In community theatre, contextualisation means working with an authenticity
which is rooted in the actual experience of participants, not imposing externally approved
measures. As one drama worker explained:
              “My primary aim is to enable groups, by the end of each project, to form and
voice a critique of the society that has put them where they are.”


The wealth model puts the onus on the artist-as-manager to help participants discover their
best route to expression, and to provide them with “an uncensored space” for artistic
development and learning. This requires a constant process of learning and re-defining
managerial involvement, far beyond Schon’s original idea of reflection-in-action. Where
this is absent, projects can disintegrate, undermining the sense of community at work.


One artist recalled a drama project for young offenders’ that experienced problems through
a clash of artistic role definitions. It became clear shortly after the start of the project that a
contributing theatre company (with a national remit to work with local communities) was
delivering its art to the group, rather than helping them develop their own forms of
expression. When challenged by other artists, they asserted that they were famous for what
they did, and never adapted their work to the particular needs of any audience. This
prompted an angry response from reflective practitioners, one of them expressing the mood
as follows:
              “Community arts involve more than just pacifying the anger of communities
aimed at agencies that have failed the citizen. It is a model of engagement that demands the
upholding of the dignity of the individual at every encounter. This is particularly so when
working with more vulnerable members of the community.”


As a case example of this, and as an indication of the repertoire of ideas and possibilities that
enable people to take charge of their learning and development, we can recount a
particularly poignant tale of art making by a Scottish women’s group.



                                               40
A.    Celebration: The Survivors’ Story

This was a community theatre project in which a particularly vulnerable
group of women, all survivors of incest and sexual abuse, came together
over a fifteen month period to devise a piece of theatre that paralleled
their own experiences and feelings. The initial impetus came from an
exhibition of “outsider art” which caught the imagination of some in the
group, prompting expressions of interest in “doing some drama
themselves”. Their support workers then collaborated with a local
theatre company to explore the possibility of establishing a project that
would give them a safe and secure environment to follow this interest.
The outcome was the Tuesday Afternoon Women’s Theatre Group.

Management issues were central to the development of this project. The
participants had a very precarious, fragile and vulnerable existence, with
a chronology of life experience that is markedly different from the
mainstream. There was no guarantee that they would be able to attend
from one week to the next, or to participate as they would like. Their
lives were shaped by risk, and by the irregularities of being homeless,
needing to hide and to avoid predictable patterns of living. There was
also a potential for the drama to raise issues that were the province of
health or welfare specialists rather than artists. Although there was an
explicit recognition that the work itself would have therapeutic
consequences, there was a need to be vigilant about the links, the nature
and timing of any contacts with other caring or supporting agencies.

At an early stage, the artists set out to negotiate a learning contract with
the participants, establishing in print a collective agreement specifying
their aims and establishing the terms for their collaboration. This was
initially a flip chart list of statements agreeing why they were coming
together, where they wanted to go, what they wanted to achieve, and so
forth. Explicit contracts and formal understandings of this nature figure
prominently in community arts projects, synthesising principles, with
ground-rules and agreed standards of acceptable behaviour that increase
the likelihood of productive collaboration. Representative statements run
along the following lines: “everybody’s contribution is valued”,
“everybody’s ideas are heard”, “violent behaviour will not be tolerated”,
“no fisticuffs or slagging in workshops”. These were taken from the
survivor’s project and a recent young offender’s initiative, where the last
two were especially important. In these cases the flip chart agreement
eventually became a typed document which was copied and returned to
all participants. The arts practitioner explained the merit of this:



                                          41
       “This is part of the process of creating a safe learning environment,
so that everyone knows that it’s their value base that is governing the
work, not some kind of hierarchical, oppressive or elusive value system.
It also gives us a person-centred evaluation tool so that we know when
we’ve arrived at their desired destination.”

The early survivors’ meetings were described as very gentle affairs with
the women just drinking tea and telling some stories. They were
nervous, since few had ever visited a theatre or witnessed a live
performance. Recognising the context, experiences and feelings of the
group, considerable effort went into establishing relationships and
convincing participants’ that they were not seen as ‘victims’ by the artists
or theatre crew. They were young women interested in making theatre.
Again this was reinforced with a clear statement, often repeated: “it’s
your art we’re interested in, let’s keep the focus on that”.

When people were feeling reasonably comfortable, the group moved into a
studio and more exploratory work began, making images and then
dynamising them. A drama technique called frozen images proved to be
very useful. This is based on role-play exercises where sub-groups or
individuals act out events and then freeze the action so that others can
offer an interpretation of what is happening. Developing this process,
the group worked with images that could be captured with a snap shot
capable of being understood by other women anywhere in the world.
One or two of the participants would periodically step out of these images
as they developed, considering and interpreting them, so encouraging a
sense of reflective practice.

Their next instinct was to explore theatrical images of women from
around the world. They would identify countries they wanted to explore
from one week to the next, leaving their arts practitioners to prepare
workshops that would help them connect their own thinking with other
art forms. This took them through the role of the chorus in classical
Greek theatre, the use of African theatre in health education, and the
cycle of the dragon in Chinese theatre, all the time exploring ideas about
how people find themselves, revisit challenges and discover ways to
resolve them.

Constant reference was made to the learning contract established when
the group first came together. This gave them a explicit value base,
stating what behaviour was acceptable within the group, what
achievements were to be celebrated and what they might do when they
needed time out. Some of the women fell out of the process for lengthy
periods of time because events in their lives just took over and prevented
them from fully participating. When they returned, time was set aside for


                                    42
the group to talk through the latest explorations and, significantly, to
explain how the collective had held on to the individual’s contributions
since the last time they were together.

About five months into the work, one young woman, who was having a
particularly tough time with police arrests, physical attacks and robbery
on her Big Issue patch, told the group of how she had learned about the
street children of Brazil. She explained that she would love to be able to
teach them to survive as she had. The compassion she was expressing
at her own time of distress and trauma was transformational for the
group.

The artists-as-managers identified this as a key moment, and set out to
find images and stories about the work of community artists in Brazil
and other Latin American countries. As these were subsequently
discussed within the group, the idea for the performance of Celebration
was born.

Survival was now regarded as something to be celebrated. Their art was
to be far greater than the cruelty that made them survivors and
disrupted their lives. The learning that emanated from their survival,
although feral, was now judged to be just as important as any
mainstream learning, and had the potential to give the mainstream
“valuable gifts for reflection”.

The group began to research survival stories from history, improvising
ideas, developing characters and devising story lines for their production.
Other theatre workers were increasingly called into the process, though
with the contact carefully managed so that new contributors’ understood
the values behind the work and could blend in without disruption. The
first addition was a scriptwriter charged with the task of pulling the
stories together. Subsequently, a costume designer, stage manager,
scenic artist and lighting designer joined the project. They were all
women, with one exception, Alex the lighting man who came to be
trusted as “a woman with a beard”. The remit of the professional staff
was to listen to the women, to liberate their art with creative and
interpretative responses to the material presented. By this stage, the
young women were prioritising their project above most other areas of
their lives, and were noticeably more confident in expressing themselves.
When the first script arrived, the writer was told on several occasions
“I’m no saying that, they’re no my words”.

It was interesting to observe how this became a joyful part of their lives,
emerging out of the brutality of other aspects of their experience. There
was less of the victim in their outlook and behaviour, at least that was
the case for some of them. Others found the final steps too daunting to


                                    43
complete. Three days before the performance, two of the young women
said they could not go on to perform. After lengthy deliberations, the
others restated their commitment. They wanted to continue, despite the
extra pressure. A full day was given to re-devising and rewriting to meet
the schedule of rehearsals. Scenes were revisited and rewritten, with the
technical artists, who were used to community practice, embracing each
change and adapting their work accordingly.

Two of the women continued with this reworking until the day of the
performance, following the final dress rehearsal with additional thoughts
about how they would tell their story and how the audience might best
understand them. The performance itself was received with tremendous
enthusiasm and lengthy applause. A number of other survivors groups
were in the audience, and they were clearly touched by the drama they
witnessed. Fulsome praise was offered by a wide cross section of the
community for the strength, resilience and creative achievements of the
group.

So, where was the management in this project? The answer is that the
management was inherent in the process.            It was related very
consciously and quite seamlessly to the work. It was not superimposed
or independently applied. It is extremely unlikely that a package of
previously defined measures, standard techniques or top-down directives
would have brought any performance, far less quality drama, to fruition
in this case. The achievements of the group reached far beyond the initial
hopes and expectations of anyone involved, including the women
survivors. Their own accounts are quite candid in acknowledging the
achievements of the artists-as-mangers in nurturing their interest and
enabling them to express their talents with such positive results.
A.
B.
C.      Arts Practice and Reflective Management


The survivors’ story offers a glimpse of the liberating and transformative potential of
reflective practice. What we can see is an intimate connection between accomplished art
and responsive, context-sensitive management.              There are no recipes here, no
straightforward methods that free managers from self-conscious reflection about the values
they bring to situations, and the qualities they release in others. It is the situated blending of
principle and practice, the balancing of learning, thinking and creative acting, that enlarges
our sense of what is possible in managing to manage.


For those committed to emancipatory projects, there is inspiration here to bring the


                                               44
alternative agenda to life, to lift the critiques of rationalism and dominating elites away from
the bookshelves and out of the academic networks and into the everyday experience of
practising managers and enthusiasts for change. Community artists are able to move well
beyond the classroom endorsement that ‘decency matters’, some of them finding very
practical expressions of personal and collective emancipation. To borrow some terminology
from Nord and Jermier (1992), these artists are finding ways to increase the congruence
between humanistic values and everyday job performance. In some respects, the issue is
forced for them as projects would fail and participants move rapidly on if the declared
principles were not apparent in the work. Yet the means of aligning beliefs with situated
learning and creative forms of engagement is instructive.


From experience, many potential and actual managers are actively seeking the sort of
congruence that our artists achieve. Contrary to some radical interpretations, there are
practising and aspiring managers who baulk at rationalistic prescriptions, identify with
critical writings and articulate a genuine concern for principles of fairness, justice and direct
participation. Certainly, there are students in management education who would benefit
from research that can lead to firmer views about how they can ‘make a difference’, how
they can enact serious concerns and remain faithful to expressed values as they seek a living
in management positions.       More experienced hands can also be expected to benefit,
empirical research indicating that personal concepts of self, integrity and morality continue
to burn in managers throughout their careers, often adding a sense of struggle and
dissatisfaction as they deal with everyday pressures and heartfelt contradictions (Watson
1994).


For this constituency of critical thinkers, reflective art making holds the promise of viable
insights, resources and practical pointers to innovative behaviour that may help them to
‘keep the faith’, and perhaps recognise more of themselves in their everyday managerial
work.    Our own research efforts are currently geared towards this practical agenda,
extending the possibilities for creative engagement and mutual learning, and developing arts
inspired practices for workshops that can help managers bring progressive ideas to life in
their own situations. We had hoped to introduce some video footage into the conference



                                              45
presentation to illustrate our latest thinking on this. However, video is not an appropriate
means of developing insights from the survivors’ case since much of the abuse suffered by
the young women was lens based.
This part of our own emancipatory project will have to wait for ongoing fieldwork to run its
course.




Methodological Appendix


A total of 23 community drama workers and collective arts practitioners contributed to this
research, including four artistic directors. They were all affiliated to one or other of the
following theatre companies:


Core Collaborators
1.An international drama centre and working theatre that is linked to a Scottish university. It
has a strong community development programme, attracting in excess of 2,500 participants
each year.


2. A large repertory company based in a city that has suffered industrial decline after many
years of prosperous trade through its international port. The theatre is recognised as
contributing towards the economic regeneration of the city, working in partnership with the
local authority and enterprise company, and securing a number of large Lottery awards to
develop its programme of productions and events.


3. A theatre that serves the Highlands of Scotland, offering a large programme of events and
extensive educational programmes funded through charitable trusts.


Another two theatres and a contemporary dance company also supported elements of the
research:


4. A regional theatre that was converted and renovated in the 1970s by local people in an



                                              46
“overspill” town near a major city. It has a strong tradition of youth and community theatre,
running amateur, educational and outreach projects. It also supplements its own programme
of professional theatre by hosting touring productions.


5. An innovative company located in a large cosmopolitan city that enjoys an international
reputation for encouraging the arts. This company combines professional theatre with
community projects that have a social and educational impact.


6. A national dance centre established through community dance initiatives in the 1980s.


Our fieldwork over the past two years has involved a combination of participant
observation, extensive interviewing and re-interviewing, and an extended case of action
research interventions. Our pilot work on the development of reflective practice workshops
involves four of the organisations listed above. Ongoing discussions are likely to bring
another two collaborators into the next phase of the project.




                                              47
References


Alvesson, M. & Willmott, H. (1992) Critical Management Studies, Sage.
Arkin, A. (1998) ‘Treading the Boards’, People Management, 13th August.
Beirne, M. & Knight, S. (2002) ‘Principles and Consistent Management in the Arts: Lessons
from British Theatre, International Journal of Cultural Policy, Vol 8, May.
Financial Times (2001) ‘All the World’s a Case Study’, 3rd December
Goulding, D. & Currie, D. (2000) Thinking about Management: A Reflective Practice
Approach, Routledge.
Greenbaum, J. & Kyng, M. (1991) Design at Work: Cooperative Design of Computer
Systems, Lawrence Erlbaum.
Nord, W. & Jermier, J. (1992) ‘Critical Social Science for Managers?: Promising and
Perverse Possibilities’, in Alvesson, M. & Willmott, H. op. cit.
Protherough, R. & Pick, J. (2002) Managing Britannia: Culture and Management in Modern
Britain, Edgways.
Schon, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner, Basic Books.
Thompson, P. (1986) ‘Crawling from the Wreckage: The Labour Process and the Politics of
Production’, 4th Aston/UMIST Labour Process Conference, April.
Tweedy, C. (2001) ‘The Art of Work’, Arts Business, 9th April
(1)   Watson, T.J (1994) In Search of Management: Culture, Chaos and Control in
Managerial Work, Routledge.




                                             48
Rembrandt and the power station: organisation and graphic
representation

Working paper proposed for The Art of Management and Organisation conference, King’s College, London,
September 2002


Contact details
Jan Betts
Department of Education and Professional Development
Leeds Metropolitan University
Carnegie Hall
Beckett Park
Leeds LS6 3QS
Tel: 0113 2832600
Email j.betts@lmu.ac.uk

This working paper uses two paintings, Rembrandt’s The Night Watch and The
Guardians of the Poorhouse, from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, to begin to explore
issues of organisational representation through graphic art.
Organisations can represent themselves visually in many ways; through buildings, web
sites, advertisements, public reports and so on. They can also use graphic art. How
they represent themselves can lead us to ask questions related to issues of power, of
culture, of history and of organisational desire. These concrete forms of self-
presentation contribute to the ways in which they are received; they also represent
ways in which they desire to be ‘seen’ and understood. They offer a view of the self-
understanding of the organisation, and they change through history. So to think about
them adds to, enriches, our ‘view’ of organisation.
We might begin to interrogate the notion of organisational representation by asking
about the relationship between the object and the viewer. What reality, symbolism or
allusion is being represented? How are the viewers conceived and in what ways are
those viewers to be impressed? Why is the organisation seeking to legitimate itself - if
indeed it is - in this particular way, to this particular constituency? What power is given
to the organisation through the representation? What do they desire from their viewers?
Such questions are nested in wider concerns. It becomes important, in answering them,
to consider the historical context which is encouraging, or allowing, a certain form of
representation at a certain time. Can we begin to know the way in which the
representation was received when first created? What is it that would make them be
seen differently at a different historical point?
Further questions emerge around the relationship between the medium of
representation and the viewer. Why was that medium chosen and what effect does it
have? Is there any contradiction or tension between the medium and its contents which
might be sensed by the chosen viewers?
The concern of this paper is to examine how organisations have represented themselves
in a particular and relatively small but powerful way, through graphic art. Such graphic
art is traditionally restricted viewing for more valued ‘onlookers’ who enter the
organisational spaces controlled by the powerful. It focuses on the equivalent of the
board room portrait or the art choice of those with power in the organisation which is
hung in semi public spaces. It seeks to begin to think about the history of such semi
public display related to the history of organisation.




                                                49
The two oil paintings from the Rijksmuseum represent in some way the ‘organisations’
which they depict. Those are very different in kind and in purpose from organisations as
we conceive them today. They were voluntary organisations of wealthy and powerful
people, which played a prominent role in the right ordering of the city. Nevertheless,
they were organisations and the seventeenth century in many ways saw the beginnings
of a more regular commissioned depicting of organisations for many purposes. The
Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq as The Night Watch is more correctly called, is
about the Captain’s expression of concern for the strength and power of Amsterdam as
a city and the militia in particular. ‘Banning Cocq’s Company, strong and ready to act,
was a visual metaphor for the might of Amsterdam and its willingness to protect its
rights’. (Havekamp-Begeman 1982) Similarly the Guardians of the Poorhouse represent
equally patrician values as protectors and correctors of the poor.
Such considerations offer a new, fascinating and potentially dense cross-disciplinary
approach to the history, the meaning, of ‘organisation’ and the ‘frame’ which the
organisation puts around itself. In attempting to link it to the huge possible array of
more current artefacts two came to mind. One is the standard university boardroom,
with contextless portraits of vice chancellors and famous alumni. The other is the
turbine cavern of the hydro electric power station at Cruachan, where one wall is
decorated with a mural depicting the building of the station interwoven with a local
legend. No one there could tell me who commissioned it; ‘the big cheese’ said one. What
does such an object say about an organisation? This paper begins to look at such
questions.


Berger, J. (1972) Ways of seeing Penguin
Foucault, M. (1972) The Order of Things
Haverkamp-Begeman, E. (1982) Rembrandt: The Night Watch Princeton University
Press
Klingender F.D. (1968) Art and the industrial revolution W & J Mackay and Co Ltd
Cheltenham
Millner Kahn, M. (1978) Dutch painting in the seventeenth century Harper and Row
New York
Porter, R. (1997) Rewriting the self. Histories from the Renaissance to the Present
Routledge




                                          50
                                 Art of Management &
                                Organisation Conference

                                    September 2002

                                    University of Essex

                                        Colchester

                                     United Kingdom




Conversations with Organisations and Other Objects
Peter Bond


Lawton-David Consulting
21 Glen Park Road, CH45 5JQ
info@leanningfacilitation.com




                                            51
              Conversations with Organisations and Other Objects.
            Featuring a Mujician, Two Bears, and Two Ceramic Pots.1
Peter Bond
Lawton-David Consulting
21 Glen Park Road
CH45 5JQ
info@learningfacilitation.com
plbond@appleonline.net

                                                             Abstract

The intention in writing this paper is to inform the reader about managing from a radical constructivist and
phenomenological perspective. I would also like to inform the reader about new analogies we should be
comparing managing to within a new paradigm of management thinking that is more appropriate to an
economy based on creative solutionmaking. What will actually happen, whether I succeed in informing you
or not, is beyond my ability to predict and to control, informing is a purely internal matter, a ‘body-
matter’. However, what I feel I can do to trigger the process I will try to do. To accommodate new
concepts, to assimilate new ways of doing things, involves a restructuring of one's cognitive construct, a
'web' of related neural models, concepts of kinds of 'physical' objects, of action schemes, behaviours, and
emotional episodes. Crafting, and creating objects of art, is an emotional process too, how many suffer for
their art, and how many, emotionally and physically, from making public the product of their imagination?
In these arts the product is clear. If managing is an art its product is not so obvious. In this paper I suggest
it is organisation design.


Introduction.

My purpose is to introduce a different and somewhat radical view on managing as an art — in the sense of
a craft. I have attempted to weave together several theoretical perspectives, especially the Radical
Constructivist approach of biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, from whom I take two
principal ingredients for my own crafting recipe; the idea of an object as a device used to co-ordinate the
actions of others, and the structure determined view of human interaction. From Actor Network Theory,
primarily from John Law, I have taken the idea that objects precipitate relations with other objects to create
networks. Using these I develop a new perspective on crafting as a structure determined conversation with
an emergent object, illustrating the process with reference to music making, painting and potting. Though
these might be thought of as traditional crafts managing is no less so.

If managing is a craft then what is produced from it? The answer lies in one of the fundamental
characteristics of humankind, namely, social co-ordination, and what goes with it—regulation.

1 The paper is based on an original presentation at Mc Master University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada at the 'Third World Congress on
Knowledge and Intellectual Capital' January 1999. Musical accompaniment was from Steve Reich~ George Benson~ John Coltrane
and the Mujician, Keith Tippett, but unfortunately none of them were able to appear in person. Paintings and ceramic artefacts were
provided by the author.




                                                                52
Fundamental to success of the endeavour is an organisation design. Whilst I will suggest that a product of
managing is an organisation design, it is one held together and recreated on a moment by moment basis, not
by a single person called a manager but by every participant in the organisational activity. Furthermore,
not only is managing a distributed task so is designing, and so is leading. In 'normal' circumstances, where
people are free to do so within cultural constraints, participants continuously adjust the organisation around
them to effect local regulation in response to internal and external sources of disturbance. Organisation
designs are continually subject to change, although, we may only be aware of this in the case of formalised
designs, e.g. business enterprises and schools. Unlike artefacts produced from conventional crafting
techniques, organisations are fluid and ephemeral objects. Managing then is a conversation with that object
we refer to as organisation, the web of relations between artefacts and people designed to fulfil a purpose.
In other words, a human activity system. Managing human activity systems is a complex task, one that
requires co-ordination amongst managers, between participants. This adds to the overall complexity of a
process that is subject to a seemingly infinite number and variety of variables, some known but most not,
many from nature itself but many more stemming from the actions of participant-managers and other
organisations, external and external.

The reader's journey to a new paradigm.

The intention of this paper is to inform the reader about managing from a radical constructivist and
phenomenological perspective. Being a radical constructivist view what I mean by inform is not the same
as giving you, the reader, information, as if an input of data to a computer. The definition of knowledge
currently being peddled by (most) knowledge managers is as a discrete quantifiable object that can be
commodified and distributed to be enjoyed like a bar of chocolate. This view has severe limitations when it
comes to dealing with how people learn, how they create new knowledge, how they assimilate the ideas in
such things as this paper, a corporate policy document, or an unfamiliar set of instructions. The commodity
view is grossly misleading, knowledge cannot be treated as an input to an individual actor-learner in any
conventional sense, in the way a computer, or a manufacturing system, receives and processes an input of
data or raw material. Another explanation is required, one that starts with the idea of a person as an
operationally closed cognitive system that does not receive inputs, an explanation that pushes us towards a
new paradigm of thinking based on biologic and not computer logic, an explanation that is based on the
ideas of constructivism. The brain is not an information processing device, neither is this paper
'information'. Nevertheless as a result of reading it the reader will be informed. Information does not exist
in a person's environment, instead we must think of it in terms of in-formare: that which is formed within
(Varela     ). Indeed, instead of information, this paper can be described as a source of disturbances or
perturbations that you, the reader, have chosen to be subjected to. Your journey is unknown, the destination
is unknown, if I am successful then it will be your neuro-models of managing and organisation that will be
disturbed. The pattern you extract from the many words on these pages will have formed from connections
with other objects and words to create meaning for you. Milestones are marked by changes in your
cognitive construct, where they will come I cannot predict, the journey and destination are uniquely yours,
and yours alone. What I can do to inform you is constrained by this medium. I am constrained to write in a
linear sequence, and in 2 dimensions. But I can tell you what to expect.


In addition to the aims already stated I will provide a brief introduction to the theoretical framework I am
using, together with some of its more profound implications. Such as, we cannot know reality except by
way of the problems it presents. Out of the overall framework spring two elements that need to be
described in some detail: the concept of object, especially its function with respect to social co-ordination,
and an explanation of why objects interact, based on the notion of structural determination. I then move on
to provide illustrations of structure determined conversations with some different types of object—physical
and conceptual—before expanding upon the idea of managing as a conversation with a more fluid type of
object, the design of a human activity system.


A Radical Perspective.



                                                     53
Radical Constructivism, is primarily associated with the work of Ernst von Glasersfeld, who coined the
term, although the formative concepts of constructivism can be traced back to philosophers such as
Berkeley, Kant, and Vico (von Glasersfeld; 1995). Von Glasersfeld also draws on the ideas of Maturana
and Varela, and from cybernetics, but the principles of his approach to learning and education are based on
his revised account of Jean Piaget's research on cognitive development in children. He says: '..[R]adical
constructivism [.] is radical because it brea~ with convention and develops a theory of knowledge in which
knowledge does not reflect an 'objective' ontological reality, but exclusively an ordering and organisation
of a world constituted by our experience.' (von Glasersfeld.' 1995, p.25)

In his Encyclopaedia Autopioetica Randall Whitaker (2) also places Maturana & Varela's theory of
autopoiesis under Radical Constructivism. The main differences between the two appear to stem from,
what is referred to in autopoietic theory as, the structure-determined nature of living systems, which does
not allow for goalseeking nor human intentionality (see von Glasersfeld:1997). This will be more fully
explored presently. The common ground of the two approaches is the idea that: 'knowledge, no matter how
it be defined, is in the heads of persons, and that the thinking subject has no alternative but to construct
what he or she knows on the basis of his or her own experience' (von Glasersfeld:1995).

The consequences of adopting this closed system view of the cognisant human being are profound. For
instance if there are no direct inputs from reality then we can only know it indirectly, through our sensory
apparatus. What we know to be reality is only a cognitive construction, variously referred to as a mental
model (Senge 1990), a cognised world (Laughlin), or simply our world. (Varela). What we can know is
limited by the physical nature of our sensory apparatus, including the brain itself. We cannot know the
environment in the way of a dolphin, a whale, or a bat. Of equal significance is the impact this
constructivist view has on our understanding of how we learn and thus our approaches to educating. It
matters to business because these sensing instruments are the only means of identifying and designing new
business opportunities. It matters especially because making solutions can only ever be a matter of trial and
error. Another consequence of not being able to know reality directly is that it can intervene when you least
expect it to. We only come to know reality through the variables it introduces, as when a new product
design does not live up to expectations, or when a hospital accident and emergency system fails to cope
with a dying child who does not fit the ‘correct' criteria for admission, or when rifles jam in the field of
baffle. In all these cases, and many many more, reality can be judged to have intervened as previously
unrecognised variables. Perhaps it will be a surprise to many that such profound ideas can be very well
illustrated with respect to crafting processes, such as when a lovingly sculptured clay artefact is ruined in
the kiln, or when one's personal theory of how to achieve a paint effect is found to be flawed.


The nature of objects.

In his theory of the construction of reality in a child, Jean Piaget presents a model of how a basic cognitive
scaffolding is built from concepts of objects, space, time, and causality (cause and effect). Such a construct
serves as a framework for a coherent experiential reality - our world. From concepts of object, space, and
time descriptions of systems can be built, and with concepts of causality explanations of systems behaviour
can be devised. Piaget thus identifies the essential cognitive building blocks.

The biological approach to cognition of Maturana and Varela, together and separately, provides an
explanation of Piaget's explanation. According to their autopoietic theory the fundamental operation of
cognition is bringing forth entities, or unities, by drawing distinctions between them and the mediums in
which they operate. A unity is... 'That which is distinguishable from a background the sole condition
necessary for existence in a given domain. The nature of a unity and the domain in which the unity exists
are specified by the process of its distinction and determination, this is so regardless of whether this
process is conceptual or physical ' (Maturana & Varela, 1980, p.138). An object is thus: '...[A]n entity,
concrete or conceptual dynamic or static, specified by operations of distinction that delimit it from a
background and characterised by the properties that the operations of distinction assign to it.’ (Maturana,
1978, pp.31-32). This is consistent with Piaget's idea of object and also a definition that fits with another
phenomenological approach devised by Charles Laughlin and others, referred to as Biogenetic




                                                     54
Structuralism. More of this presently. An object, from this point of view, is much more than artefacts and
natural objects.

There are two types of unity (object), simple and composite. A composite unity is brought forth by a
cognitive process of deconstruction, an operation of making distinctions, to create both the components and
the relationships between them. A simple unity is one that has not been so deconstructed. Now consider
the following extract. 'An observer is a... living system who can make distinctions and specify that which he
or she distinguishes as a unity, as an entity different from himself or herself that can be used for
manipulations or descriptions in interactions with other observers,’ (Maturana, 1978, p.31)

In order to specify 'that which she distinguishes to another', an observer must have a means of describing,
— a language. It is through language that we are able to co-ordinate our actions relative to one another. It is
in this context, or domain, referred to as a linguistic domain or a consensual domain of interactions, that the
idea of object takes on further significance. By describing a unity, by giving a label to it, an object is
created in language but can then be used in conversation, a process whereby interaction between people is
'jointly' co-ordinated. An object is an example of a consensual distinction, a term used 'to denote those
distinctions drawn within a linguistic domain and subsequently employed as referential orientation foci-'
(Maturana and Varela 1980, p.121). Consensual in the sense that there appears to be agreement on the
nature of the object between those in conversation, although, we can never be sure that there is precise
agreement, we can only take meaning to be shared by the actions of the other person. For objects to be
employed in social co-ordination they have to gain a state of permanence in the language repertoire and in
doing so they take on a separate existence.


Structure determined systems.

In 'everyday' English language the word structure denotes something solid and unchanging. To give
structure to something is to organise it, to give distinctive form to a set of components belonging to a
whole, to establish relations. The concept of structure is a crucial element of an explanation of how entities
interact with each other, and with the medium in which they operate. Within the framework of autopoietic
theory description and classification of objects is made with reference to their organisation and to their
structure. However the meanings of these words are quite specific within the theory and differ from their
everyday usage. They are essentially scientific definitions that have to be used in a precise way in
explanations of the nature of objects. Both of the words refer to the components from which an entity is
constructed, and the relations between components of the entities. However organisation refers to the
relations between components that must always be present so that the composite unity will be a unity of a
particular type. Structure on the other hand refers to the actual components plus the actual relations that
take place between them. It is through their structure that a particular type of organisation is realised.

To quote Maturana: 'the structure of a particular composite unity is the manner in which it is actually made
by actual static or dynamic components and relations in a particular space, and a particular composite
unity conserves its class identity only as long as its structure realises in it the organisation that defines its
class identity.'

As structure-determined systems everything that happens in a composite unity is determined by its
structure. Any change that takes place within a composite unity is a structural change. People are composite
unities, tools and other artefacts are composite unities, nature is a composite unity, and if they are all to be
part of a stable network of relations then there must be structural fit. Thus 'fit' is explained with reference to
a history of structural interactions and is key to a theory of evolution. If the elements drift together it may
be inferred that they are coupled together, they each exist in a 'medium of coexistence', in other words they
exist within the structure of the other, and they are thus observed to co-evolve. This is also the conditions
for ‘being in love’ a term used to denote a situation of structural drift in which neither party is in control of
the direction of drift, but both together influence the direction it takes.




                                                       55
It is important to grasp the idea that the structure of a composite unity can change, without it losing its class
identity, so long as the relations that constitute its organisation are conserved through such structural
changes. Structural change takes place leading to the conservation of organisation. If the organisation of a
composite unity is not conserved through its structural changes the composite unity disintegrates. This
distinction between structure and organisation is the basis of a structure-determined view of individual and
collective (organisational) behaviour.

Writing with the aim of exemplifying the difference between organisation and structure Kenny suggests
that:

       “Forgers understand this principle very well because in trying to present a painting as a Renoir'
       what they do is to carefully maintain as invariant as possible (as resistant to scrutiny as possible)
       those critical relations (brushstrokes, texturing etc.) among specified components (colours, oils,
       aged canvas etc.) which will identify it as that class of production called 'Renoir’ experts attempt to
       distinguish 'fakes" and ‘the genuine article’ by decomposing the artistic unity into its components
       and relations. The artist's ‘style’ is that peculiar way in which he composed the constituent parts.
       The way he organised his painting. This Organisation must remain invariant for the unity to
       conserve its class identity.” (Kenny: 1985)

It is my conviction that what Kenny has described in the above is structure and not organisation. Paintings
are objects or entities of a certain class and their structures differ according to the media used and the
technique of application. An artist creates the individual structure of a painting by introducing components
to a substrate. A specific relationship is constructed on the substrate (paper, canvas, concrete) by the means
of application (sable brush, hogs hair brush, knife, air brush, spray gun) which impart the character of the
paint/substrate relation. A painting is classed according to a certain organisation of material on a substrate.
The door in your office is thus a 'painting', as is the graffiti on a London Underground train.

If this idea is applied to a marketing business, its organisation classes it as an individual Capital (an
enterprise run on capitalist lines) and is the same as any other Capital designed to capture surplus value and
make a return on investment. On the other hand it is its particular structure that makes it a marketing
business, an entity that is constrained by its structure to serve only a narrow segment of the total market for
marketing services. Take a different example; mammals are a particular class of animal and have a
characteristic organisation. Mammals can be as different as humans and whales, and elephants and mice,
which all have the organisation that makes them what they are—mammals. At the same time as being a
mammal one can be a human, a female, and pregnant and thus of different structure. Although the
structures are different when pregnant the fundamental organisation of the composite unity (object) is
maintained, Maturana stresses the importance of fit in saying that every system is where it is, at any
moment in time, because of its congruence or correspondence with the medium in which it operates. Its
structure, and the structure of the medium together determine that the system (object/unity) cannot be
anywhere else. Thus I am here at my computer because of my present structure (especially cognitive
structure) that I am not elsewhere is also because of the same structure. If this was not the case then a
system could not exist in any medium. If a technical system was 'force-fitted' into nature, by external
human agency, it might exist for only a short period before disintegrating. On the other hand is what
happens all too frequently, Nature's relations are destroyed.

There is something else important too: it follows from structural determination that no changes can take
place that are not permitted by the structure, the actions of external agencies do not determine the changes
that take place. That is, interaction with other unities triggers only changes that a specific structure allows.
Furthermore, it is clear that only certain structural states, to use Maturana's terminology, will be 'admitted'
by the composite unity. This is a matter of correspondence or congruence. Thus the concept of cause-and-
effect, and the basis of most scientific explanations of how things work, is entirely displaced by the
Structure-Determined explanation of interaction.

One last thing about structure is that as it enables and it also constrains. This is the dual nature of structure
that Anthony Giddens has encapsulated in his concept of a Duality of Structure. For Giddens structural
properties of organisations comprise non-material (virtual) rules and resources that govern and enable
social interactions and practices (Mingers 1996: 480; Cohen 1989:44). Practices can be understood as
skilful processes, methods or techniques, appropriately performed by social agents. As they practice, agents



                                                      56
reinforce their awareness of the skills as they are recognised by themselves and others as enduring activities
in social life. The things that provide an obvious source of organisational structure, in the everyday
meaning of the term, are things such as rules and strategies. If the evolution of physical tool design is
examined carefully one will recognise that rules of use are embodied in their physicality, although these
may be changed. Thus tools, such as computers, and other physical artefacts (buildings, desks, vending
machines, and office partitions) are all important elements of structuration especially because they may
precipitate relations not anticipated by designers not felt to be desirable by The Management. More of the
implications of Structuration Theory and technology can be seen in Bond (2000).

Conversations as structural perturbations.

The importance of language to the creation of the object has been mentioned and of course language is a
necessary element of conversation. Maturana says of conversations that: 'In daily life we call conversation
a flow of co-ordinations of actions and emotions that we observers distinguish as taking place between
human beings that interact recurrently in language.... the different systems of coexistence, or kinds of
human communi ties that we integrate, differ in the networks of conversations (consensual co-ordinations
of actions and emotions) that constitute them, and therefore, in the domains of reality in which they take
place. Maturana (1988 p.53).

From this is taken the idea that individuals are at the centre of a multi-verse and not a universe (see also
Kenney: 1985). The experience of an individual will potentially place them in different networks of
conversations. Any conversation in any network may serve to maintain that network of relationships, only
sometimes a particular conversation may lead to destabilisation. In communication one organism orients
'the behaviour of the other organism to some part of its domain of interactions different from the present
interaction, but comparable to the orientation of that of the orienting organism.' (Maturana & Varela,
1980, p.27.) This describes the process of bringing someone around to your way of thinking, to your
viewpoint; urging, and persuading as to the desirability of a particular course of action and guiding them
toward it. What is happening, from a structure-deterministic perspective, is that the structures of the people
involved are being restructured during the course of the conversation. But the significance of Maturana's
view of conversation does not principally lie in the idea of the multi-verse but that emotions are intimately
entwined in the process of conversing. Maturana has said that; 'The western culture to which we modern
scientists belong depreciates emotions, or at least considers them a source of arbitrary actions that are
unreliable because they do not arise from reason. This attitude blinds us about the participation of our
emotions in all that we do as the background of bodyhood that makes possible all our actions and specifies
the domain in which they take place. This blindness, I claim, limits us in our understanding of social
phenomena.

The popular work of Daniel Goleman (1996 and 1998), on 'Emotional Intelligence' seems a direct answer
to Maturana's petition that we should take more note of emotions. However there is a significant difference
in approach. Goleman's emphasis, like that of traditional interpersonal relation researchers, is on discrete
emotional events whilst Maturana stresses emotioning- a process. Some conversations can incense, some
disarm, some subdue, some calm, and some lead to laughter but not all conversations elicit emotions. By
emphasising the interweaving of conversation and emotioning Maturana indicates the powerful link
between conversations and structural change, alerting us to the far-reaching consequences of conversations
on our physical selves, which is a driver and variable in the moment by moment restructuring of our
organisations.

As a way of understanding organisations Structural Determination is a profoundly different mechanism to
cause-and-effect and brings to the fore the need to develop new ways of understanding and representing the
dynamics of complex systems. To understand organisations in this new light fluidity must be recognised
where once we saw rigidity. Thus organisation designs, even if they could be made concrete in the way
they were conceptualised, change from the moment they are implemented.

The principal point of difference between Maturana and von Glasersfeld, and to an extent also between
Maturana and Varela, is that structure-determination does not allow for the notion of goal, of intentionality.
To illustrate the point take the case of a cat chasing a mouse. We, the observers, tend to explain the
behaviour of the cat and mouse in terms of cause and effect, the cat chases and the mouse runs away
because it does not want to be eaten. An alternative explanation, in terms of structure determination is that



                                                     57
the cat is: 'flowing in the structural dynamics of its structural coupling/congruence in its domain of
existence'. What the cat does is admitted by the structure of the medium in which it operates and with the
structure of the mouse. Thus a cat cannot be 'good' by making a decision not to chase the mouse, it is
destined, by the correspondences or congruencies of structural relations that are triggered in the animals, to
'chase' the mouse just as the mouse is 'obliged' to run. The cat and mouse have no choice. The cat does not
have a goal of catching the mouse neither is it the function of the cat to chase the mouse, It does what it
does as a structure-determined system. It is the structure that determines how they interact. It is from this
thinking that the notion of engaging with one's environment and of co-evolution with another entity comes.
The idea that a cat chases a mouse are descriptions of the observer and not explanations of the actual
operations of the cat or mouse. Structure determination, especially regarding the behaviour of human
beings, is difficult to accept as intentionality must give way to the logic of the structure determined nature
of interaction. Rather than go the whole way down the path of structural-determinism a useful stopping-off
point is provided by Charles Laughlin et al by way of the theory of biological structuralism which will be
explored next (3).


The importance of the object in consciousness.

So the word object does not mean artefact but refers to an entity that has been made distinct and acts as a
device for the consensual co-ordinations of social interaction. Objects begin to emerge into our
consciousness through our senses. The flow of interactions with our environment produces changes in the
physical state of the sensorium (the combined, kaleidoscopic, effect of sensing) through which we become
aware of objects. The manifestation of objects in our sensorium induces further changes in the state of
thousands, if not millions, of other cells in our brains, our nervous system, and beyond, to produce a
particular structural state of the brain and nervous system. This, we explain, is an object. Objects are also
known as symbols and one could look upon the brain's function as one of providing meaning to what is
manifest in the sensorium (hence the reference to human beings as the symbolic species ). Repeated
interaction with a diversity of objects (think of the approach we use when teaching our children to
recognise, and eventually to name, physical objects), results in pathways or networks being ingrained in the
brain. Each time the 'energy signature' of a particular object is interacted with our concept of it, a particular
cognitive structure, is triggered from what we name as memory. In other words, the object is recognised by
virtue of it being re-presented to us from memory by the structure-determined action of the brain. If similar
objects are presented one could imagine slightly different networks being precipitated suggesting a reason
why analogy and metaphor are an effective means of communicating ideas. As our lexicon of objects
increases so pathways begin to overlap forming cognitive networks enabling connections to be made. The
process is also accompanied by other changes in our bodyhood producing feelings of elation, sadness,
anger, frustration and so on, a process Maturana refers to as emotioning. Thus, we come to know an object
through the effect it has on our bodyhood as a whole.


This explanation leads to the idea that consciousness involves intentional focus on an object and that the
object functions to organise consciousness. So at any particular moment in time we are focused on an
object and the object precipitates a particular structure, a neural web of connections to other objects, from
which the meaning of the object in focus is constructed. If we think of the watercolourist in the process of
interacting with a brush, paint, and paper; their consciousness is structured, for fleeting moments of time,
around the concept of the finished work, which goes in and out of focus. She is also shifting focus between
the concept of the final object she desires to produce, the work-in-progress, and the need to achieve a
localised effect on the paper. In which case the focus is structuring to control the brush and flow of paint. A
concrete object might provide this object but one from the imagination would do as well, a unicorn or a
chequered pattern rose. Objects in focus and the way they precipitate structures in the brain and create
emotioning, pleasant and unpleasant, constitutes an explanation of intentionality or goal seeking. It is also
very much a structure-determined form of explanation.




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                                     THE MANGLE OF PRACTICE.

Performance and identity.

Werner Rammert, in an attempt to provide a theory of technicisation, the proliferation of technique, says
that we need to take into account the use-relations set up within any tool using act. Borrowing a phrase
from Andrew Pickering (1995) he says that the relations emerge from the 'mangle of praxis' in which both
the user and the object are altered through technical action. Likewise the tool acts on the user as much as
the user acts on it. Tool use has thus been described as ‘a dance of agency’, or as I have put it, a form of
conversation, in which actions are co-ordinated. The relationships of technique are represented in the
diagram in Figure One, below.

One can envisage a number of feedback loops being set up between the object and the subject via the
different mediums, the most complex of which will be that of the human. For within the human medium
there is flesh and blood but also the cognitive system, which contains our cognitive constructs and
conceptual tools, such as know-how and know why.


1. The essential elements of technique.

Treating the emergent artefact as a non-human agent takes us into the territory created by Actor Network
Theorists, such as, Bruno Latour, Michel Callon and John Law, whose ideas we briefly turn to next. John
Law has suggested that objects perform relations (4), I would like to use the term precipitate instead
because it has greater consistency and logic within the radical constructivist perspective. Referring to my
brief foray into Biogenetic Structuralism, the ‘energy pattern’ of the emergent artefact crafted by the tool-
user impinges on the senses, and the brain functions to provide meaning to it through a structure
determined triggering of other objects with which we make sense of what is presented by the sensorium. As
is the case with person to person conversation, the structure of the tool user changes as the structure of the
emergent artefact changes. The difference between the two objects is that the structure of the person’s
cognitive system is infinitely more plastic than the tool and the material being transformed.

The process of creating a painting, or sculpture, could be described as a conversation, in the sense that what
is observed is a co-ordination of actions with respect to tools and the material being transformed. In terms
of a ‘cause and effect’ explanation, it would be said that a sculptor receives feedback, via the physical
media, from the point at which the tool bites into the rock or the clay through the medium of the tool
material, and the human medium, not only the flesh and blood, but also cognitive structures of the tool
wielder herself. The tactile sense adds to the visual sense, and especially in the case of woods, the olfactory
sense might also be creating change in the sensorium. The material ‘speaks’ (or acts) at a tacit level and
from this the crafter constructs an explanation for its behaviour, but not necessarily one that is ever
articulated in any form of discourse. The explanation so derived from the tool-user experience serves to
guide further actions until it no longer explains what is happening, it also provides a basis for know-how,
the method by which an end may be achieved. Through communication of know-why together with know-
how, one person after another becomes in-formed about an object, a technique, that may then takes on
permanence as a conversational device. Moreover, know-why and know-what, respectively, an explanation
(i.e. a theory) and a set of instructions as to how a desirable end might be achieved, become objects in their
own right and begin to precipitate relations around them. In ANT terms they can become actors performing
these relationships, maintaining them by their presence and enlarging them through their reproduction and
diffusion as they are taken up by one, then two, then many people.

Figure 2. Model of a human activity system.




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Not all examples of crafting have the same intensity of physical connection, as is the case with the more
gentle art of watercolouring. Structural changes take place according to what is held in focus, in the
conscious network. In fact the manager has much more in common with the watercolourist than the
blacksmith. In either case what emerges from such complex use-relations is not just an artefact, but the
meaning of the tool and of the tool wielder, which is derived from her relation with tool. The nature of the
artefact plus the use-relations give an identity to the crafter, and, if they are deemed to be competent, a
specialist role within the community at large. To explain why a manager has become a specialist role one
must turn to more pertinent illustrations, but first it is useful to consider more physical tasks.


Physical Crafting.
For want of a better description I have called this section physical crafting to convey an emphasis on direct
and physical transformation using tools to physically alter some object of the process. I include painting
here even though substrates (e.g. canvases) may not by physically altered.

The bear, one of a pair, is part of a headboard attached to my son’s bed. I began their creation with a hazy
vision of what I wanted to achieve but my competence was minimal in one of the techniques I had chosen,
airbrushing, and I had a steep learning curve. I never did not have the process under control. From the first
spray of paint I interacted with the emerging design over a period of 5 weeks. Over that time, and in
different spaces, I was in a structural drift, not only with the emergent artefact, but also with other objects,
such as my wife, son, daughter, work colleagues, computers, books etc. etc. A point in time came when I
suddenly decided that it was finished, a point that was reached as a result of interaction with many other
objects—only some of which I have mentioned. From the beginning I did not have an exact vision of what
I wanted to achieve, so the end point came unexpectedly, it emerged as I interacted with a brand new part
of my world. Many artists appear to have similar experiences, a sense that something is complete even
though the intended endpoint was never defined. Similarly artists are often heard to say that deciding when
a painting is finished is a most difficult decision. The endpoint was marked by an emotional response to
what I saw, a point at which I was confident that this was as far as I should go, not for fear of spoiling the
new object, but of losing something that I saw, and felt, in it. This is the point at which the artefact was in
correspondence with my structure, and so it fitted at that time, at that place. of course as one becomes more
competent at the required techniques so expectations and levels of satisfaction change.

The two pieces of pottery in the photographs (over page) have been made by two different techniques,
coiling and slabbing. I recall, especially in the case of the coiling technique, I interacted with the result of
the last action.

Throughout the process, as before, I had a very hazy vision of what I wanted to produce. As the task
proceeded the physical shape of the pot emerged, the perception of the shape combined with factors such as
the physical quality of the clay and the hazy concept of the starting goal, began to have more influence on
the shaping of the object. As the clay was moulded and directed toward the endpoint small problems were
being solved as they arose. For example, some pieces of clay were wetter than others I had to distribute
these in a certain way to avoid distortion and cracking later in the drying and firing phases. (Unevenness of
moisture content is a commonly accepted explanation for cracking. The final stage of firing the glaze was
in the lap of nature. One can directly control the process of heating and cooling but not the precise process
of melting glaze and the way it interacts with the underlying clay body. Hence the final pattern or design of
the dark blue object was not mine at all but was admitted by the structures of the materials present. The
particular nature of the colours and bubbles (causing light reflection and hence whiteness) emerged from
highly localised differences in structures.


For the construction of the ‘chinese’ style vase from slabs of clay I also made some tools that would enable
me to reproduce certain shapes consistently, especially joint angles. These, along with conventional tools,
became structural elements of certain parts of the process, they enabled, but they also constrained me to


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practice in a certain way. It is the knowledge embedded in the tool itself that provides structure for the
task. A stored history of interaction has led to the precise structure of the tool which will be a social and
material construction of its users over time. That is the design of the physical tool will be shaped, albeit
indirectly, by social and natural ‘forces’ perceived by designer(s) from their observations from a point
within the human activity system. A point, by the way, that they are at because of their structure. The vision
of the outcome also provides structure along with know-how and know-why all of which are ‘called upon’
from memory and serve to direct the shaping activity in response to the emergent shape at the point at
which cartesian space meets the virtual space of my concept for the artefact. It is also significant that the
material that is being shaped also provides structure to the whole artefact, even as it yields, in characteristic
wet-clay fashion during interaction with tools. It is ‘feeding back’ the results of the actions taken.


Managing, music composition, and organisation design.

Both of the previous illustrations represent individual crafting activity and many of us go through similar
processes when preparing food, e.g., kneading dough, screwing screws, or sawing woods. Such activity is
part of what it is to be human. In the two examples of music making, below, we get closer to formal role of
The Manager as organisation designer and co-ordinator of social action. The first activity system is a
formal orchestra whilst the second is more akin to the pop or rock band. The situations they play in equate,
in the first case, to a rigidly structured working environment whereas, in the second case, it less structured,
almost structureless, at least on the face of it.

The first example comes from Steve Reich. Reich is associated with the minimalist school of 20th century
music, a movement that emerged in the late 1960’s. The nature of Reich’s early compositions such as;
Drumming, Six Pianos, and Music for Mallet Instruments, require of the players absolute precision and
discipline. Virtuosity is not so important and individual creativity is not required. To create the music Reich
variously uses, tape, voices and instrument players; pianists, marimba players, flautists (on Vermont
Counterpoint). Each player is given a relatively simple refrain to play. There are few melodies as such (i.e.
minimalist). Timing is of the essence because as each person plays their part layers of sounds weave
together and coalesce to create richly textured, mesmerising and exciting music leading to an emotional
listening experience. For some less patient listeners the works will appear very repetitive and mechanistic
and the only link with so called classical music is the choice of instruments. The playing has to be precise
because the music emerges from the interaction between the sounds that the players make. Interestingly
enough the players would be thought of as belonging to a creative profession but in fact few players of
classical music would be required to be creative. They have to adhere to the rules but these are still
imprecise.2 On the other hand, the composer has to be creative to produce something different from
anyone else. In essence the composer designs the structure of the human activity system, that which we
would generally call the organisation, and which will produce the composition in a different concrete form
than the sheet music.


Another 20th century composer, Stockhausen, takes rule adherence to the extreme but has extended the set
of instructions to the player by attempting to describe the exact quality of the note required. For example, in
music composed for the oboe Stockhausen tells the player, in accompanying notes, exactly when and how
to breathe. So within the confines of the relationship between player and composer, Stockhausen has
attempted to control the process of music creation to the maximum extent that written down rules will
allow, he has tried to do so by describing more completely the quality of the notes required. Certain
composers, like Stockhausen and Rachmaninov, will push competence in the use of a particular instrument
to the absolute limit. Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto is reputedly so difficult that only a few people
can actually play it. But at most the written composition is only a partial guide to how the music will be


2 Howard Goodall discovered that a typical classical recording could have over 2000 edits in order to make it sound
‘right’. From the TV programmes associated with Goodall 2001.



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made and this will be the case for all rules or procedures. They do not provide a precise structure. The tape
deck, that Reich also includes in his orchestra of players, is a consistent performer. The rules are built into
its very structure, which changes according to the signals from the tape. The structure of the sound is
embedded in the tape, the particles of chrome or ferric oxide that 3M usefully committed to a strong plastic
backing many years ago. However through the more traditional process of instrument playing it will be
impossible to recreate music in the way that a composer envisaged. By the same token it will be impossible
for a design of a human activity system to be implemented precisely in the way that a manager or leader
might envisage it. Impossible because the player or community member cannot get into the mind of the
composer-manager unless the player is the composer of the music too. This notion takes us on to another
step.

Music notation is highly codified, and is ‘information poor’ what we have are the representations of the
output that has to be produced by the player, i.e., notes, together with an indication of tempo. These
symbols are simply triggers of structure in the player. So the player must also have a notion, a concept of
how to use the instrument to produce, not just the right note, but also one of the right quality. Interpretation
of the quality that is required, and ability to reproduce it, is a very important source of difference between
players, a fact that will also be important in managing people.




Whilst the classical musician is rarely seen without sheet music the Rock/pop musician is rarely, if ever,
seen with it. If the reproduction of a musical performance is successfully achieved, time and again, without
constant referral to the music notation then the assumption must be that the composition is assimilated in
the mind of the players. The player(s) know the notes, and the quality of note they need to reproduced at
any particular point in the sequence. Remembering the whole of a song in one’s head is difficult maybe
impossible, but given cues it is possible to know what is coming next. I think this is the principal usefulness
of the score, but what has gone before also precipitates the concept of what has to come next. This is of
course an explanation that is consistent with structure determination. So taking another musical example
from the genre of improvisation.

Keith Tippett (opposite) is a wonderful composer who was once described as a Mujician by his young
daughter, the description stuck and a group was formed of the same name to play spontaneous improvised
music (1). Tippet, a renowned improviser, plays the piano like very few others; he uses the whole of his
instrument, he gets inside and plays the strings, the woodwork, and, occasionally, the keyboard. He places
objects across the strings of the open piano so enabling the creation of different ‘piano’ sounds. He doesn’t
play the instrument according to convention and protocol, he has flaunted the rules and created his own
instructions for sound creation.

In improvisation the rules are minimal but never completely absent so there is some structuration from this
source. The music is created on the spot and is not recreated exactly the same ever again. ( It could be


                                                      62
argued that this is also the case for any music making process—the result is never exactly the same time
after time). Improvisation occurs as a multiplicity of conversations, of one person with themselves (as
soloist), with one other, or with many others. In each case the player reacts to the last note, the last chord,
the last phrase played. The last sound becomes at least part of the knowledge used to produce the next
sound. The response to the last sound is to take it, and ‘using’ other sounds ‘stored’ in memory, that space
of possibilities and experiment, produce a response to it. This is a dynamic process of knowing, determined
by the structure of the listener-player. A refrain by one player can be accepted or rejected by another. If it is
accepted the next player can indicate this by repeating or developing the refrain. Alternatively, rather than
repeating the original phrase, a player can consider the phrase as a question or call, and follow it up with a
response. This, according to Marc Sabatella (1998),3 is the musical analogue to asking: ‘did you go to the
store today?’ and then responding ‘yes, I went to the store today’. If a third player then accepts a refrain a
theme might develop. In other words some new pattern of sounds might be developed from a particularly
attractive chordal sequence.

Isolated notes, chords and harmonies are objects, in the Maturanian sense of object, conversational devices
for co-ordinating joint actions. They also act to structure consciousness (Charles Laughlin would say
organise consciousness). As they emerge and fade into the ether of the real world they are reproduced in
the cognitive world, they give structure to consciousness in the way of seamless, unpunctuated, fluidity.
There is little doubt that these players are in ‘love’ and make space for each other in their cognitive worlds,
and in that space they constitute each other as players in the band. For an identity to be created (and
listening preferences established) some structure must be recognised. The instruments are a major element
of structure as they enable one to play according to the Western musical scale/note conventions which are
also embodied into its design (see the wonderfully informative book by Howard Goodall for a history of,
what I would call, music technology). But there is a difference between instruments such as the violin and
the clarinet on which only a specific number of notes can be played, and equivalent features can be found
in many tools in our enterprises, some are less structuring than others. Structure may be most evident in the
written composition and instruments but it will also be in the choice of key that might be equated with an
ascribed company value. Values as objects provide opportunities for conversation too but offer a ‘softer’
structuring device.

In improvisation the recurrent passages, phrases or refrains, are reinforced by responses and so gain some
permanence in the music, building into a pattern. If that pattern is repeated the next night, and the night
after it may emerge as a characteristic of a player or group of players. This is what happens to create a
culture, a characteristic pattern of behaviours, of refrains and phrases Even though Keith Tippett uses the
whole of the piano, and is thus less constrained than most pianists, his music is still structured by the design
of the piano and his fellow players know how he uses the instrument. One of the delights of listening to
improvised music is how structure or order emerges and how this leads to anticipation of the next passage
of structure. Order must emerge from chaos and it is this which might be valued by the musician and,
maybe—hopefully, coincidentally—by other listeners, as a pattern associated with a particular combination
of players and instruments. Players drift together in their structures, relationships are reinforced by the
strong emotioning process, and so it becomes possible to distinguish one group of improvisers from
another.

Of the two examples improvisation best exemplifies the dynamic nature of the new organisational forms
being sought by companies dependent on invention and innovation. Improvisation is a creative process that
takes place in real time and is very unlike the process of playing one of Steve Reich’s pieces. Before going
on to consider Reich and Tippett as managers I wish to digress a little to consider the nature of the modern
organisation.




3 See the online version of Marc Sabatella’s Jazz Improvisation primer at http://www.outsideshore.com/primer




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Organisation Design: The Challenge; to solve ever more complex problems, ever more quickly.

When one designs a product its functionality, what it’s going to do, is foremost in the mind of the designer.
Organisation design is not often approached in this way, except in some marginal techniques such as Soft
Systems Methodology. In addition to showing elements of ‘organisational’ structure, the diagram in Figure
2 also shows an outcome that represents its meaning, which, in turn, is related to its functionality vis a vis
society as a whole. In finding new markets for products it is functionality that matters to the customer and
not how it is achieved. But to deliver functionality, whether it is embodied in a product or a service,
requires an ‘organisation’. The specific form that ‘organisation’ takes, that is, its structure, is itself a
solution to the problem of delivering functionality. Generally that particular solution, that specific
organisation design, is conceptualised as a business strategy, a business plan, or a project. The opportunity
to start a new business, to establish a new enterprise, profit or non-profit, is usually one of providing a
solution that will improve the performance of a client’s business processes. Looking at it from a business to
business angle the opportunity is in improving the performance of another human activity system, a need
that arises from their particular circumstances.

Robert Reich, a former Secretary of State in Bill Clinton’s administration, said, in his book The Work of
Nations (1991), that neither problems or solutions can be defined in advance. This dilemma is at the heart
of economic success. Reich described the new types of jobs that were emerging as the United States moved
toward becoming a service based economy. A major new job category was the Symbolic Analyst — the
complex problem solver — which increased from 8%, in the 1950’s, to 20% by 1990. One might guess that
the proportion of Symbolic Analysts has now increased considerably. The main role of the Symbolic
Analyst is problem solving, problem identifying, and what has been called strategic or knowledge
brokering. Symbolic Analysts trade, not in physical objects (although they are produced as a result of their
services), but in symbols, i.e., data, words, oral and visual representations. They include: research
scientists, design engineers, civil engineers, biotechnologists, public relations executives, lawyers,
management consultants, accountants, advertising executives, marketing strategists, musicians, film editors,
production designers, art directors, writers, journalists, television, film producers, and so on. They all have
one thing in common, they identify, broker, and solve problems. Take the films such as Toy Story, Harry
Potter, or Lord of the Rings, as an illustration of the product of this class of people. The are creative
delights but would not be considered an embodiment of a myriad solutions to a myriad of problems met on
the way to completion. Neither would the special effects in Harry Potter be considered as solutions to the
problem of representing the magical phenomena of the book, and yet the film demonstrates creative
problem solving in abundance. In production the film has drawn to it a multitude of complex problem
solvers, symbolic analysts of all types.

Looking at the products that surround us it is easy to see that they range in their complexity and as a
general rule one must meet complexity with complexity, or, in the words of a cybernetician Ross Ashby,
one must meet variety with variety. This means the more complex the product the more complex is the
system that produces it. This may not always be obvious, a medicine in tablet form might appear simple but
hides the complexity of producing the part that delivers the functionality i.e. the active ingredient. Even so,
relative to human activity systems, products are not complex. The more complex something is the more
difficult it is to regulate; more are variables involved, and likelihood of unknown variables is greater. The
more dynamic the situation the greater is the likelihood that variables will change and for previously
unknown variables to emerge. Variables arise internally as well as exogenously appearing, as I have
suggested before, when reality intervenes. When it does we say we have problems. Raul Espejo, who draws
liberally on the ideas of Maturana, sees problems as perturbations in the flow of experience. Our
perceptions of problems punctuate our lives. He says, ‘problem solving is a daily concern in organisations.
Problematic interruptions in the flow of our interactions are all too natural. They come in varied forms
sometimes as threats, sometimes as major concerns, some others as almost imperceptible disturbances,
sometimes as well defined demands, some others as ill-defined feelings. In all cases we feel the need to
produce responses of one kind or another.’ Espejo (1992 .8)




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From the theoretical framework one can say that problems become objects that are then used in
conversation to jointly co-ordinate actions. In the course of the multiplicity of conversations that precipitate
around problems, organisations designs are constantly being confirmed, constantly being modified. Change
is mostly slow but when one needs it to be fast the process by which the need for conservation gives way to
the need for modification needs to be understood well enough to co-ordinate and control the process. This
is when managing appears as a specialism. The question will be: ‘How fast can we adapt?’ and managers
are needed who can answer it.

Solution making is at the heart of any economy but the shift toward a knowledge based economy in the
First World is putting a premium on the people who can provide the most inventive and wild solutions to
the most complex of problems. And one of the most complex problems is designing organisations to deliver
those complex, and high value, high knowledge content, high design content, solutions. Modern day
managers need to be informed about shifting patterns of resources, about spontaneous restructuring
precipitated by conversations about problems, and opportunities to solve problems. Collective music
making provides a rich vein of analogies but has yet to be properly mined. Rugby, and similar team games,
are also rich sources of analogies to inform would-be managers about the dynamics of ‘organisations’. The
role of the manager in all this is to make change as easy as possible, but the trick, the skill, the artistry, is
how to achieve this without the organisation falling into chaos, so losing its structure and identity.


Manager as composer-conductor or ‘Mujician’.

For a moment think of Steve Reich and Keith Tippett as managers, and ask yourself what sort of managers
are they? What role do they play in respect of the ‘organisations’ they are linked with? Reich is what
Torbert (1987) would describe as the manager as technician, he spends a great deal of time designing the
‘organisation’ that will reproduce his concept of how his score should sound. More often than not he will
allow another person to conduct an orchestra whose ‘organisation’ he designed, but whose exact structure
will be beyond his capacity to influence. The environment is such that they are unlikely to be interrupted,
there will be no external pressures that will divert their individual attentions from the purpose in hand.
Compared to managing multinational, multi-technology businesses this is a 'doddle', and one could say,
with a high degree of certainty and allowing for slight interpretations, that Reich’s work would be
recognised no matter who played it. We could say that Reich’s identity is embodied in any group that
played his compositions, his organisational design concepts. As a manager, his art, his skill, is in
organisation design.

The situation with regard to ‘Mujician’, the group, is entirely different. At the heart of Mujician is Keith
Tippett, he has a significant influence on the sound produced over time by the group, not just because of his
‘outline’ compositions, but because he is ‘iconic’, the group’s action will tend to precipitate around what he
does, what sound he produces, what he does with his piano. The group still achieves, they fulfil a goal for
Tippett and themselves, and satisfy their audience, with a unique listening experience. Clearly the goal is
not as precise as it is with Reich’s work, but it does demand creativity from the players, who are each
changing the structure of the activity system as they converse with one another. This is a system that might
be ‘at the edge of chaos’, a situation in which, although, individuals have a high degree of decision latitude,
nevertheless maintain the viability of the group, contribute to its identity, in other words maintain a
characteristic structure. What we also observe is distributed leadership, and spontaneous reallocation of
Allocative Resources. Where else does this situation exist? Perhaps not quite to the same degree, but
arguably on the soccer pitch, on the rugby and hockey pitch.

These are analogous situations, human activity systems that fall into and out of structure, in and out of
disorder, but nevertheless retain sufficient coherence for an observer to recognise a game of rugby, soccer,
hockey, or basketball. In each case the team is the system and the purpose of the system is to score points
by the means allowed. (Their functionality with respect to society as a whole is more complex than this.)



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Because the opposing team has the same objectives, and the one that scores the most is the winner, both
attacking and defending strategies are demanded, many of which will be ‘set piece’, or otherwise well
known by most players. Tactics (or strategies) are patterns of resource allocation that are 'designed' to
attack or defend. Seeing a game through the resource usage perspective reveals rapidly shifting patterns of
resource allocation. Spontaneous restructuring occurs are in response to attacks by one side, or mistakes by
either side. Shifts in the pattern of resource distribution occur in response to the decisions of the players,
the options they take to the problem/ opportunity situation as they see it. If a ball is kicked up field there is
an immediate change in the way resources are distributed around the field. In any game resources are
required to perform a specific set of functions. These functions will be indicated by the players' position
e.g. hooker, fullback, winger, flank forward etc. The game rules and objectives influence the functions and
the capabilities and competencies of the players allocated those functions. Criteria include: speed, dexterity,
agility, kicking and passing ability, physical size, etc. etc. In Rugby Union drawing resources into rucks
and mauls, as part of ‘phased play’, is designed to weaken defences and open up opportunities to score.
Attention to organisation design, off the field of play, might lead to new types of resources that are more
flexible. For example, a combination of athletic winger with the size and strength of a forward player, as
New Zealand were lucky to have with Jonah Lomu. In the business world the same resource based
perspective on organisation design can be used to gain insights into how performance may be improved.
The pace is slower but enterprises gather together different resource types according to the functions
(purposes/objectives) that need to be achieved. Team games are played at fantastic speed compared with
business development projects, but there are other more significant differences. In games, except in 'set
piece' situations, when resources are distributed in order to effect a specific attack, changing resource
distribution patterns are not directed by, or co-ordinated by, a ‘manager’ (a team captain). They arise
spontaneously from the interaction of the players on both sides. The players will draw upon their
knowledge of the rules of the game, of strategies that have been applied successfully in other games, to
arrange themselves to address the problem or opportunity perceived. This is a spontaneous reaction, little if
any discussion takes place and no formal decisions are made, no predictions of outcome, or of pattern
development, can be made with certainty. The structuring of resources is fluid and changes in a pattern
allowed by the following: the purpose of the game, the rules of the game, the distribution of knowledge and
capability amongst the players. The second significant difference is that games, or music improvisation for
that matter, are not subject to pressure to change by exogenous forces (at least not in normal conditions).


As far as the examples of Reich and Tippett as model managers can be taken here, the former could be
compared to the successful ‘old paradigm’ manager who can save a company through a detailed plan of
restructuring. Such managers have their place, and certainly creativity is required, but once the idea is set in
stone s/he is reliant on others to ensure proper implementation. Tippett to my mind is a new paradigm
example, he has a presence, and his prior works are examples of his own unique form of creativity. He
visibly gets things done, both he and his group are enacted through their mutually beneficial conversations.
Hierarchy is absent, relationships in the group are equal as competent players, and the capacity to be
inventive, and freedom to innovate, is taken for granted. Tippet, moreover, will be thoroughly familiar with
the limitations of music instruments and might encourage fellow players to break free of convention to
invent new ways of making sound from them. By encouraging experimentation and invention Tippett
would create opportunities for further innovation. If this is applied to conceptual instruments then
companies would begin to develop what I refer to as Collaborative Technology. 4


Toward a new (biological) paradigm of management and organisational theory.




4 The idea of Collaborative Technology, in its raw form, can be seen in, Teasley, S. & Roschelle, J. (in press). The
construction of shared knowledge in collaborative problem solving. in S. Lajoie & S. Derry (Eds.) Computer as a
Cognitive Tool. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum



                                                          66
Consider for a moment our ancient ancestors; did they have managers, and if they had would they still be
here? At the broadest level of communities of practice one might think of civilisations and their
Collaborative Technologies. Aztec or Mayan, The Blackfoot, Ancient Egyptian, Greek or Roman, each of
these peoples developed characteristic ways of achieving their goals. Clearly technology in this sense does
not equate to physical artefacts but all the means, all the techniques, used to achieve the social goals,
including techniques of social co-ordination and social regulation. On this basis Collaborative Technology
is the equivalent of organisational culture. [The basis of this proposition can be seen in Pitt (1999)]

I mention ancient societies to emphasise the need to think about organisational evolution in a biological
sense. The evolution of ancient communities of practice no less biological than that of a starfish or zebra.
Just as the existence of animals is secured by a continuing correspondence with their operating medium, so
the continued use of tools and techniques must indicate a fit with the practices and needs of a community
whose own existence indicates a correspondence with its environment. Ancient civilisations eventually
failed because fit with their environment was disrupted, either because the environment changed too
quickly for adequate restructuring to take place, or because severe internal breakdown prevented or
undermined attempts at social co-ordination and system regulation. But what are the implications for the
management of modern organisations? Well, it is the job of Management to ensure the continued viability
of an ‘organisation’ by ensuring correspondence is maintained with its environment. This will require that
the benefits of any functionality offered to individual members of a community does not outweigh the costs
to society as a whole. Thus the organisation must ‘fit’ criteria relevant to the individual, but in the context
of the community as a whole. Referring again to Figure 2 and an illustration. What I am seeking to convey
here is that changes to individual elements of the system need to be accommodated within the structure, so
gaining correspondence and maintaining stability. Cars are tools, physical instruments introduced at the
turn of the last century. They are currently sold to individuals for the benefits they can derive from them,
but before too long the cost to society as a whole will begin to outweigh the benefits to the individual.
Currently rules are being changed to squeeze the car out of the parts of the human activity system that are
most at risk, and in the same way smokers are being ostracised. In the longer term, as pressure from the
environment becomes too much for the structure to bear, either the car kills society as we know it, or
society kills the car.

Addressing ancient societies allows another salient point to be made, the way we relate to them primarily
through the artefacts they leave behind (unintentionally for the most part) . We construct their social
structures building on interpretations of different kinds of objects and their use. Actor Network Theory,
another constructivist school of thought, seeks to know organisations through human and non-human
agency. By laying equal emphasis on the human and non-human agency we begin to reveal the complex
functioning of (concrete) objects. Applying an extended concept of objects we have hopefully added to the
explanatory power of ANT and created a new conceptual tool with the potential of increasing our
understanding of ‘organisations’ as complex interactive systems.

A new paradigm is emerging from New Science, but has yet to gain ascendancy, like this paper it is a
marriage of scientific and management thought. New Science is a label given to a range of theories that
seek to explain phenomena or behaviour of recognisably complex processes, including human activity
systems. Many are finding application to both business and organisational change. Thus Complexity
Sciences; including game theory, AI, second order cybernetics, Chaos Theory, and Autopoiesis each have
gained prominence in the last 10 years or so and suggest a paradigm shift is occurring. Pointing the
direction in which New Science should develop, but at the same time not drawing specifically on much of
what is attributed to the field, is Edward O. Wilson, scientist and renowned conservationist, who has been
described as the ‘New Darwin. Wilson has formulated the principles of a Gene-Culture Co-evolution
Theory of humanity. Surprisingly, and somewhat disappointing, there is little reference to Technology or
technical development. However great emphasis is laid on the need to understand and respond to what
Wilson believes is a crisis of the environment brought about by a lack of understanding of nature and lack
of a common reference point for scholars of every persuasion. He thus proposes a unifying theory, having
at its heart the natural sciences, which are extended to underpin explanations in other disciplines such as the
social science.


                                                     67
What I hope to have done in these pages is point the way to new approaches to understanding management
and organisation theory and by their biologic lead one to consider the broader aspects of human evolution,
past and future. I also hope that the irony of this conclusion has not been missed. That I should explain art
by drawing on science, but not counterposing one against the other, comes from my belief that they are
manifestations of the same thing— the unique nature of human cognition.


Notes.
1. Keith Tippet history and discography
http://www.alpes-net.fr/bigbang/musicians/keithtippett.html

2. The ultimate reference on the work of Maturana and Varela is Whitaker’s Encyclopaedia
Autopoietica <www.informatik.umu.se>.

3. The ideas for the next section are taken from a series of tutorial notes on Biological Structaralism posted
by one of its founders, Charles Laughlin at: http://www.carleton.ca/%7Eclaughli/tutindex.htm

4. John Law has posted              a series of papers on a website and can be found
at:http://www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/sociology/. The paper that specifically addresses objects as performers of
networks is: Objects, Spaces and Others by John Law.

5.     For    quick      reference      to     Engestrom      CHAT        model      see     the     website:
http://www.helsinki.fi/~jengestr/activity/6b.htm




                                                     68
References.

Bond, P. ( 2000) ‘Knowledge and Knowing as Structure:A New Perspective on the Management of
Technology for the Knowledge Based Economy. Int J. of Technology Management. Inderscience
Enterprises Ltd.

Cohen, I.J. (1989) Structuration Theory: Anthony Giddens and the Constitution of Social Life. London:
Macmillan.

Espejo, R. (1992). ‘Management of Complexity in Problem Solving’. Trans INST MC VOL 14 NO1

Glasersfeld, E. von (1995), Radical Consructivism: A Way of Knowing and Learning. London: Falmer
Press.

Glasersfeld, E. von (1997), Distinguishing the Observer: An Attempt at Interpreting Maturana. Posted on
the internet at < www.oikos.org/vonobserv.htm>

Goodall. H ( 2001), Big Bangs. London: Random House .

Goleman. D (1996), Emotional Intelligence. London: Bloomsbury Publishing..

Goleman. D (1998).Working with Emotional Intelligence. London:Bloomsbury Publishing.

Kenny, V, (1985), An Introduction to the Ideas of Humberto Maturana: life, the multiverse and everything.
Posted on the internet at: http://www.oikos.org/vinclife.htm

Maturana, H. (1978), Biology of language: The epistemology of reality, in Miller, G., and E. Lenneberg
(eds.), Psychology and Biology of Language and Thought: Essays in Honor of Eric Lenneberg, New York:
Academic Press, 1978, 27-64.

Maturana, H. and Varela, F. (1980), Autopoiesis and Cognition, Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidal Publishing.

Mingers, J. (1996), ‘A Comparison of Maturana’s Autopioetic Social Theory and Giddens’ Theory of
Structuration’, Systems Research Vol 13 No 4. pp 469-482. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.

Rammert, W. (1999), Relations that Constitute Technology and Media that Make a Difference: Toward a
Social
Pragmatic Theory of Technicisation. Journal of Philosophy and Technology. 4-3 Spring.

Reich, R.B. (1991 ), The Work of Nations, New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Senge. P.M .(1990). The 5th Discipline, Random House. London .

Pickering, A. (1995). The Mangle of Practice: Time, Agency and Science. Chicago: University of Chicago
Press.

Pitt, J. (1999). Thinking about Technology. New York: Seven Bridges Press.

Torbert W.J. (1987). Managing the Corporate Dream. Dow Jones-Irwin

Varela, F. Thompson, E. and Rosch, E (1993) . The Embodied Mind, The MIT Press. Cambridge, Mass,




                                                   69
The result is a form of human activity system HAS, a composite unity that is characterised by specific
relations between components of specific nature and operation. In Figure 2, opposite, is an attempt to
capture the essential elements of a human activity system. Some readers will, no doubt, recognise the
similarity with the model associated with Cultural Historical Activity Theory, developed and used by
Engestrom from the work of Vygotsky (5).




                                                 70
What Matters Most
Laura Brearley

RMIT University




  A Participative Performance and
         Academic Exploration

                        of

   Creative Practice within the Academy


                     Including:

                    Introduction
                       Script

                         71
Theorisation




     72
Introduction
‘What Matters Most?’ is a multi-vocal play which crosses genres and
incorporates stories, songs, poems and participative activities within the
text. The play is structured around an autobiographical narrative of an
academic in her research and in her work. Voices of artists, academics
and poets interlace the narrative, weaving the worlds of the arts and the
academy together. The voices of the audience are also invited into the
text, through participative activities, involving images and collective
poetry writing.

‘What Matters Most?’ is both a play and a workshop. It is a performance
in that it based, in Marvin Carlson’s terms, on a ‘pre-existing model,
script or pattern of action’. It breaks with the performative structure,
however, in its participatory activities, offering ‘a site for fresh and
alternative structures and patterns of behaviour’ (Carlson 1996: P. 15). It
has been written in the hope that it will play to the edge of the possible,
challenging practice and aesthetic concepts (Broadhurst 1999) and that
it will invite us to be more fully conscious of ourselves (Turner 1982).

The content of ‘What Matters Most?’ explores the context of academic life
as a site for creative work and research. It tells stories and invites
reflection about the liminality of creativity in academic life, as it currently
exists. The deep questions about the nature of research that have been
raised in the post-modern debate about representation (Richardson
1997, 2000; Ellis 1999; Jipson & Paley 1997), have taken the academic
world into new and liminal terrain, in which conventional structures may
no longer be honoured and the seeds of creativity may be able to grow in
potentially subversive ways (Turner 1982; Carlson 1996). The sense of
excitement which is generated by the liminal, is closely linked to the
discomfort that can emerge from the disintegration of familiar patterns
and expectations of form (Broadhurst 1999).

With its blending of genres, ‘What Matters Most?’ is attempting to explore
the phenomenon of stretching and dissolving boundaries, in both its
content and its form. It is, in Turner’s terms, hoping to generate a
dialectic of flow between action and awareness, through which the story
of a context-bound individual may invite reflexivity in others and a
deepened understanding of academic life more generally (Turner 1982).




                                      73
Script

Cast

Narrator
Greek Chorus
      Voice One
      Voice Two
      Voice Three


The Greek Chorus and Narrator enter the room. Members of the Chorus
wear masks.
Tibetan Bells ring to open the play.

(a)  Voice One
     Until you find the voice, you can’t get into the story. Sometimes it
     takes a long time to find.
                                                        1.    John Berger
Voice Two
     If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to
     your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.
                                                                Rollo May
a)   Voice Three
       Meaning is radically plural, always open, and … there is politics in every account.
                                                                                E. Bruner

1.     Narrator
       I had never been in an organisation like it. Three years ago, it was
       as if the social fabric of the Faculty had been torn away. The
       shared understanding of civilised behaviour had disintegrated.
       People yelled at each other in corridors. We would attend meetings,
       waiting in silence until the appointed start time. The business of
       the meeting would be conducted and when it ended, we would
       leave silently and immediately. There were eighty-nine formal
       complaints of workplace bullying and abuse within the Faculty.
       People worked behind closed doors. The only point of connection
       between people seemed to be shared despair.

       I was half way through my PhD and working full time as a lecturer.
       The content of my research was the human experience of
       transition in organisational change. My research participants were
       ten managers in a different organisation, going through a


                                            74
       protracted and poorly managed organisational change process.
       They went through three restructures in two years, entailing many
       job spills. It was exhausting and humiliating for them. Their stories
       of chaos, abuse and disillusionment matched my own.

       The critical management literature I was immersed in at the time
       confirmed what I was experiencing in my research and in my work.
       It was a relief to hear the language of ‘resistance to change’ being
       challenged and the easy, linear solutions of evangelical change
       literature contested. The critical literature, though, fed my distrust
       of organisational power and systemic abuse. I wondered how I
       would ever be able to stay engaged in organisational life.


Voice One
     The changes are deeply disturbing
       They’re difficult and exhausting and the people are angry

       Like an endangered species
       They have been through a bushfire and only just survived

       There is a sense of defeat in the air
       An atmosphere of quiet despair

       People have moved into self-preservation
       Wariness and weariness


       The stuffing has been kicked out of them
       The people have gone a bit quiet now

a)     Voice Two
       Things are in chaos
       We work in a state of emergency

       Systems and policies are not in place
       Everything seems unique, urgent, exceptional

       Managers are trying to conceal their panic
       But I can see it

       People are running
       There is fear in their faces




                                         75
a)   Voice Three
     Laughter is getting nervous
     Hysterical even

     People are dealing with panic in different ways
     Some are drinking, some have closed right down

     Others are simply exhausted
     We talk about workload a lot

     Even if we worked sixteen hours a day
     We wouldn’t get on top of it

     We try to make a dent in it
     But every day, more and more piles up




                                             76
a)   Voice One
     The rhetoric talks of fantastic opportunities
     How wonderful and big we are

     Win, win, win
     Gold, gold, gold

     It’s wearing a bit thin
     I just feel tired and sad

a)   Voice Two
     Sometimes I’m tight and I shut right down
     Close it up, keep it in, hold it all back

     Disengage from the people
     The work and the pain

Voice Three
     Sometimes it’s safe to disclose how I feel
     And move out from the shelter I’ve made to survive

     Feel the need to be known by another
     To tell the stories and talk for awhile

     And talk at a depth never entered before
     About my fears, my needs, my life

a)   Voice One
     Why do I work and how should I live?
     What do I need and what do I bring?
a)




                                   77
b)   Voice Two
     Does it matter what I do?
     What does it matter at all?

a)   Voice Three
     And if it matters, what matters most?
     What matters most of all?
              Research participants’ transcripts   Laura Brearley, Editor
a)
b)
c)   Narrator
d)   Reflections   (A song)

     As I look back across the years
     My memories are full
     Some things are never far away
     I think about them still

     I remember when I realised
     That even when we’re good
     Committed and connected
     There is no protection
     We try so hard to make it safe
     But can’t control the outcomes
     These things are never far away
     I think about them still

     I remember how when people left
     We’d gather for goodbyes
     So many things we couldn’t say
     A silent devastation

     I’d see the fear in others’ eyes
     I’d feel it inside me
     These things are never far away
     I think about them still

     I remember when I recognised
     There was no place for me
     I simply had to walk away
     A frightening liberation
     To stay would mean I’d break my heart
     Against the icy coldness


                                   78
     These things are never far away
     I think about them still

     I’m older now, I feel my age
     I think I’m now more human
     I know the pain and fear it takes
     To live without illusions

1.   Voice One
     The days fall upon me …
     They cover me
     They crush,
     They smother.
     Who will ever find me
     Under the days?
                                                    (a)   Angelina Weld Grimke
b)   Voice Two
     The hour is lost. Scarce had we time to mark
     The glory of the green, the sky’s soft blue;
     It came as silently as comes the dark
                                                           John Shaw Neilson
a)   Voice Three
     The way I must enter
     Leads through darkness to darkness
     Oh moon above the mountain’s rim
     Please shine a little further
     On my path
                                                                Izumu Shikibu
a)
b)   Narrator
     Three years ago, things were not easy on the home front either. My
     mother had gone through a five year battle with cancer and had
     died a difficult and ravaging death. I found her dying and her
     death shocking and her absence unbearable.

     I used to cry a lot. It came to the point, where I would cry all the
     way to work and all the way home. Then came a period when I was
     crying all the time. It was frightening and exhausting. It felt that
     the well of loss and grief was bottomless.




                                             79
Voice One
       … nothing can bring back the hour
       Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower
William Wordsworth


Voice Two
       My tears are full of eyes
                                                                                  e.e.cummings

Voice Three
     I want the dead beside me when
     I dance, to help me
     Flesh the notes of my song,
     To tell me it’s all right
                                                                                 Garrett Hongo
Narrator
       Eventually I couldn’t go to work anymore. It didn’t even feel like a
       choice. It was more like a fact. I took some time out, and with no
       sense of what the future might look like, I went and stayed in a
       house by the beach. My husband came with me, and though I
       didn’t realise it initially, so did my PhD.

       After a few days, something unexpected started to happen. Out of
       my deep lostness and depletion, a small seed of a creative idea
       began to emerge. As the days went on, it became a compelling force
       that was impossible to miss or ignore. The creative idea grew into
       an organising framework of multiple voices for my PhD. It brought
       a coherence of form to the vast unwieldy mass of theoretical and
       emotional data that I was carrying around with me all the time.
       The framework accommodated a range of perspectives,
       encompassing the creative and cognitive dimensions of the
       research. Poems, songs, images and multi-media tracks took their
       place in the framework alongside the literature review, the
       methodology chapter and the analytical models.

       The framework made room for multiplicity and simplicity. I began to see that there was
       room for me too. I saw that the creative seed could flower into a denser, richer piece of
       work and a more integrated sense of self. The words of my PhD supervisor began to make
       some sense: ‘A PhD is a journey to self’, he had told me at the beginning of the trip. Sadly,
       he died before the work was finished.



                                                80
1.    Voice One
      I beseech you enter your life
      I beseech you learn to say ‘I’
                                                                                 Ezra Pound


Voice Two
      We never look at just one thing;
      We are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves.
John Berger

Voice Three
     Self-knowledge and knowledge grow through experimentation with points of view,
      tone, texture, sequencing, metaphor.
                                                                          Laurel Richardson


Voice One
      There is the constant risk of breakdown and also transformation
                                                                               Judith Butler


Voice Two
      Where there is danger, there grows also what saves.
                                                                        Friedrich Holderlein




Voice Three
     You must give birth to your images. They are the future waiting to
     be born … fear not the strangeness you feel. The future must enter
     you long before it happens … Just wait for the birth … for the hour
     of new clarity.
                                                      Rainer Maria Rilke




                                             81
a)   Narrator
     Three years have passed and much has changed. My PhD is now finished and my relief is
     profound. My relationship with my mother has altered irrevocably in its form, but I feel her
     very close now.


     The Faculty, which was in such crisis, is moving through a process of transformation.
     Some people have left and new staff have arrived. The crisis within the Faculty three years
     ago, galvanised a range of developmental strategies which have resulted in the
     emergence of a new culture of support. Resources have been channelled into professional
     development for both academic and administrative staff. The divisions between the
     academic and administrative worlds are being tentatively bridged through collaborative
     projects.


     Admin staff are now participating in strategic work-based projects
     which are linked to formal qualifications. These staff have, in the
     past, been largely under-valued and certainly underpaid. They are
     highly competent people, mainly women, but many had not
     previously had the opportunity to study since leaving school.
     Groups of these staff are now participating in a work-based
     learning program which is articulating them through a diploma
     and into post-graduate qualifications in leadership. They are
     building relationships across departments and are slowly restoring
     the social fabric and functional networks within the Faculty.

     Shifts in the attitude towards research are also evident. Significant
     numbers of Work-based Research and Arts-Based Research
     projects are now being supervised within the Faculty. There is a
     high proportion of post-graduate research students in the Faculty
     undertakng Higher Degrees by Project, which is allowing them to
     incorporate more innovative approaches into their research. A new
     generation of research candidates and supervisors is emerging who
     have a refreshingly expanded view of what research might look like
     and what it might mean.

     The corridors in the Faculty feel different now. People talk to each other. They choose to
     spend time together. Something creative has emerged from the despair that used to hang
     in the air and make it difficult to breathe.



                                                82
        The Faculty still has its share of problematic issues. There is a funding squeeze being felt
        in Higher Education across the country. Staff are working longer and harder and are
        feeling tired. The humanities, in particular, are not highly valued in the current political
        climate and are constantly under threat. There are potential structural changes in the wind
        within the university and the Faculty’s future is uncertain.

        In spite of this, or it may be even be to some degree because of it,
        staff in the Faculty are kinder and more respectful with each other
        now. Behaviour is more civil. The shouting in the corridors has
        stopped and a process of restoration is taking place. It parallels the
        process of own recovery. I can still see the scars, but I can tell my
        own story and the story of my work world without using the voice
        of a victim.

Voice One
     Those who do not have the power over the story that dominates their lives, power to retell
        it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are
        powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts.
                                                                                  Salman Rushdie

Voice Two
     To manage an organisation, to conduct research, or to teach students, we need to be
        deeply human, facing bravely and responsibly the necessity of both death and life.
                                                             Thierry Pauchant & Iain Mitroff
a)      Voice Three
        My heart is moved by all I cannot save:
        So much has been destroyed

        I have cast my lot with those
        who age after age, perversely,
        With no extraordinary power,
        Reconstitute the world.
                                                                                      Adrienne Rich
a)
b)      Narrator
        My experience of the last three years has raised complex issues for me about engagement
        with potentially destructive systems. It used to feel easier to wipe out organisations as sick




                                                   83
        and dangerous places that could destroy the soul without flinching at the human cost. It felt
        wiser and safer to disengage.
a)
        The experience reminds me of the young feminist I was thirty years
        ago. As I stepped into my adult life and into the Women’s
        Liberation movement of the early 1970s, I became awake to the
        pervasive power of patriarchy. I spent several years in a solid male-
        hating zone, eaten alive by my anger. I lived in houses where men
        weren’t even allowed and my whole identity was built on a
        distancing of men as ‘other’.

        Over the years, I gradually moved into a different space of re-
        engaging with men and with aspects of myself that I had split from
        and that I had not wanted to acknowledge. I find myself now in a
        happy marriage with a loving and lovable man. I still live though,
        in a world where there are appalling inequities of gender and
        travesties of social justice, that make it almost unbearable to
        watch the evening news sometimes. The complexity lies in the
        paradox of no longer being naïve and yet still daring to live with a
        sense of hope.

        I link these experiences with my issues of engaging in
        organisations that are sick in some ways. I did not expect it to
        happen, but something new is emerging for me about staying
        engaged in organisational life. I am finding that I need to learn to
        live with the tension of opposites and become more comfortable
        with paradox and uncertainty. I need to become more discerning in
        complex contexts and make choices about when to withdraw and
        when to stand tall and firm. I need to learn how to express emotion
        appropriately and build safe relationships. From my sense of it, It
        is about demonstrating the courage to be deeply human. It is
        about asking the questions that matter.

a)  Voice One
 How do we work out what we owe an organisation and what it owes us?
    How do we maintain our sense of personal power in the face of the power differential
     between an individual and an organisation?
    How do we know others and be known in an atmosphere where trust is low and fear is
     high?


Voice Two


                                                84
    How do we take care of ourselves and still actively engage with a workplace that may be
     dysfunctional?
    How do we know where and when it is safe to express our anger, hurt or vulnerability?
    How do we know when to name what is happening in an organisation and when it may
     be wiser to keep quiet and listen?


Voice Three
    How do we stay true to ourselves?
    How do we make meaning of our past and bring what matters from it into our future?
    How do we creatively renew ourselves in the face of loss?


a)      Greek Chorus leave room

a)      Group Activity
b)      Collective Poetry Writing

Working with magnetic poetry, participants are invited to work in groups
to develop a key phrase or phrases that expresses an essential aspect of
developing and sustaining creative communities of practice. Groups read
key phrases to create a collective poem.

a)      Greek Chorus return




                                             85
Narrator
We Work Together     (A song)

      We work together
      To find a way
      To listen to what is emerging
      To build a bridge
      That honours the past
      And imagines the new … together

      We work together
      To find a way
      To call on the courage it takes
      To make a difference
      To be daring and bold
      To be fully alive

      We work together
      To find a way
      To include everyone in the circle
      To make a space
      For the growth and potential
      Of all living things

      It’s a struggle at times
      To know what to do
      To deal with the pain of it all
      It’s not always clear
      To know why we’re here
      And to find what we need in this place




                                    86
      To be together
      And find a way
      To serve and connect with the people
      Who’ll set us free
      To be all who we are
      To be able to be … together

a)
b)    Voice One
      We ordinary people must forge our own beauty. We must set fire to the greyness of our
      labour with the art of our own lives.
                                                                                   Kenji Miyazawa


a)    Voice Two
      The discipline comes in when we have to pay attention to what we
      don’t like, aren’t interested in, don’t understand, mistrust … when
      we have to read the poetry of our enemies – within or without.
                                                               M C Richards
a)    Voice Three
      What is this darkness? What is its name? Call it an aptitude for sensitivity which will make
      you whole. Call it: your potential for vulnerability.
                                                                                 Meister Eckhart


Voice One
      Be still
      Listen to the stones of the wall
      Be silent, they try
      To speak your
      Name.

      Listen
      To the living walls.
      Who are you?
      Who
      Are you? Whose
      Silence are you?
                                                                              Thomas Merton

a)    Voice Two



                                                 87
      I have a feeling that my boat
      Has struck, down in the depths,
      Against a great thing.
                               And nothing
      happens! Nothing ... Silence ... Waves …

a)    Voice Three
          - Nothing happens? Or has everything happened,
      and are we standing now, quietly, in the new life?
                                                (a)    Juan Ramon Jiminez

a)
(a)   Tibetan Bells ring to close the play




                                        88
Theorisation
This paper is about the development of new forms of creative practice
within the academy. Its purpose is to stimulate critical reflection and
debate about alternative academic discourses. The theoretical
underpinnings of the paper draw on the writing of a number of
researchers who have been exploring issues of representation, from
ethnographic and phenomenological perspectives, as well as from the
field of educational research (Richardson 1997: 2000; Haarsager 1998;
Banks & Banks 1998; Morgan 1996; Ellis & Flaherty 1992; Ellis 1997;
Tierney & Lincoln 1997; van Manen 1997; Barone & Eisner 1997; Eisner
1998; Lather 1991, 1997; Jipson & Paley 1997).

These researchers are challenging the voice of the omniscient academic observer and are
exploring creative forms of representation which reflect richness and complexity of data and invite
new and multiple levels of engagement that are both cognitive and emotional.


Within an academic context, exploring alternative forms of data representation is a political act
which challenges long-established and revered traditions. I have just completed a PhD in which I
used a number of creative voices to represent managers’ experiences of a turbulent amalgamation.
The experience was a formative one and it taught me that when exploring with the messiness and
complexity of the human experience, research designs can be enriched by multiple levels of
engagement and interpretation.

My exploration of alternative forms of representation in my research was predicated on
three ideas. Firstly, there are many different ways in which the world can be experienced
and represented (Barone & Eisner 1997). Secondly, some human experiences are so
complex and intensely emotional, that creative forms of representation can reflect their
texture more evocatively than traditional academic text. Creative forms invite us to develop
insights that would otherwise be inaccessible and they invite us to see more clearly and feel
more deeply (Bjorkvold 1992, Ellis 1997, Richardson 1997; Banks & Banks 1998). Thirdly,
each person who chooses to engage and make meaning of the data, breathes new life into
the texts (Jipson & Paley 1997).
Underpinning my doctoral research, was an epistemological premise that there are multiple
ways of experiencing, knowing and communicating (Burrell & Morgan 1979, Jipson &
Paley 1997). The use of creative forms to represent the managers’ data reflected the notion


                                               89
that there is no single, correct way to have an experience or transmit knowledge of that
experience (Lather 1991; Lather & Smithies 1997).
Challenging the voice of the omniscient academic observer disturbs the very basis of
epistemological assumptions, as articulated by Jipson and Paley:
        What counts as research? What matters as data? What procedures are
        considered legitimate for the production of knowledge? What forms shape the
        making of explanations? What constitutes proof?
                                                          Jipson and Paley (1997: 2)
In the context of reconstructing the coordinates of analytic practice in a post-positive
paradigm, Foucault has written about ‘fracture areas’, in which interesting things can erupt
(Foucault cited in Jipson & Paley 1997).
Compliance with a prescribed way of knowing, which does not honour
the nature of the question or the purpose of the research, runs the risk
of over-simplifying or distorting the richness of human stories. Albrow
(1997) contends that ‘rationalism has distorted the language of social
description in general and the place of emotion in particular’ (Albrow
1997: 112). In the context of organisational research, a minimisation of
the emotional substance of experience, may prevent a level of
engagement which could be educative and lead to a deepening of
understanding or to social action.

The post-positivist era, with its ‘decline of the absolutes’ (Lecourt 1975)
profoundly challenges notions of ‘fact’ and ‘truth’ as independent from
theory (Hesse 1980). Lather (1991) argues that new visions for generating
social knowledge are required, which are humanly compelling and which
are built on vigorous self-reflexivity that encompass epistomological,
theoretical and empirical levels of awareness. Lather contends that the
post-positivist challenge to prescribed rules and boundaries has resulted
in ‘a constructive turmoil that allows for a search of different possibilities
of making sense of human life, for other ways of knowing which do
justice to the complexity, tenuity, and indeterminancy of most of human
experience’ (Lather 1991: 52).

Creative forms of data representation extend an invitation to engage with
experience in new ways. They invite us to transcend the limitations of
our usual frames of reference and beliefs, so that new patterns of
association can be brought into play (van Maanen 1983). Engagement
with research of this kind can generate levels of awareness that combine
cognitive, emotional and creative aspects of our being.



                                             90
According to Bastian (1988), creative forms are the long, thin feelers through which we can touch
the world. The use of creative expression as a medium to explore the lived experience, draws on
the notion that within human reality, there are phenomena which reach us so deeply that creative
forms are the only adequate way through which to point to and make present a meaning
(Kockelmans 1987). The critical task, according to Wilfrid Mellers, is to discover the amount of
felt life in a creative form (Mellers 1964).

Creative forms of representation stir a response, that can be cerebral,
emotive and creative (Frith 1998). They can also transform the sensuous
and the intellectual into one aesthetic continuum. (Anyanwu 1987 cited
in Bjorkvold 1992). Gourlay (1984), the music anthropologist, writes that
we create new forms of expression when speech is inadequate and we
want communication to attain a new level of intensity (Gourlay 1984).
Creative expression can even make something intense out of experiences
which are seen to be mundane. We can see and experience the ordinary
in new ways.

Over the last three years, I have been working with groups of people in academic circles and
in organisations, using the creative forms generated from my doctoral research. I have
experimented with different ways of creating environments, in which it feels safe to explore
issues of transition, and the existential questions often raised about identity, meaning,
belonging and responsibility. In both academic and organisational contexts, I have been
exploring the integration of emotional, creative and theoretical perspectives, exploring new
forms of presentation, in which multiple voices are interwoven in ways which are mutually
enriching and educative. ‘What Matters Most?’ is an example of this exploration.
In the self-reflexive work I have undertaken in working in this way, I have extended my
questioning about issues of representation, to an exploration of research itself, framing it as
an invitation to engage and connect with one’s own experiences, as well as with the
experiences of others. I have explored research as a praxis-oriented opportunity to reflect, to
feel, to learn, to unlearn, to know, to be and to act in the world in a different way, as a
consequence of one’s engagement with the research.
Expanding the range of choices available to researchers has implications for us as academics
and for our students. We need to develop systems and strategies of mutual learning and
support to nourish our work. We need to extend these systems of support to the work of our
students. This has implications for research supervision. There is a need to develop research


                                               91
supervisors and examiners who understand the language and rationale of alternative forms
of inquiry.

Greater numbers of supervisors and examiners are needed, who can
work with both traditional and alternative research paradigms and who
can act as role models, mentors and advocates for greater flexibility
within the academic system. They need to know the system well and be
astute in guiding students through the complex territory of ‘doing justice’
to the research and determining appropriate standards of scholarship
and rigour.

Exploring creative forms of expression within organisational research is a
political and humanising act which I believe has the potential to enrich
the academy. We need to continue to be self-reflexive about our creative
scholarship, providing support to others, and taking care of ourselves.




                                          92
1.      Bibliography
Albrow, M. 1997, Do Organizations Have Feelings?, Routledge, New York, USA.

Bachelard, G. 1964, The Poetics of Space, Beacon, Boston, USA.

Banks, A. & Banks, S. (Ed.), 1998, Fiction and Social Research: By Ice or Fire, Sage Publications,
California, USA.

Barone, T. & Eisner, E. 1997, Arts-Based Educational Research in Complementary Methods for
Research in Education, Jaeger, R. (Ed.), American Education Research Association, Washington
DC, USA.

Bastian, P. 1988, ‘Inn I musikken – En bok om musikk og bevissthet’. Oslo cited in Bjorkvold, J.
1992, Creativity and Communication, Song and Play from Childhood through Maturity,
HarperCollins, New York, USA.

Bjorkvold, J. 1992, Creativity and Communication, Song and Play from Childhood through Maturity,
HarperCollins, New York, USA.

Broadhurst, S. 1999, Liminal Acts: A critical overview of contemporary performance and theory,
Cassell, London, UK.

Carlson, M. 1996, Performance: A Critical Introduction, Routledge, New York, USA.

Eisner, E. 1998, The Enlightened Eye: Qualitative Inquiry and the Enhancement of Educational
Practice, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, USA.

Ellis, C. 1997, ‘Evocative autoethnography: writing emotionally about our lives’ in Tierney, W. &
Lincoln, T. (Eds.) Representation and the Text: Reframing the Narrative Voice, State University of
New York Press, Albany, USA.

Ellis, C. & Flaherty, M. (Eds.), 1992, Investigating Subjectivity: Research on Lived Experience,
Sage Publications, California, USA.

Frith, S. 1998, Performing Rites: evaluating popular music, Oxford University Press, UK.

Gadamer, H. G. 1996, The Enigma of Health, Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, USA.


                                                93
Gourlay, K. 1984, ‘The non-universality of music and the universality of non-music’, in The World of
Music, vol. 28, issue 2.

Haarsager, S. 1998. ‘Stories that tell it like it is? Fiction techniques and prize-winning journalism’ in
Banks, A. & Banks, S. (Eds.) 1998, Fiction and Social Research: By Ice or Fire, Sage Publications,
California, USA.

Hesse, M. 1980, Revolution and Reconstruction in the Philosophy of Science, Indiana University
Press, Bloomington, USA.

Jipson, J. & Paley, N. (Eds.). 1997, Daredevil Research: Re-creating Analytic Practice, Peter Lang
Publishing, New York, USA.

Kockelmans J.J. (Ed.) 1987, Phenomeneological Psychology: The Dutch School, Martinus Nijhoff,
The Hague, The Netherlands.

Lather, P. 1991, Getting Smart: Feminist research and pedagogy with/in the postmodern,
Routledge, New York, USA.

Lather, P. & Smithies, C. 1997, Troubling the Angels: Women Living with HIV/AIDS, Westview
Press, USA.

Lecourt, D. 1975, Marxism and Epistemology, National Labor Board, London, UK.

McWhinney, W. 1997, Paths of Change: Strategic Choices for Organizations and Society, Sage
Publications, Thousand Oaks, California, USA.

Mellers, W. 1964, ‘Music in a New Found Land’, Faber and Faber, London, UK cited in Frith, S.
1988, Music for Pleasure, Polity Press, UK.

Morgan, G. 1986, Images of Organisation, Beverley Hills, Sage Publications, California, USA.

Morgan, G. 1996, ‘An afterword: Is there anything more to be said about metaphor?’ in Grant, D. &
Oswick, C, (Eds.), 1996, Metaphor and Organizations, Sage Publications, London, England, UK.

Moyers, B. 1995, The Language of Life, Doubleday, New York, USA.



                                                  94
Nye, N.S. cited in Moyers. B. 1995, The Language of Life, Doubleday, New York, USA.

Richardson, L. 2000, ‘Writing a method of enquiry’ in Lincoln, Y. & Denzin, N (Eds.) Handbook of
Qualitative Research, Sage Publications, California, USA.

Richardson, L. 1997, Fields of Play: Constructing an Academic Life, Rutgers University Press, New
Jersey, USA.

Romanoff, B. & Terenzio, M. 1998, ‘Rituals and Grieving Process’, Death Studies, vol. 22, issue 8,
pp. 697–711.

Tierney, W. & Lincoln, T. 1997, Representation and the Text: Reframing the Narrative Voice, State
University of New York Press, Albany, USA.

Turner, V. 1982, From Ritual to Theatre, Performing Arts Journal Publications, New York, USA.

Van Maanen, J. 1983, Qualitative Methodology, Sage Publications, California, USA.

Van Manen, M. 1990, Researching Lived Experience: Human science for an action sensitive
pedagogy, State University of New York Press, Albany, USA.

Van Manen, M. 1997. ‘From meaning to method’, Qualitative Health Research, vol. 7, issue 3
August.

Wittgenstein, L. 1968, Philosophical Investigations, Anscombe, (Trans.),
Basil Blackwell, Oxford, UK.




                                               95
The Pea Project
Pete Burrows & Daria Loi

A proposal for a whole of conference interactive experience
including a 60-90 minute workshop.



(a)   The Art of Management and Organization
Essex Management Centre, University of Essex




Peter Burrows - project-mu, Interactive Information Institute, RMIT University
Daria Loi - project-mu, Interactive Information Institute, RMIT University
Michael Coburn - project-mu, Interactive Information Institute, RMIT University

GPO Box 2476V
Melbourne 3000 VIC Australia

a)    Tel. +61 3 9925 2572 - primary contact person: Peter Burrows
Fax +61 3 9925 2387




The Pea Project
A proposal for a whole of conference interactive experience including a 60-
90 minute workshop.



                                         96
Operating from symbolic constructivist (Barry, 1996) and phenomenological (Bachelard,
1964, Dastur, 2000, Brearley 2001) perspectives, the Pea Project combines elements
that are unexpected and unanticipated in a management education context, with
outcomes that are fundamental to the practice of management.



The elements include photographic ‘data’ that is created and exhibited at the
conference; phenomenological encounters with, and responses to, this photographic
‘data’; and ‘responses to the responses’, emulating the layering and meta awareness of
reflective entries in a personal journal. Photography, contemporary art and reflective
practices become part of the same generative stock.



The Pea Project subtly and persistently demands that we venture beyond what we
already know and understand, opening up and creating space for deep learning. This
kind of thinking builds on the work of a broad range of management and traditional
educators. (Bilimoria 2000, Grumet 1991, Gunter 1995, hooks 1994, Eisner 1995, Giroux
1989, Jipson and Paley, 1997).



The Pea Project involves the adaptation of a series of successful and innovative teaching and
learning practices that have had a significant, sometimes profound, effect on students. What begins
with a rather bizarre, some might say eccentric, encounter with a pea develops into a deeply
reflective experience. It is expected that the Pea Project will consist of a number of complementary
elements over the course of the conference. It is anticipated that these elements will generate
participative elaboration and discussion of the themes that emerge.




                                                 97
Ideally the Pea Project would ‘operate’ over each of the three days of the conference,
requiring one formal session on the second day;

      day one photographs and data collection;

      day two 60-90 minute experiential workshop;

      day three display of images and postcard responses.



We propose to experientially share with participants our innovative methods for
stimulating phenomenological awareness, initiating and deepening reflective practices
(Kolb 1984, Schon 1983, 1987, Collier 1999). We regard awareness and reflectiveness as
foundational traits in developing and preparing managers for what Lewis (2000) calls
“organizational complexity and ambiguity”.



At another level, we consider the process and outcomes of the Pea Project to be
contemporary art – a work where the project participants become co-creators. France
Morin (2000, p.7) suggests “that artists have the capacity to make a lasting positive
impact on peoples lives by helping them to see for themselves the dignity, beauty, and
sacredness of the activities of their everyday life: the creative spirit, a powerful agent of
transformation, that lies within everyone.” The Pea Project aims to evoke this “creative
spirit” in each and every participant.


The Pea Project – Detailed Description
At the earliest opportunity we propose to introduce ourselves, person by person, to as
many of the conference attendees as we can manage. At this time we will ask our fellow
attendees to take part in a reflective learning exercise. We will ask each person to take a
fresh pea from a pod and to hold the pea in their hand while we take a digital
photograph of their hand. In keeping with Bachelard’s (1964, xii) view that “the
communicability of an unusual image is a fact of great ontological significance”, the

                                             98
participant’s own hand holding a green pea becomes the focus of attention. A gentle
light is directed toward one’s self.



Each participant will also receive a postcard on the cover of which will be a previously
photographed hand, holding a pea. On the back of the card will be two questions, "What
did you see?", "What is going on here?", and space for participants to respond to these
questions. Participants will be asked to place the completed card in a box, which will be
prominently displayed at the conference venue.




The photographs and the completed cards will form part of the data for presentation
and discussion at the subsequent workshop. Following the workshop the photographs
and completed cards will be displayed for the conference participants to view, read and
'mull over'. A second postcard will be available for participants to respond to the
collection, and the approach adopted. These cards will be attached to a display board,
creating a kind of living, dynamic research form, emulating the layering and meta


                                           99
awareness of reflective entries in a personal journal. People may respond as often as
they want - as ideas or thoughts occur to them.



It is anticipated that the Pea Project Workshop will be attended by many of the people
who have had their hand photographed - a sense of personal engagement in the project
(not to mention intrigue) should be felt by these participants.



The first part of the workshop will be presented in darkness, with a PowerPoint
presentation of the many hands and peas. Each hand and pea will be the focus of
attention for a few seconds. This will be followed by a quicker projection of the images to
promote a sense of the hands as a collective and to establish a sense of diversity and
difference. Participants will see their own hand in this procession of hands. Some
participants are expected to experience a sense of reverie, others may see their hand as if
for the first time or become aware of the shape of their own perception. (Weschler 1982)



At the end of the PowerPoint presentation, with the lights back on, participants will be
asked to reflect on the process, of which they have been part, and to again respond to the
two simple questions "What did you see?" and "What is going on here?" The
combination of the quiet, darkened room and the call for reflection is anticipated to
create a deeply thoughtful personal space.



This approach should create the conditions necessary for sharing experiences and
personal responses to the combination of the hand, the pea and also the approach
adopted. It is these responses that become the focus of discussion in the workshop. If
past experiences are a guide then participants will draw out rich and evocative responses
from each other. In a teaching and learning setting participants experience a range of
responses that are as diverse as the hands depicted. Because everyone starts from an
equally obscure and ambiguous place, outside the “rubber stamps of conventional
                                             100
clichés” (Schachtel, 1959, p.288), responses tend to reflect the unique qualities, interests
and experiences of the respondents.



The combination of pea and hand, in particular the personal experience of being
engaged in the process, stimulates multiple points of departure with shifts in figure-
ground relationships and the emergence of personal projections. The material thus
generated and recorded can act as a further stimulus to deeply self-reflective loops of
engagement. Personal responses to the pea and hand encounter are expected to persist
beyond the boundaries of the conference, opening up “zones of possibility for intellect
and imagination.” (Jipson and Paley 1997)



When the images and responses are displayed as a 'collection' it becomes possible to see
a diversity of ideas as well as common themes and overlaps in ways of seeing. The
responses of others may also set off a further round of reflective engagement.



If the 'quality' of images captured are consistent with previous efforts the collection of
hands will be aesthetically pleasing - the images, particularly when projected, will be
visually arresting and quite mesmerizing. Valerie Cassell (2000), curator and director of
the visiting Artists Program at the School of the Art Institute Chicago believes “that
contemporary art has the potential to play an integral role in society by opening up
spaces in which individuals may reexamine their own lives and their relationship to the
world.” For this reason, space permitting, we propose to continuously project the images
captured in a preset sequence, in an automated PowerPoint presentation in a darkened
room at the conference venue. Those attendees who have not been part of other aspects
of the Pea Project will at least have some sense of the initial presentation.




                                            101
The PowerPoint presentation, and suitably adapted supporting material, can also be
made available from the conference website to broaden the reach of the experience to
practitioners unable to attend the conference.



We believe that it is not merely a matter of colleagues having an opportunity to copy or adapt the
Pea Project for their own use but rather the shared experience will inspire further thinking around
teaching practices that promote awareness and initiate and deepen reflective practices.



The Pea Project is endlessly extensible with many potential points of departure. We are
sure others will adapt the idea of using digital images, postcards and simple everyday
objects in ways we can barely imagine. The Pea Project is expected to stimulate interest
and intrigue from the beginning of the conference and sustain animated engagement
and discussion throughout.




                                                102
Abstract


The 'X' Project

The ‘X’ project is an experiential exercise that is directed toward the development of
phenomenological awareness and reflective practice in managers.

The value of ‘X’ in the context of a management conference is unknown.

‘X’ makes no sense, at first.

       “In the course of later childhood, adolescence, and adult life, perception and experience
       themselves develop increasingly into the rubber stamps of conventional clichés. The
       capacity to see and feel what is there gives way to the tendency to see and feel what one
       expects to see and feel, which, in turn, is what one is expected to see and feel because
       everybody else does.” (Schachtel 1959, p.288)

What will you make of ‘X’?




 The element of mystery, surprise and unexpectedness is central to the effective
  unfolding of the Pea Project - so although the abstract is very abstract we ask
  you to accommodate our eccentricity by agreeing not to give too much away.




                                             103
References

Bachelard, G., 1969, The Poetics of Space, Beacon Press, Boston

Barry, D., 1996, Artful Inquiry: a symbolic constructivist approach to social science research,
Qualitative Inquiry, v 2 no.4, pp.411-438

Bilimoria, D., 2000, A new scholarship of teaching and learning: An agenda for management
education scholarship, Journal of Management Education, Thousand Oaks, Dec 2000

Brearley, L., 2001, Exploring Creative Forms within Phenomenological Research, in
Phenomenology, Ed. Robyn Barnacle, RMIT University Press, Melbourne

Cassel, V., 2000, Cry of my birth, Art Journal v 59 no1 Spring 2000, p. 4-7.

Collier, S. T., 1999, Characteristics of reflective thought during the student teaching experience,
Journal of Teacher Education, May/Jun 1999, v 50, no.3, pp173-181

Dastur, F., 2000, Phenomenology of the event: Waiting and Surprise, Hypatia, v 15, no.4, Fall
2000, pp.178-189

Eisner, E.W., 1995, What Artistically Crafted Research Can Help Us Understand About
Schools, Educational Theory v 45, no. 1 <http://www.ed.uiuc.edu/EPS/Educational-
Theory/Contents/45_1_ Eisner.html> (Accessed January 05, 2002)

Giroux, H.A., McLaren, P., 1989, Critical Pedagogy, the State and Cultural Struggle, State
University of New York Press, Albany

Grumet, M., 1991, Curriculum and the art of daily life, In Schubert, W., Willis, G., eds.,
Reflections from the heart of educational inquiry: understanding curriculum and teaching
through the arts, pp. 74-89, Albany Press, Albany

Gunter, P.A.Y., D.C., 1995, Bergson's Philosophy of Education, Educational Theory v 45, no. 1
<http://www.ed.uiuc.edu/EPS/Educational-Theory/Contents/45_3_ Gunter.html> (Accessed
January 28, 2001)

Hooks, B., 1994, Teaching to Transgress, Education as the Practice of Freedom, Routledge,
New York

Jipson, J.A., Paley, N., 1997, Daredevil Research - Re-creating Analytic Practice, Peter Lang
Publishing, Inc., New York

Kolb, D., 1984, Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development,
Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs

Kvale, S., 1996, InterViews, Sage Publications, Thousand OaksLyotard, J-F., 1992, The
Postmodern Explained to Children, Power Publications, Sydney



                                               104
Lewis, M. W., 2000, Exploring paradox: Toward a more comprehensive guide, pp. 760-776,
The Academy of Management Review; v 25 no.4

Morin, F., 2000, The Quiet In The Land: Resistance And Healing Through Art, Art Journal v
59, no.1 Spring 2000, p. 8-10.

Schachtel, E., 1959, Metamorphosis, Basic Books, New York

Schon, D. A., 1983, The Reflective Practitioner How Professionals Think, Temple Smith,
London

Schon, D. A., 1987, Educating the Reflective Practitioner, Jossey Bass, San
Francisco

Weschler, L., 1982, Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, University of
California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles




                                              105
Planning Details

Proposed audience

The Pea Project has sufficient depth and conceptual/philosophical layering to
engage new faculty and experienced educators alike. More experienced teachers
will draw out the underlying constructivist and phenomenological nuances
whereas less experienced members of faculty will be drawn into the reflective
process.

New members of faculty will benefit from the insights and responses of more
experienced conference participants.

Maximum number of participants

The Pea Project readily scales up to accommodate large groups – it is quite
feasible to include all of the conference participants - and will work with as few
as eight or ten people.

Type of session
Ideally the Pea Project would operate over three days;

      day one photographs and data collection;

      day two a 60-90 minute experiential workshop;

      following workshop a continuous PowerPoint presentation of images in a
       darkened tutorial size room set aside for that purpose;

      day three display of images and postcard responses on a large display
       board.

Optimum time required

60-90 minutes depending on the size of the group; if the group is very small (8-
15) then 30-45 minutes may also be possible.

Special requirements

Strongly prefer a room that can be darkened
Data projector that can be connected to laptop computer
Screen
Access to a color printer




                                         106
Frankie Goes to Hollywood:


George Cairns
University of Strathclyde Graduate School of Business


     Unframing the workplace and challenging academic
                       convention




Abstract



What follows is an extended abstract of a paper that relies heavily upon images of artwork
           (Hockney, 1976) that cannot be reproduced here, for copyright reasons.
  In the paper, I explore areas of thought that are neither unique (what is?), nor to some
  extent related. The writing has grown out of my own reflections on meaning of David
Hockney’s set of lithograph images, A Hollywood Collection, in exploring the relationship
between critical management studies and writings on managerial practice. This has taken
   me into consideration of the terms ‘subject’ and ‘object’ in relation to management
 research and writing, and to what I perceive to be a tendency towards, at best, careless
                               transposition of these terms.
The subject (‘I’) of this paper uses several objects (images, texts, and
representative sample organization), selected on a largely subjective basis, to
construct a polemic (hopefully) for further debate.
I offer no conclusions. You, as individual subjects can do this for yourselves, if
you wish.
Keywords: I, subject, object, meaning.


A.     Extended Abstract
In this paper, I seek to explore the nature of framing of organization in its
representation in literature - both managerial and non-managerial – from a
critical management perspective. To do this, I employ allegoric description of



                                           107
an approach to critical management by reference to the work of David Hockney
(1976), specifically to his set of 6 lithographs under the title A Hollywood
Collection. I use each of the images in turn, in order to raise an issue that I
consider relevant to a critical engagement with the framing and content of
managerial research and literature. Being unable to present the images in the
text, for copyright reasons, the seeing subject (‘I’) (re)presents an (as) objective
(as possible) description [i.e. subjective description] of the content of each image
for illustrative purposes.


I consider the content and framing of a range of managerial texts, drawn from
textbooks and from journal papers, and selected on the basis of each of the
writers’ consideration of a single organizational subject – Nike. Here, I refer
quite deliberately to Nike as ‘subject’, since I consider the writings on it – my
own not excluded – to be subjective, to varying degrees. A sub-argument here:
that the terms ‘subject’ and ‘object’ are frequently used and transposed in
academic writing without due consideration of their dictionary meanings, and of
their context-specific meanings. As I have previously contested (Note: insert
self-referential citation for effect, and for self-aggrandisement), I will argue that
others frequently refer to research ‘subjects’ that they contend have been
‘objectively’ researched (hence supposedly eliminating ‘subjectivity’), whilst not
acknowledging that their ‘objectivity’ is framed by their own subjective
consideration of what this might be. Others refer to research ‘subjects’ that,
whilst not claiming to have objectively studied them, they have to all intents
and purposes ‘objectified’, i.e. they have removed all indications of humanity
and individuality, of emotion, from their representations of them. I argue that
studies of organizations, composed of human beings, cannot be conducted on
the basis of objectivity, of some unemotional rationality that denies the
subjective. Studies of organization, to be meaningful, must be conducted with
emotion since…without emotion? ‘well? would that not mean to castrate the
intellect?…’ (Nietzsche, 1994). However, I digress.


Since this is but an extended abstract, let me consider the first of the Hockney
images:-



                                         108
                               Picture of a Still Life that has
                                 an Elaborate Silver Frame
                            Image of a simple and abstracted
             still life grouping – organic and inorganic, ‘real’ objects -
                              represented at a point in time,
                           shown against a plain background,
                        the heavy framing dominating content.


                           Taking a snapshot of organization
                      in which the framing gives the impression
                        of depth and value, and substitutes for
                            a lack of consideration of change
                                 over time in the content.


Within a managerial text (Harari, 1998) on Nike’s rise and its creation of ‘a
market where the pack has to follow’, Harari addresses in passing then current
‘problems’ in relation to bad public relations and poor stock market value,
arising from the Asian financial crisis and from others’ critical evaluation of its
dealings with the organic, human elements of its operations. These are seen as
being of minor relevance, and of a purely temporary nature, in relation to the
framing of the main topic of discussion, the successful, and ongoing
development of Nike as an organization, through its willingness to ‘rewrite the
rules’ of production, marketing, sales, etc.


       ‘As I write this in spring 1998, Nike is experiencing a public relations nightmare:
       widespread criticism about its overseas labor practices, an Asian crisis that has dried up
       sales there, a slump in its stock price and a perception that the Swoosh has lost its edge.
       But Nike's current stumblings, as far as I'm concerned, are a key part of the lesson.
       Before we get to that point, let's consider what made Nike a great company. It wasn't the
       marketing; it was Nike's willingness to violate conventional wisdom’ (Harari, 1998).




                                               109
Harari’s observations, later in the text, on the transformation over time of Nike’s successful
‘unconventional’ reframing of the rules of business into ‘conventional’ thinking for organizations
in general may be compared with Klein’s (2000) comments that:-


        ‘Many more traditionally run companies (‘vertically integrated’, as the phrase goes) are
        busy imitating Nike’s model, not only copying the company’s marketing approach….but
        also its on-the-cheap outsourced production structure’ (Klein, 2000).


For Klein, however, the issue of the organic elements of the organization cannot be considered
and discussed as ‘still life’ – lacking emotionality, relatedness to other areas of study, and
relevance over an extended timescale.


Does the ‘elaborate silver (managerial) frame’ of Harari’s text, in setting store on strategic
novelty - ‘rewriting the rules’ and ‘catapult(ing) your strategy over conventional wisdom’ in
order to make ‘a ton of money for (the) founders’ and ‘knock the socks of your investors’ -
detract from consideration of the ‘still life’ sub/ob-jects within the organizational frame?


                           Picture of a Landscape in an Elaborate
                                            Gold Frame
                                  Representation of a single,
                     abstract tree on a flat, featureless background.


                        Presenting a representation of a single, or
                          narrow sample, and holding it forth as
                                representation of all samples,
                                         or of the whole.


In their text, Miles and Snow (1995) commence with mention of how ‘every
organizational form - pyramid or pancake, centralized or decentralized - places
unique demands on people’, but the discussion of ‘people’ - individuals, unique,
sensing/feeling – is not developed. Rather, people are encapsulated within the
writers’ ‘new metaphor – a new mental representation’ of organization: an
abstract representation of the organization as ‘spherical structure’, with the




                                                 110
single organization, Nike, being held to represent its entire content, and its
industry landscape.


        ‘Nike makes a variety of investments all along its industry value chain. It invests in its
        upstream partners by sending its own technicians to work in manufacturing plants to bring
        them up to Nike's performance standards. Together with some of its more developed
        manufacturing partners, Nike co-participates in the design of new athletic footwear. At the
        downstream end, Nike permits some of its most valued retailers to place orders directly
        with manufacturing suppliers. Nike's trust in both upstream and downstream partners thus
        increases the flexibility and speed of adaptation across the entire network. Nike, as well as
        an increasing number of other networked firms, has found that investments in capability
        and trust are paying greater dividends than investments in control.’ (Miles and Snow,
        1995)


Whilst Miles and Snow may not be able to see the trees for the landscape, for Klein (2000), the
landscape is most definitely a frame for control over the individuals within it.


        ‘At the end of this bid-down, contract-out chain is the worker – often three or four times
        removed from the company that placed the original order – with a paycheck that has been
        trimmed at every turn. “When the multinationals squeeze the subcontractors, the
        subcontractors squeeze the workers,” explains a 1997 report on Nike’s and Reebok’s
        Chinese shoe factories’ (Klein, 2000).
                            Picture of a Portrait in a Silver Frame
                                   An unnamed individual is
                             represented in a form that renders
                             identification without prior knowing
                                             impossible.


                        Taking the representation of the individual
                              as being a representation of some
                           form of wider reality, as if reality really
                                                exists.



                                                  111
In a textual portrait (Willigan et al., 1992), the CEO of Nike is portrayed– is allowed to self-
     portray through interview - as heroic leader, driving development of a successful
       transnational business with consideration of the ‘emotional’ links between the
                             organization and its external customers.


        ‘Nike CEO Phil Knight believes that the firm's most important marketing tool is its product.
        This philosophy has led Nike to replace its product-oriented approach with a more
        consumer- and brand-oriented approach. The athletic-shoe company has become known
        as a marketing firm because of its eye-catching advertisements and celebrity
        endorsements. Nike designs its products according to consumer needs, but it must
        develop a good product before attempting to create emotional ties with its customers’
        (Willigan et al., 1992)


Whereas, a different form or portraiture conveys an image of the same individual that brings to the
foreground a lack of emotional ties between the organization and its internal customers.


        ‘The Nike ideology being preached by Phil Knight, posted on Nike web sites, and being
        advertised to investors, suppliers, consumers, and overseas employees conceals a reality
        that enslaves Asian women and children and entraps them in misery and suffering. Nike
        markets a view of itself that is contradicted by its own standards and principles’ (Boje,
        1998).


Both texts present the reader with (sub-)objective portrayals that may, in isolation of each other or
of any other portrait, be taken as being representations of ‘the reality’ of the individual. But, neither
text presents a portrait that renders the individual knowable to the reader without prior, or further
knowledge.
                                  Picture of Melrose Avenue in a
                                        Ornate Gold Frame
                     Simple representation of the road sign and text,
                                         ‘Melrose Avenue’,
                  against a background of a blank, windowless façade,



                                                  112
                               a single, highly abstracted tree,
                                  pointing the viewer to what
              lies outside the image – ‘exit stage right’ - Melrose Avenue.


                                 Representation of the sign is
                                taken as representation of the
                                  ‘reality’ of the represented.


According to both Capowski (1993) and Klein (2000), understanding of the
organization may be developed by consideration of the physical manifestation of
its presence, where it can be seen that ‘some companies will put more of a
premium on the exterior expression’ (Capowski, 1993). But, according to Klein
(2000), the organization will attempt to be directive and controlling of what sign
is accessible to the external viewer in order to guide construction of
interpretation of this ‘exterior expression’.


        ‘Nike Inc. serves as an excellent example of a company that successfully revealed its
        corporate culture through corporate design. Set on 74 sprawling acres amid the pine
        groves of Beaverton, Ore., the Nike World Campus exudes the energy, youth and vitality
        that have become synonymous with Nike's products. The campus is almost a monument
        to Nike's corporate values: the production of quality goods and, of course, fitness’
        (Capowski, 1993).


But, in contrast to the high-profile physical representation of the organization through its ‘world
campus’, in other parts of the ‘organizational world’:-


        ‘Fear pervades the (export processing) zones. The governments are afraid of losing their
        foreign factories; the factories are afraid of losing their brand-name buyers; and the
        workers are afraid of losing their unstable jobs. These are factories built not on land but on
        air’ (Klein, 2000).




                                                 113
However, in neither of these texts, is direct imagery of the physical presented to
the reader/viewer. In both texts, we have only the writers’ representation of the
sign of the physical from which to build our own imaginary image, and hence to
construct meaning: the physical signified of the writers is represented only
through a textual sign
                               Picture of a Simply Framed
                               Traditional Nude Drawing
                      In contrast to the previous images, here
                    the framing is simple, and the viewer might
                                contemplate the ‘subject’
                               – and Hockney’s meaning
                            in using the term ‘traditional’ –
                      without the visual clutter of the framing.


                           Naïve representation taken to be
                   complex and holistic representation within a
                           tradition of meaningful research.


In the texts cited below (Jackson and Schantz, 1993; Bhat and Reddy, 1998),
the writers set their discussions within fairly ‘simple’ – by which I mean
narrowly defined and exclusive - frames; ‘crisis management’ and the impact of
economic boycott in the first, and brand positioning analysed through
questionnaire and quantitative analysis of the theoretical models of rational and
of hedonic consumption in the second.


      ‘Nike's sales, stock price and image were threatened when Operation Push boycotted
      the firm over issues related to affirmative action in 1990. This incident offered
      lessons in crisis management and showed the importance of good press relations and
      crisis prevention’ (Jackson and Schantz, 1993).


      ‘At the same time, the study's results suggest that consumers see a brand's functionality
      and symbolism as separate phenomena. This implies that consumers do not have any




                                             114
        trouble accepting brands that have both symbolic and functional appeal. In this study, Nike
        was perceived as being functional, prestigious, and expressive’ (Bhat and Reddy, 1998).


In these texts, both the framing and the representation of organization are stripped back to simple
forms, devoid of extraneous complexities that would make objective analysis difficult or impossible
within the terms of reference. In both cases, the conclusions are constructed around lessons for
the organization on how to protect brand image and positioning within the consumer markets. The
complexities of this consumer market are further concealed behind a simplistic representation of
the ‘meaning’ of Nike to the consumer in Feit’s (1997) text:-


        ‘We go to the playground, and we dump the shoes out. It’s unbelievable. The kids go
        nuts. That’s when you realize the importance of Nike. Having kids tell you Nike is the
        number one thing in their life – number two is their girlfriend’ (Feit, 1997).


Moving on from consideration of these first 5 works from Hockney - each of
which is titled in a way that suggests a ‘reality’ of content, and a relatedness of
the frame to overall interpretation - I move on to consider……..
2.      Picture of a Pointless
                               Abstraction Framed under Glass
                                        It is what it says.


                               Finding transferable meaning in
                        pointlessness, abstraction and simplicity -
                             in the elimination of the elaborate
                           framing of representation represented
                                             as reality.


As I stated at the top of this abstract, I offer no conclusions. But I do offer some thoughts. The
‘subjects’ of my writing – on critical management and, and in relation to transnational organizations,
their management, workers, customers and their place and role in society – have been introduced
and discussed in greater depth by others (for example; Boje, 1998), so you may say that I cover
nothing new. However, the quantity of critical management literature in relation to these
relationships is drowned by the quantity of uncritical managerial literature. It is also put to shame –


                                                 115
quantitatively, not qualitatively – by the critical literature from others outside of business and
management studies (for example; Klein, 2000; McSpotlight, 2002). Where the managerial
literature fragments, objectifies and ‘rationally’ analyses organizations in order to inform
management education and practice, the non-managerial literature holistically engages with
subjective and emotional analyses – supported by objective and rational study as appropriate – in
order to stimulate critical thinking in society at large.


Within major managerial texts used for teaching in the area of ‘international business’, coverage of
matters of ethics and business practices is frequently separated from, and not cross-referenced to
discussion of the success of global advertising and marketing strategies (for example; Hill, 2000),
or of manufacturing and logistics from an operational perspective (for example; Tayeb, 2000).
Where there is a degree of integration, this may be in order to guide the ‘learning manager’ in
turning criticism and protest over working practices into development of ‘an effective public
relations strategy’, for example, through addressing the need to be ‘more aggressive
communicating the positive things that Nike has done over the last few years’ (Griffin and Putsay,
2002).


In her text, Klein (2000) raises issues of lack of critical engagement with organizational practices
from the academic community, from fear of reprisal, loss of research and other funding. She does,
however, point to instances where it is critical engagement from those with seemingly the greatest
reliance on organizations that produces the greatest impact on their thinking/acting.


However, back to the ‘no conclusions’. This view of Klein’s may be counterpoised with the
following:-


         ‘With a view to improving corporate practices where necessary, Nike commissioned
         Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business and former UN Ambassador Andrew Young
         to visit 15 Nike factories and report on conditions. The Tuck students reported that
         “workers earned above the local minimum wage, and with special allowances such as
         meals, housing and health care, as well as the opportunity to work overtime, the workers
         were earning more than enough to cover their basic needs”’ (Griffin and Pustay, 2002).



                                                    116
….and related back to her own writing….


        ‘Those who manufacture for the most prominent and richest brands in the world are still
        refusing to pay workers in China the 87 cents that would cover their cost of living, stave off
        illness and even allow them to send a little money home to their families. A 1998 study of
        brand-name manufacturing in the Chinese special economic zones found that Wal-Mart,
        Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, Esprit, Liz Claiborne, Kmart, Nike, Adidas, J.C. Penney and the
        Limited were paying a fraction of that miserable 87 cents – some were paying as little as
        13 cents an hour’ (Klein, 2000).


…. in order to keep the circle open.


I did promise some un-relatedness and fragmentation. Klein (2000) devotes considerable space to
discussing the contribution of export processing zones (EPZ’s); to the economic success of
transnational companies, to the economic suppression of their former and current workforces in
their ‘home’ countries, and to the impoverishment of the workforces of their current, transient
manufacturing ‘homes’. Her damning condemnation of the role of EPZ’s may be compared with a
large number of contemporary texts, largely from news agencies informed by government sources.
At the time of writing, a search of online publications (Infortrac, 2002) shows that there is massive
ongoing investment in, and competition between countries as diverse as Taiwan, Pakistan, Kenya
and Nigeria to set up new EPZ’s. Key questions arise for critical business and management
studies. Will these new EPZ’s be competing for a slice of an increasing global market for products,
or will they compete only with one another? Will they contribute to economic growth in their home
countries, or to ever-lower costs of supply of branded goods to transnational businesses? Will they
increase opportunity and employment flexibility for the global workforce, or merely choice of
location and location flexibility for context-independent businesses?


Will issues such as the relevance of EPZ’s – and of other controversial subjects, ranging from the
collapse of Enron and Worldcom to the south-east Asian pollution blanket – be allowed to enter the
frame of managerial studies? Or, will the framing of mainstream managerial research continue to



                                                 117
limit the range, complexity and coverage of the sub/ob-jects of study? Current internet
conversation - initiated by Michael Lissack (2002) - with, within, and about the Academy of
Management, and about the wider role of management research and education in relation to
corporate social responsibility and business ethics, indicates that, for some at least, the framing of
the discussion – the rules of engagement, the code of conduct for membership of the ‘club’ – are of
greater importance than the sub/ob-ject of study.


If mainstream managerial research and writing fails to grasp the nettle of seeing beyond the
‘traditional’ academic framing, and the simplistic representation of organizational subjects through
abstract objectification, will a critical mass of business and management academics build upon the
foundation of critical management studies in order to connect with a concerned populace at large?
Or, will it be left to ‘outsiders’ such as Klein (2000) and the McLibel duo (McSpotlight, 2002) to
engage with society at large over complex issues that link business and management to politics,
economics, environmental studies, health, demographics, etc., etc?



References
Boje, D.M. (1998) How critical theory and critical pedagogy can unmask Nike's
        labor practices,
        http://cbae.nmsu.edu/mgt/jpub/boje/critped/index.html, (paper
        presented to the Critical Theory pre-conference of the Academy of
        Management meetings, San Diego, CA)
Bhat, S. and Reddy, S.K. (1998) Symbolic and functional positioning of brands, Journal of
        Consumer Marketing, 15(1): 33-43.
Capowski, G.S. (1993) Designing a corporate identity (office building design), Management
        Review, 82(6): 37-40.
Feit, J. (1997) The Nike psyche, Willamette Week, 28 May (quoted in Klein, 2000).
Griffin, R.W. and M.W. Pustay (2002) International Business: A managerial perspective (3rd
        edition), Upper Saddle River NJ: Prentice Hall.
Harari, O. (1998) Lessons from the swoosh (management strategy), Management Review, 87(7):
        39-42.
Hill, CW. (2000) International Business: Competing in the global marketplace (3rd edition),
        London: McGraw-Hill.


                                                 118
Hockney, D. (1976). David Hockney by David Hockney. London: Thames and Hudson.
Infotrac (2002) General Business File,
        http://infotrac.london.galegroup.com/itw/infomark/74/385/26027404w4/purl
        =rc3_GBIM_0__export+processing+zone, 12 August.
Jackson, J.E. and W.T. Schantz (1993) Crisis management lessons: when Push
        shoved Nike (boycott of Nike by People United to Serve Humanity),
        Business Horizons, 36(1): 27-35.
Klein, N. (2000) No Space/No Choice/No Jobs – No Logo, London: Flamingo.
Lissack, M. (2002) http://www.lissack.com
McSpotlight (2002) http://www.McSpotlight
        Miles, R.E. and C.C. Snow (1995) The new network firm: a spherical
        structure built on a human investment philosophy, Organizational
        Dynamics, 23(4): 4-18.
   Nietzsche, F. (1994) On the Geneology of Morality, translation by Diethe, C.,
        Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tayeb, M. (2000) International Business: Theories, policies and practices,
        Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Willigan, G.E., H. Tinker, I. Hamilton and D. Wieden (1992) High-performance
        marketing: an interview with Nike's Phil Knight. (includes related articles
        on product design, endorsements and advertising) (Interview), Harvard
        Business Review, 70(4): 90-101.




                                         119
Art of Management and Organization

Stream: The Perverse in Art, Management and Organization


Simple Diagram, Contested Concept: the Pyramid in
Management
Derrick Chong

Why not an examination of the simple figure of the pyramid? In
management and organization, the pyramid is a powerful visual symbol.
It represents something to ascend: a mountainous corporate
organizational chart, perhaps. At the same time, pyramid signals market
segmentation to distinguish multiple layers: ‘all customers’ at base level
to ‘partners’ at the apex.

Can the pyramid be used to explore the relationship between the
philosophy of fundraising and fraudulent activity? Fundraisers use the
pyramid to encapsulate two beliefs: the so-called ‘20/80’ benchmark
emphasizes that a relatively small proportion of donors account for the
vast bulk of the total funds raised; and philanthropy needs to find
incentives to encourage individuals to higher levels of giving. The U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission notes that ‘pyramid schemes’ are a
type of fraudulent activity: ‘Participants attempt to make money solely by
recruiting new participants into the programme. The hallmark of these
schemes is the promise of sky-high returns in a short period of time for
doing nothing other than handing over your money and getting others to
do the same’ (cited in www.sec.org.gov). Money coming in from new
recruits is used to pay off early stage investors, but at some point the
scheme gets too big, and the promoter cannot raise enough money from
new investors to pay earlier investors—eventually the pyramid will
collapse. Pyramid schemes are illegal, but multilevel (or network)
marketing companies can be legitimate.

Analysis focuses on two lead organizations. First, Oxford Philanthropic
was established in 1994 as a management consultancy that advises
nonprofit organizations on developing strategies for major fundraising
programmes. Henry Drucker, Oxford Philanthropic’s founder, discusses
giving and his philosophy of fundraising in spiritual terms: ‘Fundraising
can liberate the donor’; and ‘The vocabulary, the arguments, are all
Protestant arguments. It’s about inspiration, changing the world, and
personal destiny. The language of fundraising I teach is really a version
of Protestant theology’ (cited in the Financial Times, 6/7 December 1997).
Second, ACN was founded in 1992, as a response to the deregulation of
the public power monopolies, and is one of the fastest growing network


                                       ..120..
marketing companies in the U.S. ‘All you need is something to believe in.
You have found that vehicle. You have found the vehicle called ACN’
(cited in The New Yorker, 23 & 30 April 2001). Sales reps chant ‘I will be
set free!’ at conventions, where they learn how to present the
‘Opportunity’ to family, friends, and friends of friends. Does the pyramid
help to account for a blurring of boundaries? How are these differences,
say between fundraising and fraud, abolished? What incentives are there
to encourage individuals to ascend the pyramid? A reworking of Abraham
Maslow’s psychological hand, from the 1940s, is in evidence; his basic
‘hierarchy of needs’ pyramid has five levels. One is deemed to become
more spiritually enlightened at higher levels of the pyramid. This is not
dissimilar to the three-stage pyramid posited by Charles Handy’s ‘search
for meaning’: his quasi-spiritualist position dictates that those who do
not strive for the apex, namely to make a contribution to society, sell
themselves short (Handy 1997). It goes without saying that the pyramid
exploits individual insecurities about being excluded or not belonging to
a group: the tactics of television evangelists, with their mixture of
bullying and coddling, provide an obvious example; all the leading luxury
brands (such as LVMH and Richemont) understand the power of
emotion—and how to exploit it for commercial advantage.




                                 ..121..
Artistic Intelligence and Leadership Framing:
Employing the Wisdom of Envisioning, Improvisation, Introspection, and
Inclusion

David A. Cowan
Professor
Department of Management
Richard T. Farmer School of Business
Miami University
Oxford, OH 45056




   Presented at The Art of Management and Organization Conference
                         King’s College, London
                            September, 2002


      Leaders are increasingly confronted with the challenge of framing
issues, missions, opportunities, threats, goals, and so forth, in ways that


                                  ..122..
account for all relevant perspectives, and respect all relevant
stakeholders. No longer is prudent, sufficient, or wise to focus on one’s
own organizations as if the rest of the world were not an integral source
of inputs and an affected recipient of outputs. These cycles of
interdependence are exponentially more critical as boundaries dissipate,
ripple effects become more apparent, and the activities escalate in speed.
        The argument presented in this paper is that leadership
development is rapidly becoming inadequate in its capacity to enrich
learners with the wisdom it takes to engage in the complex patterns of
relationship alluded to above. Instead, leadership education maintains
its emphasis on the provision of current knowledge, which is certainly
important but insufficient for good leadership. The study presented in
this paper explores in considerable depth the potential created by adding
artistic intelligence to the mix of other intelligences (e.g., logical-
mathematical, linguistic, and emotional) that are present in most
leadership-development programs. The purpose is to motivate greater
awareness of the “wisdom” side of leadership education, in order to
complement but certainly not replace the “knowledge” side of leadership
education.
        A salient premise underlying this study is that leadership is both a
science and an art; it is both transactional and transformational; it
require both knowledge and wisdom. Whereas knowledge derives from
the past, wisdom illuminates the future. At the boundary where these
forces meet lies the most promise for enriching leadership education in a
complex, dynamic world. Since most mainstream attention is given to
the knowledge-science-transactional side, we explore and attempt to
clarify more of the wisdom-artistic-transformational side. The hope is
that leadership education can better prepare future leaders in their
ability to frame issues and to motivate actions that not only do less harm
to the world than is currently the case, but also do more good to sustain
all life not just certain lives.
        The path toward this end is more circuitous than linear because
the very nature of wisdom and artistry transcends much of the myopic,
one-best-way approach that characterizes much of the science and
knowledge dimensions that characterize much of institutional leadership
education today. We begin by examining some of the ways that leaders
create leverage by the ways that they frame their understanding and
their visions. With this foundation, we then examine some of the more
prominent boundaries in leadership education that constrain the
broader, intuitive, wisdom-and-artistry dimensions of leadership
potential. This leads us into the heart of the paper, which creates a
framework of artistic intelligence, based in large part on long-standing
metaphysical and epistemological frameworks developed in many
different cultures to explain and help engender wisdom. The resultant
framework of artistic intelligence involves an interconnected and cyclical
pattern of four keystones – envisioning, improvising, introspecting, and

                                   ..123..
including -- each of which derives from one of the four intelligences
comprising the Native American Medicine Wheel, which is one of the
long-standing frameworks emphasizing the acquisition of wisdom.
Finally, we examine ways of tapping artistic intelligence within
institutional leadership education programs. Toward this end, we draw
heavily upon notable artists, artworks, and artistic ideas to create viable
pathways for challenging emerging leaders to develop their artistic
intelligence. In addition, we propose and explain an activity to
complement the four arrays of artist, artwork, and artistic idea, so that
emerging leaders can engage in the various processes that align with
each of the four keystones. We conclude with some implications and
directions for pursuing artistic intelligence in leadership education.

Creating Leverage through Leadership Framing.

       The process of making choices on our journey into the future
involves placing frames of belief and value around particular possibilities,
which when then provide direction to current action. The act of
“framing” is “to conceive or design; to arrange or adjust for a purpose; to
put into words, formulate; to enclose” (American Heritage College
Dictionary, 3rd, ed., 1997: 540). Frames enable us to see, to interpret, to
desire, to choose, and to act. Without a frame, we can only stand
paralyzed by a boundless stimuli that the world provides. The process of
framing takes place when we “share our frames with others….[In doing
so] we manage meaning because we assert that our interpretation should
be taken as real over other possible interpretations” (Fairhurst & Sarr,
1996: 3). A leader’s framing often works well if the leader understands
the people affected, the deeper purpose for framing in the first place, the
context that informs frames, opportunities and threats to particular
frames, and so forth. Alternatively, framing works poorly when a key
ingredient is missing as, for example, when a leader is not adequately
tuned into the people she is trying to lead (e.g., Labarre, 1999).
       Leadership is saturated with framing activity. Every leader,
whether formal or informal, is involved with repeatedly managing
attention and meaning for other people (e.g., Bennis, 2000). Through the
process of framing, leaders have the power to determine purpose, to
direct awareness, and to define relevance, thereby influencing other
people’s values, beliefs, choices, and actions. The power of a leader’s
framing is often manifest through language, for example through vision
statements and objectives. However, it also manifests physically, for
example through the design of work processes, meetings, and work
space; emotionally, for example through the invocation of praise,
support, fear, and punishment; and spiritually, for example through
rituals and ceremonies that inspire.
       To frame reality in a continually effective manner, leaders must
possess more than just knowledge, because knowledge comes primarily

                                  ..124..
from the past. The role of knowledge is often where the distinction is
made between leadership and management, where managers apply
knowledge to do things right but leaders have to decide what to do. A
similar distinction applies to the difference between leadership as a
science and leadership as an art. Management and science live mostly in
the past. They build upon precedent, experience(s), and accumulated
insight from what has proven effective previously (e.g., benchmarking).
Leadership also must rely on knowledge – it must be grounded effectively
in the past. However, leadership also must contain some illumination of
the future – a look into where things are going not just where they’ve
been. Leadership involves aligning what we know with uncertainty and
ambiguity. To this extent, leadership brings with it an element of
wisdom to energize and mobilize the status quo. Leadership framing as a
science is that part that weaves the past into the present via knowledge.
Leadership framing as an art is that part that invites the present into the
future via widsom.
       Leadership and leadership framing must also be understood in
terms of its scope or breadth of inclusion. Some leadership is narrow in
scope because it defines paths into uncertain and ambiguous territory
for only a few people. Thus, leadership framing can impact one group of
people within a department within a small organization. Alternatively, it
can impact an industry, a country, and now and then the whole world by
defining paths into uncertain and ambiguous territory for increasingly
larger groups of people. The “scope” of artistic intelligence is a measure
of the number of people who resonate with a particular pathway into the
future. To some degree, “duration” of artistic intelligence is also an
important leadership standard. Duration is a temporal measure,
providing an indication of how long a particular pathway into the future
sustains. At the extremes, some leader’s visions are notably short-lived,
while others last for thousands of years. Whether or not these pathways
into the future prove good or bad, right or wrong, is a matter of
perspective (i.e., of whose values apply). Thus, the dangers of framing
depend upon the perspective(s) employed. In this respect, the Talmud is
appropriate in noting that “we do not see the world as it is, we see the
world as we are.” Someone’s perspective must be invoked before any
true determinations of good or bad, or right or wrong, pertain.

Boundaries in Institutional Leadership Education.

       The purpose of this section is to highlight some of the constraints
that prohibit the development of leadership’s full potential, as compared
to the potential inherent in management. Leadership development
requires evoking wisdom as well as providing knowledge, or providing
artistic intelligence in addition to scientific skill. A premise of this
argument is that leadership involves wisdom, which derives at least in
part from artistic intelligence. To the degree that education nurtures

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artistic intelligence, wisdom becomes more accessible and the full
potential of leadership begins to emerge. To the degree that education
nurtures other intelligences (e.g., mental and emotional) without tapping
into artistic intelligence, the full potential of leadership remains subdued.
The reason for developing an educational foundation for this argument is
to create insight for current leadership development programs to enrich
their current offerings by infusing or at least sprinkling them with
artistic intelligence.
       The challenge to develop artistic intelligence within existing
organizations and schools is not new. Decades ago, in a report to the
Club of Rome, Botkin, Elmandjra, and Malitza (1979) made a clear and
bold call for “innovative learning” – which they compared to “shock” and
“maintenance” learning. Whereas maintenance learning is re-actively
incremental and shock learning it re-actively sudden, innovative learning
is pro-active – locating and framing pathways into the future. Innovative
learning requires educating people to handle well the uncertainty of what
they do not know rather than just what they do know. Innovative
learning holds potential to avoid problems before they happen rather
than to face problems only after they arise – thus “dissolving” them
before they have a chance to materialize (e.g., Ackoff, 1978). Roughly
twenty years ago, Glaser recognized a similar dilemma in education,
when he defined “an apparently improved capability of our schools to
teach knowledge of the ‘basics’ without encouraging thinking and
mindfulness” (1984: 93). Peter Senge joined the choir by claiming that
organizations intent on learning must develop capabilities to employ
generative, rather only adaptive learning. As Senge noted, “generative
learning…is about creating [whereas] adaptive learning…is about
coping…. Generative learning, unlike adaptive learning, requires new
ways of looking at the world.” (1990: 441). Similarly, deBono (1991)
framed the concept of lateral learning – the capacity to gain insight by
first getting lost – as a creative and fluid form of understanding missing
from traditional education. It is our premise that innovative learning,
mindfulness, generative learning, and lateral learning are manifestations
of artistic intelligence. They all possess the capabilities not only of
ensuring fresh eyes, but of creating frames that are authentic, original,
inspiring, invigorating, rejuvenating, and so forth.
       So why is it the case that institutions have, for the most part, not
done a good job to unleash artistic intelligence? One systemic responses
to this question comes from John Taylor Gatto, author of several
arguments challenging the quality of formal education (e.g., 1990; 1992).
Gatto argues that schools were designed for an industrial era, to
indoctrinate groups of people simultaneously and efficiently to think
alike and do as they’re told. Because this is what organizations need
when physical labor predominates, schools functioned quite well. What
failed to happen, however, was for schools to evolve as organizations
began to need people’s hearts, minds, and [now] spirits in addition to

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their bodies (e.g., Davis & Botkin, 1994). Because schools have been
slow to transform, independent, creative thinking had to emerge mostly
on its own, in spite of, rather than because of, formal education. Even
the fine arts cannot be corralled into formal educational boxes, as both
Picasso and vanGogh openly acknowledged. Within institutional learning
environments, “intelligence” has been mostly limited to mental
dimensions (e.g., mathematical and linguistic) until the past few decades
(Gardner, 1983; Sternberg, 1985). Thus, only recently has any critical
mass of response arisen to the kinds of intelligence that produce
innovative, mindfulness, lateral, and generative learning.
        Besides the design of education being driven by the purpose of
getting people to think alike and to do as they are told, institutional
education traditionally focuses on sharing knowledge rather than
promoting wisdom. Consequently, there are few opportunities in
textbook-driven system for learners to acquire capacities to frame issues
in fresh ways; to define potentially new paths in uncertain territory; to
raise provocative questions; and so forth. Institutional education creates
a pretense that texts possess the sum total of what we need to know.
Furthermore, as Adler (1977) noted very insightfully, schools keep time
constant (e.g., in frames such as semesters and grade levels) while letting
learning vary, rather then ensuring that everyone learns all that is
needed to know. The outcome of such systems is that those who do not
rapidly and consistently conform to the status quo fall by the wayside
within such systems. Finally, students of institutional learning are
provided few sustained opportunities to learn how to learn (cf. survive) in
real contexts, where they confront the efficacy, or lack thereof, of their
inner worlds interfacing with the outer world. For example, they are
provided few systemic (i.e., interconnected and developmental)
opportunities to learn how to learn inductively and introspectively; how
to form abstractions and how to translate abstractions from one context
into another; how to move fluidly among different levels of
understanding, from general to increasingly particular as situations shift
from industry, to organization, to department, to particular people.
       In comparison to Western-European institutional education, which
serves certain (esp. mechanically structured, self-contained, and static)
purposes quite well, we argue that other forms of education offer greater
potential to promote the effective use of artistic intelligence. Viable
alternatives have existed far longer than Western-European education,
having arisen within cultures intent on educating individuals – rather
than groups – to bring out their inherent and unique talents as they
interface the world (e.g., Mander, 1991; Storm, 1972; 1994). One
example, which we employ and build upon in this paper, derives from
Native American philosophy and epistemology. For “traditional American
Indian education,… Nature and all it contains formed the parameters of
the school…. The Mythic, Visionary, and Artistic foundations… spring
forth from teaching/learning and the innate knowledge of our inner

                                  ..127..
self…. The Affective, Communal, and Environmental foundations… are
the… outward, highly interactive and external dimension of Tribal
education (Cajete, 1994: 39). Other viable alternatives have been
recently emerging as scholars realize the need to educate in ways that
tap into and promote a full array of intelligences, not just mental
intelligence (e.g., Armstrong, 1993).
       Our argument is that traditional Western-European education
does not by itself provide sufficient development of important leadership
processes such as mindfulness, innovative learning, lateral learning, and
generative learning. All of these, we suggest, derive from artistic
intelligence, which lives on the “wisdom” side of learning rather than the
“knowledge” side of learning. What we seek, therefore, is not a
replacement of educating with knowledge, but rather than an enrichment
that includes educating toward wisdom. For certain careers, this
distinction is not problematic and educating people only on what has
worked in the past is sufficient. However, for any career involving
leadership responsibilities, arguments are now arising that knowledge-
based education by itself is insufficient to meet the needs of an
interconnected, dynamic world. What we offer in the next section is a
framework and discussion of artistic intelligence, which we frame in a
way that can help to meet this leadership-development need. In the
sections that follow it, we present artistic ideas, images, and activities as
pedagogy for introducing these ideas into institutional learning
environments, and then discuss some of the structural and
programmatic issues that will arise where such efforts are made.

A Foundation for Understanding Artistic Intelligence.

       Understanding abstract concepts. We begin by briefly examining
the conceptual roots of “artistic intelligence.” A common definition of
artistic is “sensitive to or appreciative of art or beauty; showing
imagination and skill” (American Heritage College Dictionary, 3rd ed.,
1997, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, p. 78; emphasis added to highlight
integral concepts). To understand this definition, we must understand
the meaning of beauty, imagination, and skill -- if not also sensitivity,
art, and appreciation. The foundation of our understanding must
eventually find its way into our own experiences (e.g., what we have
experienced as beautiful and what we have experienced in the realm of
imagination). When we back up to define beauty, we learn that it is “that
quality or combination of qualities which affords keen pleasure to other
senses,… or which charms the intellectual or moral faculties, through
inherent grace or fitness to a desired view” (Oxford English Dictionary,
Compact edition, 1971(1): 744). To understand the meaning of beauty,
we therefore need to understand its component concepts, such as charm,
intellectual, moral, and grace. As we do so, we learn, for example, that
an accepted definition of grace is “attractiveness or charm belonging to

                                   ..128..
elegance of proportions, or ease and refinement of movement, action, or
expression” (Oxford English Dictionary, Compact edition, 1971(1): 325-
26). The point that we wish to make is that until these many interrelated
concepts converge to some degree and we are confident that our
experiences adequately inform them, we cannot understand much of
what it means to be artistic. Relative to this challenge, we also wish to
illuminate the difficulty that confronts us as we seek understanding of
concepts that are not directly connected to a perceptual referent, as
occurs with the concepts of tree or pencil.
       It is not automatic that anyone who wants to understand a truly
integrative concept such as artistic intelligence can easily do so (Wilber,
1995; 2000). At the surface, it appears that all we need to do is read a
definition and we gain understanding, yet such naivete is misleading not
only here but in much of formal education. Understanding of a
particular concept is grounded within the context of the rest of a person’s
understanding, which ultimately is connected to this person’s
experiences. The importance of this process manifests increasingly
loudly as we move toward concepts that lie further away from perceptual
experiences. For example, it is not particularly difficult to enable a child
to understand the difference between green and yellow because we can
point directly to perceptual referents of each. On the other hand, it is
considerably more difficult to enable a child to understand the difference
between equity and fairness or between spiritual and emotional.
Furthermore, understanding any concept is a developmental process
continues throughout our lifetime as we continue to experience – directly
and indirectly – more of the world around us. Thus, the degree to which
a child, a teenager, a law-school student, and a supreme court judge
understand the concepts of fairness and equity will be notably variable.
       Understanding artistic intelligence is not something that one can
do by simply reading a dictionary definition. This is a fundamental point
to grasp because it directly relates to educating young leaders, which we
will discuss in the next section of this paper. So, take careful note, for
example, that talking about a piece of artwork in a classroom is quite
different from enabling learners to experience the artwork themselves. In
this section, we talk about artistic intelligence and a set of cornerstones
that comprise artistic intelligence as it develops its potential: envisioning,
improvisation, introspection, and inclusion. It is within this set of
composite processes that we gain leverage to help educate emerging
leaders in ways that tap into wisdom not just knowledge.
       Medicine Wheel Structure of Multiple Intelligences. It is important
to ground an emerging leader’s learning experience in concrete
situations. Toward that end, it is helpful to evoke insight from
educational processes that do not rely as heavily on detached reasoning
as Western European educational processes typically do. Consequently,
we draw upon Native American educational processes (e.g., Black Elk &
Lyon, 1990; Cajete, 1994; Mander, 1991; Storm, 1994; Wall & Arden,

                                   ..129..
1990) and to a lesser degree upon Native African (e.g., Fu-Kiau, 1991)
and Native European, or Celtic (Meadows, 1990; Pennick, 1997)
processes, all of which keep wisdom and individual uniqueness as
central parts of education. Such indigenous perspectives seldom
separate art from living, just as they do not separate religion from living
(e.g., Hobday, 1992). In other words, art is not something placed into
glass boxes or hung upon walls, but is instead personalized and often
worn. In these cultures, art is an essential part of being fully human,
just as critical thinking seems to be in Western European cultures. In
blending cultural perspectives, we gain not only depth of meaning of
artistic intelligence, but also breadth of ways of educating to tap its
potential.
       Many indigenous cultures share an integrated view of life that is
symbolized in a structure involving a circle or wheel of interconnections.
Examples include the Native American Medicine Wheel (Storm, 1972;
1994), the African Cosmogram (Fu-Kiau, 1991), and the Celtic Wheel or
Celtic Cross (Pennick, 1997). The Native American Medicine Wheel,
which we employ in this section to convey an integration of intelligences,
embodies a full array of directions or spokes that together comprise
reality. [See Cowan, 1995, for a discussion of the Medicine Wheel’s
relevance to organizations and education.] Each of the four cardinal
directions provides an anchor within the Medicine Wheel, as depicted in
Figure 1. [See Storm, 1972 and 1994 for in-depth discussions of many
layers of understanding inherent in the Wheel.]

                               Figure 1
                    Native American Medicine Wheel

                              Mental (North)


               Physical (West)               Spiritual (East)



                            Emotional (South)

Leadership education that does not integrally develop the potential of all
directions sub-optimizes at best, i.e., it does not serve the learner as well
as it could and should. Alternatively, leadership education that
integrally and regularly weaves together mental, spiritual, emotional, and
physical threads of intelligence is, according to the theory of the Medicine
Wheel, well suited to tap full human potential. This integrative
philosophy guides and informs the framework of artistic intelligence that
we present below.



                                   ..130..
       The Medicine Wheel framework is a philosophy and epistemology
that is intensely tuned into a broad array of human potentialities.
Furthermore, the pedagogy of indigenous learning attempts to ground
understanding in real-world experiences of each learner. Experience and
ritual (cf. repeated performance) precedes conceptual understanding in
these cultures much more than it does in Western European education.
Getting the body and heart involved first and letting the mind follow is
more the mantra than institutional learning where only the mind is king.
To understand the Medicine Wheel, we must realize that the cardinal
directions are only anchors, i.e., that there are myriad intelligences that
comprise the wheel just as there are myriad colors in a rainbow. To
understand the Medicine Wheel, it is also worth recognizing comparisons
to the work of Carl Jung (1971), who employed similar integration in his
framing of human consciousness into four functions. Jung’s functions,
which are similar to the cardinal directions of the Medicine Wheel, are
sensing, intuiting, feeling, and thinking. In describing them, Jung notes
not only that they fit together well to provide a comprehensive
perspective, but also that he discovered this framework empirically
through a lifetime of experience and careful observation, just as
indigenous people did:
       That there are exactly four [functions] was a result I arrived at on purely empirical
       grounds. But as the following consideration will show, these four together
       produce a kind of totality. Sensation establishes what is actually present, thinking
       enables us to recognize its meaning, feeling tells us its value, and intuition points
       to possibilities as to whence it came and whither it is going in a given situation.
       In this way we can orient ourselves with respect to the immediate world as
       completely as when we locate a place geographically by latitude and longitude.
       The four functions are somewhat like the four points of the compass; they are just
       as arbitrary and just as indispensable. (Jung, 1971: 540-41).
       More recently, considerable conceptual and empircal attention has
been emerging to further validate the fact that human potential is
comprised of interconnected intelligences. Being driven by a scientific
lens, however, it is easy to understand the fragmented way in which
intelligences are currently portrayed, for the most part. For example, see
Emmons (1999), Wolman (2001), and Zohar and Marshall (2000) for
discussions of spiritual intelligence; Sternberg (1985; 1996) for
discussions of mental intelligence; Goleman (1995; 1998) for discussions
of emotional intelligence; Gardner (1999) for a discussion of naturalist
(cf. physical) intelligence; and both Gardner (1999) and deBeauport
(1996) for discussions of other intelligences. Among the many current
scholars in this area, Sternberg appears the most integrative in his


                                          ..131..
attempts not only to locate and study an intelligence, but also to learn
how it connects with other intelligences.

A Framework of Artistic Intelligence.

       Artistic intelligence is not to be found in any one of the four
cardinal directions of the Medicine Wheel, yet it is not to found
independent of these directions either. What we propose instead, is that
artistic intelligence emerges through a particular level of development of
these intelligences in concert. The particular level of development has to
do with wisdom, i.e., with learning to employ these intelligences wisely as
compared with learning to infuse and employ them with knowledge. For
leadership potential to emerge, these are two sides of the same coin.
However, whereas practical intelligence (Sternberg, 1996) may be an
employment of the wheel at the level of knowledge, artistic intelligence is
an employment of the wheel at the level of wisdom. Traditional
leadership education handles the knowledge side rather well, but it does
not do justice to the potential inherent on the wisdom side. Artistic
intelligence emerges as developing leaders (in our case) learn to employ a
particular facet of each of the four directions, which derives through
wisdom more than knowledge.
       Artistic intelligence is not just a skill (which is part of the definition
of “artistic”) although it requires skill; it is not just imagination although
it involves imagination; and it is not just the pursuit of beauty although
it pursues beauty. Given the high level of integration inherent in artistic
intelligence, the more we attempt to define it with only left-brained
thinking, the more elusive it becomes. Although we must resist the
scientific tendency to frame artistic intelligence precisely, we cannot
practically afford to frame artistic intelligence too loosely. Thus, we
frame artistic intelligence in a way that draws insight from each of the
four cardinal directions, without pretending that this framing is
definitive. Inherent in understanding the concept is a need to respect its
integration, its reliance on wisdom. Consequently, we believe that it is
important to leave space within its “frame” for readers to add insight
from their own experiences and understanding. It is a concept about
which we can only share broad parameters – definitive understanding
only occurs in specific contextual applications. Similar to the reality of
beauty and grace, it is more difficult to grasp in the abstract than it is
when we experience it.
       We frame artistic intelligence through a particular interpretation of
each of the four cardinal directions of the Medicine Wheel. As a reminder
of the essentials, East represents the future, where possibilities reside;
West represents the past, where responsibilities emerge; North provides a
telescopic perspective, where conceptions exist; and South provides a
more microscopic perspective, where emotions dwell. The keystones of
this framework provide an integrative foundation on which to build, yet

                                     ..132..
leave room for translations into the contextual parameters of particular
situations. For example, people in different cultures, who possess
different values and different conceptions of time and space (e.g., Hall &
Hall, 1990), must translate the keystones accordingly. Similarly, people
in different occupations, who may for example experience more or less
immediate time pressures (e.g., see Glück, Ernst, & Unger, 2002, for a
discussion of such effects on creativity), must also translate the
keystones by anchoring them in local meaning. The framework that we
propose for artistic intelligence – in Figure 2 – consists of keystones that
derive from the employment of wisdom.




                                   ..133..
                                 Figure 2
                       Artistic Intelligence Wheel

                            Inclusion (North)


         Introspection (West)                Envision (East)



                          Improvisation (South)

       Our framing of artistic intelligence follows not only from literature
regarding intelligences that relate to each of the cardinal directions, but
also from wisdom literature coming from cultures where wisdom and art
are integral to life rather than separate from it. In some respects, our
framing of artistic intelligence simply illuminates the more right-brained,
organic processes that complement the more left-brained, mechanistic
processes associated with each of the four directions. In relation to the
knowledge-based learning, the learning provided at this level pertains
more to Bruner’s creativity: “figuring out how to use what you already
know in order to go beyond what you currently think” (Bruner, 1983:
183). Artistic intelligence promotes full expression of one’s potential in
ways that meaningfully affect the world around us. Thus, artistic
intelligence is not detached, head-in-the-clouds, make-believe
fantasizing, but it is also not taking existing ideas and merely discerning
how to force-fit them like a template. Within this juncture, artistic
intelligence connects with the past yet reveals fresh inroads to the future.
Knowledge is a prerequisite but only in terms of its principles and
patterns. The wisdom side of the equation brings fresh awareness and
playful responses because it is not constrained by the past. “Wise people
know that they don’t fully understand what is happening right now,
because they have never seen precisely this event before” (Weick, 1993:
641). Artistic intelligence is the manifestation of this energy in the
following four ways.
       Envisioning. Envisioning is the capacity to intuit possibilities; to
imagine what has yet been brought into the tangible world of form.
“Vision embodies and focuses our creative power to visualize and realize
new entities…. Visions are always about our individual movement toward
wholeness” (Cajete, 1994: 145). As such, envisioning is a force that
compels translation of forces into the world of form. It is not fantasy and
it requires knowledge with which to work, as well as wisdom to guide
such work. One has to be aware of reality in order to effectively envision,
yet at the same time one has to be able to let go of that which has
already happened. Either extreme – being locked into what has occurred
or being disconnected from it – is not envisioning. The source of

                                  ..134..
envisioning lies somewhere near the heart of one’s calling, i.e., of tapping
into authenticity as it aligns with and informs a particular context.
Envisioning involves holding space for newness to arise – a capacity that
involves keen internal awareness, patience, and courage to voice what
others have not heard. By employing the method of storytelling, Chopra
(1996) highlights “Merlin’s” wisdom as “living backwards,” i.e., not
hauling the full load of the past into the present as we often do in higher
education.
       Envisioning requires effectively energizing left-brain forms with
right-brain forces; conversely it requires effectively translating right-brain
forces into left-brain forms. The intelligence that promotes this capacity,
which we call artistic, involves movement in either of these directions –
from form to force or force to form – in order to make valid and inspiring
connections. Artistic intelligence, through envisioning, can manifest as
readily in architecture, business, and physics, as it can in the fine arts of
sculpting and painting. However, equally notable, there are people in all
fields who become too attached only to fantasy or only to the mechanics
of the past, thus defusing artistic intelligence.
       Improvisation. As the Wheel of artistic intelligence turns,
envisioning gives way to improvisation. Like envisioning, improvisation
is also an infusing of knowledge with wisdom. Improvisation requires
mindfulness in real time, here and now, as the real world unfolds (e.g.,
as compared, perhaps, within the contrived contexts of film or
Broadway). Improvisation is the capacity to think, act, feel, sense, see,
and so forth, in ways that take advantage of what we know, yet evoke
fresh combinations that capitalize on resources at hand (cf. master chefs)
as well as current flows of energy (cf. masters of Judo). For example,
master chefs can walk into a kitchen and create something of value with
very few ingredients. They don’t need to rely on particular recipes, but
only on principles of good form. Their perceptions and thoughts remain
more fluid than average (deBono, 1991) and their capacities to learn and
to experiment do not become stale (Argyris, 1991). Similarly, masters of
Judo, or of any warrior art (Musashi, 1974), do not lose their focus,
purpose, or energy in the face of danger. They take nothing for granted
and thus are seldom if ever surprised or flustered by what actually
happens. They read situations with keen awareness – not restricting
themselves to a particular plan of action – and respond wisely by drawing
flexibly from all that they have learned without responding in any
predictable manner (e.g., Castaneda, 1972). (i.e., apply what they have
learned) in the same ways that have done before.
       Similar to the power of envisioning, improvisation energizes
knowledge of the past with wisdom, which enables a loose translation
into the present. Once again, artistic intelligence manifests at the
interface between left-brain and right-brain consciousness.
Improvisation involves employing a high level of “presence,” the capacity
to be fully alive in a current situation without being drawn exclusively

                                   ..135..
into the past or the future, and without being overwhelmed or distracted
by what is unexpected or unknown in the present. With a high level of
presence, leaders are never caught off-guard, never knocked off balance,
and never needing to “hurry” regardless of how fast they move. Anything
that happens is taken in stride when one is able to mindfully improvise.
This does not mean that one accepts that what is happening must
continue, but only that what is happening is reality and thus must be
included in the equation of what to do next. Improvisation involves
continually remembering the parameters of one’s vision, yet continually
framed steps appropriately in the present. For example, a master sailor
may take a route that appears to others as far off course in order to
compensate for strong winds (e.g., Bode, 1993). Similarly, a master
mountain climber may take an apparently longer route up a mountain in
order to avoid an obstacle far in the distance or a storm looming on the
horizon. In both cases, mindful improvisation creates alignment of
context and purpose, of reality and vision, of circumstances and
intention.
       Introspection. As the wheel of artistic intelligence continues to
turn, improvisation gives way to introspection. By introspection, we do
not mean detached, self-indulgent contemplation that often arises in
one’s teenage years or in new-age self-indulgence, but rather genuine
grounding of one’s experiences in ways that mobilize responsibility
beyond oneself, as happens to every wise and weathered adventurer.
Artistic intelligence involves the kind of introspection that deepens
connections to one’s ancestors directly or indirectly (e.g., experienced
first-hand or only understood through the stories of others), in ways that
awaken appreciation of life’s interdependencies. In the process, the
façade of independence gives way to the freedom inherent in
interdependence. Awakening freedom through interdependence draws
insight from Block :
       Freedom is not doing your own thing, but just the opposite. It
means
       we are the authors of our own experience. It means we are
accountable
       for the well being of all that is around us. It means we believe that
       we are constituting, or creating, the world in which we live. This
       belief is rare for most of us, because mostly we feel helpless. At
       these moments, we wish for better leaders, better government, and
       someone else to create the conditions for us to be free – as is
someone
       else can give us our freedom.” (Block, 2002: 46)
       “‘Introspection’ is employed by us in the difficult process of gaining
insight into the mind and behavior of others, in the formation of our
concept or concepts of ourselves as persons and of our personality, and
in the precarious business of maintaining our psychological health”
(Lyons, 1986: 148). Lyons’s description implies not only that

                                   ..136..
introspection is hard work but that it involves creating deep
understanding of interconnections that give meaning and direction to our
own lives as well as to increasingly larger segments of the world around
us. The output of introspection produces insight that is only
commensurate with what goes into it. Fully realizing the potential of
introspection is difficult (and perhaps rare) for at least several reasons.
One is that we live in busy times that compel us to stay focused on other
people’s agendas; there is seldom sufficient time for introspection. A
second is that it is easy to stay on familiar, comfortable grounds rather
than to risk wading into dark uncertainties that could reveal more
authentic insight (e.g., Chodron, 2001). A third is that there are few wise
mentors to genuinely help us by providing useful principles rather than
just projecting their own experiences.
       Inclusion. As the wheel of artistic intelligence keeps turning, we
finally enter the domain of inclusion, which challenges us to let go of our
own limited perspectives in order to embrace other perspectives more
fully and all perspectives to some degree. Inclusion is perhaps the most
elusive property of artistic intelligence because it involves such a strong
component of letting go: shedding our skin, losing our leaves, harvesting
our crops – all in an effort to return to the childhood freshness with
which we began our journey. As some mistakenly believe, however, this
process does not mean mindlessly tossing aside all that we have learned.
Much to the contrary, it means retaining the patterns (e.g., ideals,
principles, and so forth) without holding onto the details that made such
patterns valid in specific situations. As U.S. General Schoomaker
describes, based on his work with Special Operations Forces, “think
about what it is like to be in a helicopter….[as] you gain altitude, the
whole world slows down all of a sudden, and you can see things more
clearly” (Cohen & Tichy, 1999). Inclusion brings with it the courage not
only to get into the proverbial helicopter, but also to fearlessly accept the
reality of the expanse that emerges as we leave our previously myopic,
local perspectives.
       A particularly difficult aspect of the inclusion process is to confront
the paradox that arises regarding letting go of what we have spent our
life accumulating. The more adept we are at accumulating, the more
difficult it becomes to let go (e.g., Argyris, 1991) because it is easier to
build compelling arguments around what we already know. Yet, as the
artist Robert Rauschenberg describes (Kotz, 1991), it is important for any
master to be able to wash the slate of excess baggage, to continually
rejuvenate and transform oneself. If we cannot rejuvenate and
transform, we inevitably manifest the same behaviors. For an artist such
as Rauschenberg, it is critical to keep changing himself so that his
expressions and creations stay fresh. In a dynamic world, the same
holds true for leaders, just as it seems to increasingly hold true for
organizations. Inclusion thus involves heavy doses of letting go so that
we become genuinely appreciative of wider arrays of experiences, world

                                   ..137..
views, and perspectives that lie outside the boundaries of what we
previously knew. As a consequence, we gain greater respect for other
people’s journeys and become considerably more fresh on our own.

Evoking Artistic Intelligence in Leadership Education.

       In this section, we explore ways of evoking artistic intelligence
within contexts of traditional, institutional leadership education. Our
purpose is to stimulate deep learning (Quinn, 1996) in concert with
innovative or generative learning, to extend beyond words (e.g., texts,
lectures, and discussions) and contrived experiences (e.g., simulations
and role-plays). To do so, we provide two strategies for educators to
employ for designing artistic intelligence into leadership development
courses and programs. What we provide is not intended as a set of
specific methods and procedures, but rather as an array of examples to
prompt educators to create their own methods and procedures. One of
our strategies is to relate each of the four keystones to specific artists,
works of art, and artistic ideas as visual/conceptual catalysts of artistic
intelligence. Our second strategy is to present an activity that challenges
students to engage in each of the four keystones of artistic intelligence.
In this case, students must take responsibility for mindfully tailoring the
parameters of each activity to fit best their own learning path. The artist,
artwork, artistic ideas, and activities for each of the four keystones are
summarized in Table 1.




                                  ..138..
                                 Table 1
             Representative Artistic and Activities Catalysts
        For Developing the Four Keystones of Artistic Intelligence
________________________________________________________________________
                                  _____
                                            Keystones

    _____________________________________________________________
____
Catalysts   Envisioning     Improvisation    Introspection    Inclusion
________________________________________________________________________
                                  _____

Artist/      Claude Monet      Julia Cameron      African “Kagle”
    Gianlorenzo
Artwork/ “Impression:          “Call, I           mask (c. 1800)/ Bernini
“Ecstasy
And                            Sunrise”           follow” (1867)/   sacred
objects      of St. Theresa”
Artistic     (1872)/           first to photo     harboring the     (1645-
52)/ fused
Ideas5       dissolved form    out-of-focus;      life force of
    architecture,
             of subject        strove to          ancestors or      sculpture
and
             into light and    record inner &     nature spirits    painting;
energy
             atmosphere        outer person                         involved
viewers

             Auguste Rodin Frank Lloyd            Edward Hopper Diego
Velazquez
             “Balzac”          Wright (1936)      “Nighthawks”      “Las
Meninas”
             (1897)/           “Fallingwater”/    (1942)/ out of    (1656)/
princess
             dispensed with no house should sync with home- Margarita
with
             literal           be on a hill,      of-the-brave      ladies,
dwarfs,
             accuracy;         it should be       American spirit; and
multiple

5
 The predominant source of information for the artistic ideas associated with
each artwork and artist is The Annotated Mona Lisa by Carol Strickland, 1992,
Kansas City: John Boswell Management, Inc.

                                     ..139..
            relied on         of the hill,      drained of         other
images
            intuition         belonging to it   energy & hope      including
self

            Hans Haacke       Alexander Calder Kenneth Noland Margaret
Bourke-
            “Condensation “Lobster Trap & “Bend Sinister” White
(1937)
            Cube” (1963- Fish” (1939)/          (1964)/ erased     “Louisville
            65)/ conceptual invented the        personal iden-     Flood”/
gap
            art resides in    mobile, which     tity; not “look    between
American
            the concept,      mixes motion,     at me,” but        dream &
reality;
            not in the        spontaneity, &    rather “look       never
forgot to
            artwork           unpredictability for yourself”       include
truth

Activity    Creating a        “biomimicry”:     Clarifying         Learning
to
            “collage” to      learning first-   one’s “direct      participate
in
            illuminate        hand from one     ancestry,” i.e.,   the
bearing
            different         of nature’s       the diverse        witness
role
            leader’s values   many patterns, mix of mentors of a
Talking
            ideals, and      cycles, and     who impacted Circle
            aspirations      flows           one’s life most
________________________________________________________________________
                                   _____




                                    ..140..
       Envisioning. To bring the envisioning potential of artistic
intelligence alive requires tapping into the realities of pro-active forces.
Learners must be able to appreciate the power of seeing the unseen, for
example, or of being aware in ways that others are not. It is insufficient
to provide learners with only concepts and discussion of this. Instead, it
is important that they have opportunity to envision on their own.
Toward that end, showing examples of what this means, rather than just
talking about examples, can enable learners to employ more of their
senses and more than just mental intelligence. Below we provide three
sets of artist, artwork, and artistic concept. Each is a catalyst for the
learner to examine relationships between the life (cf. beliefs, values,
behaviors, and so forth) of an artist and the visions that guided their
work. Ideally in a class situation, the educator would provide such
catalysts for learners to explore in more detail on their own. For
example, students can help one another by sharing the challenges to
learn more about the artist’s life, context, and contributions.
Alternatively, students can identify current artists (or perhaps
musicians) who they then study and compare. An important step in this
learning process, however, is to then challenge students to engage in
creating a piece of artwork themselves, which they believe captures
essential components of their own vision. At this stage, it is helpful to
give students room for expression by letting them choose among various
artforms, such as painting, sculpture, mobiles, conceptual art, music,
poetry, collages, or computer art.
       The first of three sets of artist, artwork, and artistic ideas, unique
in helping to understand envisioning, involves the work of Impressionist
painter, Claude Monet. Specifically in this case, we use “Impression:
Sunrise” (1872), a piece of Monet’s artwork that had particular influence
on those who created the label, Impressionism. “The term ‘impression’
had before been used to denote a … first intuitive response to a subject”
(Strickland, 1992: 96). Along with other Impressionists, Monet
challenged the all boundaries of form and instead developed amazing
abilities to see into the world of light, intensities, colors, shades, and
atmospheres. Monet’s vision altered the course of art history forever,
and challenged humanity to reconsider rigid boundaries, fixed forms,
and over-specified perceptions. Without a doubt, Monet offers the
learner a compelling look into the envisioning dimension of artistic
intelligence.
       Auguste Rodin is also a classic example of the powers of
envisioning. In Rodin’s case, the medium was sculpture rather than
painting, and we include “Balzac” (1897) for display here. In a manner
that somewhat resembles Monet’s philosophy, Rodin tossed literal
meaning and specific depiction out the window, in favor of what he
intuited. As an example of this in “Balzac,” Rodin twists, bends, and
warps what he literally sees in this French writer, in order to portray his
underlying spirit. Much like Japanese haiku, the importance of the

                                   ..141..
message is not to be found in details but instead in the overarching
pattern.
        As our third of three sets of artist, artwork, and artistic concept,
we include a more recent example of a conceptual artist, Hans Haacke.
In the field of conceptual art, it is the idea rather than the manifestation
of the idea that is important. Conceptual art taps into the process of
envisioning head-on. It is not, then, ultimately important if the artwork
itself even happens, as long as the vision is clear. The vision itself
becomes the real work of art. Haacke, in his “Condensation Cube”
(1963-65), seeks to convey the ways in which art can interface and
interact with its environment. In this case, water inside the cube
changes form and moves around the surfaces of the cube as the
environment changes in temperature, humidity, and so forth. In the
case of conceptual art, Haacke’s cube is only a vehicle to carry the
essence of his vision.
        Aside from the employment of existing art to help learners grasp
the concept and practice of envisioning, it is very helpful to bring an
experience into the educational process. For leadership education, one
that seems to work rather well for this purpose is to have learners create
a “collage” that illuminates different leader’s valued, ideals, aspirations,
and so forth. The challenge here is not to show images of the leaders,
but rather to convey some essence of their visions. Though most
students have difficulty doing so, real value is typically gained when
multiple student collages are shared and discussed. Thus, it is
important to motivate students to learn from one another and to help
guide the process of discussion and integration of insight.
        Improvisaton. To bring the improvisational potential of artistic
intelligence alive requires tapping into the realities of re-active forces. In
other words, improvisation depends highly on the ability to go with the
flow of the situation, to make the best use of the entities and energies
present – not to impose control. In many respects, it is difficult to plan
how to improvise, because the very act of planning brings with it
expectations and preconceptions that detract from the unexpectedness
or freshness of improvisation. Students typically love to improvise and
often believe themselves good at improvising because they understand it
as “anything goes.” Thus, what a good learning experience reveals is that
this understanding is not true. Improvisation must be good. Just as
modern-day warriors (i.e., soldiers) must be able to go into areas of
conflict in the world and create a response that works (Cohen & Tichy,
1999), so must leaders, artists, chefs, and so forth be able to create
excellence with whatever they have to work with.
        To illuminate some of the process of improvisation, we share three
sets of artist, artwork, and artistic ideas, one involving Julia Margaret
Cameron, a second involving Frank Lloyd Wright, and a third involving
Alexander Calder. The set involving Cameron is drawn from the field of
photography. The photograph of Cameron’s that we share is titled “Call,

                                   ..142..
I follow; I follow; let me die” taken in 1867. “Cameron was the first to
shoot pictures out of focus in order to convey atmosphere…. [As
Cameron stated] ‘My whole soul has endeavored to do its duty…[to]
record faithfully the greatness of the inner as well as features of the outer
man’” (Strickland, 1992: 95). Cameron exemplifies the need for
mindfulness in order to capitalize on the resources that we have on hand
– a key ingredient of improvising well.
       Another classic example of improvisation done well arises in the
work of artist and architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. The artwork that we
share is the house that Wright designed and constructed in 1936 in Bear
Run, Pennsylvania, called “Fallingwater.” Like most if not all of Wright’s
masterful designs, the “Fallingwater” house typifies sensitivity to the
alignment of environment and design. Wright designed and built his
buildings in concert with location. In other words, buildings could not be
properly conceived out of context, i.e., without knowing the landscape
which would subsequently mutually share space with such a building.
The environment and the building should seem as one, like a couple
dancing gracefully hand-in-hand. Frank Lloyd Wright’s awareness of
surroundings and sensitivity to living environments makes him and his
work exude the best of improvisation.
       As a third artistic example of improvisation, we share a mobile
titled “Lobster Trap and Fish Tale,” designed and constructed by
Alexander Calder in 1939. Calder’s work is, in many respects, an
example of the Gandhi paradigm suggesting that instead of trying to
figure out how to beat someone else at their game, rethinking the rules in
order to create a new game. Ackoff (1978) carried this principle into the
realm of problem solving by noting the powerful difference between trying
to solve a problem versus dissolving it by rethinking the whole situation
so that the problem no longer exists. Calder in effect did this in the art
world. He re-create the rules of sculpture so that the artwork could float
in its environment, re-acting to movements of air around it. Thus,
mobiles are constantly changing their shape and position by responding
to movements in their environment. The specific appearance of the
artwork was no longer predictable at any point in time – one of the true
hallmarks of excellent improvisation.
       A powerful activity to engage students in certain aspects of
improvisation is “biomimicry” (see Benyus, 1997) for a discussion of the
process). Biomimicry is the process of innovating from ideas that arise in
nature. The process involves paying close attention to patterns and flows
in nature, which can then be translated into another context to inform
an innovation. For example, the Nike company has recently employed
biomimicry to rethink its design and marketing of shoes to women:
       “To design a new generation of shoes for women, Nike…looked to
the
       burgeoning field of biomimicry, which seeks design ideas from the
logic

                                   ..143..
       of nature. In particular, the company adopted the stance of the
       lioness: tough and feminine…. Think of the lioness, she says.
       Beautiful, yes. But delicate? Not by a long shot…. ‘Biomimicry
       taught me that you can design a shoe that looks both feminine and
t             tough’” (Warner, 2002).
As a project, students can be challenged to select a part of nature to
observe, from which they keep close record of all of their observations.
Sometimes they must be then challenged to brainstorm how patterns
from their observations might translate into another context, such as the
design of practical, healthy offices or office buildings. At this stage,
deBono’s process of lateral thinking (1991) can often keep students fresh
and mindful in their thinking. A biomimicry project can help students
learn not only how to pay closer attention to the world in which they live,
but also how to extract useful ideas from one context and carry them
insightfully into another.
       Introspection. Introspection is another of the keystones of artistic
intelligence that is often inadequately addressed in leadership education.
To bring the introspective potential of artistic intelligence alive requires
tapping into the realities of re-active form. In other words, introspection
involves taking our experiences and standing back from them in order to
create valuable meaning. Out of introspection – when it works well –
grows increasing responsibility for the world around us. Such
responsibility does not emerge until a person begins to accumulate life
experiences that place a context around their life and a spotlight on their
calling. Experience without introspection, however, does not bring
responsibility. Introspection challenges learners to make sense not only
of their own experiences, but also of the experiences of others.
Understanding how our life fits into the larger context of others around
us, as well as of those who came before us, creates an appreciation and
respect for a greater good that manifests as responsibility.
       The three sets of artist, artwork, and artistic ideas that help to
illuminate the process of introspection are an African “Kagle” mask (c.
1800), Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” (1942), and Kenneth Noland’s
“Bend Sinister” (1964). The African mask illustrates a critical cultural
difference not only in understanding art, but also in recognizing the
significant value of introspection. In October of 1994, I attended a panel
presentation on “African Art and American Culture” at the Miami
University Art Museum. Pat Darish of the Kansas University
Departments of Art History and African/American Studies, discussed a
different African mask at the time. She explained how, when she had
asked some African natives about the mask, they started to sing a song
and dance, which at the time was not at all what she expected. Clearly,
the African mask tapped into these natives hearts and souls, not just
their mind. Similarly, the African “Kagle” mask serves as a arrow in
African culture, pointing toward ancient ceremony, ancestral ritual, deep
spiritual connections, and so forth. “Picasso described his reaction to

                                  ..144..
African fetish masks this way: ‘It came to me that this was very
important…. These masks were not just pieces of sculpture like the
rest…. They were magic’” (Strickland, 1992: 22). The “Kagle” mask in
African culture is a call to tap internal wisdom and energies – demanding
introspection in the process.
       In an equally culturally-grounded way, Edward Hopper’s
“Nighthawks” challenges the viewer to appreciate the richness of a
culture’s psyche, and to understand one’s own place within it. Hopper
looked deep into the American spirit – around World War II in this case –
and saw considerable desolation, isolation, loneliness, and depression.
“Nighthawks” does not resonate the hype and patriotism that was often
proclaimed within the U.S. mainstream. Instead, it resonates with an
inner void that was obviously at least part of the experience of living in
the United States back then. Hopper was able to express what others
could likely only feel, and he did so in a rather simple way that mirrored
pockets of internal reality that many had only suppressed. What we
learn through Hopper’s artwork not only points attention to parts of the
U.S. cultural psyche back then, but also to what Hopper inevitably
experienced within himself.
       Our third example of art that illuminates an essential part of the
process of introspection is Kenneth Noland’s, “Bend Sinister,” which
comes from the Contemporary Art subfield of Hard Edge. “What [Hard
Edge] offered… was calculated, impersonal abstraction…. Instead of
screaming ‘Look at me!’ to draw attention to an artist’s inner vision, up-
front ‘Hard Edge’ paintings quietly state ‘Look for yourself’” (Strickland,
1992: 170-71). Our reason for including Noland’s “Bend Sinister” in our
section on introspection is because it challenges the viewers head-on to
take responsibility for their projected meanings. In other words, I as
viewer come face to face with my own thoughts and feelings, in ways that
cannot be hidden as easily behind an artist’s portrayals. In a rather
unusual way, viewers are left holding their own inner worlds more than
they are the artist’s inner world.
       Our accompanying activity for the process of introspection has to
do with ancestry. The activity involves challenging learners to clarity for
themselves the lessons, insights, gifts, struggles, and so forth, that they
have acquired from the people who made the greatest impact on their
lives previously. Thus, by ancestry we mean anyone, living or deceased,
whose beliefs, values, and behaviors have become part of who we are.
Most college-age students have given little attention to this, although
many find considerable insight in the process. Furthermore, many
college-age students in the U.S. have little appreciation of their ancestry
any further back than their grandparents, i.e., those whom they know or
knew directly. Ideally, this ancestral activity can also motivate students
to explore this territory and take greater responsibility for what it means.
       Inclusion. Inclusion is the final keystone of artistic intelligence
that we highlight in this section. To bring the inclusive potential of

                                  ..145..
artistic intelligence alive requires tapping into the realities of pro-active
form. In other words, it means finding one’s place in the world and
respecting the many interconnections that enable us to live, learn, and
lead. In an increasingly diverse and interdependent world, inclusion
demands crossing many boundaries such as culture, gender, religion,
economic status, and educational level in order to broaden one’s
perspective and appreciate the validity of other people’s journeys.
Inclusion demands a considerable degree of letting go of one’s ego –
letting go of placing oneself at the center of the world. Unless we can
create space in our in our mind, in our heart, in our world, and welcome
others to fill it, we inevitably will remain relatively stagnant in the
confines of only our own thoughts and emotions. Inclusion involves
letting down our guard (e.g., of having to “know” everything) and
accepting the many differences that other people bring.
       The first set of artist, artwork, and artistic ideas that we offer is
Gianlorenzo Bernini’s “The Ecstasy of St. Theresa” (1645-52). The multi-
talented Bernini – who was a sculptor, painter, architect, and composer –
began to integrate his various talents into the same artwork, as he does
here. Thus, the viewer is confronted in various different ways, drawing
the viewer into the flow and emotion of his work. With this approach,
Bernini, was not only able to include multiple representations of art
simultaneously but also to include – or capture – the viewer from
multiple angles. Bernini “even designed a whole chapel as a stage set to
show off [“The Ecstasy of St. Theresa”], including painted balconies on
the walls filled with ‘spectators’ sculpted in relief…. Bernini tried to
induce an intense religious experience in worshipers. He used all the
resources of operatic stagecraft, creating a total artistic environment in
the chapel” (Strickland, 1992: 48).
       The second example of artist, artwork, and artistic idea that we
present to draw insight around the process of inclusion involves a
painting by Diego Velasquez, “Las Meninas,” which is considered as one
of the world’s finest. In this masterpiece, Valasquez captures specific
aspects of history in his depiction of a young princess accompanied by
various of her helpers. As viewers look more deeply into his work, they
also notice pictures-within-the-picture of the king and queen, as well as
another member of the court. In this latter case, the court member
appears to be leaving the room of the princess by way of a lighted
staircase leading upward and elsewhere. Further examination, enables
viewers to see that Velasquez also includes himself in this painting,
depicted as an artist busy at work, perhaps painting what he sees in this
very room. Aside from all of the obvious participants in this artwork,
there are also at least three other picture frames hanging in the
background, which the viewer cannot readily see – thus, leaving the
imagination to wonder who else may be included within Velasquez’s
painting.



                                   ..146..
       The third set of artist, artwork, and artistic idea surrounding the
process of inclusion is a photo by Margaret Bourke-White titled “At the
Time of the Louisville Flood” (1937). Bourke-White possessed the notable
ability of including multiple messages in the same photograph. The
viewer realizes that her talent relies on a deeper capacity to see
situations in the world around her that included rich and diverse
meaning. As Strickland says of Bourke-Whites talent, “she never forgot
to include the essential truth of a situation; she flew in planes and
dangled from cranes to get exactly the right shot” (1992: 184). In the
case of “At the Time of the Louisville Flood,” Bourke-White juxtaposes a
line of African-Americans waiting in a breadline against the obtrusive
messages of an overarching billboard: “World’s Highest Standard of
Living. There’s no way like the American Way.” Her keen perception and
timely camerawork capture two sides of the same country, illuminating
the expanse between dream and reality for so many.
       The activity that we include to draw out the experience of inclusion
is the process of “bearing witness” (Glassman, 1998) in the context of a
Talking Circle. A Talking Circle is a Native American created
communication ceremony enabling everyone to become part of the story.
In a Talking Circle, all participants are seated in a circle and following
from whom speaks first, each person takes a turn in order, sharing their
own perspectives on the topic at hand. The real challenge for each
person is not just to convey genuinely what they have to say, but to piece
together what everyone is saying. Bearing witness comes into play in the
process of truly opening oneself to every perspective offered in the
Talking Circle. For the master of such a talent, each person’s comments
is a vital thread of the tapestry that slowly reveals itself as everyone
speaks. Bearing witness brings forth the real challenge of inclusion,
which is not just to enable others to be present and not just to give them
voice, but rather to support their voice with attention and respect and
value what they say as a valid part of the whole.

Artistic Intelligence in Leadership Education: Implications & Directions.

       The argument that we have raised in this paper is that
institutional leadership education is typically incomplete, favoring the
attainment of knowledge over wisdom and the skills of science over arts.
In some respects, this is not a complaint against such institutions when
we look carefully at when they were designed and for what purpose. As
the world has become more openly diverse and interconnected, however,
the array of leadership challenges that has emerged is not well handled
by such leadership education. Calls for greater sensitivity in leadership
awareness, greater fluidity in leadership thinking, greater innovation in
leadership perspectives, and greater integration in leadership actions are
all echoing loudly around the globe these days. The challenge for
educators is not to toss aside the status quo, but rather to takes what

                                  ..147..
works well in today’s programs – primarily logical-mathematical,
linguistic, and interpersonal intelligences – and begin to infuse them,
enrich them with more of the intelligences which we are coming to
understand. We propose that artistic intelligence be among them.
       Artistic intelligence, as we suggest, is one of many integrative
intelligences that can be grounded in the four directions of the Native
American Medicine Wheel. These four directions comprise the
foundation of human potential, each representing a fundamental
intelligence of its own: spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental. In
probably all technologically developed countries, the two directions
comprising form – the physical and mental – have been the primary
cornerstones of education, development, and growth for the past few
centuries at least. The downside of this pattern, is that the two
directions comprising force – emotional and spiritual – have been
significantly drained from such societies. The power of the Medicine
Wheel is in its acknowledgement of the need for all four directions in
order to achieve full human potential. Artistic intelligence is one of what
might be considered higher-order intelligences because of the level of
integration that it requires to manifest. In other words, artistic
intelligence appears to be a composite of spiritual and emotional forces,
hand-in-hand with mental and physical forms.
       We developed in this paper a framework (in Figure 2) of artistic
intelligence that brings together the spiritual force illuminating visions,
the emotional force guiding improvisation, the physical form emerging
from introspection, and the mental form emanating from inclusion. Our
purpose is not to pretend that these four keystones explain all of what we
know about artistry and the intelligence that unleashes it, but rather to
suggest that this integrative framework offers a strong foundation for
guiding leadership education toward the potential inherent in artistic
intelligence.
       In order to illustrate some of the myriad opportunities available to
use the arts to educate toward these ends, we created a collage of artists,
artwork, and artistic ideas (summarized in Table 1) that highlight various
parts of the four keystones of our framework: envision, improvisation,
introspection, and inclusion. The artists and artwork were selected
across different types of art, different periods of art history, and different
countries of the world. By doing so, we hope to model the need to expose
students to wide varieties of ways of thinking about, valuing, and
expressing the human condition. The challenge in education is to
provide emerging leaders with opportunities to experience how particular
people – in this case artists – dealt with particular keystones in distinct
but effective ways. An accompanying challenge is to engage such
learners in an activity that helps them to experience the process involved
in each keystone themselves. Thus, along with each set of artist,
artwork, and artistic ideas, we included one activity that educators could



                                   ..148..
hopefully tailor to fit their own needs and resources, or use as an
example to trigger other ideas of their own.
       As educators of future leaders, we must learn to take more
responsibility for providing as full array of talents as we can provide to
our students. In part, this means enabling each student to tap into and
develop whatever talent(s) she/he brings to the learning experience. Too
often, learning environments promote only certain talents, which are
sometimes those that the educator possesses or favors. Creating
learning environments that provide opportunity to tap into multiple
different intelligences, will require most educators to let go of some of the
control of learning, which is not only hard to do but also risky business
because there is little guarantee of overall success, i.e., for each learner.
However, education and teaching are not the same process and as we
learn about the potential inherent in different intelligences, we must be
willing to take the risk to break out of traditional, institutional frames of
education.
       Bringing the keystones of artistic intelligence more centrally into
leadership education brings many potential benefits for the learner just
as it brings many potential headaches for the educator. Traditional
standards that define excellent schoolroom performance, and traditional
boundaries that mold acceptable schoolroom behavior, may all have to
be transformed to some degree. Education that promotes artistic
intelligence in a leadership context is not the same as education that
simply promotes artistic intelligence, e.g., in the fine arts. The overlay of
leadership onto vision, improvisation, introspection, and inclusion is new
territory for almost every traditional educational environment. Thus, its
introduction must be handled loosely but wisely, freely but responsibly,
openly but still within boundaries of good sense. Ultimately, for the most
mature learners, space to explore, test, experiment, play, and adventure
can become quickly and increasingly expansive. On the other hand,
considerable discretion must be given by educators to discern the
maturity and accompanying readiness of learners to take the kinds of
self-responsibility needed to unleash artistic intelligence.
       Ideally, educators must learn to bring uncertainty and ambiguity
into leadership education programs if artistic intelligence is going to have
room to take root and grow. This means, for example, not only removing
traditional obstacles that keep visioning in the hands of administrators
and improvising outside the classroom entirely, but also in rethinking
leadership-development pedagogy so that learners have genuine
opportunities to engage and understand the dimensions (cf. sources or
skills) that are inherent in artistic intelligence. One step in this
direction, which we laid some groundwork for in the previous section, is
to create pedagogy that both exposes learners to vivid examples of
dimensions of artistic intelligence and then engages them in requisite
activities. Learning of this kind will challenge learners to employ artistic
intelligence during the learning experience, but it will also challenge

                                   ..149..
educators to employ artistic intelligence in the design of such learning
experiences. Both journeys promise adventure, uncertainty, surprise,
freedom, creativity, risk, frustration, joy, frequent setbacks, and
considerable long-term enrichment.




                                  ..150..
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                                  ..154..
.:: Arts in Business: Proposing a Theoretical Framework
Lotte Darsø and Michael Dawids


Senior Researcher
Lotte Darsø, Ph.D, DANISH MANAGEMENT FORUM
                        LDA@managementforum.dk

                           Folke Bernadottes Allé 45
                            DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø
                                   Denmark
                          Telephone: +45 3348 8888
                          www.managemenforum.dk


                                      and


            Consortium Director Michael Dawids, dawids@lld.dk

(1)   LEARNING LAB DENMARK
(2)   “The Creative Alliance”
(3)   Emdrupvej 101
                              DK-2400 Copenhagen NV
                                     Denmark
                             Telephone: +45 3955 9933
                                    www.lld.dk




                                    ..155..
..:.:::……:::…..::::.::::::….::.:.:….::.:.:…::::::.:::::….:::::….:::…:::::..::.:.:.:::..:::….:
                                         :::..:.::.:::
ARTS-IN-BUSINESS – A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
..:.:::……:::…..::::.::::::….::.:.:….::.:.:…::::::.:::::….:::::….:::…:::::..::.:.:.:::..:::….:
:::..:.::.:::
Abstract        : The Arts are being applied in business settings in new ways that give
rise to a research field in the making. Learning Lab Denmark wants to contribute to
this emerging field by identifying, examining and analysing international cases that
could bring forth new learning opportunities. The goal is to map the field, to develop
new theory and to share the learning with our partners and networks. This paper
proposes a theoretical framework of four categories of Arts-in-Business:
“Metaphors”, “Capabilities”, “Events” and “Products”. The main idea is to examine
cases in relation to this model and to identify interesting trajectories of learning.
..:.:::……:::…..::::.::::::….::.:.:….::.:.:…::::::.:::::….:::::….:::…:::::..::.:.:.:::..:::….:
:::..:.::.:::




.:: INTRODUCTION


The creative alliance between Arts and Business is an emerging field of practise,
which is part of a new trendi of aesthetic thinking and learning that is entering the
business and organizational world. Business, earlier focused on economy only, now
must consider ethics, social responsibility and the values of its stakeholders. The
Arts, earlier anti-commercial and doing art for the sake of art only, are growing more
commercial and realizing the enormous potential and importance of the business and
media world. Two worlds, formerly separate, are thus approaching each other with
hopes for new inspiration and innovation. So far only a few attempts ii have been
made to establish an overall theoretical framework of the field and we know only of
little research that has been conducted on praxis iii.


It is in the light of this development that Learning Lab Denmark iv – “The Creative
Alliance” - has initiated a research project “Arts-in-Business: Learning Tales and
Trajectories”, focusing on what business can learn from the Arts. We aim at



                                          ..156..
establishing an international state-of-the-art snapshot of this emerging field of
research and practice. The purpose is to map the field, to select interesting
exemplars for interviews and to share the learning we gain with our partners and
networks. We want to capture and document various types of successes and failures,
to analyse them and to learn from them. The project runs through 2002 and is
scheduled to take 3-4 months of work, spread over a period of 6-8 months. The
outcome will be documented interviews, a publication and a book.




.:: THE PROBLEM AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS:


The current problem is that the field is rather fragmented – or, in fact, not really a
field yet. The efforts are spread and point in many different directions, as people do
not know what others are doing or what they have learnt. The overall research
questions are:


      In what ways can business learn from the Arts?
      What can be learnt?
      What kind of learning takes place?
      What are the barriers for genuine learning?


We are interested in what the arts can teach business for several reasons :


Firstly, we propose that the scientific engineering paradigm is running out of valuable
solutions for improving business and that consequently the inspiration for renewal
must come from a different field (such as the Arts).


Secondly, innovation, one of the most important competitive assets today, is more
and more often achieved as a result of cooperation between people with diverse
knowledge and perspectives. To business people artists are different, which can be
both inspiring and provoking. The questions here are: Does it work? Can we identify
cases to learn from?


Thirdly, there has been few and far between real experiments. In Denmark there has
been a growing interest for Art & Business, which has resulted in a lot of events. The




                                        ..157..
question that evidently pops up is “What comes next?” Does it stop with the event,
or could such events lead to the development of new capabilities and competencies?


In order to examine the primary research question, “In what ways can business learn
from the Arts?” we have developed a theoretical framework. Through this we hope to
be able to discern and categorize the different types of contributions of Arts-in-
Business, and clarify the learning potential in this field. We consider this a working
model that will be adjusted and developed according to the findings of the study. The
matrix is displayed below and will be explained in the following.




.:: THE MODEL


When constructing a matrix, a careful choice of categories is essential. Which of the
outstanding and discerning characteristics of the Arts would we want to pinpoint?
After having discussed many characteristics and studied the categories that these
would give rise to, we suggest two:


a) The degree of involvement with the Arts and artists
b) The degree of ambiguity


The degree of involvement of art and artists fall into two categories, displayed on the
horizontal axis of the model: Art as a role model and Art in action. When art is used
as a role model it is primarily inspirational, often based on romantic (mis)conceptions
of the artist and at any rate with no direct involvement with the art or artists. Art in
action, however, is characterized by the active, and often somewhat provocative,
involvement of art or artists. In the construction of the matrix we wish to emphasize
the distinction between a category that is detached from the art and artists
themselves, e.g. reading/talking about Art or being otherwise inspired by the Arts,
and on the other hand a category that would involve the interactional “live” aspect of
artists talking, doing, producing something for or with business people.




                                         ..158..
On the vertical axis, two distinct aspects regarding the degree of ambiguity are
outlined. This concerns whether art is applied with the intention of creating
something Well-defined or something deliberately Ambiguous. Through interviews
with both artists and business leaders, we have become aware of a clear distinction
in the overall “guiding principles” of the two different worlds of arts and business.
The Arts are characterized by a basic appreciation of ambiguity that literally invite for
multiple interpretations of reality. In the business world on the other hand, certainty
and unambiguity is seen as the essential trait of economic activity, and companies
predominantly seek towards something well defined that can be measured and
controlled. Thus, we regard ambiguity as an essential distinguishing feature, which is
either called for or definitely not wanted. In cases where artists have been
contracted to do a specific task, a lot of efforts are spent in order to define the task
as well as possible, so the artists can produce exactly what is desired (though in a
different way than the company would be able to), whereas in cases where artists
have been contracted to give their own interpretation of a subject, which is probably
different from the in-house interpretation, it is the ambiguity, the different
perspectives and the emergent opportunities that are valued.


The combination of these four characteristics produces “The Model of Arts-In-
Business” consisting of 4 arenas: Metaphors, Capabilities, Events and Products.


(a)    Fig. 1. The Arts-In-Business framework




                                         ..159..
Artistic Metaphors: Combining “Art as a Role Model” with “Ambiguity” leads up to
the category of artistic metaphors. Through metaphors it is possible to make sense
of a complex world by drawing out certain characteristics, and at the same time,
metaphors allow diverse (ambiguous) and multiple interpretations and perspectives.
There has been a growing use of artistic metaphors in business during the last
decades. When trying to explain complex qualities or characteristics, leaders as well
as researchers often resort to metaphors, and here the Arts can supply business with
some constructive images. As an example musical metaphors have been used in
relation to teamwork (“jamming” v), organizations (“improvisation” vi) and leadership
(“band leadership”vii). This arena has, however, not been well explored and we would
like to know more about what benefits art metaphors can produce for business.


Artistic Capabilities: Combining “Art as a Role Model” with something that aims at
being “well-defined” suggests the category of artistic capabilities. These concern


                                        ..160..
artistic crafts, skills and qualifications. We have chosen the term “capabilities” as we
seek the well-defined. Artistic competency, on the other hand, refers to the situated
mobilizationviii of a “bundle of skills and technologies” ix, the intuitive knowing of when
to apply whatx. According to this definition competencies are hard to define or
pinpoint. However, through reflection in action xi artists may be able to help us finding
out what it is that the artist as a role model masters. What are the core capabilities
and competencies of artists? An example of work done in this area is the way Musical
Director Roger Nierenberg, Stamford Symphony Orchestra, conducts a “symphony
orchestra” and together with the audience and the musicians try to arrive at some of
the capabilities of artistsxii. This example also involves the category of artistic events,
but the main focus is on the artist as a role model. Another example is Betty
Edward’s comparison of the art of drawing to the general creative process xiii. We
would like to know more about how business can learn and benefit from knowledge
about artistic capabilities and competencies. Which artistic contributions should an
organization simply buy and which capabilities should the organization’s employees
acquire?


Artistic Events: Combining “Art in Action” with “Ambiguity”, we get the category of
artistic events. In this category art meets business in various ways, the essential
message being that ambiguity is used deliberately for producing inspiration or
provocation. Artistic events can be anything from entertainment to different degrees
of interaction between artists and business people. Artists can function as catalysts
for generating new understanding and insight into organizational values or
malfunctions. Thus artists can perform the roles of change agents. Examples in this
arena range from art on the company walls, deliberately chosen for its provocative
effectxiv - to “Innovation Cafés”xv and “Forum Theatre”xvi, a form of theatre created
and performed in companies by professional artists in order to generate dialogue and
changexvii. We would like to know more about what kind of learning and benefits
artistic events can produce


Artistic Products: Combining “Art in Action” with something that aims at being
“Well-defined” leads into the area of artistic products. Here we define products as
anything capable of rendering a service – i.e. , satisfying a need. This includes
physical objects, services, persons, places, organizations, activities and ideas. xviii
Thus the range of products, designed, produced or co-produced by artists, is




                                          ..161..
extensive. This goes from interior and exterior decoration, to product design, art
work for labeling and advertising, corporate communication and branding, to all
types of services for developing (and co-developing) new products (e.g. ideation and
innovation). Examples here range from contracting artists to design an environment
for creativityxix to having artists move into the organization, as in the Xerox PARC
Artist-in-Residence Programxx, where artists were “paired” with scientists for one
year, resulting in patents as well as artwork. The Xerox Parc PAIR program was truly
visionary as there was no demand that products should come out of it. The idea was
simply that “if you put creative people in a hothouse setting, innovation will naturally
emerge”xxi. We would like to know more about what kind of learning and benefits can
be produced in the making of products.
A.
B.       .:: CROSSING THE FOUR ARENAS


The first step of our research on “Arts-in-Business” is to gain more knowledge about
these four arenas through real cases, and in particular to gain knowledge about what
kind of learning takes place and what the challenges and limitations of each arena
are. The next step is to study the more dynamical aspects of the model, i.e. what
happens between the arenas. How can activities in one arena inspire and help
develop another as for instance getting from Artistic Metaphors to Artistic Products.
Will we be able to identify patterns or trajectories of learning in the cases that we are
going to cover? Will we find enabling as well as disabling patterns that we can learn
from? Can we identify barriers, limitations or challenges that could be generalized?


     At the time of writing, before having conducted any interviews, our knowledge about
cases involving crossing the arenas in fertile ways is rather limited, but we do have some
      examples from our networks and from literature. In the following we will touch on
              examples of crossing of all the possible pairs of the four arenas:


    Metaphors and Capabilities
    Metaphors and Events
    Metaphors and Products
    Capabilities and Events
    Capabilities and Products
    Events and Products




                                           ..162..
Metaphors and Capabilities: Karl Weick has made an interesting analysis of the
concept of improvisation. He points out that improvisation “lies on a continuum that
ranges from “interpretation”, through “embellishment” and “variation” ending in
“improvisation”” xxii. From the metaphor he draws out a set of prescriptions that
characterize groups with a high capability for adaptive organizing and improvisation.
Thus, he succeeds in identifying certain capabilities that seem to be important for
organizations but he leaves it up to managers and consultants to make use of his
analysis. Thus, he takes the metaphor into the arena of Capabilities – but not
enough to fully develop these. Regarding the movement from Capabilities to
Metaphors we do not yet have any specific examples here, but on a speculative basis
it is evident that the development of new capabilities will also bring along new
terminologies and metaphors.




Metaphors and Events: One of the Innovation Cafés, mentioned earlier, provides a
good example of going from Metaphor to Event. The title of this Café was a
“swinging organization”, which was the subject (metaphor) to be discussed upon the
start of the Café. After having identified the characteristics of a swinging organization
and put it on large flip-over charts, a 9-man swing band appeared and made a
terrific show called the “swinging organization”. Now it was the band’s turn to tell
about, play and show some of the characteristics of a swinging organization. An
example of going the other way, i.e. from Event to Metaphor can be found in the
work of Miha Pogacnikxxiii, the Slovenian violinist and cultural ambassador. Miha
Pogacnik uses classical music to develop metaphors on leadership, strategy, life
development and crisis, which he plays, draws in vivid colors, explains and expresses
with his body language.


Metaphors and Products: An example of using a Metaphor for developing a
Product is found in an article by Donald Schön xxiv. Schön describes how the metaphor
of seeing a “paintbrush as being a kind of pump” generated a lot of new ideas and
solutions for designing and developing a new type of paintbrush made with synthetic
bristles. He stresses the importance of inviting the participants to attend to new
features of the phenomena (ambiguity) and describes in detail the developmental
cycle of “generative metaphor”. In this example the crossing starts in the Product




                                        ..163..
arena - and Schön points out the importance of being engaged in the social context –
then moves to working with the Metaphor, and then back again to developing the
Product.


Capabilities and Events: Piers Ibbotson, director of the Royal Shakespeare
Company’s “Directing Creativity Programme”, works with artistic capabilities through
theatre-based training sessions for business people. His point of departure is
Capabilities moving into the arena of Events and back again to Capabilities. Likewise,
Linda Naimanxxv, painter and creativity catalyst, works on creating visions with
groups of leaders through painting, a process that is followed by conversations. The
company Storytelling in Organizationsxxvi starts by telling stories (i.e. starting in the
arena of Events) and then crosses into the arena of Capabilities when training
business people in storytelling.


Capabilities and Products: The best, and so far only, example of crossing
Capabilities and Products is the Xerox Parc PAIR program, in which artists were
paired with scientists for about one year in a common search for innovative ways of
making documents through new media. “PAIR is an opening into using some of the
methodologies of art in scientific research, which is a creative activity itself and
therefore is always on the lookout for new techniques to be borrowed from other
professions.” xxvii In this case we see a dynamical learning process moving between
Capabilities and Products. There is also new researchxxviii within the creative
industries that indicates a “rub-off” effect from products to capabilities when e.g.
record companies are working closely with artists and artistic content.


Events and Products: Going from Events to Products has been attempted by the
Dacapo Theatrexxix with one or two companies, but this is probably one of the least
tried crossings. The Dacapo Theatre combines theatre with improvisation exercises
that render the participants more open towards creativity. On some occasions this is
followed by a creativity session, e.g. idea generation. US-based companies like Idea
Factoryxxx and P.L.A.Y. also work in this field. Finally, the movement from Products to
Events involves celebrations, exhibitions of products or shows. This is much more
common than moving from Events to Products.




                                         ..164..
.:: THE SOLAR PLEXUS OF LEARNING


Above we have listed some examples from experience and literature on the dynamic
crossing between the arenas. The hub at the centre of the matrix, where the arenas
cross and fertilize each other, we propose to be the Solar Plexus of Learning. This is
the heart of genuine learning that connects and links the different areas. At the same
time it is, however, also the zone of the unknown, of uncertainty, anxiety, repression
and of all sorts of “mental programming”. Genuine learning can be understood as
“creative destruction”xxxi and can be painful and arduous work, as basic assumptions
may have to change for new and better ones (double-loop learning). How is it
possible to create a free flow through this solar plexus of learning, so that the full
potential of arts-in-business is harnessed? In fact, what is the full potential?


In this paper we have outlined a model of Arts-in-Business that we hope can be helpful
in understanding this emerging field of research and praxis. Yet as with all models we
must be careful not to “get caught in the logic of the model”. We want the model to
help us understand this new field, and we are ready to change the model or to design
another model, if the matrix turns out not to be generative. Through this research
project we hope to be able to understand the proposed four arenas of Arts-in-Business
better and to find some interesting trajectories so that we can learn more about the
dynamics of learning.


The real quest of the project “Arts-in-Business” is thus to explore the Solar Plexus of
Learning, a zone of transformation and integration.




                                         ..165..
The management theorist in the post-modern era:


Cynthia Dereli



New metaphors for the role of the management theorist/consultant




Abstract


This paper will explore two metaphors for the role of the management theorist, one taken
from Zamyatin's novel We, the other a commentary on the role of the artist in the
postmodern era. Both suggest images of an enclosed society or culture and the need to find
ways to break out of this enclosure. The metaphors will be located within debates on
postmodernity and culture. Finally, to develop the point of comparison with the
management theorist/consultant at work, the paper will look at some of        the current
perspectives on business culture.


Introduction
This paper will suggest two complementary metaphors for the role of the
management theorist or consultant working within the enclosed culture
of the business organization. The first is taken from a Russian novel of
the 1920s by Zamyatin, We. The second is taken from the work of an art
critic and is an image for the role of the artist in the era of
postmodernity. In establishing this second metaphor, therefore, I will
want to take a little time to explore the use of the term postmodern, as it
relates to my metaphor. Finally through an engagement with an
emerging literature of culture, ethics and the organizations, the paper
will explore the implications of these metaphors for thinking about the
theorists role in the business organization environment of the twenty-
first century.




                                              166
Metaphor 1
The first of these metaphors is taken from the novel We. The world of
Zamyatin's anti-utopian novel anticipates many facets of our global
culture. The reader is taken into this world through the diary of our
protagonist, D503. He is a mathematician working on the One State's
new project, a space ship, the Integral, which as it goes on its journey of
scientific exploration, will also carry out into space a record of life in the
One state. The diary is D503's contribution to this record, and thereby
provides for the reader an introduction to the life of this future world as
well as to the mind-set of the hero himself in this 'mathematically perfect
life of the One State' (p.20). The One State, enclosed within its Green
Wall, is characterised by order, uniformity, conformity. Its citizens are
contented as they can see no alternative. D503 describes them walking
out at the afternoon personal hour, their 'faces unclouded by the insanity
of thought' (p.23). 'The Table of Hourly Commandments' governs their
every move with the exception of two 'personal hours', which can be
allocated for meetings with sexual partners, when they are allowed to
draw down the blinds. Otherwise their every move is under constant
surveillance in this cityscape of concrete and glass. D503 rejoices in
belonging to such an ordered existence with its mathematical precision.
Mathematics, for D503, is the tool of his trade, but it is also a way of
looking at the world. No other values can intrude. This is what makes his
account of the One state so disturbing for the reader.

The antithesis to the order of the One State is freedom, a disorganised and savage condition,
which has only existed beyond the Green Wall, since the establishment of the One State
hundreds of years earlier (p.29). Its representative within the novel is the alluring E330, who
takes D503 to the House of Antiquity and then finally out beyond the Green Wall. Even
before she has taken him beyond the wall, she is associated in D503's mind with images of
nature, love and a disturbance to his loyalty to the One State, which the reader might see as
an embryonic experience of freedom. Of course, we see E330 only through the eyes of
D503, whose understanding is limited. When they make love his room becomes untidy, his
papers disarranged:


       'I can't bear to have things this way,' I said. 'There you are by my side, and yet it
       seems as if you were after all behind one of those opaque walls of the ancients; I
       hear rustling and voices on the other side of that wall- and I can't make out the
       words, I don't know what is going on there. I can't bear to have things this way.'
       (p.134)


                                             167
But the moment she is gone he is struggling to hold onto her presence:


       I was alone. All that had remained behind her was a barely perceptible fragrance,
       something like the sweet, dry yellow pollen of certain flowers growing on the other
       side of the Green Wall. (p.135)


However, Zamyatin manages to give us enough hints for us to begin to
create our own picture of E330, as a beautiful but subversive force or
agent within the One State. In this state where history has come to an
end, the reader soon interprets D503's compliance as evidence of
coercion and, as the plot develops, we witness new technological means
being used by the State to overcome any resistance among its citizens.
The reader is left to wonder about the location and nature of power in the
One State, and about the ability of E330 and her friends to challenge it.

It must be stressed that interpretations of Zamyatin's novel have been varied. In the light of
his subsequent career and his dislike of Stalin's regime, his attack on the use of technology
as a means of control has been associated with Stalinism. However, Stalin's apotheosis was
well in the future when Zamyatin began We. Its more likely origin lies in his experience of
the 1914-17 period, which he spent in Newcastle, supervising the construction of Russian
ice-breakers. The short story The Islanders, in which can be seen the seeds of the
presentation of the One State, was written in 1917. In this short story we meet Zamyatin's
quintessential Englishman, the Reverend Dewley, who believes that 'life must be like a well-
run machine', governed by timetables to cover every activity, including, 'one timetable, out
of a regard for decency left untitled, which particularly concerned Mrs Dewley and on
which every third Saturday was marked' (p.15).


Such was Zamyatin's satiric view of the 'regulated, restricted life of the respectable English
middle class' which seemed to him to be a perfect example of the horrors of entropy'
(1985:10). Taylorism has had a part to play here and in the conception of the One State, the
idea of these schedules being a development of Taylor's theories of industrial efficiency
(Booker,1994:28). In the 'Thirty-first Entry' of D503's diary, he quotes from the State
Gazette:


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       The beauty of a mechanism lies in that which is undeviating and exact, as in a
       pendulum, as in rhythm. But then you, who have been nurtured on the Taylor
       System from your childhood - have you not become as exact as pendulums? (p.173)


I will return to the characteristics of the One State later as I develop my second metaphor. At
this point, I want to focus simply on the character E330, an agent attempting to break out of
the One State, as a metaphor for the management theorist or consultant, trapped within the
Green Walls of the One State, but seeking ways to break through to another world whose
characteristics are undefined, but may have something to do with nature, emotions, morality.

Use of metaphors
To propose the use of metaphor needs some explanation, in view of the
lively debate on this subject in management theory, which has gained
ground as theorists have come increasingly under the influence of
linguistics. This has included consideration of how metaphors in
everyday communication can 'shape, enhance or shift our awareness and
actions' (Alvesson and Willmott, 1996:92). It has also encompassed a
search for metaphors implicit in existing discourses of management, and
a debate about whether critical thinking should pick and mix from these
(Morgan, 1986; Alvesson and Willmott,1996:93-4). In this paper, rather
than looking for metaphors implicit in existing management processes
and literature, I am concerned to find new metaphors to perform their
age-old task of making us look afresh at subjects we thought we were
familiar with, of 'defamiliarising'. Metaphor, as used by the poets, is not
without its supporters among management theorists. It has been defined
as, 'a statement that maintains that two phenomena have certain
common properties', and metaphorical language as 'a kind of
connotative, figurative language, where each metaphor is literally
impossible but imaginatively suggestive' (Easterby-Smith et al., 1999:36).
The strengths of metaphor have been identified as being 'a means of
access to, and expression of, intuitive, embryonic perceptions and
understanding' (Inns and Jones in Grant and Oswick, 1996: 111) and
their 'generative power, their ability to open up creativity and new
insights' (Alvesson in Hassard and Parker, 1993:116). Another debate in
the literature on metaphors concerns the assertion of some management
theorists that metaphor can act as 'a framework for conducting analysis'
(Inns and Jones in Grant and Oswick, 1996:125). Traditionally, however,
metaphor has been intended to surprise by its juxtapositioning of two
concepts. Its raison d'etre is not to provide a comparison which could be
developed in detail, as might be the function of analogy, but to suggest a


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startling point of similarity to generate, not a detailed model, but fresh
thought. It is in this sense that metaphor is used in this paper.


Culture and Postmodernity: Situating the Argument
Before I introduce my second metaphor, an image of the role of the artist
in the late twentieth century, I need to locate the argument which is to
follow in relation to the term postmodern, since this is not a term whose
meaning can be taken for granted, as work in different disciplines
produces subtle variations of definition. It has its 'discontents' as well as
its advocates, but whatever the rights and wrongs of the label and its
usage, there is no doubt that certain facets of our present social
experience are still encompassed by that label.

Historically the root of the postmodern debate lies in the 1970s, when
the term began life as a descriptor referring to contemporary society,
experience and culture. It has been argued that it was in the arts that
the label was first used, in the study of architecture as a description of
the diverse styles of parody and pastiche which characterised the
buildings of the new urban landscape, finding in their pre-war roots, not
one model, but a wealth of styles from which to choose and with which
they could play (Jencks, 1986). It was a moment when after two decades
of rootlessness and self-questioning in post-war Europe the arts in
particular were ready to begin reestablishing confidence. While looking
backwards to the war was still difficult, writers leap-frogged over that
experience to compare themselves with the pre-war, the Modern, and,
like the architects, dared to engage with the pre-war tradition only
flippantly, borrowing and pastiching to create an ever more self-reflexive
and irreverent style. It has been argued that all the work of pastiche and
parody are reflections of ' a longing for a past that had gone by too fast, a
desire to anchor the self in the objects, signs and scenes from the past
so the present could be made more sense of' (Denzin, 1993). But the
word 'postmodern' was only briefly confined simply to a style in the arts.
The moment of its birth also saw the ascendancy of sociology. The
sociologist observed, studied and theorised the changing class relations,
demographic and topographical changes of the new post-war order as
well as the social impact of the economic boom. After a trialing of other
labels such as 'post-industrial', it was the label post-modern which
caught on. Now the use of the term in other disciplines is generally
grounded in the sociological studies of the cultural experience of the late
twentieth century.

In the early twenty-first century the salient characteristics of the late
twentieth century are becoming clearer, and a number of features of the
postmodern are generally accepted. Lyotard's (1984) seminal study began


                                    170
by defining the postmodern as 'incredulity toward metanarratives', and
he identified the system's performance or efficiency as the new means of
legitimation of knowledge (pp.482-83). From this flowed a vast debate
about the relationship between the postmodern era, science and reason,
the latter as the feature of Modernity or of a broader Enlightenment
project. The result of Lyotard's analysis was to increase the distrust of
grand narratives, and, dislocated from the past and unable to look
beyond the present, to rush us on to the point where it is possible to
speak of the end of history (Fukuyama, 1989).

An underlying consideration across debates on postmodernity in many
different disciplines is the concept of 'culture'. Raymond Williams (1981)
set the scene for much of the debate as he brought together what he saw
as two strands of thought on 'culture as a distinct whole way of life' and
culture as 'artistic and intellectual activities' (p.13). While the concept
has a long history at the heart of society's self-analyses, in the mid-
twentieth century it emerged as not a single but an ever fragmenting and
multiplying referent in the postmodern theorising. While, on the positive
side, the fragmentation and plurality of culture/s may be rooted in
multiculturalism and tolerance, its less attractive features concern the
isolation of the individual. Bauman has written of the experience of the
postmodern citizen as a 'life in fragments', where the individual, like a
vagabond, has no sense of destination or set itinerary ((1993:240), or,
like the tourist, is always on the move, but never 'arriving' (1997: 82-94):
the antithesis of the sense of tradition and rooted experience that was
previously valued. In a world celebrating the proliferation and diversity of
cultural experiences, as the narrator in one of Ian McEwan's novels
notes, 'To believe everything, to make no choices, amounts to much the
same thing to my mind, as believing in nothing at all' (1992:20).

Another feature that has been associated with postmodernity is
globalisation. This is celebrated as a positive development by those who
highlight the ability of technologies of travel and communication to bring
people together and facilitate a global economy. But it also has its critics,
who point to the economic power which that technology bestows on a
few and the pressure for conformity which it engenders. Bound up with
the development of world markets is the recognition of the ascendancy of
consumerism on a global scale. The implications of consumerism and its
technologies have been powerfully explored by Jean Baudrillard.
According to Baudrillard we are living in societies where reality has
disappeared to be replaced by reproduced or reflected images:

      The very definition of the real becomes: that of which it is possible
      to give an equivalent reproduction. This is contemporaneous with a
      science that postulates that a process can be perfectly reproduced
      in a set of given conditions, and also with the industrial rationality


                                    171
      that postulates a universal system of equivalence, (classical
      representation     is   not   equivalence,   it  is   transcription,
      interpretation, commentary). At the limit of this process of
      reproductibility, the real is not only what can be reproduced, but
      that which is always already reproduced. The hyperreal. (p.146)

      Today everyday, political, social, historical, economic, etc., reality has already incorporated
      the hyperrealist dimension of simulation so that we are now living entirely within the
      'aesthetic' hallucination of reality (Baudrillard, 1993:74).




Metaphor 2
Baudrillard's conceptualisation of endlessly reflected images, of
simulations and simulacra, are a concern of the art critic Rosalind
Krauss, who provides my second metaphor for the role of the
management theorist. Art of the post-modern era can be seen as
simultaneously reflecting and sustaining many facets of its postmodern
cultural context. Art faces a dilemma of how to address its viewers in a
world in which there are no common values to which it can appeal, no
more grand narratives. In a BBC interview in 1989, Krauss offered an
account of the role of the artist in the era of postmodernity, which I want
to take as my second metaphor for the role of the management theorist.
Drawing on Baudrillard's picture of the world of simulations, she
characterises postmodernity as an era of extraordinary conformity, as
one in which culture is composed only of reflected images, that form a
wall around us, beyond which we cannot see: 'as though the world has
become a huge billboard or opaque wall of images that separates us as
individuals from a nature that might exist behind that wall, but which we
cannot penetrate to'. The problem for the artist has become how to
operate as an artist in this strange new world, how to provide any
challenge when the image is immediately reproduced and absorbed into
the world of reproductions. Krauss speaks of the artist's attempts to take
the viewer beyond the bounds of the controlling, ordering and
disempowering enclosure of the reflected images of the consumerised
world.

      Certain artists have dedicated their work to the problem of how to break through
      this wall, how to put a kind of little crow-bar underneath it to get some leverage,
      to try to make a space between the imitation of the real. (Krauss, 1989)




                                                172
Krauss (1977) provides illustration of this view of the artist at work, in a work in which
she examines the relationship between sculpture and the viewer. She begins with a
consideration of Minimalism and its interest in Dada. Dada is one of the few antecedents
acknowledged by art of the late twentieth century. It was a product of the First World
War, a crisis which, for the artists who came together in neutral Zurich at that time,
seemed to undermine the whole logic of civilization. 'It was the Dada position that
bourgeois art, bourgeois order and bourgeois rationalism had been implicated in the
deaths of millions' (Harrison and Wood, 1992: 219). They could not engage with the
traditions of art to critique them. Their aim was to produce art which was a total negation.
Dada's foremost spokesman was originally Tristran Tzara, who wrote the first
manifestos. In 1924 in a lecture on Dada he commented:

       Everybody knows that dada is nothing. . . I broke away from Dada and from
       myself as soon as I understood the implications of nothing. (Chipp, 1968: 385)


       You will often hear that Dada is a state of mind. You may be gay, sad, afflicted,
       joyous, melancholy, or Dada. . . The beginnings of Dada were not the beginnings
       of an art, but of a disgust. (Chipp, 1968: 388)

In a postmodern era which appears whole-heartedly to have ditched those traditions against
which Dada revolted, and to draw on them only as sources of pastiche and parody, some
artists and critics have looked back to Dada for their model. Duchamp's 'Fountain' has come
to be seen as the archetypal Dada work: a urinal which he signed 'R. Mutt' and submitted to
an exhibition in New York in 1917. When it was rejected Duchamp produced a defence of
Mr Mutt:

       Whether Mr Mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no
       importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its
       usual significance disappeared under the new title and point of view - created a
       new thought for that object. (Short, 1980: 25)

In her commentary on the work of Minimalist artists and their relation
with Dada, Krauss (1977) has seen in Duchamp's work not only a


                                            173
rejection of traditions, but also a rejection of another source of meaning
for the art object, namely its reference to an individual viewer whose
values, whose 'private space' can be reflected in the art work. Krauss
identifies a trend in post-war art to deny the contact of viewer and art
object, not denying all meaning to the object, but asserting that any
meaning can only come through notions of public rather than private
space.

This position is the basis for her commentary on a work by Robert
Smithson, 'Spiral Jetty' (1970). Krauss quotes Smithson's first
impressions of the site in the Great Salt Lake in Utah which he selected
for his work, as evidence of the contact of the artist with place and
meanings:

      As I looked at the site, it reverberated out to the horizons only to suggest an
      immobile cyclone while flickering light made the entire landscape appear to quake.
      A dormant earthquake spread into an immense roundness. From that gyrating space
      emerged the possibility of the Spiral Jetty. No ideas, no concepts, no systems, no
      abstractions   could   hold   themselves   together   in   the   actuality   of   that
      phenomenological evidence. (p.282)

Krauss sees this 'phenomenological' evidence from which the idea of the
jetty emerges as rooted not only in the appearance of the lake but also in
'what we might call its mythological setting'. The artist here tries to
communicate with the viewer 'somewhere beyond the reach of the
intellect' (p.285). Smithson can be seen as typifying the artist at work in
the postmodern society, enclosed by billboards of reflected images. The
artist's resistance to this condition, as Krauss describes it, is not to look
for new metanarratives or create new 'traditions', but to chip away at the
walls, to open chinks of light to the values beyond this enclosing present.
In Zamyatin's novel, within the enclosing Green Wall of the One State,
where the edicts of the Benefactor are reflected endlessly, it seems, from
the State Gazette to D530's diary and the chanting of the gathered
citizens, the reader is allowed the hope that E330's efforts to break out of
the walls will bear fruit, if only indirectly and that others will go on
opening up cracks to let in 'light' from outside.


Organizations and Culture: Developing the Metaphors
In presenting these images as metaphors for the role of the theorist or
consultant I need now to locate those roles within the management
context in the hope that the metaphor's point of comparison and



                                         174
challenge will emerge. To this end I want to consider the nature of the
culture of the business organization in the postmodern era. Postmodern
theory of a world of cultural fragments might suggest that the business
organization's culture would be seen as one among the many cultural
experiences from which managers/workers can choose freely on their
life journeys. If this is the case, then there would seem to be no reason to
single out the business organization for special consideration. However,
there is a considerable body of writing that suggests this is not
necessarily the desired condition, on the part of some management
theorists.

To develop this argument I want to focus on two antithetical points of
view in the literature of business culture, one advocating the prioritising
of a unified culture within the business organization, the other
expressing concern at this development in the theoretising of business
culture. The first of these approaches comes from writers on organization
who see the development of strong business culture as a recipe for
success. Schein (1992:1) introducing his text on culture, talks about
culture as beginning 'with leaders who impose their own values and
assumptions on a group'. Peters and Waterman (1982) linked strong
culture with market success. In fact, they began by identifying America's
most successful companies, and then studied them to find a model for
success. The features for success which they identified always lead them
back to the assertion that 'the dominance and coherence of culture' is
the key to excellence (Peters and Waterman, 1982: 75). In this, the
organization's mission and universal adherence to it are of prime
importance with a strong pressure, therefore, for conformity. In the
excellent companies they also found overwhelming commitment
throughout the organization, that became almost a religion. This is
evident, for instance, in an account of the attitudes of leaders of
successful companies: 'They believed in the customers. They believed in
granting autonomy, room to perform. They believed in open doors' (1982:
319). In other cases, writers seem indifferent to the 'toughness' of
corporate practices if they are building the strong culture. Denison
(1990: 167), for instance, provides an illustration of a company where
giving the new recruits a 'thorough "chewing out"' was part of the culture
building.

A further example of this emphasis on strong culture, though taking a
rather different approach, is contained in the study by Peter M. Senge,
The Fifth Discipline (1992) . Here the language of religious commitment,
self-exploration and meditation becomes mixed up with the new role
models that he offers for the worker/manager. Senge advocates a new
relationship between the worker and his work organization. One way of
explaining this is as a covenant, a commitment to shared values and
goals. His account of the discipline of 'Personal mastery' shifts rapidly

                                    175
from the domain of personal life and values to the idea that business
organizations might promote or even insist on their workers taking
courses in 'personal growth training' and that the organization should be
the site of the individual's personal values and culture. Senge admits
that the element of compulsion has proved dangerous for the
organizations concerned who have had legal action taken against them.
Nevertheless, Senge's message to organizations is go for personal
mastery, but to do it more subtly (pp.172-73). Du Gay sees Culture
Excellence as 'a struggle for identities, an attempt to enable all sorts of
people, from highest executive to lowliest shop-floor employee, to see
themselves reflected in the emerging conception of the enterprising
organization and thus to come increasingly to identify with it' (Quoted,
Willmott, 1993: 519). Parker (1998b:72) quotes Casey as summing up
this approach to organizational life and culture:

      If we are increasingly lost in so much of our life then our organization, our labour, our
      career, can and should become the post that us (post)moderns hang their identities on.


Such     arguments     reposition   business    culture    within    the
conceptualisation of the postmodern society. The business culture is no
longer one among many cultures from which the postmodern citizen can
choose. It has become rather a microcosm of the society described so well
by Krauss. The dominant or strong culture of the business organization
becomes comparable to that conformity in a society of reflected images,
which Krauss identified as existing in spite of the ostensible cultural
fragmentation. The many facets of business culture identified by
theorists, described and reflected back, adjusted and manipulated are
like so many images on a billboard shutting out the real values, or
beyond the Green Wall, which individuals struggle to connect to.

There are already many voices raised, expressing varying degrees of
alarm at the type of writing, which advocates cultural conformity within
the business organization. Willmott (1993: 516) sees the new emphasis
on corporate culturism and its demands of loyalty as incipient
totalitarianism, or the equivalent of right-wing political agendas
(Willmott, 1993:519). He argues that:

      corporate culturism identifies cultural values as a powerful underutilized media of
      domination. Instead of assuming a consensus of values ...corporate culturism
      aspires to build or manufacture consensus by managing the content and valency of
      employee values. (p.525)




                                              176
Parker (1998b), responding to Etzioni's work on communitarianism, has also provided a
critique of the urge to demand conformity to any one culture in which values are
embedded. While he clearly has much sympathy for the utopian aspects of
communitarianism, he finally argues that the model 'illustrates the utopian strengths and
practical weaknesses of attempting to engineer any sustained congruence between a work
organisation and an individual's various identities' (p.73). In considering the nature of
culture and whether it can be controlled, Parker (2000:23) has noted that for some
writers, 'cultural engineering is another version of attitudinal control, an attempt to
govern the soul', which, he argues has led others to brand the whole 'culture' thing in
business management as 'a reflection of the need to gain control while disguising it'.

In the midst of this debate the role of the management theorist or
consultant becomes problematised. Work on the learning organization,
for example, may have helped to promote a process of collusion of the
consultant in the promotion of a dominant organizational culture. In
putting an emphasis on the development of solutions to organizational
problems through in-house development and training, these writers no
longer want to see the role of the consultant as coming from outside with
complete, ready-made solutions. Granted, the consultant has expertise
and technical know-how, s/he now comes into the organization to
facilitate a solution from within, observing, facilitating, reflecting (Dixon,
1994: 106). This is fine until we consider that it is only a step way from
arguing against any challenge to the internal values of the organization
from outside agents such as theorist and consultants or even employees.
I have conflated the roles of theorist and consultant in the presentation
of my metaphors because if feel that this has a validity as regards the
point of comparison I want to develop around their relationship with the
organization. The one who enters the organization as adviser/consultant
often becomes the theorist later in reassessing the knowledge gained
there. The academic theorist may enter the organization to gain practical
knowledge or may draw on the findings of the consultant in developing a
theory. In either case the role is largely one of observing and reflecting
back. In the light of the approaches to organizational culture reviewed
above, we surely begin to sense a developing emphasis on an enclosing of
the organizational cultural experience which is a central point of
comparison between the experience of the postmodern artist, E330 in the
One state and the management theorist at work.

In reflecting on the contribution of communitarianism to the discussion
of values in organizations, Parker (1998: 73) feels a need to think about
alternative modes of organization because, he argues, 'at the present


                                             177
time...various forms of left radicalism are searching for a more positive
vision of social organization'. The prospect of the rediscovery of grand
narratives remains a temptation and a concern: a temptation to anyone
trying to break out of the enclosure of postmodernity, a concern, not just
because the grand narrative might itself threaten us with conformity, but
because the temptation to solve all the problems at one sweep of the pen
can distract us from deeper insights or postpone our search for other
alternatives. Denzin ((1993:510) has argued that the term postmodern
does indeed have its uses:

      We need this deadly term called the postmodern to remind us that we have yet to
      make sense out of our present for the keys to its meaning are not in the modernist
      past. They are in the present, the here and now.

My metaphors, I hope, are suggesting a need to look at the state of
inertia, reflections and closure which the postmodern label refers to and
which exists not just in society at large, but also within the business
organization. My argument in suggesting these new metaphors for the
role of the management theorist and consultant is that while the weight
of postmodern thought and theorising works against the early
acceptance of any new grand narrative or vision, the role of the artist
chipping away at the walls surrounding the postmodern world, looking
for a glimpse of values, of nature is a more tenable one. I feel that many
writers in business management are already engaging with this process,
though they reach towards it from their own different areas of interest or
expertise. Parker (in Hassard and Parker, 1993: 212) has expressed a
concern that while the 'postmodern thinking' is undoubtedly
challenging', it is tending to lead to 'extreme ethical-political relativism'.
Huff (2001: 127), speculating on the future of that salient element of the
corporate culture, strategy, says more directly: 'We have overly
emphasized the rational, and under-emphasized the moral.' Much
writing on Critical Theory engages not just with a search for paradigms
but with arguments against paradigm closure: 'CT challenges the
domination of ...instrumental rationality, which tends to reduce human
beings to parts of a well-oiled societal machine' (Alvesson and Willmott,
1992:10). In the same text it is argued that, if 'knowledge more or less
exactly mirrors corporate economic reality' then a challenge remains to
unthink this (p.12). Willmott (Hassard and Pym, 1990: 60) is concerned
that 'instead of focusing upon organizational practices which reflect and
sustain' the status quo, there is a need for studies to reveal 'the
possibilities for emancipatory change.'

The comparisons I have suggested for the role of the management
consultant/theorist prioritise the opening up of spaces from which


                                         178
alternative values can be explored. To let in some values, even in a small
way, might also help our understanding not only of the business
organization itself in relation to the individual, but also reflect upon the
wider global cultural experience of postmodernity, which, detached and
futureless, seems increasingly without values, increasingly in need of the
efforts of artists to connect us to a world beyond the Green Wall. E330
had breached the Green Wall. The reader of Zamyatin's novel is left with
doubts as to the fate of her efforts, but with room to hope that others will
continue the struggle inside and beyond the walls. Above all the reader is
absolutely convinced of the need to try to break out of the One State. I
feel there is a growing body of opinion that is moving to see this also as
an imperative task for the management theorist.


Dr Cynthia Dereli

July 2002.




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Between Heaven and Earth:

Michael Elmes




Finding the Sacred in Volunteer Work at a Farm for Hunger Relief

                                           WPI



       Strati (1999) states that, “aesthetics in organizational life are a driving force of
organizing” (42). An aesthetic approach emphasizes “finite and concrete sensible
experience…and (the) sensible aspects of organizations…the construction, redefinition, or
repression of sensible experience” (85). One category of the aesthetic in organizations is the
sacred, which, according to Strati, “accentuates the representation of what is indivisible, of
what is unique, of what is magical, and of what arouses reverence and worship” (185).
       For over eight years, I have volunteered 3-5 hours per week with my two daughters
at farm in rural Massachusetts that is devoted to educating the public about the elimination
of world hunger. The farm is part of a larger organization, Heifer Project International or
HPI, which provides animals and education on sustainable agricultural practices to
developing areas of the world – places where hunger and poverty are chronic and difficult
problems. As a volunteer, I love the work that I do at this farm, yet sometimes when I tell
friends and relatives that most of my time there is spent milking cows and goats, feeding
large animals, raking barns, carrying heavy buckets of water over long distances, being
chased by cows, and shoveling shit in often sub-freezing or extremely hot temperatures, they
think that I am more than a little strange. While not all my work is hard physical labor – I
have also been involved in advising student projects to set up a wind generator and an
aquaponics system for raising fish – the physical part of the work leaves me feeling very
much alive and deeply empathic towards the struggle to raise food and the enormous power



                                            180
of domesticated animals in helping to accomplish that goal.
       The appeal of this farm is not just the farm work, although it has tremendous
aesthetic appeal in itself. It has much to do with what this organization represents to me,
what ideals it stands for, and how I feel about myself each week after having carried the
water, fed and milked the cows, and raked the barn. There is something about these menial
jobs that makes me feel true to the spirit of HPI, simple and down in the mud – a break
perhaps from the complicated, overly intellectualized life that I lead during the rest of my
week. For many of us, the farm has become like a church, a house of worship, where heaven
and earth meet and we serve as stewards doing simple, earthly chores from a heartfelt place.
       Much of my experience at the farm falls under the aesthetic category of the sacred –
the sacredness of raising food, of working closely with domesticated animals and other
volunteers, and of helping families across the world in need. Inside the visitor’s building are
videos and photographs of families and smiling children – whose skin color and facial
features are very different from our own – who have benefited significantly from the
addition of a goat or a cow or chickens to their lives (see Figure 1). Stories abound of
children who can go to school now because they have enough milk for themselves and to
sell to other villagers for income to buy books and clothes. There is the HPI creed where
families are required to give the first offspring of a gift animal to another villager, and on
and on. On the walls and in books there are signs of transformation and happiness
attributable to, it appears, the good stewardship and generosity for which the organization
seems to stand. At times, a person from one of those photographs can walk through the door
of the office – a visitor from Guatemala or India or Mali who is spending 3-6 months at the
farm to work with volunteers and talk with various school and church groups. For me as
well, there is the sacredness of doing this work with my daughters and watching their worlds
expand and their sense of responsibility grow as they take care of draft horses, do the
milking, or – as 10-year-olds - give instructions to other volunteers new to the farm.
       It is ironic perhaps that the sacredness of our endeavor is deepened by the sensory
experience of the farm work itself – by the strong odors (goat milk, decaying manure, and
the animals themselves), multiple textures (frozen snow and earth, smooth horsehide, coarse
goat hair, ragged bales of hay), simple sights (inexpensive barns and out buildings, ducks
and chickens wandering about, pictures of people who have been helped by HPI projects),



                                             181
and unexpected sounds (of cows, goats, sheep, dogs, human visitors, farm equipment,
ducks, chickens, and the like). In this context, perhaps we do this work because it is a
simple calling and serves as a refuge from the cynicism, indifference, and sterility – the ugly
– that we sometimes encounter in other facets of our everyday living in organizations.


Specifics of the Proposal
           Time Requested: 30 minutes (5 minute introduction, 15 minute presentation, 10
minute discussion)
           Specifics of the Art: In this appliqué, I would like to offer two simultaneous
videotape presentations approximately 15 feet apart using a TV and VCR at each location.
Between these two TV/VCR’s, I would like to place a table where I can lay out various
artifacts related to HPI – pamphlets, pictures, a piece of manure, goat hair, hay, HPI buttons,
to name only a few, in some sort of form (I am not sure yet whether I will try to make these
into a sculpture of sorts or simply lay them out for people to experience – probably the
latter).
                At the beginning of the presentation, I will take no more than 5 minutes to say
a few words about the organization (HPI) and about what it has meant to me over the years.
Then I will invite the audience to enter the space between the two TV’s and to begin to
circulate. Shortly thereafter, I will turn on Video1. This video will present the sounds and
sights of the farm in a non-sequential manner; it will be a pastiche of scenes and sounds –
cows mooing, animals giving birth, occasional images of people doing chores, images of
cows and llamas, pastoral scenes, and so forth. This video is the all-encompassing gaze at
the farm, intended to provide viewers with some sense of the earthly elements. After Video1
has run for about 2 minutes, I will turn on Video2. Video2 will be a narrative based on
interviews with a series of volunteers milking a cow (actually, milking our beloved Nicole,
the only cow who is milked at the farm). As each milker performs their job, they will tell
some aspect of their story – it could be related to how they first become affiliated with HPI,
why they do the work, what they like and love about it, what value they think it adds to the
world, how they think it is different from their “normal” routine, and so on. My plan is to
interview 7 or 8 different volunteers as they milk Nicole and then edit the tape such that
each fades into the other. I hope to convey the appearance of one milking – from start to



                                              182
finish – of the same cow spread over the various people and personalities. This video will
run for about 12 minutes. At that point, Video2 will end and Video1 will continue to run for
the remaining 2 minutes of the presentation.
       I plan to start and finish with Video1 to convey the idea that no matter who comes
and goes in this volunteer organization, the farm, the images, the animals, the sounds, the
smells, and so on, remain – conveying, I hope, a sense of the eternal. Afterwards I will invite
the audience to return to their seats where we can talk about the experience for about 10
minutes or so.

       Presentational materials you require (e.g., datashows, whiteboards, etc). 2 VCR’s
and TV’s. A table to display HPI artifacts. A space big enough for the audience to move
about between the 2 TV’s.

References:
Strati, A. (1999). Organization and Aesthetics. Sage Publications, London.


Figure 1: With her Heifer dairy cow, Blandina Bumbo and her husband John were able to
feed their three children and two adopted children. (from HPI website based on work in
Uganda: http://www.heifer.org/uganda/index.cfm?source=uganda)




                                               183
Taking risks and taking care: constructing a sculpture and an
organization

Yvonne Guerrier
University of Surrey, Roehampton



Introduction

This paper stemmed from two activities that I was involved with simultaneously. The first
was the major restructuring of a University Business School. The second was the process of
making a constructed wood sculpture. I was struck by the similarities between the two
processes. As I was playing around with the arrangements of different pieces of wood, so we
were playing about with the arrangements of the different divisions and subject areas. This
paper is a meditation on both of these processes.

Constructing organizations and constructing sculptures

It is not unusual, when discussing organizational structure to think in terms of a three-
dimensional artefact. Often organizations are conceived as machines (Morgan 1997),
machines that need overhauling through re-engineering (Case 1999). Organizations may
also be conceived as buildings through talk of building blocks and organization architecture
(Peppard 1999). They may be conceived as sculptures that need “hollowing out” of the
workforce (Kidd and Richter 2001) as a terracotta model needs hollowing out if it is to
survive firing. Or even as human-beings that need radical surgery.

For all the talk about engineering and architecture, it often seems to be assumed that
organizational structures can be manipulated as if they are curiously unsolid and weightless.
For example, there is a largely unchallenged assumption that the process of restructuring is a
process of organizational design followed by the implementation of the design. The
language of organizational design is the language of two-dimensions: mapping, the clean
sheet approach, the danger of doing no more than altering lines and boxes on a chart
(Peppard 1999). Alternatively, as Case (1999) points out, it can be the language of



                                            184
cybernetics (BPR is the process of starting from scratch akin to erasing or purging the
organization’s hard disc). It is only at the implementation stage that anything solid is
encountered and then only as an obstacle: rather like a piece of IKEA furniture where you
discover when you try to put it together that the final bit needs to be hit with a hammer to
get it to fit.


Critical management thinkers and indeed many other management thinkers are rightly
dismissive of such thinking. But should we extend this dismissal to an assumption that
structure does not matter. When the restructuring of the University was underway, two of
my colleagues expressed this view: “structure does not matter, a good manager can make
any structure work”, “re-organization is a way of avoiding the real issues, when in doubt re-
organise”. However, another colleague expressed the view that a well-managed re-
organization could open up new possibilities, loosen up old ways of doing things and allow
for the development of new synergies. I am personally inclined to that point of view.


This paper explores whether by using a different metaphor it is possible
to reclaim and restructure our ways of thinking about organizational
restructuring. The metaphor I will use is that of the assembled or
constructed sculpture. Picasso, with his 1912 assemblage, Guitar is
commonly held to have transformed the notion of sculpture by producing
a work that was neither carved or modelled but assembled, often from
found objects (Hohl 2001). This is how Roland Penrose described
Picasso’s methods of “assembling” raw materials into three-dimensional
constructions:

         “pieces of scrap-iron, springs, saucepan lids, sieves, bolts and screws picked out with
         discernment from the rubbish heap, could mysteriously take their place in these
         constructions , wittily and convincingly coming to life with a new personality. The vestiges
         of their origins as witnesses to the transformation that the magician had brought about, a
         challenge to the identity of anything and everything”.(In Read 2000 p 67-69)


“Assembling” here is described as a magical process. This is not so different from the magical
transformation of an ordinary or failing organization into a super-organization that is promised by
Business Process Engineering.



                                                 185
Some of the same messages emerge from the following description of the working methods
of the Russian constructivist sculptor, Vladimir Tatlin:


       “He does not work, as an engineer might, by disposing materials to a predetermined
       position and function. On the contrary, he evolves his construction from the
       materials to hand. Damaged wood and discarded metal sheeting reveal qualities of
       their material, and from this arises the construction. He is discovering a coherent
       structure not imposing, according to predetermined plans, an arrangement of
       materials: the construction is discovered” (Milner 1983).


If we use these ideas as a metaphor for thinking about organizational restructuring a number
of themes start emerging. Firstly, that the process of restructuring is a process of playing, of
trying to think “out of the box”, of abandoning any preconceptions about what should be
linked with what: in that sense I am not saying anything different to the strictures of
Business Process Engineering. But what the sculpture metaphor does say which is different
is that the process is based in an understanding of the qualities and the nature of the
materials one is playing with and an appreciation of how they can be a valuable part of the
construction even if they look damaged. Further, there is no distinction between a design
process and an implementation process. The structure is discovered through the process of
“implementation.”


The process of constructing is about decision-making. It is about recognising when
something is right and does not need to be played with any more or when it still needs
tweaking. As someone relatively new to the practice of art, I have been struck how much
visual artists talk about decision-making. The view from the outside is that artistic creation
is a much more intuitive and mysterious process where the artist conjures up a creation from
a few bits of rubbish lying around (as is implied by Penrose’s description of Picasso).
Thinking of “creation” as a series of decisions may be a way of managing and demystifying
a frightening process. But decision-making is especially important to much of visual art
because a decision once taken is frequently difficult to reverse. If you cut a piece of wood in



                                             186
two, it can be stuck together again but you will always see the join. If you sand away the old
paint marks on a piece of wood, you would never be able to paint them back exactly the
same. Decision-making is a risky and scary business - do you risk destroying something that
is working quite well because you think that you can get it to work better? The quality of
decision-making is what distinguishes between artists.


In the same way, decisions about organization restructuring are difficult to reverse. Once
two parts of a division are pulled apart, they would be difficult to put together again; the
memory, or scar, that they had been pulled apart would remain. Again there is a tension
between settling for a structure that is OK and a more radical solution that may be magical.
Hammer, one of the BPR gurus, makes a similar point:


        “Reengineering cannot be planned meticulously and accomplished in small and
        cautious steps. It’s an all-or-nothing proposition with an uncertain result. Still, most
        companies have no choice but to muster the courage to do it.” (Hammer 1990, p105
        quoted in Case 1999 p430).


The process of construction


In the rest of this paper, I will make some specific comparisons between my experience of
making sculptures and my experience of organization restructuring. These are personal
reflections, selected to illustrate some of the similarities in the processes.


The sculpture I will describe was developed for a project called “Inspired by the V&A”. I
was working to a brief (developing a sculpture inspired by an object or objects in the V&A
museum) and a strict deadline, given I wanted to enter into the V&A’s competition. I was
working on the sculpture mainly during the three hour block of the evening class I attend.
After the initial process of developing a concept for my sculpture and identifying and
painting up suitable bits of wood, several weeks of class time was spent just “playing” with
different combinations of structure.

The organizational restructuring described here is the restructuring of a University


                                               187
Business School. The brief from the centre was that the number of divisions in the
school needed to be reduced from eight to four or five. There was a deadline for the
reorganization in that a University restructuring plan needed to be presented to the
governors. The restructuring was linked into a major programme of redundancies.




                                          188
The sculpture                                           anything else. Eventually some of the pieces

“I have now spent four or five weeks doing              find their way into a different sculpture.

nothing other than move bits of wood around
into different configurations. As I don’t want
to commit to sticking anything down at this
stage, this is a rather tricky business. I have
become very adept at balancing all the
different configurations together. Two or
three times in the evening, everything
collapses noisily in a heap.

There are several problems with this                    The organization

process. Firstly, I don’t seem to be making
any progress. I am aware that the deadline is           “We are now on to the third or fourth

nearing and it will take a few weeks just to            version of the restructuring. The Business

stick everything together. Sometimes,                   School executive is keen to put a closure

despite doing sketches or taking                        on the process; each time the memo that

photographs at the end of a session I have              comes around says that this is the final

difficulty remembering exactly where I                  version. Each time the Heads of Division

finished the previous week. I am trying not to          (of which I am one) meet in corridors to

panic about it – Gwen, the tutor, is                    say what rubbish they think it is. I spend

encouraging me not to stick anything down               much of my time at the moment walking

yet and gradually certain elements of the               around the building having meetings in

structure are beginning to emerge.                      corridors with various groups of people
                                                        (or occasionally surreptitiously sneaking

I have some quite exquisite pieces of wood,             into an office when we want to say

some slices of wenge, of olive wood and                 something particularly mutinous).

Australian black boy tree, that I would really
like to incorporate but I cannot find a way of          Everyone is on edge. Even those of us

fitting them into this sculpture. They are so           who are reasonably confident that we will

strong in their own right they do not fit with          have a place in the new structure cannot


                                                  189
be quite sure what they will be doing or
where they will be placed.


The Leisure and Tourism division, which
I head, is proving particularly difficult to
place.    From   a   positive   perspective
everyone seems to think that we are good
and that we should go somewhere but
there are regular rumours that the Vice-
Chancellor wants to move us to another
faculty. I have some discussions with the
Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences
who is keen to have us. There are pros
and cons and on balance my colleagues
and I think we are best in the Business
School.




                                               190
The sculpture                                            difficult as the screws tend to split the
                                                         plywood. I don’t want to cut new pieces
There are dangers in not sticking
things down. I notice that tiny                          having spent so long getting them the
bits are getting chipped off some                        right shape and colour and finally disguise
of my core pieces each time they
collapse. And one small piece of                         the damage with wood-filler and some
wood that I sliced off with the                          retouching.
intention of sticking it back on
has disappeared so the wood now
has a small scar. There is
nothing I can do about this and I                        The organization
am coming to quite like the scar.

Gavin, one of my fellow students who is                  Nevertheless,      all     the uncertainty is

working nearby looks at one of my                        chipping away at everyone’s attachment

configurations, which I am beginning to think            to the University. People are applying for

is close to the final version. “Are you building         jobs or at least considering their options. I

a doll’s house?” he asks. I have been                    am     secretive    about       my     own    job

concerned that I am interpreting my source               application but when I do finally tell

material too literally. His comment prompts a            people that I’m leaving everyone seems to
fairly radical re-think: I turn one core piece           know within two hours.
upside down and bring another forward. It is
                                                         Eventually the structure begins to resolve
a major transformation and the final piece
                                                         itself. Leisure and Tourism will merge
comes together relatively easily after that.
                                                         with Marketing (who had originally
                                                         wanted to combine with Corporate
I have reached the stage when I need to start
                                                         Strategy) and Strategy will go in with
sticking the pieces together. Again this
                                                         Human         Resource               Management.
requires another set of decisions. What order
                                                         Personally I think many matters remain
do I work in? Is it sufficient to glue pieces
                                                         unresolved, especially in relation to the
together or do I need to screw them as well?
                                                         economists and the quantitative methods
Do I want the various pieces to be flush to
                                                         specialists and the Executive have gone
each other or to leave some gaps?
                                                         for the easy options. However, I can see
                                                         that   the    new        structure    will   work
I decide to use hinges to attach some of
                                                         reasonably    well        for   my     immediate
the main pieces. This proves to be


                                                   191
colleagues so do not feel inclined to fight
for a more radical restructuring.”

The first meeting of the new Marketing and
Leisure division happens about six months
after the restructuring commenced. I am a
little distanced from everything as I now
know that I am leaving but the vibes are
reasonably positive. Now everyone knows
their jobs are secure (at least for now) they
are a little more relaxed. The two groups
seem fairly comfortable with each other: they
have not stuck to their own corners around
the table.




                                                192
The sculpture                                         nurse the sculpture as carefully as a baby
                                                      in the taxi to the V&A but it arrives
Gwen is not certain that the
sculpture works equally well                          intact.”
from all angles. Whilst it is a
construction that has a definite
“front” the point of a sculpture is
that it should work if seen from
all angles. A slight alteration to
the direction in which some of
the pieces are oriented makes all
of the difference when viewed
from the side.                                        The organization
I also need to make some decisions about
the final finish of some of the pieces. I             There is some discussion about the name of
have to paint the edges of the plywood. I             the new division. Whilst within the Business
am using some pieces of unpainted wood                School, most are reasonably clear about the
and decide to oil these. Again, it is a               structure now I am less sure how the name
rather scary decision as I am not exactly             Marketing and Leisure will play with the
sure how they will look but finally a                 companies that take the Tourism and
decision that works out very well.                    Hospitality students on placement and with
                                                      the students and prospective students
The submission to the V&A is based on                 themselves. A change to Marketing and
photographs of the sculpture. Not everything          Tourism is agreed.
has been finally stuck down when I take
these. In fact, I cannot use one photo which          The new structure certainly was not
was otherwise good because you can see                totally    resolved   by    the   time     the
that the underside of the base has not yet            Restructuring Plan was submitted. Even
been painted and some of the screws are not           now there remains some doubt in some
quite fitted flush. When I know the sculpture         divisions about whether some further
has been accepted for exhibition there is a           redundancies are required. And there are
final stage of touching up and fixing down.           rumours that the VC has plans for further
Again, I am aware that all these                      restructuring of faculties next year. My
processes carry their own risk. I cannot              ex-colleagues are aware that they may
afford to damage anything at this stage. I            still fly off to another part of the


                                                193
University next year. But for the moment
they have a stable place in the structure.”




                                              194
195
The rational and the emotional in construction.

When I initially envisaged this paper, I was at the early stages both of making my sculpture
and of the re-organization of the Business School. At that stage, the comparisons that struck
me were comparisons in the way in which different combinations were assessed. Could the
aesthetic judgements one made in assessing whether one piece of wood looked good against
another piece of wood be compared with the judgements one made to decide whether one
department would merge well with another? I focused on the process of “playing” with the
arrangements of the pieces in a fairly uninvolved and even a frivolous way. (“Play” in the
arts can, of course, be a very serious process). I was interested in the way playing with
combinations and experiment in both the spheres of sculpture and organizational design
could yield new and magical solutions in the type of way that Italo Calvino describes:


       The processes of poetry and art, says Gombrich, are analogous to those of a play on
       words. It is the childish pleasure of the combinatorial game that leads the painter to
       try out arrangements of lines and colours, the poet to experiment with juxtapositions
       of words. At a certain moment things click into place, and one of the combinations
       obtained – through the combinatorial mechanism itself, independently of any search
       for meaning or effect on any other level – becomes charged with am unexpected
       meaning or unforeseen effect which the conscious mind would not have arrived at
       deliberately: an unconscious meaning, in fact, or at least the premonition of an
       unconscious meaning” (Calvino 1997p22)


Perhaps because I am now looking back on the process of making the sculpture and the
process of re-organization, I am now more conscious of the emotions involved in
deconstruction and construction. Case (1999) interprets Hammer’s (1990) assertion that
major restructuring requires courage as a manifestation of a new Right, macho management
rhetoric. But, in some respects, I would argue that Hammer is right. Radical restructuring
does require courage and one can never be certain that what one proposed will work out. My
experience of making a sculpture reminds me that real solid objects are fragile. They can
easily be damaged and broken through the process of taking them apart and putting them
together. Constructing anything, a sculpture or an organization, is both a process of taking


                                            196
risks and of taking care. It is both about being able to throw all the pieces in the air to see
where they land and being mindful of the damage that you can do to them by throwing them
in the air. Every new “play” is risky because it may cause damage and may not actually
work out.


In the end, I would argue that the construction of my sculpture was a success: I was please
with it and it received some external recognition. It is too early to say whether the
reconstruction of the Business School is a success. I might think that some of the decisions
taken were insufficiently radical. But, however attached I may become to the pieces of wood
in my sculptures, playing with pieces of wood is not the same as playing with people’s lives.
The consequences of doing damage are greater as too are the consequences of not getting
the new structure right.


At the beginning of this paper I argued that restructuring or reassembling offered the
promise of a magical transformation of what were mundane or damaged elements.
Cordelia Parker’s installation “Cold Dark Matter: an exploded view” is such a magical
transformation but engages mixed emotions: grief for the loss of what has been “blown
apart” as well as wonder at what has been created. A garden shed and its contents, that were
blown up for the artist by the British army, are suspended from the ceiling. The original
structure has been radically re-engineered. Each piece is separate, beautiful but no longer
attached to the whole and no longer able to contribute to any function. The shadows that the
fragments cast are as memorable as the fragments themselves.


References


Calvino I. (1997) The Literature Machine, London: Vintage
Case P. (1999) Remember Re-engineering? The rhetorical appeal of a management
salvation device, Journal of Management Studies 36:4, 419-441
Hammer, M. (1990) Reengineering work: don’t automate, obliterate. Harvard Business
Review 68:4, 104-112
Hohl R. (2001) The Adventure of Modern Sculpture. In Sculpture from Antiguity to the



                                             197
Present Day Cologne: Taschen
Kidd J and Richter F-J (2001) The hollowing out of the workforce: what potential for
organisational learning, Human Systems Management 20:1, 7-19
Milner J. (1983) Vladimir Tatlin and the Russian Avant-Garde, Yale University
Morgan G. (1997) “Images of Organization” (Second edition) London: Sage
Peppard J. (1999) Benchmarking, process re-engineering and strategy: some focusing
frameworks, Human Systems Management 18, 297-313
Read H. (1964) Modern Sculpture: A Concise History, London: Thames and Hudson




                                          198
The hidden landscape: metaphor and business culture

Nikki Highmore




Background

In the varied activities that come under the deliberately broad remit of an
‘Imagineer’, I have consistently found myself working with metaphor in
the business context, whether through naming companies, facilitating
innovation, business coaching, performance improvement – it comes up
again and again.

As I have observed metaphor empirically to be clearly more than just a
figure of speech, I decided to undertake some preliminary research on its
impact in the workplace.

The questions I set out to investigate were:
1. To what extent do individuals within companies use metaphor to describe the
   company and their role within it?
2. Does the use of metaphor have an impact on people’s perceptions of the
   company and their role within it?

My background includes a First in English and extensive training in the
fields of adult learning, advanced communication and Neurolinguistic
Programming (what I like to call ‘the anatomy of thought’) – that is, the
study of excellence, thought structure and how to affect and change its
processing. Through studying these, it has become clear to me that
metaphor operates symbolically largely at the unconscious level, and as
such I have found it to be a very powerful tool when coaching business
individuals for idea generation, problem-solving, belief change,
motivation and creativity.

Since it is clearly useful for individuals, I wished to explore its potential
impact in the larger arena of business culture, so undertook the


                                     199
following study. It is intended that this forms the basis of a later study in
which I would like to examine the impact of changing company and/or
individual metaphors to effect positive change.



Method

‘Metaphor’ in the context of this study includes any descriptive way to
describe a business concept using another, often unrelated, concept as
an illustration. This encompasses the literary distinctions of: ‘simile’
(something is like something else: ‘swims like a fish’), ‘metonymy’
(referring to one thing by something related to it: ‘Are you the apple pie,
sir?’, ‘personification’ (attributing human characteristics to non-humans:
‘the computer glowered in the corner’) and ‘analogy’ (extended metaphor).

Study groups

I chose two very disparate study groups: CharityVet, a large veterinary
hospital owned by a national charity, and Acme Printing (not either of
their real names), a successful local medium-sized printer. I wanted to
see whether I could notice any common trends between these very
different companies: one driven by a ‘vocational’ remit, and the other a
dynamic business, driven by customer satisfaction and the ‘bottom line’.


Numbers

Up to 18 people took part in the study from CharityVet, and up to 14
from Acme Printing. Exact numbers are not known as the questionnaire
was anonymously completed and I left it open as to whether participants
from the discussion group also completed a questionnaire.


Design

I piloted the questionnaire on an academic working in teacher training in
a university department to test ease of use and time taken to complete.
Her feedback enabled me to ‘prune’ out a couple of questions that were
really getting beyond the scope of this study, and re-word some others
more specifically.


Data collection and analysis

To triangulate the data, I collected information from three sources:


                                    200
 Discussion group – between 4 and 6 people, one hour’s discussion of
  five prepared questions
 Questionnaire – 15 questions, anonymously completed
 Promotional materials: websites, brochures, newsletters, mission
  statements, internal bulletins

1.      Discussion group
Each discussion group was facilitated in the same way:
 One hour maximum
 Five prepared questions given a few minutes in advance, and also
    time allowed between each for further consideration
 Explanation of any terms or concepts within each question, plus
    giving examples where necessary
 A brief ‘warm up’ before the discussion proper, explaining the reasons
    for my study, reassuring them that it isn’t a test of their creativity,
    and showing examples of metaphor in the media, asking them for
    common ones that they’d heard, such as ‘Life is …’
 Recorded on micro-cassette for later review and/or to corroborate
    notes taken at the time
1.
2.
3.      Questionnaire
For practical reasons, the questionnaire was distributed by one or more
of the discussion group members to other members of staff, who were
given two days to complete it. The pilot had shown that, fully thought
about, it would take no more than 20-30 minutes to complete.

Completed questionnaires were gathered by a coordinator and forwarded
to me by post for analysis.

I received 13 questionnaires from CharityVet, and 10 from Acme
Printing.


1.    Materials
The materials received from each were perused with a view to finding
implicit and explicit metaphors in the terms used to compare with the
findings from the discussion and questionnaire. I was looking both for
prevalence of metaphor, and whether the content matched any of the
metaphors revealed from the other sources.



Findings



                                    201
It was not my intention, but for both companies the focus groups
comprised management-level staff only, being the easiest group to free
up for an hour’s discussion. The questionnaire was responded to by a
mixture of management and ‘workers’, in each case comprising some or
all of the focus group participants.

Six people took part in the discussion group from CharityVet, and four
from Acme Printing.


Discussion groups

Question 1: How does your company portray itself publicly, do you think? Try to describe
       how you think you come across – whether deliberately or not – to your customers


      CharityVet
      Despite an initial reserve, protestations that they never used
      metaphor and that none of them was creative, this group were in
      remarkable accord about their company’s image and had no trouble
      describing it metaphorically.

      Terms they used: ‘open door’, ‘safety net’, ‘rescue facility’, ‘angels’,
      ‘safe haven’, and ‘fall-back’. More adjectival descriptions were
      ‘approachable’, ‘caring’ and ‘professional’. The common themes
      seemed to be ‘sanctuary’ and ‘dependability’.

a)       Acme Printing
      This group found it relatively easy to describe their company’s image,
      and again metaphors came easily, even after a similar reluctance to
      believe they used them.

      Terms they used: ‘pack of cards’, ‘leave a sweet taste’, ‘singing from
      same song sheet’, ‘not an automobile production line’. The more
      adjectival descriptions were ‘professional’, ‘friendly’ and ‘innovative’.
      Common themes were ‘professional’ and ‘personal’.


Question 2: Could you as a group agree on a metaphorical description of your company in
     terms of its culture? (For example, one company described themselves as being like a
     ‘black hole’: black holes suck everything in, emit no light, are all-consuming. Another
 described itself as a ‘fairground’: lots of fun, noise, colour, occasional prizes, goes on til
                                              late.)


a)        CharityVet


                                              202
     This provoked a lively discussion, with many different suggestions:
     ‘well-oiled machine’, ‘a body: all systems working together’, ‘string of
     dominoes’, ‘water-wheel’, ‘Rocky [the boxer]’. For each suggestion
     there naturally seemed to follow an initial exploration of the metaphor,
     before discarding it and moving on to the next.

     The ‘body’ metaphor received most attention and contribution, each
     member of the group adding to the idea, so that was adopted as the
     agreed metaphor.

a)       Acme Printing
     Similarly, a number of different metaphors were contributed: ‘basket
     of treats’, ‘body’, ‘one-stop shop’, ‘our little team’, ‘forbidden fruit’,
     ‘thespians on a stage’, ‘theatre’.

     A similar process of exploration and rejection/adoption took place,
     and although it didn’t receive the same degree of consensus achieved
     by CharityVet’s ‘body’, the ‘theatre’ metaphor was most developed by
     the group and was settled on for the purposes of the discussion.

     There was some division as to the ‘acting’ part of the theatre metaphor
     in relation to how sales people interact with clients. Interestingly, this
     was seen to be a male-female divide: the women felt that greater
     success followed when sales people are themselves, the men claimed
     that it had to be an act. However, though each gender perceived the
     other to be talking about entirely different approaches, the males also
     stated that ‘exposing our more natural side is the way to success’ (i.e.
     not ‘acting’), and the females also mentioned ‘being adaptable to
     different people’ (i.e. ‘acting’ differently according to the person).

     (This could lead off into a discussion of perception versus reality and
     how beliefs govern that, which is regrettably outside the scope of this
     study.)


 Question 3: What (if any) differences are there between how the company portrays itself
           and how you think of it yourselves? How do they match or contrast?


  1.    CharityVet
  The group reached a swift, unanimous consensus for this question:
 External image: ‘well-greased’ (relating to the ‘well-oiled machine’ of
  question 2) and ‘home’ (relating to the metaphors of ‘safe haven’ and
  ‘open door’ of question 1)




                                          203
 Internal image: ‘organic’ (relating to the ‘body’ metaphor of question 2)
  and ‘working hard, pedalling furiously’ (‘relating to the ‘well-oiled
  machine’)

  All were agreed that the external image of CharityVet was one of
  calmness and ease, while the internal one was of frenetic work. They
  also seemed to define this as ‘professionalism’.

  1.     Acme Printing
  There did seem to be a perceived difference between the external and
  internal images of Acme Printing, but whereas the CharityVet
  metaphor served to explain that difference, opinions in this group
  differed more widely as to the nature of the difference. Their
  metaphors included ‘links in the chain’, ‘cogs and wheels working
  together’ and ‘passing the ball from person to person, making sure
  everyone touches it’, but there were no actual agreed ways of
  describing the difference(s) settled upon. The theatre metaphor
  discussed earlier was not raised as a way of elucidating the issue.


 Question 4: Take your own metaphor for your company and ‘explain it out’. Is it still an
               accurate description of your experience working within it?


  1.       CharityVet
  The body metaphor mooted previously was eagerly seized and
  developed by the group: it was a ‘gold medallist’ with ‘skilful hands’.
  The ‘blood system is the communication system’, it has a ‘good
  immune system: recovers quickly, can solve all its problems quickly,
  heals well, including the animals’, ‘the kidneys filter the nasties’, ‘it’s a
  Vulcan body: self-regenerating’, it has ‘occasional illness, and needs
  time to heal’, when receiving visits from VIPs, it ‘gets a beauty
  treatment, has its nails done’. And it ‘can function even when part of
  it is ill or doesn’t work’.

  Further exploration of this metaphor led to its gender being
  considered: the majority thought ‘female, definitely’, but one person
  suggested ‘hermaphrodite’. Female was settled upon. Next, the
  personality evolved: ‘it’s a big mum!’ This notion went down well, and
  CharityVet became a ‘big mum’ for the moment. The metaphor was
  felt to be an accurate description of the experience of working within
  the company.

  1.    Acme Printing
  The theatre metaphor was also developed very easily by this group. It
  started as a ‘Theatre of Dreams’, then it was extrapolated into ‘the


                                          204
 performers are the sales people: play to different audiences all the
 time’, ‘each meeting is a different scene’. The ‘bums on seats are the
 customers’, ‘the scenery makers are the printers: the quality of the
 materials can make or break the play’. They discussed their range and
 flexibility: ‘we can give totally different performances according to our
 audiences’, ‘we could take out a roadshow and perform elsewhere’, ‘we
 don’t always have to be doing Shakespeare’. And the importance of
 their customers knowing more about what they do and can do: ‘bring
 them in and offer them the icecream tray down the aisle’.

    The metaphor was mostly felt to be an accurate description of working within the company,
    notwithstanding the difference in views about what ‘acting’ should and should not be.


Question 5: Now do the same with the company’s metaphor/image externally. To what
     extent is that similar to or different from your experience of working here?


 1.    CharityVet
 Having developed the internal image, it was felt that this also fit with
 the external image of a ‘safe haven’. A mother is supposed to be a safe
 haven, and a ‘good mother’ can put on an acceptable appearance of
 calmness and reliability even when all is chaos within.

 Therefore their internal metaphor naturally assimilated the external
 one, since that metaphor easily incorporated the main concepts
 previously discussed about the external image, the difference between
 external and internal perceptions, and the actual experience of
 working there.

 1.      Acme Printing
 There had emerged no clear consensus about the external image of
 Acme Printing metaphorically, so none was fully worked up. The
 concepts discussed were still primarily adjectival (‘professional’,
 ‘friendly’, ‘personal service’, ‘no job too awkward’, ‘different’, ‘excellent
 relationships’), though ‘going the extra mile’, ‘running a friendship’,
 ‘different angles’ were also mooted.

 The discussion was still being diverted to a degree into the division
 between ‘being genuine’ versus ‘acting’, with a clear (and stated)
 female-male divide. Towards the end of the discussion the group
 reverted to the internal image of a theatre, and started to explore
 marketing applications of ‘roadshows’, ‘different plays’, ‘taking the
 play out to the customer’.



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Questionnaire

The full questionnaire can be found in Appendix 2; I have collated the
results in numbers below for ease of discussion. I will not cover all
questions in the final analysis as some were part of others (such as the
ones relating to their own metaphors for their role or company), or to aid
thinking (such as whether the media uses metaphors provocatively).

The key questions and numbers relating to the answers can be found in
the following table:

Table 1

Question                                  CharityVet (N=13)                     Acme Printing
                                                                                   (N=10)
                                      D       AS A            AS H            D  AS A     AS H
I sometimes use metaphor to explain           1  10           1  1               2   4    2   2
things
I am aware of the common                      1       7       5                             7       2      1
metaphors used by the media
I am aware that metaphors can         1       2       4       6                      2      5       1      2
shape the way I perceive situations
List all the metaphors you would                  12/13*                                 10/10*^
use to describe your role             ‘wizard’, ‘race starter’,               ‘troop carrier’, ‘team player’
                                      ‘problem-solver’ (2),                   (2), ’creative team player’,
                                      ‘craftsman’, ‘safe pair of              ‘handyman’, ‘sales person’,
                                      hands’, ‘part-time miracle              ‘miracle worker’, ‘referee’,
                                      worker’, ‘fountain of                   ‘dogsbody’, ‘creator’
                                      knowledge’, ‘busy as a
                                      bee’,’juggler’ (2), ‘teacher’,
                                      ‘parent’, ‘head dog’, ‘can
                                      carrier’, ‘cheerleader’,
                                      ‘workhorse’, ‘plate-spinner’,
                                      ‘helmsman’, ‘captain of the
                                      ship’, ‘go-between’, ‘arbitrator’,
                                      ‘shoulder to cry on’, ‘matron’,
                                      ‘healer’, ‘murderer’, ‘carer’,
                                      ‘someone who bites their
                                      tongue’, ‘ground troops’, ‘part
                                      of a team’, ’life saver’, ‘jim’ll fix
                                      it’, ‘wonder woman’,
                                      ‘peacemaker’, ‘jack of all
                                      trades’, ‘angel of mercy’, ‘all-
                                      rounder’
My company tries to portray a                         2       11                            7       3
particular image or identity
My company tries to portray a                 1       5       7               1      1      7       1
particular image or identity
internally
My experience is similar to what I            2       8       2       1              4      3              3
would expect from these metaphors




                                                  206
I can easily find a metaphor to                     8/13                            1/10
describe my experience of the          ‘everyone’s best friend’, ‘hive’,   ‘tree’
company                                ‘rounded and full-bodied’,
                                       ‘body’ (4), ‘canoeing upstream
                                       without a paddle’, ‘well-oiled
                                       machine’ (2), ‘organic’,
                                       ‘school’, ‘home’, ‘large dog’


Key: Left to right: D = Disagree, AS = Agree slightly, A = Agree, AS = Agree strongly, H = Haven’t
thought about it. *N answering this question: some wrote more than one. ^Although 10
responded, one of the responses is not in fact a metaphor (‘sales person’).




                                                 207
The middle three columns of the answer section are shaded as all are
‘agree’s; the other two columns are either ‘disagree’ or ‘haven’t though
about it’. This gives a quick visual indication of the degree to which the
populations are aware of, or engage with, the concept of ‘metaphor’.


Materials

Each study group provided me with differing materials for analysis:
 CharityVet – community newsletter about CharityVet, Mission
  Statement, promotional bulletin
 Acme Printing – company brochure, website, promotional letter

1.    CharityVet
In none of these different materials were there any overt governing
metaphors, other than a slight military analogy in the title of the
newsletter: ‘Operation Re-unite’. The ‘tone’ of all the literature was totally
in keeping with the metaphors of ‘safe haven’, ‘big mum’ and ‘body’
discussed in the focus group.

Visually, the layout of the promotional leaflet showed a number of totally
different but complementary ‘systems’ working hard behind the scenes:
congruent again with the body metaphor.

Overall, the content tone and visual impression of the materials provided
were congruent with almost all of their adjectival descriptors bar
‘professional’. However, given that CharityVet is a charity, it can be very
reasonably argued that funds spent on producing professional literature
would be far better diverted towards equipment for the animals, and that
the ‘home baked’ look is congruent with its friendly community image.

1.    Acme Printing
Similarly to CharityVet’s literature, there were no overt metaphors used
in the brochure, letter or website, and the implicit ones within the text
were again congruent with the themes of personal service, being
professional and attention to detail. However, neither the visual layout
nor descriptive terms of the materials really suggested
‘innovation’/‘difference’, one of the agreed adjectives for Acme Printing
stated by the focus group. The brochure letter (which is now being
changed) is formal, and though very well-worded, no different from any
other standard ‘Please find enclosed’ letter.

The website is well-designed and professional, congruent with their
stated image. However, the relatively dark colour and choice of white on
blue could be perceived as ‘cold’, which is at odds with being ‘friendly’
and giving a ‘personal service’. In addition, the amount of text in such a


                                     208
small font means that the visitor has to work to extract the information,
which isn’t in keeping with the ‘friendly’ image, or being all things to all
people.



Discussion

As can be seen from the results, there were marked trends between the
two study groups. The numbers are of course too small for concrete
conclusions, but these trends so far corroborate my experience of
working with metaphor in businesses.


1.    Awareness

In both groups, there was a very high awareness of the ubiquity of
metaphor in the media and in common usage. This was the same for
both questionnaire respondents and those in the focus groups.

Given that 20 of the 23 questionnaire respondents agreed that metaphor
can affect perception, this would suggest – and certainly agrees with my
empirical findings – that metaphor is potentially a very useful tool for
businesses in the areas of cultural change, performance management
and motivation.


1.    Role

In view of that level of awareness, it was perhaps not a surprise that all
but one of CharityVet respondents and all but one of the Acme Printing
respondents were able to find metaphors to describe their role.

When working with individuals’ ‘identity metaphors’, I have found it a
very influential tool in helping people with negative perceptions of their
work or workplace; and early indications from this study suggest that
sufficient people are able to view their role metaphorically for it to be a
useful tool in the wider context of organisational change.


1.    Company culture

Both focus groups were able to describe their perceived company image,
even if they could not necessarily agree on a metaphor for it. Of the
questionnaire respondents, there was a much lower number who



                                     209
proffered a metaphor for the company, even though they were able to
find one for their role. This result may well have been skewed by the less
engaged Acme Printing respondents, but even so this is still interesting.

Albeit unintentionally, the focus groups were ‘management’ and the
questionnaire respondents were mainly ‘workers’ with some
‘management’. In the questionnaires far fewer responded to the question
about company metaphor than about role metaphor, which begs the
question about how ‘connected’ people feel to the larger organisation
outside their own area.

In contrast, both discussion groups were able to provide several
metaphors for the company – however, this could well be the result of the
set-up (facilitated, time-based, expectation of compliance). Further
investigation into management/worker metaphorical perceptions of the
company would be interesting.

Another perhaps coincidental observation was that there was far greater
and more detailed involvement in the questionnaire completion from
CharityVet than from Acme Printing, which also was reflected in their
metaphors, whether significantly or not. There seemed to be a correlation
between (a) whether the focus group could agree on a company metaphor
and (b) the nature of the metaphor or metaphors discussed, and the
company culture.

CharityVet is a ‘tight ship’ (my metaphor): it runs well and relatively
smoothly, and the staff are both highly committed to their work and
supportive of each other. The focus group was able surprisingly easily –
even to them – to find a common metaphor and develop it rapidly. In
addition, those not involved in the focus group filled out their
questionnaires thoroughly, answering all questions where they could,
and providing a lot of extra detail.

This spirit of co-operation was reflected in their metaphors: the ‘big mum’
worked up by the focus group is supportive, efficient, caring and
endlessly giving, and the ones considered previously were almost all of
cooperation and systems working together.

Contrastingly, Acme Printing has undergone fairly dynamic growth and
expansion, and are facing the usual transition from small family-sized
business to medium-sized company, with its attendant issues around
communication between the different departments and levels. One of
their strengths – their diversity of personal styles – also was reflected in
their inability to agree on a company metaphor to the same degree seen
in CharityVet focus group. In addition, the questionnaires were filled in



                                     210
very cursorily, indicating a distinct lack of motivation to comply outside
the focus group.

The focus group’s metaphor of a theatre illustrated this: when they
explored it, the various areas suggested by each person were quite
different, with differing levels of participation, connection and no clear
direction or agreement as to what would be offered or how it would run.
Given a lot more time, the ‘right’ metaphor would be found, but as a
snapshot, the current one mirrored some of the cultural issues being
faced by Acme Printing.


(1)   Company image/branding

Both groups were adjectivally able to describe their company image, and
largely to agree on it. CharityVet also worked up a metaphor and Acme
Printing had a ‘working’ one (for the purposes of the focus group), but it
was not fully agreed upon.

When comparing the images generated by the focus groups with the
questionnaire and company materials, interesting correlations and
contrasts emerged. The materials of CharityVet, who had been more
cohesive as a focus group and cooperative as a larger group, also were
more congruent in tone and impression with their metaphors and culture
than those of Acme Printing, who were less in agreement about company
metaphor.


(1)   Effects of study

For both focus groups, merely the discussion of the questions about
metaphor led to some new ideas and positive effects.

CharityVet group found it to be a ‘team-building’ experience, and were
pleasantly surprised to find that their metaphor was positive and uniting.
The discussion group had allowed them to take a step back from their
frenetic workload and look at their work holistically, and they are
currently considering doing more work in this area.

For Acme Printing, the metaphors explored led to a discussion on
marketing applications – whether they could do a roadshow, what else
they could offer ‘audiences’, etc. Being asked to think of their work and
business metaphorically led to different ways of thinking about it which
also brought up new ideas and new perceptions.




                                    211
(1)   Shortcomings of the study

Should a similar study be undertaken, there are two improvements I
would make to the overall approach:
 Sample size – larger sample sizes (e.g. more focus groups, greater
  numbers of questionnaires) and/or an additional company would
  probably have yielded more definite conclusions
 Motivation – particularly for those being asked to complete the
  questionnaires, motivation to participate will have varied between
  groups considerably owing to workloads, timing, perceptions of why
  they are/should be doing it

More specifically, I would make the following changes:
 Be more explicit in how to brief others, contact myself if can
 Use more focus groups and use questionnaire as back-up to those
 Don’t mention the word ‘creative’(!)
 Consider not using the word ‘metaphor’ at all, but use a general term
  such as ‘way of describing’



Conclusion

This study, though limited, was a useful and interesting exploration of
the degree to which people in business both use and are aware of
metaphors.

Even though this was a very preliminary, research-only study, and I
spent relatively (and deliberately, owing to their workload) little time with
each company, simply the opportunity of thinking about their work and
company in terms of a metaphor allowed the participants a new way of
looking at them. To varying degrees, this threw up new insights, some of
which are now being utilised in marketing and the company culture.

This study confirms my experience of the effectiveness of metaphor in
business: operating as it does at the unconscious, symbolic level, when
the ‘figures of speech’ are ‘unpacked’, the layers underneath are often
very revealing in terms of beliefs, possibilities and limitations they
represent.

Though we may not be conscious of the full impact of our metaphors,
unconsciously we they operate as shorthand for a whole set of thought
systems, limitations and possibilities, and can be a very powerful
mechanism for aiding individual and organisational change.




                                    212
Further applications
In my work I have used metaphor in many areas of business, and the
present study validates some of my anecdotal findings so far. Specifically,
the areas in which metaphor can be most effective are:
 Advertising/marketing – ideas flowing from metaphors of the company
   and/or products offer new ways to market businesses and products
 Performance management – uncovering the metaphors behind
   people’s attitude towards work and/or their role often offers effective
   levers for change and improvement
 Cultural change – when there are cultural issues, metaphors are often
   both a safer and a more effective way of dealing with differing factions
   than direct discussion
 Organisational development – when a company is developing areas or
   new departments, metaphors can offer ways of ‘packaging’ the new
   initiative or development in a way that makes sense within the context
   of the whole
 Creativity/innovation – when considering an issue or business
   metaphorically, surprising layers can offer new insights into ways of
   doing things differently or developing new services/products
 Company branding/identity – a company with a ‘personality’ or
   ‘image’ that encompasses the key values and benefits of that
   product/service is far more memorable than lists of words; a
   metaphor can often offer a powerful ‘memory hook’ for potential
   customers, and a theme for the design of business stationery and
   literature



Appendices
Appendix 1: Discussion group questions
Appendix 2: Questionnaire




                                   213
                             Discussion group


Metaphor: in this context, a descriptive way of describing one thing using another, such as
‘competition are like sharks’, ‘winning a sale’, ‘pull out all the stops’, ‘one big family’




Questions


1. How does your company portray itself publicly, do you think? Try to
   describe how you think you come across – whether deliberately or not
   – to your customers


2. Could you as a group agree on a metaphorical description of your
   company in terms of its culture? (For example, one company was like
   a ‘black hole’: black holes suck everything in, emit no light, are all-
   consuming. Another was described as a ‘fairground’: lots of fun, noise,
   colour, occasional prizes, goes on til late, another was a ‘body’: all the
   bits have to work together, communication system was the
   circulation, etc.)


3. What (if any) differences are there between how the company portrays
   itself and how you think of it yourselves? How do they match or
   contrast?


4. Take your own metaphor for your company and ‘explain it out’. Is it
   still an accurate description of your experience working within it?


5. Now do the same with the company’s metaphor/image externally. To
   what extent is that similar to or different from your experience of
   working here?




                                              214
Finding the eye of the storm
Bridget Kilroy

La Roche College


                           Panel: Stage Center
                             Position Paper


      The following is a brief rational for and description of the
experiential movement session offered as part of the Stage Center Panel
at the Art of Organization and Management Conference, London,
England, September, 2002.

       To be an effective professional actor, when one acts on a stage in
front of an audience, one must seem to be consistent with the setting
and the plot. This includes not only knowing the lines and wearing the
costumes, but conveying all the subtle non-verbal behaviors of the
character. In fact, given that modern plays frequently minimize or
dispense with elaborate props and costumes, one could argue that voice
tone and physical portrayal are key to the acting process.

       The same is true of actors in organizational settings, with a few
important differences. Part and parcel of training to be a professional
actor is developing a high degree of movement and body awareness, and
learning how to take care of one’s body so that one has the abilities one
needs to do one’s work. Unfortunately, movement and physical
awareness is not only not required in most other professions, it is
frequently discouraged by the de facto conditions of the everyday
workplace. We slouch at the computer screen and respond to
organizational cues to pop an aspirin when we don’t feel well and quaff
some caffeine when we are tired. In most organizational settings, the
mandates of the activities of production performance override any
contemplative self-. perception. Over time the postures and movement
patterns fostered in an organizational setting become ingrained in the
body’s memory, out of conscious awareness.

      The same skills that actors and others use to develop their sense of
alignment and ability to carry out their professional tasks without
putting undue stress on their bodies can be used by actors in any
organizational setting. The first step is to learn to recognize when


                                   215
habitual patterns in the work place are unnecessarily straining the body.
The next is to gain learn what improvements can be simply and easily
made in the work environment. The third step is to practice new
methods ways of moving, both in and out of the workplace/organization.
I refer to this process as finding the eye, or calm spot, in the eye of the
storm, the often tumultuous work environment.

       “Exercises”, or movement practices, drawn from the traditions of
Tai Chi, Yoga, and modern dance and alignment studies, are all
applicable to the above goals. Each of these traditions has a rich
theoretical lore justifying its particular technique for raising awareness
and returning the body to a state of greater equilibrium and health.
There are also many spin-offs from these traditions, also with
documented ideas and practices which can be accessed elsewhere. The
purpose of this panel presentation was to provide participants with a
brief opportunity to attend to the ways in which they embody the
mandates of the organizational environment, and to learn simple
methods to change unconscious alignment and movement patterns. The
goal was to let the body experience and learn from new modes of
alignment and movement.




                                   216
After Lunch:


Scott Lawley



Framing, essences and reality in art and in organisation theory

Submission for The Art of Management and Organization, King's College, London, 3–7 September, 2002
by Dr. Scott Lawley, Edge Hill College of Higher Education, lawleys@edgehill.ac.uk

In this paper I compare ways in which framing and boundary creation, and thus the
delineation of ‘reality’ are addressed in both organisation theory and by various painters.
In organisation theory I take a lead from the work of Cooper (1990) and Chia (1995) who
suggest that any reified entity, such as an organisation, is an artifice abstracted from an
undecidable, constant process of becoming. Reality is effectively unrepresentable, and it
is suggested that to understand the concept of organisation we should turn our attention
to the acts of boundary drawing and the representational techniques through which this
is achieved.

The painter Patrick Caulfield also draws our attention to the relationship between reality
and representation in paintings such as After Lunch (1975, visible at
http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/WorkImage?id=2086) which depicts a restaurant interior in
a blue pop-art style. Within the room hangs a Swiss landscape which, in contrast to the
style of the rest of the picture, is painted in life-like photo-realism.

I make a connection with Chia’s work in suggesting that both he and Caulfield draw our
attention not to an abstracted representational entity (as with Baudrillard’s hyperreality
for example) but instead to the artifice in the context surrounding that representation -
the techniques and methods through which the frame or boundary is created or located.
I draw out a more fluid and dynamic relationship between reality and representation
where the act of representation creates a felt and experienced reality. I draw on
Hacking’s (1983) ideas where reality is a lower order concept to the processes of
representation which create it and remove it from an uncapturable ‘real’. This resonates
with the actor-network influences upon which Chia draws, where the essence of reality is
ephemeral, fibrous and fluid (Latour, 1997) and thus uncapturable and unrepresentable.

Following from the analysis of Caulfield, I examine other instances in art where the
artists draw particular attention to the framing of the work or the inherent
representationalism of the piece. This includes Lucio Fontana’s introduction of real
space into his pictures, Howard Hodgkin’s drawing of a partial frame directly onto the
wooden canvas and Cooper’s (1993) treatment of the location of the viewer within Diego
Velasquez’s Las Maninas (1656). Finally, I contrast this with those artists who have tried
to capture the very essences and ephemeralities of reality which we have seen as being
unrepresentable. Artists considered here include Yves Klein, Gerhard Richter, Mark
Rothko and Jackson Pollock who himself claimed ‘I am nature’ in describing the
relationship between himself, his action paintings and reality.
REFERENCES
Chia, R. (1995) 'From Modern to Postmodern Organizational Analysis.' Organization Studies;
16(4); 579-604.
Cooper, R. (1990) 'Organization/Disorganization.' Ch. 10 in J. Hassard and D. Pym (eds.) (1990)
The Theory and Philosophy of Organizations: Critical Issues and New Perspectives. London:
Routledge; 167-197
Cooper, R. (1993) 'Technologies of Representation.' In P. Ahonen (ed) (1993) Tracing the
Semiotic Boundaries of Politics Berlin: Walter de Gruyter; 279-312
Hacking, I (1983) Representing and Intervening Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Latour, B. (1997) 'On Actor-network theory; A few clarifications.'
Available from http://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/stt/stt/ant/latour.htm
The Art of Leadership- The examples of Ingvar Kamprad, Ingmar
Bergman and Sven-Göran Eriksson
Lars Lindkvist


Professor at School of Management, Växjö University and
Baltic Business School, University of Kalmar, Sweden
(e-mailadress: Lars.Lindkvist@ehv.vxu.se)




      Paper to be presented at “The Art of Management and
 Organisation Conference” at King’s College, London, 3rd – 6th
                          September, 2002
Abstract


When studying the different leadership recipes turning up all the time, you are reminded
of the waves of fashion that roll over us in other fields as well. A new fashion is created,
stays for a few years and then disappears. If we look closely at the fashion waves of
leadership that suddenly appear and as suddenly disappear the issue turns out to be very
much to surf on the waves of fashion in such a way that you keep standing long enough
to notice when the next wave approaches so that you can go on surfing on that. If we look
back at the historical recipes for appropriate leadership we find that new ones have
always been created and marketed by consultants and writers. What does the prevailing
fashion in leadership then look like? Can it be regarded as a reaction against the
previous fashion?


Starting from a survey of the literature, I interpret what recipes for leadership are the
latest cry and focus on the link between small talk and leadership, leadership and art,
Level 5 leaders, and leadership and intuition. Based on several years’ action research on
leadership and leadership development in Scandinavian companies, 15 years of which
have concerned leadership development within IKEA, I compare the leadership of
IKEA’s founder Ingvar Kamprad with leaders from two entirely different areas, namely
theatre and film director Ingmar Bergman and England’s national football team coach
Sven-Göran Eriksson. What can we learn from their ways of exerting leadership? Are
there any differences and similarities among them in their leadership that can be
interpreted as signs of a ‘new leadership’?


What I point to in my survey is that these ‘soft’ recipes for leadership that have been
presented as ingredients of a ‘new leadership’ have existed for a long time among the
leaders and organizations I have studied. Ingmar Bergman and Ingvar Kamprad have
stuck to a democratic, humanistic view of leadership, which has long proved to be
successful. This form of leadership has also been strengthened by the success of Sven-
Göran Eriksson’s view of leadership, founded as it is in soft values, wisdom and
participation, where the harmony within the team is seen as the foundation for success.


The whole field is characterized by its few basic leadership truths. Thus the field is
sensitive to trends. At present the emphasis lies on intuition, self-knowledge and level-5
leadership. The pendulum will certainly swing again. Therefore it is important to keep
examining the emerging whims of fashion and to place them in a long-term perspective.




On leadership as waves of fashion


Total Quality Management. Supply Chain Management. Balance
Scorecard. Management by Objectives. Benchmarking. Just in Time
Management. Knowledge Management. Just-in-time Management.
Customer Satisfaction Management. Business Process Reengineering
Management. Scandinavian Management. Knowledge Management.
Intuition Management.


In recent years a great many new concepts and recipes for leadership
techniques have appeared which managers can make use of. There is a
book published every day in Europe on the phenomenon of Management
and Leadership. In Bass & Stogdill´s Handbook of Leadership (1990) and
other encyclopaedias of the kind, you will find hundreds of definitions of
what characterizes good leadership. When you study the different recipes
for leadership that appear and keep appearing again and again they
bring to mind the waves of fashion that roll over us in other fields as
well. A new fashion is created, lasts for a couple of years and then
disappears.
Let me take an example: Quality Management or Quality Circles. 90 % of
all the Fortune 500 companies, in other words, the most profitable
companies in the USA, introduced quality circles between 1980 and
1982. A study conducted in 1987 shows that 80 % of the companies that
had relied on this recipe and introduced quality circles had abandoned
them five years later (Castorina & Wood 1988). If we study the suddenly
appearing and as quickly disappearing fashion waves of leadership we
find that it is largely a question of surfing on these waves by keeping
upright long enough until the next wave appears so that you can
continue surfing on that. In retrospect, recipes for suitable leadership
have always been created and launched by consultants and writers.
Unlike the past, today’s fashion waves appear so rapidly, bringing brand
new messages, often advocating something going right against the
prevailing ones. You have to make quick turns, up to 180 degrees, to be
with it.


Harvard Business Review, the prestigious American journal, evaluates
the recipes as follows: “Package solutions adressing quality, customer
satisfaction, time-to-market, strategic focus, alliances, global
competiveness, organizational culture and empowerment swept through
U.S. corporations with alarming speed… For some businesses, the new
ideas worked.. But in the majority of cases, research shows, the
management fads of the last 15 years rarely produced the promised
results.” (cit. in Nohria & Berkeley 1994, p.128-129). For example,
recipes have been offered for down-sizing and slimmed forms of
organization which have mostly failed to provide the promised results.
This goes for the 1980s interest in diversification as well as today’s
fusions and mergers.


In addition to criticism against all new leadership recipes for their weak
association with efficiency improvements, the following charges may be
levelled at the new fashion concepts (Abrahamsson 1996, Clark &
Salomon 1998, Eccles & Nohria 1992, Furusten 1995, Huczynski 1996,
Kieser 1997, Röbken & Hadjari 2001, Rövik 2000):


1. Mystification. Many leadership techniques abound with pop words,
   smart abbreviations with the charm of novelty, like The 5 P’s, the
   Seven S Model and the PIMS Model. The new concepts are presented
   as unavoidable. There is a threat of bankruptcy in case of non-
   adaption. The vague and ambiguous descriptions of the implication of
   the implementation process leaves a certain room for interpretation.


2. No accumulation of knowledge. There are studies showing that a lot of
   the new recipes are nothing but old wine in new bottles. The basic
   leadership themes and dilemmas are the same but the words for
   communicating and expressing them are new. One example is the
   “empowerment” movement, which can be seen as a contemporary
   version of the participation movement in the 1960s and 1970s.


3. The fashionable techniques do not live up to scientific requirements.
   One example is Peters & Watermans bestseller In Search of Excellence,
   which has been criticized because there was no comparison between
   the group of excellent, successful companies and less successful ones.
   Peters & Waterman (1982) did not investigate whether their key
   success factors also existed in other comparable but less successful
   companies.


4. Simplification and standardization. The recipes are over-simplified so
   as to be useful globally with no consideration taken of line of
   business, country and region. Management fashion create the
   expectation that every company can implement the new practice. The
    concepts universal applicability are stressing. The concepts presents
    as an easily understandable commodity with a catchy title. No
    academic jargon, short sentences and direct speech make the concept
    more lively and create a sense of familarity.


        In spite of this criticism, Why do companies and their leaders hitch on to these trends of
        fashion? There are different reasons for that (ibid, summarized in Röbken & Hadjari 2001):


1. Professionalism. Management fashions give the impression that manager´s daily work
    activities are comparable with those of an engineer. This emphasis on systematization and
    structuration of managerial tasks and systemated instruments, like Balanced Scorecard and
    Benchmarking, help to structure internal work activities. Through the systematized pattern of a
    management tool, managers can demonstrate that they act professional.


2. Sharing others experiences. Management fashion helps to search for best practices.
    A company can learn from the best through implementation of a technique that has
    proved successful in other companies.


3. Simplification and creation of meaning. Management fashions help to simplify organisational
    reality. Simple ideas and metaphors make organisational reality appear less complicated than
    it actually is. Fashions provide managers with metaphors and specific rhetoric which helps
    them to frame organisational reality and steer employees’ perception in a desired direction.


4. Insecurity absorption and motivation. Management fashions, labels
    and words, helps to remove uncertainty and anxiety. It helps to relieve
    management of responsibility because they can simply follow the
    instructions of tried and tested concept and blame them if something
    goes wrong. It can also help the management to overcome resistance
    and motivate employees during the implementation process.
5. Increasing power and creating legitimacy. Management fashions helps
     managers to increase their power when the implementationprocess
     have been declared successful. Thereby participants of a
     reformproject can promote their own career. Management fashions
     can also be a signal to external and internal stakeholders that they
     operates on the basis of the most modern management knowledge. If
     you can show to the world that you keep up with things and with the
     latest tools of change, e.g. the Balance Scorecard and Management by
     Objectives, you give the impression of being modern and obtain the
     legitimacy needed for gaining access to other more technical
     resources, which is a prerequisite for survival.


What then does the current fashion in the field of leadership look like? Can
it be seen as a reaction against previous fashions?


A.      Earlier and current waves of fashion


In early empirical studies of managers and leaders, from the beginning of
the 20th century, leadership was looked upon as rational behaviour.
Careful analysis, planning and follow-up should precede the measures
taken in the form of decision-making, briefing and control. These studies
sought to arrive at an all-embracing leadership recipe, which could be
generally applied in all types of business regardless of line and size.
Hierarchy was emphasized as central and capable of development in the
fields of work distribution and specialization and as a systematic
approach to business management. In the following decades the search
for a generally applicable leadership model was gradually abandoned. It
was replaced by the idea that the “situation” or the circumstances
determined the appropriate form of leadership. (For classics of leadership
and organization theory see Shafritz & Ott 2001)
In due time two main tracks have developed in international research
and debate: management and leadership. In Swedish, unfortunately,
both terms are translated by the same word ledarskap, thus giving rise
to problems and misunderstandings. The English concept of
management contains a strong element of expert knowledge/competence
and comes close to Swedish styrning, which suggests “control”. The word
manage is the same as in French manège or “circus ring”, which means
controlling circus horses by hand. Etymologically it is the same as in
manicure. The word leadership, however, can be literally translated into
Swedish “ledarskap”, which rather suggests the ability to formulate new
goals and inspire people to making efforts and to cooperate. The
successful administrator (manager) is a virtuoso at governing by rules
and systems, whereas the great leader is a virtuoso with people – and
perhaps not equally capable of dealing with systems. The leader can
influence people by being able to motivate, create interest and
involvement and also play on people’s feelings when needed.


We notice a conflict between two types of skill and competence. But for
many companies and organizations the question is to what extent these
differences can be combined in practice. Either in one individual or in
constructive cooperation between different individuals. It is an important
challenge to many organizations to combine accountant types on one
hand with leader types on the other. This is why we see a development
towards teams including members of different qualities. Dr Meredith
Belbin, the British scholar, who has written several books on team
organization, expresses it in these words: “Nobody is perfect but a team
can be.”


Earlier, in the 20th century, a company leader was described in analogy
with an omnipotent conductor with complete control of the whole
orchestra (a popular metaphor since Marx). Today a marionette is
considered a better metaphor. Empirical studies have shown that the job
of a leader, instead of being planned and structured in detail, is a matter
of “controlled chaos”. It is a myth that leadership and decision-making
have to do with carefully considered analysis. Actually, efficient decision-
making and strategy development contain a substantial dose of intuition.
It is a matter of “trial and error” with strategies largely formed ad hoc.
Empirical studies of company leaders, both by Henry Mintzberg (1973)
and Sune Carlsson (1951), show that the leader’s job is fragmentary with
frequent interruptions caused by other tasks. Mintzberg’s studies
demonstrated that half of the tasks of an MD took less than ten minutes
and only 10 % took more than an hour. One study reveals that 93 % of
personal contacts are unplanned. The planning done by the leaders
takes place parallel with routine tasks. Thus, leaders are enormously
action-oriented where the breath of air consists of oral information,
rumours and gossip.


Gossip and small talk have turned out to play a great part in
management and leadership and today constitute a major area of study.
Power in a company can be defined as having the right to talk and
spread rumours. The actors who determine what to talk about in the
company and who set the tone for it are influential. Small talk is also
interesting because it calls attention to the arenas where leadership is
created and practised. Important arenas do not only include boardrooms
and managerial group meetings but also less official rooms like gyms,
fitness centres and hunting dinners. For the management it is important
to exercise leadership through sharing and making small talk in the
coffee room or canteen (Ekman 1999).


A.    Leadership and art
In one of the first empirically founded books on leadership, Chester
Barnard in 1938 claims from his own experience as an American
company leader that such a job is not primarily intellectual but aesthetic
and moral (Barnard 1938). Recently there have appeared even more
studies emphasizing the importance of aesthetics, feelings and intuition
in leadership.


In her interesting doctoral dissertation Konstiga företag (“Arts and
Business”), Emma Stenström discusses similarities between art and
leadership. She reminds us that in the Antiquity two gods were looked
upon as the foremost protectors of the arts: Apollo and Dionysos
(Stenström 2000, p. 99 ff.). Apollo represented sense, form and discipline
and Dionysos feeling, passion and intuition. Dionysos inspired creativity,
was associated with intoxication, ecstasy and madness and made the
artists part of something greater. In the older leadership literature you
often meet Apollo’s temperament, whereas in the modern literature you
come across the Dionysian temperament. This stands for the creative
leader, the passionate leadership that controls through feelings and
intuition, that inspires its followers through charisma, intuition and
visions. The leader who can turn habitual ideas upside down and make
others see the world in a new light. In other words, we need leaders who
like artists can create new visions and break conventions. The problem
with such leaders is that they may appear to be too abstract and
confused and to be less interested in administrative tasks. That is why
the Dionysian leader and the Apollonian manager are both needed. In
her dissertion Stenström (2000) mention many researchers who see a
coupling between art and leadership, like Warren Bennis, Tom Peters
and Gareth Morgan.


Warren Bennis is interesting in this context. Today, at the age of 77, he
is as active as ever before as “Distinguished Professor in Business
Administration” at the University of Southern California Leadership
Institute, founded by himself. Ever since the 1960s he has been a
prominent figure in Leadership Theory, which is also apparent from his
latest book The Future of Leadership, published by Jossey Bass, 2001. In
their book Visionary Leadership Bennis and Nanus (1985) write that
there is a difference between leadership and management. Leadership
comes from the soul, it is based on personality and vision and to practise
it is an art. Management, on the other hand, derives from consciousness,
and has more to do with exact calculations, statistics, methods,
timetables and routines and to exercise it is a science. Managers are
required but leaders are indispensable.


The message which Bennis conveys in all his works is that leadership
can be taught, provided that you overcome 5 leadership myths: 1.
Leadership is not a rare gift. 2. Leaders are created, not born. 3. Most
leaders are not charismatic, but ordinary people like you and me. 4.
Leadership is not exclusive to those at the top of the organization but
relevant at all organizational levels. 5. What leadership basically means is
not control and manipulation but coordinating the energy of others to
reach an attractive goal. In words like these he dismisses the idea of the
leader as an unapproachable hero, arguing instead that leadership is
basically human, humane and attainable and that errors are something
to learn from (Bennis & Nanus 1985).


Warren Bennis quotes Georges Braque, the French painter, who said
that the only thing that means anything in the art of painting cannot be
explained, and applies his words to the art of leadership (Bennis 1989).


Another great American leadership guru, Tom Peters, concludes from his
business contacts that companies need more clowns, people bringing
humour, curiosity, daring and a change of perspective into the often far
too serious and boring companies (Peters 1994). And Gareth Morgan
(1993) compares a company leader to an artist in emphasizing creativity
and the ability to follow new lines of thinking, which are crucial for the
success of companies in the ever increasing global competition.


One of the world’s best-known strategy researchers, Henry Mintzberg
(1989, 1994) draws parallels between leadership strategy development
and arts and crafts. He compares his own long experience from studies of
and work with company leaders at INSEAD, the school of management,
with his wife’s work as a potter.


When his wife works, she is concentrated on the clay on the turntable,
her current task. But she also knows, consciously or unconsciously, that
she is somewhere on the way between old experience and new
possibilities. The work in progress is based on what she has learnt. But
sometimes a further development takes place, she changes her direction.
Skilful leaders function in a similar way when they develop their
companies in “the calculated chaos”.


Both cases concern involvement and commitment, experience, deep
feeling for and understanding, including detailed knowledge, of the field.
Planning must be combined with intuition during a long organic process.
Mintzberg has pointed out that fine art and crafts make a good metaphor
for leadership.


A.    Good to Great and Built to Last


What is interesting about Bennis’ and Mintzbergs’ writings is that they
make leadership less dramatic by playing down the rare charismatic
leadership and elevating ordinary leadership. The same message is
conveyed in a recently published and very readable study by Jim Collins
(formerly at Stanford, now running his own laboratory for management
research at Boulder, Colorado). In 2001 he published a book called Good
to Great, which describes how ordinary companies take the step from
being good companies to the master class (Collins 2001). There he gives
an account of the conclusions drawn from a longitudinal study of
previously run-of-the-mill companies which have managed to raise
profitability sky-high and remain there for several years. In this study 11
companies were selected that had a turnover three times the average
index on Fortune’s 500 list. These companies were compared to similar
ones in the same line of business which had not succeeded so well. In
contrast to many other leadership studies this is actually based on
empirical studies conducted over a number of years.


The common denominator for the leaders of the 11 master companies is
that their leadership is exercised at what he considers the highest level,
namely that of Level-5 leaders. Collins distinguishes 5 leadership levels:


    1. Skilful individuals: Contribute in a productive way with
        competence, talent and good work habits.
    2. Team players: Contribute to achieving the goals of the group
        through effective cooperation.
    3. Competent leaders: Organize people and resources effectively
        towards established goals.
    4. Efficient leaders: Involve those they work with in striving for a
        vision, which makes them achieve more.
    5. Level-5 leaders: Lead their companies towards lasting mastery
        through a combination of humility and will.


The characteristic of Level-5 leaders in the master companies was that they aimed primarily at the
company’s, not their own, success. They made a striking contrast to the leaders of the control
companies, who were more interested in showing off themselves. Therefore they did not prepare
their companies for lasting success. Over three quarters of the control companies had a manager
who paved the way for the successor’s failure or chose a weak successor. These leaders did not
become Level-5 leaders since they could keep their egoism in check. They sought honour for
themselves, not the permanence of the company.


Another insight from the study is that in order for a company to proceed
from an average to a brilliant one, it is important to have the right
people. A company’s most important asset is not the staff in general, but
the point is to find and keep the right staff. For pulling a company to the
very top, Collins recommends hiring a workhorse rather than a circus
horse.


For a Level-5 leader the important thing was to create a ‘truth climate’.
Not to tell lies and raise expectations that might end in disappointment.
That will make the staff lose heart. In the master companies they had
managed to create a culture where the staff has great chances of making
themselves heard. These are a few ways of creating such a climate:


    1. Lead by questions not by answers. Some leaders think they have
        all the answers. The eleven leaders instead sought insight through
        questions.
    2. Encourage dialogue and debate. A preference for intensive
        dialogues whose aim is to get the right answers.
    3. Discuss mistakes without finding scapegoats. Not to blame anyone
        but to achieve greater insight.
    4. Make sure that important information is not ignored and
        dismissed.


All the eleven companies shared a strong passion for their work. “We will
only do what we burn for”. It does not necessarily have to be passion for
the products, it could just as well be for what the company stood for and
what it achieved.


While Good to Great shows how an established company reaches master
status, Jim Collins (and Jerry Porras) in their book Built to Last from
1997, showed how the “Good-to-Great” companies, the master
companies, keep this master status. Built to Last stayed on Business
Week’s Bestseller List for 5 years, was translated into 17 languages and
has been printed in more than 1 million copies,


The chief observation made in Built to Last is that behind lasting mastery
there is an ideology that goes beyond the money-making goal. To make a
profit is essential for survival, but it is not the meaning of life. Whatever
the values are seems to be of less importance, the main point is that
values exist. Master companies set great goals, which are meant to
stimulate development. But they must be set by understanding not by
cockiness. The leaders of these companies all have an inner urge. They
have worked with something they burn for or love to do. They burn to
realize an inner vision.


In the literature a vision is described as a barrier-breaking, attractive
mental model of a desirable future. One of the advantages of visionary
thinking is that it appeals more to intuition than to pure rationality.
Goals, on the other hand, are more directed towards rationality than
intuition. Intuition is often an understanding at a deeper level of
consciousness than so-called rational understanding. In the future both
sources of energy are required – both intuition and rationality. An
organization is not dependent on great visions to survive, but as means
for success visions are essential.
To illustrate my thoughts about the current fashion of leadership I will
present three well-known practitioners of leadership and compare their
ways of exercising it.
A.
B.    Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA


Ingvar was born on 30 March 1926 on the farm of Elmtaryd in the village
of Agunnaryd, a few miles outside Älmhult in the South of Småland.
Ingvar is a third-generation immigrant from Germany. Ingvar’s
grandfather was a wealthy landowner whose business ended unhappily.
In his memoirs Ingvar Kamprad tells us about the hardships of his
childhood (Torekull 1999). As a young boy he decided to make money by
buying where it was cheapest and selling dear. He started with
matchboxes, which he bought for 1.5 öre and sold for five. Ingvar went
on to Christmas magazines, seed packets and later pencils and watches.
In 1943 the firm of IKEA was registered, an acronym of the initials of his
name and place of birth. In 1953 he bought a carpentry shop in Älmhult
and converted it into a furniture exhibition hall. Two years later his own
first furniture was designed and commissioned from the furniture
industry. In 1958 the first department store was opened in Älmhult.
Since then the development has been like an avalanche.


The turnover for 2001 was 10.4 billion EURO (99.2 billion SEK). The five
largest sales countries are Germany (21 %), the USA (13 %), the United
Kingdom (12 %), France (9 %) and Sweden (7 %). The IKEA group in 2001
had about 65,000 employees. (IKEA Facts and Figures 2001/2002)


Some weeks ago I worked with leadership development in IKEA –
something I have been doing during the last 15 years, so I know the
company and its values well. Again I was struck by the strength of the
IKEA culture and how consciously the company worked with the
leadership issue emanating from its vision “to create a better everyday
life for the majority of people”


To understand this we must look to the history of IKEA. From the 1950s
onwards IKEA has gone hand in hand with the development of society. It
is said that it was Per Albin Hansson, Social Democratic Prime Minister,
who built the Swedish Welfare State, and Ingvar Kamprad who furnished
it. Ingvar Kamprad’s vision of creating a better everyday life for the
majority of people paralleled the development of society towards
increased social and material welfare. Ingvar Kamprad often points out
how as an entrepreneur he combines a profit-making activity with a
durable human social vision.


“I feel well only when IKEA develops well at the same time as the
company reaches clear goals for a better future for the many people, our
customers. A goal like this for a company affects the staff. Studies show
that people who work for us think that we really work to improve society
and that is why they like working for us. They think that they contribute
in their daily tasks to the development of the world. In more solemn
terms, our business philosophy de facto contributes to the
democratization process. To provide good and inexpensive everyday
goods, which can be acquired by many people, seems to me to have to do
with down-to-earth democracy. After an expo and a visit to a home in
Italy in the 1950s I asked myself why poor people had to make do with
ugly things? Was it necessary that beauty could only be acquired by an
elite with a lot of money? I returned home with those questions echoing
inside me. They were to go on demanding an answer from me throughout
my life.” (Torekull 1999, p. 166).
Like Jim Collins’ above-mentioned Level-5 leaders, Ingvar Kamprad
burns to realize an inner vision, which is more important than obtaining
the maximum profit. What is central is the company’s long-term success.


The early leadership literature regarded the exercise of leadership and
the strategy development process as a rational, well-planned, structured
process with everything planned beforehand. Ingvar Kamprad’s style of
leadership stresses the importance of being open to possibilities that
suddenly appear and of thinking differently. Not taking the obvious for
granted but contemplating alternative ways of action.


A case in question is that when the biggest IKEA store was built, at
Kungens Kurva outside Stockholm, they did not build a store like an
ordinary cube, but a round one. Ingvar Kamprad visited the Guggenheim
Museum several times during his first trip to New York in 1961. He was
enthusiastic and drew the conclusion that in such a round building not
only art but also furniture could be exhibited in the best way possible.
The customers could start by going to the top of the building and on their
way down they could buy their goods. Why had nobody thought of this
before?


Thinking differently and looking at things positively, focusing on
possibilities rather than on problems are essential ingredients of the
“furniture dealer’s testament”, which Ingvar Kamprad wrote in 1976.
Here IKEA’s philosophy and visionary strategy are described. It is
distributed to all the employees. In brief IKEA is described here as a
different company which goes its own way following nine different credos.
Two of these are “the different route” and “taking responsibility – a
privilege”:
   The different route. By always asking why doing this or that we find
    new ways. By refusing to accept a pattern just because it is
    established we will get on. Our protest against the established is not an
    aim in itself, it is a conscious wish to continuously develop and
    improve. Dynamics and the desire to experiment should lead us
    forward all the time. “Why” remains an essential keyword.
   Taking responsibility – a privilege. To dare take responsibility is
    essential for every success. Within IKEA the rule is freedom with
    responsibility. Use your privilege, your right and duty to make decisions
    and take responsibility. Only those who sleep do not make mistakes. To
    make a mistake is the privilege of the active as long as they are able
    repair it. (Kamprad 1976)


During the 1970s when Ingvar Kamprad wrote his testament IKEA grew
extremely fast, its turnover increasing from 250 million SEK in 1970 to
3.5 billion in 1980. This period of growth displays many similarities with
the “controlled chaos” mentioned above, which opened Mintzberg’s eyes
to the similarities between strategy development and arts and crafts:
   A woolly organization without job descriptions preventing anybody
    from denying responsibility,
   Little bureaucracy and organized chaos instead of order and clarity,
   Great freedom of action for anyone wanting and daring to act
    independently within the limits of vision and business concept,
   Informal leadership with strong elements of symbolic leadership, with
    the example set by the leader as an essential ingredient. (Björk 1998)


Today Ingvar Kamprad’s chief role as a leader is to be a living cult figure.
By virtue of being visible in the organization he helps to keep up the
awareness of the company culture. At the age of 76, he still visits around
20 stores a year to talk with both customers and employees and writes
long accounts of his impressions, both positive and negative. He carefully
notices details that can be improved (“Retail is detail”). It is through his
role as an example, symbolizing the message of simplicity and cost
awareness, that he fulfils an important function. His personal style of
leadership is not characterized by raising his voice, but talking in small
letters.


Spreading the IKEA culture is one of the important tasks of the present
management. How do you maintain cost awareness, enthusiasm and
openness to innovations? One essential way is by setting an example.
The IKEA management has to do so, by applying the nine tenets from “a
furniture dealer’s testament” on a day-to-day basis. In every unit of the
organization there is a heavy culture carrier, who has been around from
IKEA’s early days and who has become “ikeanized” and therefore capable
to spread the culture further by functioning as a model. Since there is a
shortage of these “ikeanized” people, training is included in the IKEA
concept. A great deal of time is spent on communication and on how to
pass on the message to new employees. An important ingredient in
recruitment is to get every employee’s values to agree with those of the
company. To keep up the enthusiasm there is a preference for young
recruits, both because they are less expensive and because they have
not been destroyed by other cultures. The involvement and enthusiasm
of the single employee is regarded as essential for continued success,
which in turn depends on the management’s ability to keep an open eye
and to show consideration. Therefore plenty of time is spent on every
recruitment, so that all employees share the basic values. The business
concept and the culture make up the frames.


Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA do not only look for culture builders and
culture carriers, but also people who swim against the stream, who have
the strength to ask Why? and propose innovations. This means progress
and is taken to be worth encouraging – not punishing. Far too many
companies and other organizations are considered to be tied to the
established, to the supposedly legitimate and correct. Ingvar Kamprad
violated the business logic of the trade by swimming against the stream.
For example, IKEA has applied the “potato field strategy” of building
stores outside the city centres where the price of land is differs greatly.


A further lesson is, as with Collins’ Level-5 leaders, the importance of
being obsessed with a task, a combination of humility and will. Ingvar
Kamprad focuses all the time on possibilities, not on problems, and
chooses to view the future positively. In addition to this, he is obsessed
with the thought of succeeding with his task and realizing the vision of
creating a better everyday life for most people.


Ingvar Kamprad’s influence in his old age can also be regarded as one of
IKEA’s largest threats. He has himself formulated the question: What will
happen when the old man dies? What will keep the strong culture
together the day the founder kicks the bucket?


To summarize, these are the characteristics of Ingvar Kamprad’s
leadership (Björk 1998, IKEA - Facts and Figures 2001/2002, Salzer-
Mörling 1994, Torekull 1999):
      Leadership through example.
      Far-reaching delegation which sometimes means passing by the
       group manager and having a direct influence on people further down
       in the organization, which may seem confusing while at the same
       time he makes things happen.
      Decision-making takes a long time. He asks many people’s advice
       and then acts strongly.
      By recruiting positive people, he minimizes the number of negative
       and destructive ones.
      Ability to create enthusiasm by being enthusiastic himself.
      Positive, friendly company culture whose keyword is humility. Can
       be perceived as too kind. To make mistakes is allowed, if they do
       not happen again.
      Encourages those he calls the carriers of society. Simple, quiet and
       natural people who always lend a helping hand.
      Especially dislikes the self-seekers, those who set their own
       positions and their own success before the company.
      A brilliant communicator with a good ability to find symbolic acts
       that reinforce the culture. Takes great pains to write letters by hand
       – well-formulated and personal – to the employees. These letters are
       always introduced “Dear IKEA family”.



Ingmar Bergman


Ingmar Bergman was born in Uppsala in 1918 as the son of Erik
Bergman, dean of the church, and his wife Karin. His film debut was Kris
(“Crisis”) in 1946 and his last film Fanny and Alexander was made in
1982. Has received three Oscars for The Virgin Spring, Through a Glass
Darkly and Fanny and Alexander. Now 84 years old and fully active at
the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, where he is right now
(summer 2002) busy translating Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts. Has directed
about 50 theatre performances.


Among the sources of my study are Bo Gyllenpalm’s doctoral dissertation
from 1985, Ingmar Bergman and Creative Leadership. Based on 26 deep
interviews primarily with actors who have worked with Ingmar,
Gyllenpalm draws a number of conclusions about the achievements of
his “creative leadership” and what others may learn from them.


These conclusions are that in order to create energy and make groups
work independently leaders will need:


   1. To create a shared vision. To be conveyed so passionately that it
      appears meaningful for the crew. This is done through careful
      preparations.
   2. To generate resources. Through his powerful position he acquires
      the technical, financial and human resources he wants.
   3. To set challenging goals. To communicate expectations clearly. This
      is done by skilfully conveying his inner image of what he wants to
      do.
   4. To create a productive climate. This is done by defining clear roles,
      delegating tasks and giving support to his crew. Bergman does this
      by demonstrating that he believes in his crew but also criticizing
      directly and honestly.
   5. To set up structural rules. A disciplinary work process that is
      adhered to through Bergman’s follow-ups.
   6. To make high demands. Bergman makes sure that every individual
      finds a meaning in the possibility to grow and develop above the
      ordinary.


Researchers who have studied Bergman’s style of leadership have been
struck by his exact and detailed planning (Gyllenpalm 1985, Sveiby
1992). He is utterly well read up and prepared, which is given as an
explanation why the work climate may turn out to be such fun.
Gyllenpalm describes how a month’s acquaintance with a manuscript
makes Ingmar extremely well prepared at his first meeting with the
actors. Then he uses about 10 days to conjure up the vision he has
created from close reading of the text. This is done by visualizing the
thoughts inside his head, the reasons why he wants to produce that
particular text, and what feelings he has for it. Knowing so clearly what
he wants he is able to influence his actors.


This is how Max von Sydow explains it: “Within certain frames the actors
are allowed to flourish. He gives us a rhythm, a tempo, a measure.”
Through extreme planning, detailed preparation and discipline he
releases his crew. May the devil take those who are not prepared and
who break the fixed time limits. Erland Josephsson, who has worked
with him since the 1940s and who succeeded him as Director of the
Royal Dramatic Theatre, says: “It is through lack of freedom that Ingmar
Bergman creates freedom.” Ingmar Bergman himself says in an interview:
“Good planning is the only way for me to work. If I am well prepared I
can allow myself to improvise! If the improvisation does not work I can
fall back on the preparation.” ((Cit.from Sveiby 1992, p. 72-105))


The man of paradoxes is also recognized when it comes to power and
delegation. He himself writes in his memoirs that when he was Director
of the Royal Dramatic Theatre “I liked the power. It tasted good and was
stimulating. (Being boss was fun until it interfered with my real mission,
that of being a producer.)” At the same time he introduced joint
democratic consultation among the crew. But everyone knows that he is
the one that decides in the end. The actor Jarl Kulle says: “A work of art
does not come into being by a general vote. The fact that he radiates his
well-established authority does not mean that he is authoritarian.”
Bergman himself says in an interview in the Ledarskap (“Leadership”)
journal: “People love to cooperate. We are group animals just like
penguins. Place a penguin alone on an island and he will die. We like to
join in units and perform things together. Then demands must be made.
So high that ‘I almost do not manage it, but damn it I will!’ Some people
should be set much higher tasks than they think they can manage, while
others have to be carefully relieved from far too great tasks. All the time
you have to move around the collective with some kind of radar to sense
where the weaknesses are.” (Ledarskap 1985, p. 82-83)


Even if he works on his own with his minute preparations he has chosen
a partner for his most successful projects. His cooperation with Sven
Nykvist, the film photographer, is supposed to be one of the most
successful team-works in the world of film, since this loyal, quiet
camera-man of few words is a person who can supplement Bergman’s
nervy ego.


Bergman is described as being so charged with energy that he may
explode any time. He is a mixture of creative paradoxes: chaos and order,
weakness and strength, tension and release. Not least the tension
between the masculine and the feminine. His grandmother and a series
of relations with women lie behind many of his characters and themes.
Many of the actors who have worked with Bergman emphasize how he
has integrated the masculine and the feminine in his combination of
absolute concentration and passion. Bergman is extremely skilful at
reading people’s psyche and entering a work team with all his senses
open. Sensitivity towards others is a constantly recurring keyword in
descriptions of his leadership style. This is how Jarl Kulle expresses it:
“Ingmar is terribly sensitive. He has a keen ear and a keen eye. And
these must be exactly those demands you have reason to make on a
leader.” Ingmar Bergman expresses the same ideas in an interview:
“There is nothing that makes people so confident and so willing to
sacrifice something of themselves as the feeling that they are seen and
recognized. That someone, without necessarily talking about it, shows
some knowledge about that particular individual. It is essential for
everyone to feel important.” (Cit.from Sveiby 1992, p. 72-105)


Intuition is an important tool for Bergman. In a rare interview in 1985 he
says: “Intuition is the crucial factor for real success in all areas. For
myself intuition is the arrow and experience the bowstring. I do not think
intuition exists without experience. It does not have to be intellectual,
rational experience, but it can be gathered from all areas of life…. I never
argue with my intuition. I have to accept what it says. It is sensitive to
contradictions and rational arguments. If you begin to suspect your
intuition, it becomes weaker and weaker, and finally it stops working.
But if it is nursed it becomes a vital working tool.” (Ledarskap 1985, p.
81)


In conclusion, discipline and perfectionism have paved the way for that
kind of creation which Bergman has called a serious game, sometimes a
game of life and death. A game, whose aim is to show that life is a
theatre, God a tyrannical theatre manager and human beings puppets.


The characteristics of Ingmar Bergman’s leadership are (Gyllenpalm
1995, Ledarskap 3/1985, Sveiby 1992):
      His leadership style is passionate and creates confidence. He is a
       father-figure and at the same time impulsive, not seldom explosive.
       His impulsivity and improvisation, however, require a strongly
       disciplined framework and careful, detailed preparations.
      Delegates to some extent. Likes the sweets of power but has also
       introduced more democracy.
      Decision-making means that detailed planning precedes the
       decision. Well read with everything thought out while not being
       averse to strongly emotional acting.
      An extreme eye for people. As early as the 1950s a team of actors
       were recruited who have followed him ever since.
      A charismatic releaser of others who can communicate with all his
       senses simultaneously, while in principle avoiding all appearances
       in the media.
      A hypersensitive, suspicious trouble-shooter said to keep a black
       book containing his worst enemies but also to be a good listener and
       therapist among friends.
      An extremely susceptible artistic motivation catching those around
       him to bring out their very best.
      The company culture is characterized by perfectionism together with
       a total lack of interest in luxury, a heritage from his bohemian past
      Achieves a creative business climate with a world class atmosphere.




Sven-Göran Eriksson


After England had won the World Cup match against Denmark on 14
June, 2002, Anthony Clavane wrote in the Sunday Mirror on 15 June:
“Why has England played beyond its capacity during this World Cup? It
is only due to ‘the Sven factor’. More tactical than Glenn Hoddle and a
better coach than Kevin Keegan, the Swede has created a team of
quickness, technicality, honesty and – let us never forget it – style.” And
James Lawton wrote in The Independent: “What Eriksson has done is
that he has created a climate where the players believe in the team’s
capability.”


Let us analyze his leadership and its style more closely. Sports
metaphors have, for good or for evil, been used to visualize how company
managers should act to inspire their staff to great deeds. At the same
time, different leader types in the private and public sectors wonder how
they can improve a group’s or organization’s chances of developing. In
their new book published early this year (2002) on Leadership – the Sven-
Göran Eriksson Way, the authors Julian Birkenshaw and Stuart Crainer
write: “Since politics has been polluted by cynicism, perhaps the world of
sports now appears as the most genuine arena for exercising modern
leadership, despite all its faults and narrow limitations.”


Sven-Göran Eriksson was born in 1948 at Torsby in the province of
Värmland, where his father was a truck driver. He started as assistant
coach to Tord Grip in Degerfors, then in the third division. When Tord
Grip left in 1976 to become coach of the national football (soccer) team,
Eriksson coached alone. He brought Degerfors to victory in the division
and then in 1979 became coach for IFK Göteborg. Under his leadership
they won the Swedish Cup, the National Swedish League (“Allsvenskan”)
and the UEFA Cup after having defeated Hamburg in the finals by 4-0. In
1982 Sven-Göran Eriksson moved to Lisbon, where he led Benfica to
League and Cup victories. Since 1984 he has worked as a coach in Italy,
coaching Roma, Sampdoria and Lazio. Together with Lazio he won the
UEFA Cup and the Champions’ League and ended up by winning the A
Series (Lo Scudetto) and the Italian Cup in the year 2000. On 31 October
2000 he signed the contract to become England’s National Team coach.
Tord Grip, who had been with Sven-Göran Eriksson in Italy, was brought
in as assistant coach.


To be, like Sven-Göran Eriksson, the leader of an elite football team
seems different from being a leader in the business or theatre world.
Unlike a director producing a film who has to deal with one or two prima
donnas, he runs a whole team of millionaire prima donnas. Some of the
stars behave like little children when things do not go their way. Creating
a collective out of these individualists seems to be a very special
challenge.


Birkenshaw & Crainer (2002) see three main qualities that stick in the
eyes when analyzing Sven-Göran Eriksson’s leadership:


1. Getting the feel of a situation (being aware of the situation and acting
   consequently). He has the ability to feel what is going on without being
   told. He chooses not to talk too much, which is a clear sign of being a
   relation-oriented rather than a task-oriented leader. Like many others
   who are relation-oriented he prefers silence. This is of great
   advantage, since an atmosphere is often communicated non-verbally.
   You have to get the feel of it.
2. Genuineness (being true to yourself). He accepts his limitations and
   knows what distinguishes him from others. This makes the team
   realize that it is a real human being who leads them, with the same
   worries and weaknesses as everyone else.
3. Identification with the team (seeing the world through their eyes). But it
   is not enough to empathetically identify with a player and the team. It
   also means knowing when it is time to keep the distance, take one
   step back and show a more authoritative attitude when necessary.


Birkenshaw & Crainer point to three ingredients in Sven-Göran
Eriksson’s methods of motivation: 1. Be positive. 2. Be calm. Sven-Göran
Eriksson does not stand by the side-line shouting orders but goes
through the strategy in consultation with the players. 3. Trust others.
Confidence being the basis of a strong relation. As an example they
mention David Beckham, who is led effectively by having his greatness
confirmed in that Sven-Göran Eriksson, for instance through his choice
of team captain, shows that he respects Beckham. He knows Beckham is
a great player and that is all that matters. Svennis himself says: “The
only thing I care about is that he is a good player. What haircut he
prefers is his own business.”


To be a leader is a lonely job. Svennis has had a loyal partner in Tord
Grip. They have known each other since 1973 and worked intensively
together since 1997 in Lazio. Thus he has found someone by his side
whom he trusts completely, who does not go after his job and on whom
he can test different ideas. The odd thing about it is that the older man
works for the younger – Grip is ten years older than Sven-Göran
Eriksson. This form of partnership also characterized Ingmar Bergman’s
leadership together with his good listener and sparring-partner Sven
Nyqvist, the camera-man.


Another of Sven-Göran Eriksson’s partners of long standing is the
Norwegian professor of sports psychology, Willi Railo, at BI in Oslo. In
their book from 2000, Fotbollens insida – om det mentala spelet (“The
inside of football –the mental game”), they write about the effort to create
a winning culture in the teams they work with. This is achieved when the
group is made to think right. In each group like that there should be
culture architects around whom winning group cultures can be created.
“Winning cultures are built up by showing ‘good examples’ and ‘active
control’. Negative thoughts spread faster than positive ones. It is
essential to have few rules which are followed consistently. The good
team must have visions and goals and a collective spirit in common.
Defend your team against the outer world.”


The characteristics of Sven-Göran Eriksson’s leadership are (Birkenshaw
& Crainer 2002, Railo & Eriksson 2000):
    His leadership style is calm and diplomatic. He leads everybody with
     small gestures, treating everybody and is treated by everybody with
     respect. An urbane, well-dressed personality. Correct and engaging.
     Respected.
    His decision-making is characterized by thinking first and then acting
     consistently towards the goals set up. Defends his standpoint and is
     unaffected by what others think.
    Is willing to recruit and promote younger talents. Gets rid of players
     that give out a negative atmosphere.
    Low-voiced communication. Never raises his voice. Always stands by
     when things go badly.
    Trouble-shooting characterized by making feelings cool down. Then
     brings up the conflict in private, never before the entire group. Reasons
     his way instead of reprimanding. Is nevertheless the one who decides.
     Anyone who does not accept his principles must leave.
    Motivates through many long private talks with the players. Often gives
     praise to someone in everybody’s presence, but criticism is delivered in
     private. He has said in an interview that a coach must not make the
     players know that he doubts anyone. Otherwise they will think: If this
     is what he thinks of him, what then does he think about me?
    Delegates much of the coaching to assistant coaches and allots the
     players clear roles on the field. Takes the full responsibility for team
     selection and results. Never throws the blame on subordinates.


1.      Conclusion


In my concluding summary I have been inspired by Birkenshaw &
Crainer, who distinguish between “old and new leaders” (Birkenshaw &
Crainer, 2002, p 53). The “new leadership” emerged gradually in the
1990s. It was based on softer qualities like the ability to listen, mutual
understanding and sensitivity. According to Birkenshaw & Crainer
(2000, p. 45) it was an article by William Peace, Manager of
Westinghouse, in 1991 in the Harvard Business Review, which strongly
influenced the direction the development would take. In the introduction
Peace referred to himself as a boss with soft qualities. He went on by
describing how these soft qualities, like openness, sensitivity and ability
to admit one’s weaknesses, were vital for his success as a boss.


      Old leadership                  New leadership


      Charismatic               Low-key
      Action                    Reflection
      From above                From below
      Motivation through fear         Motivation through inspiration
      Task-orientation                Relation-orientation
      IQ                        EQ
      Self-confidence                 Self-knowledge
      Models: Lee Iacocca, Jack Welch        S-G. Eriksson, I. Kamprad, I.
      Bergman


Figure 1: Difference between old and new leadership (based on
Birkenshaw & Crainer 2002)


What I have shown in my survey is that these “soft” recipes for
leadership have existed for a long time in the leaders and organizations I
have studied. Even if there are leadership differences between Ingvar
Kamprad, Ingmar Bergman and Sven-Göran Eriksson, there are also
similarities. Ingmar Bergman and Ingvar Kamprad have stuck to their
view of a democratic, humanistic style of leadership which has remained
successful for a long time. This type of leadership also gains support
from the success of Sven-Göran Eriksson’s leadership style with its soft
values, wisdom and participation, where the harmony prevailing in a
team is regarded as the foundation for success.


Still, recipes for leadership are, as I mentioned in the introduction, like
whims of fashion. Today this new leadership is a reaction against the
fixation on the individual charismatic leader introduced in the 1980s as
the role model. What is significant is that there are few fundamental
truths about leadership. That is why the field is sensitive to trends. At
present the emphasis is on intuition, self-knowledge and Level-5
leadership. The pendulum will certainly swing again. Therefore it is
important to continue to critically analyze the approaching whims of
fashion and view them from a long-term perspective.


Finally I would like to quote from a letter written by IKEA’s founder
Ingvar Kamprad, dated Liatorp 9 February 2001, headed “Advice to
entrepreneurs of the future from the old furniture dealer.” It contains
insights both into leadership and entrepreneurship:


   Keep moving. Contentment is a sleeping-pill.
   Make up for your weak points. Distrust those who claim to know
    everything.
   Watch out for experience since it often stops you from thinking
    differently. ‘Why’ is a good word.
   Make sure that your work place is close to reality.
   Act positively. Negative thinking will give you ulcers only.
   Admit your failures. Don’t try to make excuses.
   Discuss, motivate, and persuade. But once a decision is made, carrying
    it out is all that counts.
   Treat your problems like possibilities.
     Care for your greatest resource – your staff – and make sure everyone
      has fun at the job.
     Finally – remember the future needs you.


(1)
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The Cost of Control: The Impact of Management
Stuart Macdonald

Management School
University of Sheffield
9 Mappin Street
Sheffield S1 4DT

01993-772871
s.macdonald@sheffield.ac.uk




CONSULTANTS ON CREATIVITY IN THE BBC




Paper presented to the Art of Management and Organization Conference, King’s
College, London, 3-5 September 2002




                                      - 297 -
A.     THE COST OF CONTROL: THE IMPACT OF MANAGEMENT

CONSULTANTS ON CREATIVITY IN THE BBC



A.     Abstract
The BBC has made increasing use of management consultants in recent years. Its
creativity is said to have diminished. This paper explores the possibility of a connection.
Management consultants have been hired in such profusion because authority in the
organisation has passed from administrators to managers, of whom unrealistic
expectations are made. Both the modern manager and the management consultant feed
on change, and the pressures placed on the BBC by government have provided perfect
justification for radical change. One consequence has been the opening of a cultural
chasm between those who manage and those who create. But this is novel only in its
extremity. The attitude of BBC managers to the academic research of Tom Burns forty
years ago is compared with their attitude to the present author’s research: BBC managers
have long felt threatened by what they cannot control.
Keywords: management consultants, creativity, BBC, manager,
management method




A.     Introduction
The BBC: Public Institution and Private World by Tom Burns is a
classic work on the BBC. Burns had agreed to submit his manuscript
to the BBC for its approval before publication. To his mystification,
this was denied in 1963 and publication was delayed for more than
ten years.6 The present author’s own experience of the BBC’s refusal
to sanction even a workshop presentation to a commune of Swedes
prompts the observation not that the BBC has something to hide, but
that its senior managers cannot tolerate anything that could possibly
undermine their authority.7


6
  John Eldridge, ‘Obituary: Professor Tom Burns’, Independent, 20 August
2001, p.6.
7
  See Michael Leapman, The Last Days of the Beeb, Allen & Unwin, London,
1986, pp.8-9.

                                           259
       “The factual information given by MacDonald about Enterprises
       has no obvious errors …. MacDonald liberally laces the
       document with quotations, many of which are injurious, many
       of which are unattributed. A continually damaging theme is
       thereby built.”
                                                    BBC manager 1993         8



Control has tightened in recent years with the demand that the
resources given to the BBC must be not just administered, but
managed. Control is fundamental to modern management, but it may
not be conducive to the creativity that justifies the peculiar existence
of the BBC. Neither may management consultants. Burns thought he
would have aroused much less suspicion and antipathy as a
management consultant rather than an academic,9 and speculated
that it would be some time before the BBC became accustomed to
academic research.10 Since then, the BBC has become much more
accustomed to management consultants.


To his surprise, Tom Burns not only received eventual permission
from the BBC to publish, but was invited back to re-explore. Re-
interviewing after a decade is not a recommended research method,
but it provided Burns with unanticipated insight into the change that
had taken place in the BBC. Interviewing again in the BBC, a decade
after expulsion, the present author was also struck by the amount
and nature of the change that had taken place.



A.     Creative Tension – Efficiency vs. Creativity in the BBC

The great advantage of the organisation is that it can do what individuals cannot. In
particular, the organisation can achieve levels of efficiency far beyond those of which


8
  Letter to author, 5 February 1993.
9
  Tom Burns, The BBC. Public Institution and Private World, Macmillan,
London, 1977, p.xvi.
10
   Burns, op.cit., pp.ix-xviii.

                                         260
the individual is capable. Within the organisation, there are pressures, including reward
systems, to increase efficiency so that the organisation tends to become better and better
at what it already does. These same pressures militate against the organisation doing
anything new in that the new, no matter how promising, can rarely be done as well as the
old. For example, managers determined to maximise efficiency in the electrical industry
of the 1960s had no time for transistors and integrated circuits.11

There is, then, tension between the pressure to be efficient and the
need to change. Clearly, the organisation must be efficient if it is to
survive in a competitive environment. Equally clearly, the same
competitive environment demands that the organisation must change,
that it must innovate, if it is to survive. In an ideal world, this tension
leads to benefits for both sides with innovation tested by the discipline
of efficiency, and efficiency exposed to the imagination of innovation.
But the world is seldom ideal, and even creative tension can be more
tense than creative. In particular, pressures for greater efficiency in
the modern organisation may have tipped the balance against
creativity.12 Part of the problem is that not all organisational change is
equally attractive to the modern manager; most welcome is change
that is measurable, attributable and sufficiently rapid to contribute to
an ambitiously mobile career. Least welcome is change that is
extraneous and unanticipated.13 This is not to say that the modern
manager is opposed to change; much modern management credo is
redolent with change, but this is the measured change of management
theory; it poses no threat to order, structure and – above all – control.
This is change authorised and implemented from above, change that




11
   Ernst Braun and Stuart Macdonald, Revolution in Miniature. The History
and Impact of Semiconductor Electronics, Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge, 1982, pp.160-1.
12
   R.A. Joseph, ‘Universal service in Australian telecommunications: Exploring
the fetish for efficiency’, paper presented to the XIX Pacific Science
Conference, Sydney, July 1999.
13
   Stuart Macdonald, ‘Learning to change: an information perspective on
learning in the organisation’, Organization Science, 6, 2, 1995, pp.557-68.

                                            261
can be justified. This is the change of management method approved
by management consultant.


Heretics and mavericks may be creative, but they do not fit easily within the organisation
and do not contribute to its efficiency. To the modern manager, for whom management
is both science and process, they are especially loathsome. They undermine authority
and threaten the very structure and cohesion of the organisation. And thus it is that
anything smacking of individuality or originality becomes an indicator of dissent,
actively discouraged by organisational systems and cultures that require employees to
pull together, sing from the same hymnsheet, march to the same drumbeat. Creativity
itself may be in peril. The tension between change and efficiency in the organisation is
exemplified in the archetypal struggle between creative people and administrators,
between those who want things done differently and those who insist they be done
properly. In folklore, including BBC folklore, creative sorts get their way by bending the
rules so that imagination and inspiration eventually triumph over stolid responsibility.
         “As far as I’m concerned, this is a funny mixture of authoritarianism and non-authoritarianism ….
         And what I always say to producers about their programme ideas is, ‘If I don’t like your idea, I
         shall say so. If you persist in a rotten idea, I shall refuse it and I’ll refuse it again. But if, in the
         end, you go on making the case for an idea that I’m just not convinced about, in the end, if you
         persist long enough, I will give in. Because, in the end, producers are the people who make
         programmes, not Controllers. I shall just let you have your head and then we’ll see what comes of
         it and we’ll criticise it afterwards.’”

         BBC manager c.197314

But the administrator is no longer pettifogging bureaucrat; one of the
changes Tom Burns noted on his re-instatement by the BBC was that
the administrators of 1963 had become the managers of 1973.15 Since
then, managers have become professionals, with all the power this
status embues, and all the inclination to clash with others with the
temerity to lay claim to professional status.


It would be wrong to assume simply that more freedom yields more innovation. Order
and control are required to direct creativity to useful ends and to make use of creativity
in innovative product and process. The Eldorado episode provides an excellent example


14
     Quoted in Burns, op.cit., p.244.
15
     Burns, op.cit., pp.14-17.

                                                     262
of just how little control senior management could have over what the BBC did in the
early 1990s. Eldorado was a serial based on the adventures of ex-patriates in Spain, and
requiring the construction there of an entire new village. The government was
threatening to break up the BBC,16 the Corporation had overspent its budget,17 senior
managers were desperate to demonstrate that the BBC gave value for money18 - and the
BBC’s creative staff was providing a perfect example of just how profligate and
incompetent it could be.19 Eldorado was a glorious, £10 million flop; more pertinently, it
had been launched without even the knowledge, much less the approval, of senior
management, including John Birt. Mere freedom from control does not ensure the
triumph of creativity.
       “One of the problems was that it was such a secret. I don’t know
       why it was such a secret anyway. This is something that slightly
       confuses me. We weren’t even told the name until the night
       before the press release.”
                                                  BBC manager 1992

       “Eldorado! It’s the tackiest thing we’ve got. Have you seen it? It’s
       gratuitous sexual innuendo throughout. …. It was a state secret
       mainly because ITV didn’t know anything about it. If we had all
       known about it, then ITV would have found out about it.”
                                                     BBC manager 1992

Defined as “the production of new ideas that are useful and
appropriate to the situation”,20 creativity is but one contribution to
innovation, though a contribution that may easily be extinguished by
some of the others, especially the control required by management. A
balance must be struck between control and creativity and finding
this balance is a basic test of good management.21 When managers

16
   Colin Brown and John Pienaar, ‘Tories consider splitting the BBC’,
Independent, 18 October 1991, p.1.
17
   Maggie Brown, ‘Birt promises sweeping modernisation of BBC’,
Independent, 12 January 1993, p.3.
18
   Maggie Brown, ‘BBC to rely on market in drive for efficiency’, Independent,
30 October 1991, p.3.
19
   Alice Thomson, ‘Fighting for the honour of Auntie’, Times, 30 October 1992,
p.14.
20
   Kerrie Unsworth, ‘Unpacking creativity’, Academy of Management Review,
26, 2, 2001, pp.289-97.
21
   Gunnar Eliasson, ‘Communication, information technology and firm
performance’ in S. Macdonald and J. Nightingale (eds), Information and
Organisation, North Holland, Amsterdam, 1999, pp.285-304.

                                          263
are too heavy-handed, control benefits but creativity suffers: too light
a touch profits creativity at the expense of control.22


Creativity is not the same as quality, and it is quality that dominates
discussion of broadcasting (especially public service broadcasting).23
Everyone is in favour of ‘quality’ programmes, a unanimity that would
not withstand precise definition of the term.24 Consequently, the term
is not particularly meaningful in the broadcasting context (or the
management context, for that matter). Creativity is. Creativity is the
capacity to devise something new. It is an essential component of
innovation, and hence of the competitiveness that springs from
innovation. In public service broadcasting, programmes of quality are
necessarily creative.25


The BBC provides a splendid example of this fundamental conflict between creativity
and control in the organisation. The Corporation makes and broadcasts radio and
television programmes, supported in the UK by an annual licence fee. All households
with television sets are required to purchase a licence, currently priced at £109. In recent
years, the BBC has developed various commercial activities which yield income to
supplement its licence revenue. These include selling its programmes overseas, licensing
its formats, publishing, and marketing merchandise derived from its programmes. Co-
producing programmes with other organisations shares production costs. More recently
still, the BBC has been expanding its broadcasting overseas, delivering its programmes
by satellite, launching subscription channels, and developing its Internet activities.
World Service Radio is not part of these developments: it is funded by the Foreign


22
   David Puttnam, ‘Saving its soul’, Guardian, 26 October 1998.
23
   Alan Yentob, ‘The view from the BBC’ in Cristina Murroni and Nick Irvine
(eds), Quality in Broadcasting, Institute for Public Policy Research, London,
1997, pp.29-31.
24
   John Corner, Sylvia Harvey and Karen Lury, ‘Culture, quality and choice:
The re-regulation of TV in 1989-91’ in Stuart Hood (ed.), Behind the Screens.
The Structure of British Broadcasting in the 1990s, Lawrence and Wishart,
London, 1994, pp. 1-19; Michael Leapman, op.cit., p.276.
25
   Willard Rowland and Michael Tracey, ‘Worldwide challenges to public
service broadcasting’, Journal of Communication, 40, 2, 1990, pp.8-27 (pp.12-
13).

                                           264
Office and has been contracting of late.


The conflict between creativity and control in the BBC was apparent rather tha
prominent in the early 1960s. When the most radical programme of the period, That Was
The Week That Was, was suddenly curtailed, “…. the BBC was faced with a paradox: to
achieve one part of its purpose it had to allow freedom to the creative individual; in so
doing it evoked the reaction that it had other social and moral responsibilities which
necessarily meant the imposition of controls on that creative talent” (original
emphasis).26

        “A creative enterprise as large and structurally rigid as the BBC, run without market
        disciplines, will naturally tend either to be under insufficient managerial and financial control,
        or to be so checked by managerial system and restraints that its creative edge is blunted.”27


The BBC tradition is that the balance is not between creativity and control, but between
creativity and notions of what the BBC, as a public broadcaster, should be doing. As
these were a matter of debate – years and years of relentless debate – there was
considerable scope for creativity within the organisation. Time after time, the
opportunity to be creative was seized, enjoying free rein until pulled back by change in
the prevailing interpretation of the BBC’s public service responsibilities.28
        “I don’t think it’s unkind to say they can see as far ahead as the
        transmission schedule …. On an individual level, the people
        who make programmes, every project they work on is the best
        one they have ever worked on, the one they really have to do,
        and the one they need a lot of money for. And that’s what they
        are interested in doing – they are interested in getting it made.”
                                                     BBC manager 1992

        “The producers make the programmes they like or want to make
        regardless of what the audiences, the governors or even the
        Director-General might think.”

                                                                         BBC manager 1980s
                                                                29




26
   Michael Tracey, A Variety of Lives. A Biography of Sir Hugh Greene,
Bodley Head, London, 1983, p.222.
27
   Ian Hargreaves, Sharper Vision: The BBC and the Communications
Revolution, Demos, London, 1993, p.31.
28
   Tracey, op.cit., pp.226-8.
29
   Quoted in Marmaduke Hussey, Chance Governs All, Macmillan, London,
2001, p.207.

                                                  265
“It wouldn’t even matter if only five people watched. It’s a symbol to the country that
the BBC considers the subject we’re covering important.”
                                                         BBC editor, 199230


Public Service Broadcasting and the BBC Managers

The BBC was the world’s first public service broadcaster and is still its
best known.31 From being the only system of broadcasting, the relative
importance of public service broadcasting has contracted sharply with
the growth of commercial broadcasting, a reversal that now justifies
its preservation. The more dominant commercial broadcasting, the
more necessary an alternative not governed by commercial incentives.
Public service broadcasting, it is argued, will supply quality
programmes while commercial broadcasting responds to mass
demand.32 There are problems with this argument. The assumption
that quality is something that only a minority was brought up to value
is one with which Lord Reith, the first director-general of the BBC,
would have been comfortable. But he would have made the further
assertion that the BBC, as public service broadcaster, has a
responsibility to educate the masses so that, “the supply of good
things creates the demand for more.”33 Quality was to be used to
convert the English working class into the English middle class, with
decent, middle class, family values.34



American commercial broadcasting of the 1950s helped set more
objective standards for the BBC. As long as the former produced

30
   Quoted in Michael Leapman, ‘A tough issue for ‘Panorama’’, Independent,
25 November 1992, p.17.
31
   Tracey, op.cit., p.149
32
   John Gray, ‘Cultural diversity, national identity and the case for public
service broadcasting in Britain’ in Will Stevenson (ed.), All Our Futures, British
Film Institute, London, 1993, pp.14-22.
33
   Quoted in Simon Frith, ‘The pleasures of the hearth: The making of BBC
light entertainment’ in T. Bennett et al. (eds.), Formations of Pleasure,
Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1983, p. 108.
34
   Frith, op.cit.; David Cardiff, ‘Mass middlebrow laughter: The origins of BBC
comedy’, Media, Culture and Society, 10, 1, 1988, pp.41-60.

                                         266
television programmes that the busy housewife could enjoy without
having to watch,35 the BBC could have a mission to produce whatever
commercial television, and especially American commercial television,
did not. The BBC even launched a gentle offensive by planning to sell
British heritage programmes to the Americans to help counter
American domination of world television.36 In the 1960s, the BBC
measured its overseas programme sales in terms of the number of
countries buying and feet of film sold, not money.37 Two decades later,
what the BBC should have been offering was less obvious: the BBC
was to give what the public wanted, but this was a demand to which
commercial broadcasting also responded. The distinction would be
that the BBC would offer a better product than commercial
broadcasting, ‘better’ being measured simply in terms of distance from
the profit motive. Hugh Greene, director-general of the BBC from 1960
to 1969, found profit particularly distasteful.
      “It would be a sad thing for mankind if the music of the spheres
      turned out to be no more than the jangling of cash registers.” 38


The argument that public service broadcasting should be commercial
broadcasting with quality - that there must be a “proper relationship
between popularity and quality”39 - has been superseded by the notion
that the public service product should actually be very similar to the
commercial product, demonstrating thereby that public service
broadcasting is responsive to public demand. The BBC is quite
content to exploit ratings statistics, the dominant indicator of
commercial success, to demonstrate the popularity, and hence the
value, of its programmes.




35
   Tracey, op.cit., p.142.
36
   Tracey, op.cit., pp.139-43.
37
   E.g., BBC Handbook 1964, p.27; BBC Handbook 1965, p.41.
38
   Hugh Greene quoted in Tracey, A Variety of Lives. A Biography of Sir Hugh
Greene, Bodley Head, London, 1983, p.194.
39
   Tracey, op.cit, p.145.

                                    267
      “If you look at the schedules of BBC1 on a Saturday night, there
      is nothing there that a commercial broadcaster couldn’t be
      providing just as well, probably better.”
                                                 Independent
                                            producer 1992

Measuring the success of public service broadcasting in terms of
market demand seems a little strange, but no stranger than
commercial broadcasters justifying their role in terms of their non-
market performance. In short, the distinction between public service
broadcasting and commercial broadcasting has become blurred,
commercial stations – at least in the UK – anxious to please the
regulator with quality programmes, especially when licences are being
auctioned.40 Commercialism, then, is not necessarily the enemy or
even the antithesis of creativity in broadcasting. Indeed, it produces
the vast resources that it is argued are required to implement
creativity.41 Access to such resources is made difficult for the BBC by
the stipulation that licence fee income benefit only that part of the
world’s population with a UK television licence.42 The BBC’s efforts to
reduce the financial burden on the licence-payer by making money in
the media industry are severely constrained by the perpetual
accusation that licence money is being diverted to purposes for which
it was never intended.43 BBC Enterprises (now Worldwide), the
commercial arm of the Corporation, has traditionally defended its
earnings for the BBC with the most considered logic.
      “All the costs of running BBC Enterprises are paid for from the
      funds generated by the company’s commercial activities – no

40
   A.S.C. Ehrenberg, ‘What is the BBC worth?’, New Society, 14 February
1985, pp.248-50; Colin Sparks, ‘The future of public service broadcasting in
Britain’, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 12, 3, 1995, pp.325-41;
Richard Collins, ‘Supper with the devil – a case study in private/public
collaboration in broadcasting: The genesis of Eurosport’, Media, Culture &
Society, 20, 4, 1998, pp.653-63.
41
   Kathy Walker, ‘Public service broadcasting and new distribution
technologies’ in Sally Wyatt et al. (eds), Technology and In/Equality.
Questioning the Information Society, Routledge, London, 2000, pp.61-85.
42
   ‘Britain’s media giants’, Economist, 12 December 1998.
43
   See Terri Judd, ‘BBC World faces losses of £15m’, Independent, 20 May
1999, p.7.

                                     268
      licence-payer’s money is involved. But by helping to supplement
      the BBC’s licence-fee income, Enterprises’ activities benefit the
      viewing public, since the extra revenue generated helps to pay
      for programmes which otherwise might never be made.”44

      “We have to be very careful that the product (I hate calling it ‘product’, they do here
      and I have tried to wean them off that) that the programmes that we produce are
      primarily designed for the people that pay our bills – the license-payers, the British
      license-payers. If they also happen to have international appeal and saleability, that’s a
      bonus. We have to be very careful not to let the commercial tail wag the production
      dog.”


                                                                  BBC manager, 1992

It may be that the years of breast-beating about what is legitimate use
of licence-payers’ money are over and that other priorities now prevail.
In an attempt to match the coverage of CNN, the BBC has recently
merged its international operations.45 The new organisation combines
BBC World (commercially-funded and so prohibited from broadcasting
in the UK) with BBC Online (funded by the UK licence-payer, but
available wherever the Internet reaches) with the BBC World Service
(funded by the British Foreign Office). New technology may also be
helping to resolve the old dispute. Digital technology allows the BBC
to provide other channels, such as BBC Knowledge, for specialist
audiences. These might well satisfy the public service obligation for
quality, leaving the BBC terrestrial channels to purvey more
competitive material.46 Now, whether CNN is an appropriate model for
the BBC is a moot point; both John Birt, director-general of the BBC
from 1992 until 2000, and the BBC’s management consultants
seemed to think it is.47

44
   BBC Handbook 1987-88, p.44.
45
   Ashling O’Conner, ‘Loss-making BBC World is saved by director-general’,
Financial Times, 4 November 2001, p.3.
46
   D. J. Taylor, ‘Auntie and the yahoos’, Times, 13 November 2001, Section 2,
p.15; John Hambley, ‘Will the BBC become the M&S of British broadcasting?’,
Guardian, 25 August 2001.
47
   Anne French, ‘Creating heretical companies: An interview with Gary

                                             269
       “In our experience, John Birt’s goals are, among other things, to
       reduce the cost of programme making to the BBC while
       preserving its quality. He clearly wants to reduce revenue while
       building a world television service that competes with CNN. He
       intends to trade under the BBC’s name and to sell programme
       ‘products’ to the proliferating number of broadcasters and cable
       channels around the world. Clearly, John Birt has a vision of
       the BBC in today’s world.”48

The licence fee puts the BBC is in a peculiarly weak position to resist
the imposition of what others consider to be good management. The
licence fee provides most of the BBC’s income, an arrangement
described by Margaret Thatcher, a prime minister who declared there
was no such thing as society,49 as a compulsory levy enforced by
criminal sanctions.50 Consequently, it is politically expedient that the
BBC be encouraged, and be seen, to provide value for money. In its
most evident form, this is the efficiency sought for all organisations.
       “Hussey has explained his strategy as chairman (of the BBC
       from 1986 to 1996) as strengthening the BBC’s ability to survive
       a threatening political and commercial environment …. This is
       the outlook and idiom of a business man concerned to ‘turn-
       around’ a company in difficulties.”51

When John Birt arrived as deputy director-general in 1987, “the BBC was egregiously
wasteful, overstaffed, undermanaged and prone to editorial gaffes.”52 According to
Marmaduke Hussey, “a failing management culture …. was leading the BBC to
disaster.”53 Stories abound of the unchecked profligacy of BBC staff. Many concern
automobiles, and especially the prodigious use of taxi cabs. Almost gleefully, Hussey
recounts the £50 spent on a cab sent to purchase a black tie, and how taxis waited outside
restaurants while BBC staff fed themselves inside. But, once again, as Burns noted,
stories of wastefulness have long been common currency in the BBC, and have



Hamel’, New Zealand Strategic Management Society Inc. Journal, 1, 3, 1995.
48
   Litwin , Bray and Brooke, op.cit., p.153.
49
   Rowland and Tracey, op.cit., p.14.
50
   Hussey, p.200.
51
   Peter Walters, ‘The crisis of ‘responsible’ broadcasting: Mrs Thatcher and
the BBC’, Parliamentary Affairs, 42, 3, 1989, pp.380-98 (p.396).
52
   Economist, ‘A very Birtish coup’, 30 August 1997.
53
   Hussey, p.213.

                                          270
frequently involved motor cars.54
        “One of the things that struck me most when I joined the BBC
       was the amazingly cavalier attitude to money. Staff flew to
       America by Concorde and back [sic]. Our resources department,
       I discovered, was so well equipped with outside broadcasting
       units that if the entire royal family died, a third world war broke
       out and England won the Ashes, all on the same day, we could
       handle it quite easily.”55

The BBC was ill-equipped to defend itself against a right-wing
government convinced that the BBC was irretrievably socialist. The
Corporation’s charter was scheduled for renewal in 1996 and for the
first time ever the renewal was not a foregone conclusion.56 The
Peacock inquiry of 1986 had concluded that the BBC should move
towards a market system based on consumer sovereignty.57 The White
Paper of 1988, Broadcasting in the 90’s: Competition, Choice and
Quality, confirmed the Tory government’s determination that this
should happen. In 1992, the government published its Green Paper,
The Future of the BBC, to which the BBC published its response,
Extending Choice, within a week. Both are redolent with the notion
that the BBC must deliver value for money.58 The BBC had to change,
it had to exploit new technology, to adapt to new structures in the
media industries, to operate internationally: to change, the BBC
needed managers.


The administrators of the BBC might have known the BBC well, but they were ill
prepared to manage radical change.
       “I think this is the most difficult area – how to get organised. That was the area I would be interested to
       talk to you about.”
1.     BBC manager 1991
       “I have not heard that term before – ‘matrix management’? There is not much cross fertilisation.”
                                                                               BBC manager 1991


54
   E.g., Burns, The BBC. Public Institution and Private World, Macmillan,
London, 1977, p.271.
55
   Hussey, op.cit., p.205.
56
   Hussey, op.cit., p.200.
57
   Rowland and Tracey, op.cit.
58
   Peter Goodwin, ‘The future of the BBC’, Media, Culture and Society, 15, 3,
1993, pp.497-502.

                                                     271
        “I have the impression that the BBC feels – quite rightly – that it
        has to manage change, it has to become much more cost
        effective and the senior management – many of whom I know,
        we go back a long way – who are doing this are people who have
        never in their lives so much as run a corner shop.“
                                             Independent producer
                                       1992

BBC management probably was slack; as Dennis Potter so trenchantly put it: “there have
long been people at the BBC ready to spout about their dedication to public service
broadcasting, who think it is an absolute impertinence if they are asked to get out of their
beds of a morning.”59 Whether BBC management was competent is quite another matter.
If it is the case that creative endeavour cannot be managed in any conventional sense,
then the wise manager must sometimes back off if creativity is to flourish. This is
actually rather hard to do: knowing when not to interfere - and then not interfering – is
one of the rarer management skills. Its importance in innovation is widely
acknowledged, though management texts and management schools have little to say
about the passive manager. Their managers tend to be active; indeed, proactive. If there
is to be change in the organisation, then it is to be management-inspired and
management-led change. Among those who really know about managing, there is little
patience with the argument that creativity requires organisational slack, even the
cultivation of organisational fat.


But these developments have been gradual and should not be
attributed to a particular regime. The BBC has never had enough
money to do as much as it might,60 and the BBC has always been
attacked by government, whatever the political hue. What was
different in the 1990s was that BBC managers chose to see
government opposition not as a problem, but as an opportunity.61 A
threat to the BBC’s very existence justified even the most extreme
management measures, and these in turn created a “huge, London-

59
   Quoted in David Lister, ‘Dramatist sounds on Birt regime’, Independent, 28
August 1993, p.3.
60
   David Cardiff, ‘Time, money and culture: BBC programme finances’, Media,
Culture and Society, 5, 1983, pp.373-93.
61
   Rhys Williams, ‘Birt weathers the long winter of discontent’, Independent, 5
July 1995, p.8.

                                           272
based cultural institution whose primary political challenge is to win
the approval of those inside the governmental machine with the power
to determine its income and its right to exist.”62
       “Birt grasped the nettle. Leaving to others the time-honoured
       task of extolling the virtues of the BBC, he concentrated on
       what was wrong, on what had to change, and change
       significantly, if the BBC were to survive as it was, funded, for
       the most part, as it was.”63

If what survives is a rather different BBC, one bereft of much of the
talent and creativity which many saw as not only its distinctive
feature, but its raison d’être, its management must take much of the
blame. The changes noted by Burns in the decade after 1963 included
an increase in the tendency of staff to think of the BBC as an industry
rather than an institution,64 and in concern that the BBC please
government by being seen to be managed efficiently.65


Similarly, the BBC had long employed management consultants and been guided by the
latest thinking in the management schools.
       “The McKinsey inspired creation of output directorates in 1969
       followed closely the Chandler (1962) multi-divisional structure;
       these ‘M-form’ multi-divisions became corrupted in the manner
       diagnosed by Williamson (1975), whose advocacy of market
       transactions to show transparency of costs heavily influenced
       the BBC’s decision to move to an internal market; and the early
       1990s fashion for ‘business process re-engineering’ (Hammer
       and Champy, 1995) could be cited to explain Birt’s faith in
       organizational reinvention.”66

What is different between now and then is not the obstacles with which the BBC is
faced, but rather the opportunity these obstacles offered to a managerial class
empowered by all the weapons in the managerial armoury, not least management


62
   Ian Hargreaves, Sharper Vision: The BBC and the Communications
Revolution, Demos, London, 1993, p.15.
63
   George Litwin, John Bray and Kathleen Lusk Brooke, Mobilizing the
Organization, Prentice Hall, London, 1996, p.145.
64
   Burns, op.cit., pp.212, 237.
65
   Burns, op.cit., p.212.
66
   Victoria Wegg-Prosser, ‘Thirty years of managerial change at the BBC’,
Public Money and Management, 21, 1, 2001, pp.9-14 (p.11).

                                         273
consultants. Despite all the sabre-rattling, the circumstances in which the BBC found
itself had changed much less than the circumstances in which managers found
themselves.



Of the changes Burns observed between 1963 and 1973, the most
marked was the transmutation of administrators into managers, and
the concomitant evaporation of the old-fashioned notion that it is
incumbent on the administrator to relieve creative staff of
administrative burdens so that they can concentrate on being
inspired.67
       “When I came to interview people lower down the organisational
       hierarchy, the question of who was ‘on top’ – in the sense of
       ideological dominance – was soon answered. It was management
       …. By 1973 the lines of confrontation seemed to be horizontal –
       between the ‘professionals’ and the ‘managers’, who were no less
       the agents of the new managerialism for being ex-
       professionals.”68

What was yet to occur in the BBC was the transmutation of managers into professionals
in their own right, and the consequent demotion from professional status of those who
made programmes. The BBC’s growing dependence over many years on management
methods and management consultants meant that the professionalism of those who
create would inevitably be pitted against the professionalism of those who control.




Management Consultants in the BBC

The BBC is supposedly less creative now than it has been. In the arts,
it has lost its edge,69 its comedy is no longer funny.70 The BBC is


67
   Burns, The BBC. Public Institution and Private World, Macmillan, London,
1977, pp.211, 217.
68
   Burns, op.cit., p.253.
69
   Fiachra Gibbons, ‘Bragg accuses BBC of deserting arts duty’, Guardian, 13
September 2001, p.19; Dennis Marks, ‘Why the BBC needs a little more art
and soul’, Independent, 7 June 2000, p.9.
70
   Jade Garrett, ‘The bottom line just isn’t funny’, Independent, 23 October
2001, Review p.8; Dalya Alberge, ‘Writer laments BBC’s lost comic touch’,
Times, 7 August 2000, p.5.

                                          274
accused of dumbing down to the level of its commercial rivals,71 of
slithering into “mindless, pasteurised programming.”           72   And while the
public continues to think highly of the BBC’s thoroughness and
reliability, its originality is less impressive.73 The trouble is – as one
senior BBC journalist put it in 1999 – “The BBC never was what it
was.” More profitable than trying to measure creativity levels is
considering why management consultants should be held to blame for
any reduction in creativity. What is there about the management
consultant that attracts such opprobrium from those who claim to
value creativity? The BBC has employed consultants for decades and
they have dutifully satisfied the requirements of managers, though
how these requirements are expressed may have changed.
       “Alisdair Milne always used to ask if people had ‘bottom’. I was
       never thought to have ‘bottom’ …. They push one another ….
       They were all at Cambridge together and they push each other
       along. They push each other to the top and then get
       schizophrenia. They think they know what they are doing and
       then call in McKinsey. They indicate to McKinsey what they
       want to do and then look to McKinsey to endorse it.”
                                             BBC correspondent 1999 74

Burns insists that McKinsey and Company was the first management
consultant to be hired by the BBC. That was for the great
reorganisation carried out in the late 1960s. Interestingly, he notes
that McKinsey contributed nothing to the changes themselves, but
that they would not have occurred without the McKinsey imprimatur.
McKinsey acted not only as a catalyst, but also as a “popular
managerial detergent”, an essential part of a public relations exercise
to demonstrate that the BBC was becoming even more efficient.75
McKinsey, one of the world’s largest consultancies, continues to be the


71
   Martin Dickson, ‘Auntie with attitude: Privatisation’s last frontier’, Financial
Times, 1-2 September 2001, p.11.
72
   Polly Toynbee, ‘Shocks on the box’, Guardian, 21 September 2001, p.21.
73
   Hargreaves, op.cit.
74
   See Michael Leapman, The Last Days of the Beeb, Allen & Unwin, London,
1986, p.84.
75
   Burns, op.cit., pp.230-1, 255.

                                       275
BBC’s house consultant, with its own office in Broadcasting House,                                      76

though Coopers and Lybrand was rumoured to have an office adjacent
to Birt’s in the early 1990s.77
      “McKinsey were the greatest luxury I have ever known. We were all working terribly hard and this gang
      of intelligent people came in who saw both the wood and the trees. They picked on all sorts of things
      which needed urgent attention, things which were obvious to all. The downside was that their remedies
      were of bugger all use because McKinsey knew nothing about the industry.”
                                                                BBC manager 1998

However, the scale on which management consultants came to be
employed certainly was new. The BBC spent £6 million on
management consultants in the eight months to July 1994,78 and is
said to have been paying something like £22 million a year for
management consultants in the 1990s.79 In the 1997-98 financial
year alone, the BBC spent £28 million on external advisors, of which
£4 million was paid to McKinsey, £3 million to PA Consulting, and
£1.8 million apiece to Ernst & Young and KPMG Management.80 By
the late 1990s, even the management consultants employed by the
BBC were advising that the BBC employed too many management
consultants.81 BBC senior managers disagreed, pointing out that the
Corporation’s expenditure on management consultants was not out of
keeping with what other organisations of similar size were spending.
      “We’re not at all embarrassed about using consultants. All good
      companies that I’m aware of use consultants. I insist we
      shouldn’t be apologetic about this.”
                                           BBC manager 200182

Similarly, managerial performance in the BBC was to be measured in
terms of managerial performance in other organisations, by “the


76
   Georgina Born, ‘Reflexivity and ambivalence: Culture, creativity ad
government in the BBC’, Cultural Values, forthcoming (p.12).
77
   Steven Barnett and Andrew Curry, The Battle for the BBC, Aurum, London,
1994, p. 209.
78
   Barnett and Curry, op.cit., p. 209.
79
   Ben Potter and Rebecca Barrow, ‘Protests as BBC spends £22m on
advisors’, Daily Telegraph, 7 August 1999, p.1.
80
   Jason Deans, ‘BBC consultancy spend tops £28m’, Broadcast, 10
September 1999, p.1.
81
   Economist, ‘A very Birtish coup’, 30 August 1997.
82
   Quoted in Chris Blackhurst, ‘Whitehall prepares for quiet technocrat who

                                                 276
standards of major change elsewhere in British institutions and
industry.”83 Parity with big business justified the 3.4% of expenditure
devoted to the BBC’s central management team. It justified even the
much-mocked managerial language known as ‘Birtspeak’: “that’s the
way they talk in business schools and board rooms”.84



This view of the BBC is revealing in that the explanation for the BBC’s
creativity, and often the justification for the BBC’s very existence, tend
to be firmly rooted in the notion that the BBC is not like other
organisations, that it is fundamentally different from other
organisations.85 Broadcasting is also different from other industries.
       “ …. If you take the methods of the plastics extrusion industry
       and apply them to broadcasting you should not be too surprised
       if the programmes begin to lose their individuality and all
       elements of surprise.”86
But again, the change is neither new nor sudden: even in 1986 senior managers in the
BBC were accused of being more interested in the BBC as a large organisation than as a
public service broadcaster.
       “Top management talk money too much and policy too little. …. Its top communicators are too obsessed
       with a mistaken notion of neutrality in current affairs and features. They don’t think out new and
       challenging points of view. Producers too often fall back on fashionable stereotypes.”87


One of the first targets of the management consultants hired to seek
greater efficiency and value for money in the BBC was what was
always termed ‘bloated bureaucracy.’ John Harvey-Jones had
recommended in the early 1990s that the BBC dispense with a third




sent fear through BBC’ Independent, 10 August 2001, p.3.
83
   Michael Starks, op.cit.,p.174. See also Janine Gibson, ‘BBC chairman on
the attack after Hussey criticism’, Guardian, 5 March 1999, p.9.
84
   Ian Hargreaves, ‘The reviled revolutionary’, Independent, 9 March 1999,
Review p.12.
85
   ‘Last of the Birtists’, Guardian, 28 January 2000; ‘BBC revisionism’,
Guardian, 5 March 1999, p.23.
86
   Christopher Dunkley, ‘Too serious to be really funny’, Financial Times, 29
July 1998.
87
   Noel Annan, ‘To BBC or not to BBC?’, New Society, 31 January 1986,
pp.195-6.

                                                 277
of its managers.88 The old bureaucracy was slimmed down, only to be
replaced with new managers, but managers of a different stripe
altogether.89 After nearly a decade of de-layering in the BBC, it was
left to Greg Dyke to announce on his accession as chief executive in
2000 that many management posts would have to go, and that
administration costs would be reduced from 24% of revenue to 15%
over the next five years.90
       “Unfortunately John [Birt] is someone who has the highest
       ideals but sometimes failed to see that in implementing them a
       different kind of bureaucracy would result. In trying to create
       logical directorates he brought in endless think tanks, flow
       charts and consultants.”91

       “Birt constantly talked of greater efficiency. And yet, during his time at the helm, things became
       increasingly inefficient and top-heavy, like some Communist bureaucracy gone mad.”92

The management consultants who worked alongside this new breed of manager may
have known management well, but not the BBC, and often not even the media
industry.93 McKinsey had been railing for years against the expense of the BBC’s own
orchestras: could they not be replaced by recordings of classical music?94 Even the new
breed of BBC manager tended to be more conversant with management method than
with the BBC. Management consultant looked to manager for guidance, and manager
looked to management consultant.
       “[The McKinsey consultants] all went back to the States for Christmas leave and came back full of ideas.
       They had phoned up everyone they knew in the media industry.”
                                                                            (a)       BBC manager 1991

       “Consultants are often badly briefed by the people at the top.
       They do not understand the business and the danger is that
       they will come in, never see you, and then make
       recommendations that will seriously impact on your business.”
                                                                            (a)       BBC manager 1999

88
   Hussey, op.cit., p.252.
89
   Tom O’Malley, Closedown?, Pluto, London, 1994, pp.158-9.
90
   Tom Leonard, ‘Dyke takes axe to Birt bureaucracy’, Daily Telegraph, 4 April
2000, p.1.
91
   Janet Street-Porter, ‘Purge the BBC with its obsession with youth and
ratings’, Independent, 1 November 1999, Review p.5.
92
   Editorial, ‘Mr Dyke must perform a difficult balancing act’, Independent, 4
April 2000, Review p.3.
93
   Tim Madge, Beyond the BBC, Macmillan, Basingstoke, 1989, pp.153-4.
94
   Michael Leapman, The Last Days of the Beeb, Allen and Unwin, London,
1986, pp.120-2.

                                                   278
       Consultants should be experts in the field. That is where you
       put your trust, your knowledge, in the hope that it will not be
       mis-used. I feel conned.”
                                                                          (a)       BBC manager 1999



BBC staff did not welcome the influx of management consultants. Hired by senior
managers, management consultants represented the authority BBC staff loved to hate.
       “Despite being a very senior correspondent, I never once had an exchange of views with a BBC Director
       General during my 20 years on the staff. Occasionally I would get advance notice that a McKinsey
       person would be calling to interview me, and I would then make a point of being out of the country.”
                                                                  BBC correspondent 1999

        “Under Birt, staff complained of being suffocated – by geek
       speak, by initiative after initiative, by men and women in suits
       with clipboards checking on what they were doing.”95

BBC staff, always reluctant to be administered, were determined not to be managed, and
management consultants became the focus of their discontent.
       “In the BBC, for example, when the notion of performance goals
       was introduced, there was an enormous and violent reaction by
       almost all of the production and broadcast units. How could one
       quantify the subtleties involved in producing costume dramas or
       news? Would these people who had fought so long for a high
       quality BBC lie down before modern management techniques
       which emphasised quantitative success over qualitative value?
       The story, in short, is that the BBC production and
       management cultures substantially resisted the introduction of
       performance goals.” 96

In a nice example of natural balance, the management consultants
who generated this discontent also offered the means by which
wayward and unruly staff could be brought into line. The
administrator’s power of persuasion was replaced by the manager’s
ability to control through fear.97
        “When you think of the careers [John Birt has] smashed up, all the talented and intelligent people
       whose lives have been just wrecked and made a misery, the people who have been neutralised or
       are now burnt-out cases, it’s like the Soviet Union under Stalin. He has absolute control, and he’s
       feared.”
                                                                          BBC manager 2001 98

95
   Chris Blackhurst, op.cit.
96
   Litwin, Bray and Brooke, op.cit., p.136.
97
   See Jane Robins, ‘Dyke’s epilogue for a BBC where even trailers had to be
approved by 17 people’, Independent, 1 April 2000, p.7.
98
   Quoted in Chris Blackhurst, op.cit.

                                                  279
According to one former BBC governor, “Creativity in sound and vision
doesn’t flourish in an atmosphere of despotism, coercion and fear.”99
        “Fear is more constricting than any BBC bureaucracy has ever
        been. In a large and complicated organisation, it puts a high
        premium on sycophancy and virtually rules out healthy
        criticism of the management …. The present management
        places no premium on genuine loyalty, only on the sort of
        loyalty which does not rock the boat.”100

Management consultants were used, quite deliberately, to terrorise
BBC staff. Consultants would often swoop without notice. The
following was sent to staff at BBC Worldwide at 9.57 am on Monday, 9
November 1998.
        “On Monday, 9th November, a team from AT Kearney will begin
        work on site at Woodlands. Their initial brief is to spend the
        next two to three week’s [sic] talking to selected people in the
        business to form an overall assessment of your problems and
        the barriers to Worldwide being more effective, growing more
        quickly and being more profitable.”101

The cultural clash between management consultants and BBC staff was almost palpable.
BBC staff tend to be educated in the Arts; they take pride in their power of logic, and –
perhaps above all – in their command of the language. Cynics insist they can identify
BBC managers who have attended management courses by the language they learn
there.102
        “I remember going on one course where the subject was
        ‘excellence’ and the chap held up a chart with the word
        ‘separate’ misspelt.”103
                                             BBC manager c.2000

Literacy and eloquence were insufficient for communication with
management consultants, who had their own logic and who seemed to
speak their own language. They were, however, perfect for protesting


99
   Baroness James, House of Lords Hansard, 3 March 1999, column 1680.
100
    Mark Tully as quoted in Michael Leapman, ‘Fear rules under Birt’s
revolution, Tully says’, Independent, 14 July 1993, p.3.
101
    Internal BBC e-mail.
102
    Barnett and Curry, op.cit., p.190.
103
    Jane Robins, ‘How to get educated at the BBC’s expense’, Independent,
22 February 2000, Review p.8.

                                          280
in the media, with which BBC staff tended to have close
connections.104 Though it would not have raised an eyebrow
elsewhere, an advertisement for a head of knowledge management in
the BBC was quite enough to prompt cynical comment in the press.105
Here, almost in limerick form, a management consultant unwittingly
discloses the culture gap between consultant and BBC staff:
      “An adventurous young personnel officer from the Midlands
      raised his voice in the midst of a de Bono brainstorming session
      on the nature of the BBC in its 1989 form. As his colleagues
      called out various analogies, the BBC having been likened to a
      medieval fair, an octopus, a pond, [a BBC manager] suggested:
      ‘The BBC is like a string vest. It appears to have a formal
      connective structure, but what really makes it work is what goes
      on between the lines.’”106

Like other organisations of its size, the BBC sent its managers on
training courses, sometimes to the most prestigious business schools.
The controller of BBC2 attended a six-week course at Wharton on
“how to communicate with one’s staff” at a cost of $36,000 in 2001.107
BBC sources insist that only 36 managers have attended the
advanced executive programmes of the major business schools since
1994, though 700 have been to Bradford Management Centre, of
whom 70 have completed the MBA there.108
      “The BBC offers its own MBA supported by Bradford University,
      under which management high-flyers are encouraged to develop
      marketing, business strategy and information technology skills
      essential to the demands of running a modern business.”109

The University of Bradford Management Centre has indeed run a
dedicated MBA for the BBC since 1993, intended, according to Birt, to
“enhance management skill within a creative institution”.110 The

104
    Steven Barnett, ‘Bashing the Beeb’, Guardian, 23 August 1999.
105
    Evening Standard, 4 March 1999, p.4.
106
    Litwin, Bray and Brooke, op.cit., p.198.
107
    ‘Word on the Street’, Independent, 30 January 2001, p.9.
108
    Bob Nelson, ‘Managing the BBC’, letter to Independent, 8 March 2000,
Review p.2.
109
    www.lineone.net/clubs/business/top_jobs/cad/carch03-d.html (accessed 9
August 2001).
110
    Quoted in Maggie Brown, ‘Corporate culture faces re-education’,

                                   281
University claims that 400 BBC managers have now passed through
either this or Bradford’s Diploma in Business Administration
course.111 Some 700 have been awarded the Executive MBA.112 The
Bradford Management Centre regards the training of BBC managers
and how this might differ from the training of other managers as
matters too delicate to discuss.


It is instructive to consider examples of just what management
consultants have been doing in the BBC. On one occasion, guided by
Black’s Flawless Consulting, “Elton Mayo’s classic advice” and the
science of system dynamics, “founded by Jay Forrester, inventor of the
memory for the digital computer”, consultants took BBC staff to ‘an
inn’ and blindfolded one of each pair before leading them into dinner
“under the stunned gaze of the genteel older couples enjoying
claret.”113 Such merry japes taught the importance of partnership.
One BBC employee recalls the quiz held at 8.30 every Monday
morning in the early 1990s to test familiarity with the BBC catalogue
(£5 for ordinary customers, £30 in leather for special ones). There
were also communal events, such as skiing trips and visits to health
farms, to encourage ‘team playing’. These and the vocabulary of the
management consultants – ‘blue skies’, ‘green field’, ‘level playing field’
– left her bemused and estranged: “They talked about multi-tasking –
whatever the hell that might mean.” To be sure, even when
consultants provide their own accounts of what they have been doing
in the BBC, all is less than clear.
      “Oakland undertook a rigorous analysis of key drivers and
      levers for cost and performance. Core processes were identified
      and mapped. An innovative and creative approach to
      improvement was adopted, bringing together changes in people,
      technology and processes. Delivery and support processes were
      appraised and simplified, current rules and assumptions

Independent, 12 January 1993, p.3.
111
    www.brad.ac.uk/acad/mamangement/corpmba/ (accessed 9 August 2001).
112
    www.careerworld.net/universities/Business%20Schools/Bradford.htm
(accessed 9 August 2001).
113
    Litwin, Bray and Brooke, op.cit., pp.207-10.

                                      282
       governing these processes were challenged and opportunities for
       radical re-engineering highlighted.”114

New managers, those not steeped in the BBC ethos, were less puzzled
than established staff by the consultants’ message. The BBC’s head of
corporate management development in the 1990s pleased consultants
with his recognition that change occurred in precisely twelve steps,
each one starting with the letter ‘C’.115 Thus inspired, he determined
to jerk BBC staff out of their complacency towards change.
       “Once again, [the consultants] found themselves in [the head of
       corporate management development’s] garden, this time looking
       at an industry competitive map and a pair of mountaineering
       boots. Pointing to the chart, [he] commented, ‘The BBC
       experience used to be like an elegant dinner party, but looking
       at our present situation, something quite different is required.”
       Accordingly, [he] wanted to train for combat. Abseiling was to be
       the means of increasing the capacity for risk.”116

Such an approach to change leaves no room for uncertainty and minimises
the importance of the individual. There is little role for creativity.
       “The ability to predict what will be affected by change in any one box is a very important aspect of the
       Burke-Litwin model. It certainly gives you an advantage in planning and managing change ….
       Interestingly, that was confirmed for me last week at a seminar at the London Business School.”
                                                                     BBC manager c.1995 117

With management consultants and management method, senior managers felt they could
rely on system to tell them what was going on in the organisation. The same Burke-
Litwin model allowed the top team to keep its finger on the BBC pulse.
       “The previous DG [director-general] was very involved in the
       operating climate of the various production units of the BBC. He
       did not have an overview, and trusted day-to-day management
       to his key subordinates. In contrast, I am suggesting that our
       present executive team focus on the upper-level boxes – the
       strategy, the culture and the leadership necessary to actually
       change the ongoing day-to-day practice, the management
       practices that are characteristic of the organization.”

114
    Advertisement, ‘Business transformation for BBC’, Independent, 1
February 2001, Feature p.17.
115
    The connoisseur will want to know that these are Clarity, Consistency,
Context, Colleagues, Champions, Communication, Commitment, Celebration,
Coalitions, Consequences, Cement and Courage. Litwin, Bray and Brooke,
op.cit., p.199.
116
    Litwin , Bray and Brooke, op.cit., p.211.
117
    Quoted in Litwin, Bray and Brooke, op.cit., p.259.

                                                    283
                                             BBC manager c.1995     118


The management methods recommended by consultants were often
taken to extremes. Producer Choice, devised with the assistance of
Coopers and Lybrand, Price Waterhouse, Ernst and Young, and
Kinsley Lord, and implemented by a steering group chaired by John
Birt, is the most notorious example.119 At LWT, whence Birt had come,
the internal market notion was taken seriously enough for each
manager to pay for office space out of budget.120 In the BBC,
according to Ernst and Young, it was not possible to determine even
what a programme cost to make.121 Burns had regarded McKinsey’s
system of delegated financial responsibility a quarter century earlier
as radical,122 but Producer Choice gave producers the freedom to
spend their programme budgets wherever they could get best value,
and threatened to swamp the organisation in transactions costs. Some
481 business units (and therefore 481 cost centres) in 1993 had to be
reduced to fewer than 200 the following year,123 and to fewer than 50
when Dyke took over in 2000.124 Under Producer Choice, buying a
music recording became cheaper than borrowing it from the BBC
Library,125 staying at the Waldorf cheaper for BBC night staff than
using the Corporation’s own bed and breakfast lodgings, and the BBC
wardrobe department had to sell some of its costumes only to buy
them back again.126 Mocking staff created a Producer Choice
mythology; a Sunday newspaper even offered a bottle of champagne



118
    Quoted in Litwin, Bray and Brooke, op.cit., pp.255-7.
119
    Oonagh McDonald, ‘Producer choice in the BBC’, Public Money and
Management, 15, 1, 1995, pp.47-51; Burrell and Curry, op.cit., p.185.
120
    Maggie Brown, ‘BBC to introduce ‘internal market’’, Independent, 28
August 1991, p.5.
121
    Hamish McRae, ‘A bad business at the Beeb’, Independent, 24 July 1991,
p.19; ‘Tuning in to the future’, Economist, 5 September 1992, p.27.
122
    Burns, op.cit., p.234.
123
    McDonald, op.cit.
124
    ‘Petal power’, Economist, 8 April 2001.
125
    Helen Gibson, ‘Remaking Auntie’, Time Europe, 17 April 2000.
126
    See ‘Costume drama’, Independent’, 23 June 1992, p.3.

                                   284
for the most ludicrous example of how Producer Choice was giving
value for money.127
      “The suffocating market bureaucracy of ‘Producer Choice’ has
      meant that the BBC’s radio drama directors/producers have to
      show due consideration for paying for the cost of even one
      editing razor blade. The same amount of paper work is
      expended in the ordering of an item of equipment costing one
      pound as commissioning an established writer to produce a
      script for five thousand pounds.”128

Producer Choice allowed some huge savings to be made, but often by
those outside the BBC as the Corporation sought to realise some value
for its underused assets on the open market. When the Meteorological
Office beat the BBC to the World Service TV contract for weather
reports, it then sub-contracted to the BBC to produce them at
marginal rather than actual cost – a 90% saving for WSTV. Even so,
Producer Choice was to be the foundation for a new, efficient BBC.
      “…. the licence fee payer wants assurance of value for money.
      The purpose of Producer Choice is to provide that
      assurance…..The viewer or listener wants quality without
      extravagance: not expensive perfectionism which is on the
      screen so fleetingly in the background that the audience cannot
      detect it; but rather the tradition of craft excellence which BBC
      production resource departments have built up through a
      combination of training, peer group professionalism, and
      producer expectation.”129

Such curious reasoning, combining as it does notions of value for
money with professionalism and craftsmanship, allowed the BBC to
claim that management consultants had saved the Corporation £590
million annually since 1993,130 that efficiency had increased without
loss of quality, and that creativity had not been curbed.131 Not


127
    Burrell and Curry, op.cit.,pp.187-8.
128
    Tim Crook, ‘International radio drama – Social, economic and literary
contexts’, p.14, www.irdp.co.uk/radiodrama.htm (accessed 2 August 2001).
129
    Michael Starks, ‘Producer choice in the BBC’ in Anthony Harrison (ed.),
From Hierarchy to Contract, Transaction Books, New Brunswick NJ, 1993, pp.
166-76.
130
    Ben Potter and Rebecca Barrow, ‘Protests as BBC spends £22m on
advisors’, Daily Telegraph, 7 August 1999, p.1.
131
    McDonald, op.cit.

                                   285
everyone agreed. Dismissing ‘quality’ as a weasel word, Nicholas
Garnham explored the damage that Producer Choice had inflicted on
creativity.
       “Whatever the financial saving, the cost of such a move has
       already produced a serious erosion of morale among the very
       creative talent needed to fulfil the BBC’s bright new purposes,
       coupled with a shift of decision-making power, in a very un-
       public service direction away from creative programme-makers
       and towards commissioning editors and cost accountants.”132

Ironically, morale was particularly undermined in Enterprises, the BBC’s commercial
arm, charged with making money for the BBC by selling its product. This entailed
funding the most commercially-promising ventures. Producers had often been tempted
to bypass Enterprises in their desperation for funding: now they were positively
encouraged to sell BBC resources cheaply in the open market.
       “It’s just possible because at the end of the day the boys down the road don’t give a monkey’s –
       the producers, they want to make their programme and they will get their money by hook or by
       crook. And they will do what I call short-term funding. So, if they have got a shortfall of £10,000,
       they will give benefits of maybe £50,000 just to make the £10,000.”
                                                                         BBC manager 1992

But internal market failure was not to be allowed to spoil the
elemental purity of Producer Choice. In Birt’s mind, Producer Choice
would quite obviously let producers be more creative by taking
resources from bureaucrats.


       “Producer choice will encourage rather than stifle creativity. The
       BBC has been a bureaucratic organisation where resources
       have been apportioned by administrators. Producer choice gives
       more power to programme makers.”133

In fact, Producer Choice succeeded where it was always meant to
succeed, in showing the government that the BBC was reducing its
costs. In fact, the BBC’s internal production costs had already been
significantly lower than external production costs.134

132
    Nicholas Garnham, ‘The future of the BBC’, Sight and Sound, 3, 2, 1993,
pp.26-28 (p.28).
133
    John Birt as quoted in Jonathan Miller, ‘Birt set to axe thousands in BBC
revolution’, Sunday Times, 6 September 1992, pp. 1, 16 (p.16).
134
    Dan Coffey, Peter Nolan, Richard Saundry and Malcolm Sawyer,
‘Regulatory change in the British television industry: Effects on productivity

                                                 286
In the context of the harsh managerialism within the BBC, the logic of
Producer Choice was not only that producers could fund creative
talent in the outside world, but also that the outside world was the
place where the BBC’s creative talent should be.135 Among those most
comfortable with the consultants were the many professional
managers who joined the BBC in the 1990s, often from industries
outside broadcasting: among the least comfortable were BBC old
hands, many of whom left.
       “Duke Hussey rang me last night to say he was sorry I was going, and could I tell him anything about
       why? And I said one of the major reasons is that I’m fed up to the back teeth with the constant streams
       of visions and initiatives and restructurings and performance reviews which come out of the BBC’s
       Corporate Centre and are imposed from it in a centralist way …. It feels regularly like we are living in a
       ludicrous crucible of management theory here, as kind of specimens. Someone will come up with
       another management theory which will be the BBC favourite in three months’ time, and lo and behold a
       whole set of rules will be passed down to implement it.”
                                                                    BBC manager 1996                  136


Managers who joined the BBC or remained were eager to welcome the change
initiatives being launched, and reluctant to acknowledge the virtues of established
systems, even when these were in tune with the latest management thinking. For
example, the BBC has long been an extraordinarily customer-centred organisation. For
many years, sections of the BBC’s annual reports have been concerned with consumer
satisfaction. Similarly, the BBC has long exploited the informal links crucial to the
efficient functioning of the modern network organisation. In the global media business,
where everyone talks to everyone else, such links are essential. These links may have
been damaged, even destroyed, in the desperation of BBC managers to change whatever
there was to change.
        “The trouble is that the creative leaders within the BBC have
       been marginalised. That is why the BBC now finds it so hard to
       recruit and retain good production talent. The power the
       creative staff once had has been usurped by legions of lawyers,
       accountants, business affairs executives, and policy unit
       apparatchiks. They are now the gate keepers of the BBC…. Most
       of these new gate keepers have no particular interest in the

and competition’ in Simon Deakin and Jonathan Michie (eds), Contracts, Co-
operation and Competition, OUP, Oxford, 1997, pp.85-104.
135
    Georgina Born, ‘Reflexivity and ambivalence: Culture, creativity ad
government in the BBC’, Cultural Values, forthcoming.
136
    Quoted in Born, op.cit., p.7.

                                                    287
      programmes. They apply to the production of television the
      same discipline they would apply to the production of biscuits.
      Most of them have taken up their posts in the last decade. Like
      the Hitler Youth they know of no other system. One day they
      may have to be de-Birtified.”137

Inside the BBC, the informal networks that had kept everyone
informed were assailed and often dismantled. They were replaced with
layers of formal structure, a process that Burns interpreted as the
consensus of Reith’s day being replaced first by an accommodation
between staff and management, and then by McKinsey’s intrusion of
management structure into the subtle network of relationships and
alliances that allowed the organisation to function.138 The social
contract between producers and the Corporation had been broken.139
      “Before we were organised functionally – people had jobs and
      they contacted people on the basis of that knowledge. Now,
      we’ve set up customer groups. We’ve divided our service into five
      major customer groups and within each group we’ve set up an
      overall account team, with an account director to basically
      manage that relationship. And within that account team we’ve
      got project or task groups whose main job it is to deliver some of
      the function activities.”
                                                 BBC manager c.1995
                                             140


      “When you have layers and layers of managers who are feeling
      threatened, one never knows quite what the message is that
      gets to the top. That’s the problem.”
                                               BBC manager 1992


BBC managers found themselves in circumstances in which those
who introduced change were rewarded and those who challenged
change were punished. They had no choice but to ignore the BBC’s
previous accomplishments and to replace existing practices with the
latest management methods from the latest management consultants.


137 Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, The James MacTaggart
Memorial Lecture, Edinburgh, 22 August 1997.
138
    Burns, op.cit., p.277.
139
    Burns, op.cit., p.290.
140
    Promotional material from the Opus management consultancy, n.d.

                                   288
       “Bear in mind that anyone who didn’t agree with John Birt tended not to last long at the BBC. These are
       the ones that survived and prospered.”
                                                                            BBC manager 2000 141

       “Anyone [critical] …. Was given short shrift by the BBC’s famously prickly bosses. They never
       argued their case, but merely asked allcomers: ‘Why do you so hate the BBC?’ They had ceased
       to be broadcasters and had become pre-Reformation cardinals.”142

However could such circumstances have arisen?



How Management Consultants Work

The management consultant is not simply an advisor, perhaps not even an advisor.
Because the client cannot know what it is he does not know and should know, the client
is ill-equipped to find and hire the consultant who does know what the client should
know and who will be able to tell him. And because the management consultant cannot
know what it is the client does not know (because the client cannot tell him), there is not
much the management consultant can do to compensate. There is a logical impasse. The
management consultant is very much better equipped to provide other services in
support of the manager. And while the organisation pays both manager and management
consultant, and may benefit indirectly and eventually from the efforts of the consultant, it
is the manager hiring the consultant who expects to benefit directly and immediately,
and whom the management consultant seeks to please.143 This alternative to the
conventional understanding of the management consultant’s role may throw some light
on the impact of management consultants on creativity in the BBC.


In the years since Hugh Greene, the importance of management as an activity had grown
enormously, and with it the importance of those who managed. The amateur manager,
guided by no more than years of experience in a single business, had been replaced by
the professional manager, educated in management and trained.144 The retreat of the


141
    Quoted in Tom Leonard, ‘Dyke sows the seeds for a caring BBC, Daily
Telegraph, 4 April 2000, p.4.
142
    Simon Jenkins, ‘Does the BBC need the Microsoft cure?’, Times, 5 April
2000, p.2.
143
    A. Huczynski, ‘Explaining the succession of management fads’,
International Journal of Human Resource Management, 4, 2, 1993, pp.443-
63; T. Clark and A. Salaman, ‘The management guru as organizational
witchdoctor’, Organization, 3, 1, 1996, pp.85-107.
144
    R.T. Pascale, Managing on the Edge, Simon and Schuster, New York,

                                                   289
administrator before this managerial onslaught was accompanied by growing
expectations of what these managers could do, and where they could do it. No longer
were managers and their methods confined to large firms in the private sector; they were
expected to work their magic in organisations everywhere.


With greater expectation came more and more management schools and management
texts and management gurus and management consultants, all offering to ease the
manager’s burden by telling the manager what to do. Fundamental to their endeavours is
the notion that management is not an individualistic enterprise, but rather a generic
activity that can be governed by certain procedures and practices. So great has been
demand for appropriate procedures and practices that the body of knowledge underlying
and supporting them has been relatively neglected. Management thinking is not
renowned for the critical approach familiar to BBC staff. Released from this constraint,
management method has proliferated, as indeed have management consultants.


Perhaps understandably, the prevailing management model is that espoused by
American management schools, a model that dominates UK business schools. Minor
schools, such as the Scandinavian, have made no headway against the US model, and
even Japanese models have been absorbed. The more global management has become,
the more the model has predominated, and dominated management consultancy. The
BBC’s consultants may not have been familiar with the BBC or even the media industry,
but they knew their own industry well. To question whether a model overwhelmingly
geared to American commercial values was totally appropriate for the BBC is to miss
the point; the model was totally appropriate for the BBC’s managers.


The manager, and especially the new manager, is expected to make an impact, to change
something. There is no interest in continuity, there are no courses on continuity
management, there are no continuity theories and no continuity consultants. Where
continuity threatens, managers appreciate that ‘disruptive intervention’ is required.
       “I think you need to be a bit like Trotsky. There has to be a permanent revolution. I mean, funnily
       enough, the revolutionaries of yesterday inevitably have turned into the conservatives of today.”
                                                                BBC manager c.2000 145


1990.
145
    Quoted in John Storey, ‘The management of innovation problem’,
International Journal of Innovation Management, 4, 3, 2000, pp.347-69

                                                 290
The change that is of interest to the modern manager is change attributable to the
manager and demonstrable within the manager’s tenure. This tenure is often brief, a
brevity enabled by the manager’s ability to apply managerial skills to any business. The
manager’s need to change goes some way towards explaining the wholesale churn in
management methods. The demand for something different is every bit as great as the
supply of new methods.146 In these circumstances, the relationship between the
management consultant and the manager who hires the consultant is critical. The
pressure on the manager to perform better than other managers encourages him to see
the consultant as a friend in a hostile world.147 The same pressures also encourage the
manager to seek help to increase the chances of things going right, and to blame if things
go wrong. The more managers hire consultants, the more other managers have to hire
consultants if they are to win support for their changes, and to protect themselves against
the consultants of other managers. But the more managers resort to management
consultants, the more dependent they become on their services, perhaps until they are
quite incapable of managing for themselves.148 Aspects of this syndrome seem to be
evident in the recent history of the BBC and may help explain the impact of management
consultants on the Corporation’s creativity. Just before his resignation, one of the most
senior of BBC managers looked back on this remorseless growth in dependency.
       “There was a school of thought that the BBC should just be a creative organisation, but it also has
       to be managed. We have been trying to turn the place into an organised business….. You had an
       organisation where there was very little culture of management at all. Very few people came in
       from the outside. There was no cadre of experienced management at all. The BBC had to become
       much more efficient and it inevitably turned to management consultants for help and advice…..
       We became highly dependent on management consultants and tended to do it in a textbook way.”
                                                              BBC manager 1999
If ever a manager seemed to rely on the reassuring company of
management consultants, John Birt did.149 When Birt took on the
director-generalship, his consultants were in attendance: “…. John
[Birt] came to discuss his future plans. It was all drawn up on a chart,


(p.361).
146
    E. Abrahamson, ‘Management fashion’, Academy of Management Review,
21, 1, 1996, pp.254-85.
147
    B. Jackson, ‘Re-engineering the sense of self: The manager and the
management guru’, Journal of Management Studies, 33, 5, 1996, pp.571-90.
148
    A. Sturdy, ‘The consultancy process – An insecure business?, Journal of
Management Studies, 34, 3, 1997, pp.389-413; A. Sturdy, ‘The dialectics of
consultancy’, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 8, 1997, pp.511-35.
149
    Barnett and Curry, op.cit., pp.242-3.

                                                 291
I suspected by McKinsey.”150 Senior managers described his
relationship with individual McKinsey consultants – not with
McKinsey and Company – as “very close and trusting”.151 Even the
consultants he hired perceived his isolation:
      “In the case of John Birt, there was little enrolment into the
      purpose and direction the BBC would take. A small group of
      executives and consultants met with Birt to formulate these
      plans, and while this group was talented, it was certainly not
      representative of all the constituencies that existed within the
      BBC.”152

According to the BBC’s chairman, who appointed him, Birt was
difficult, dogmatic, tactless, unpopular within the BBC,153 and “utterly
unable to relate to his colleagues and take any criticism”154
Predictably, the more Birt’s ability to manage was questioned,155 the
more dependent on management consultants he seems to have
become.
      “To a large section of the population, Birt has come to represent
      much of what is wrong with British management. They see him
      as a robot (he can’t help being tall and thin and grey with
      glasses), as a stifler of enterprise, a technocrat, not a creator.”156

While the traditional struggle between creative staff and the
administration could pass for creative tension, the struggle between
creative staff and the new guard of managers, reinforced by
inexhaustible battalions of management consultants, could not. The
fear and mistrust which separated middle managers from senior
managers rapidly developed into a loathing of those who were
powerful enough to hire their own management consultants by those


150
    Hussey, ‘The truth about the Beeb’, Sunday Times, 4 November 20012,
News Review, p.2.
151
    Interview with senior BBC manager, September 1999.
152
    Litwin, Bray and Brooke, op.cit., p.146.
153
    Hussey, ‘The truth about the Beeb’, Sunday Times, 4 November 20012,
News Review, pp.1-2.
154
    Terri Judd, ‘I should have sacked John Birt for his failure at the BBC,
admits Hussey’, Independent, 29 October 2001, p.13.
155
    See Economist, 30 August 1997.
156
    Blackhurst, op.cit.

                                     292
who were not. The distinction was critical; a manager’s very survival
could depend on the support of his management consultant.157
       “…. [as consultants] we talked to …. the managing director of
       the Resources Directorate at the BBC, and he said to us in
       confidence, ‘What I really want you to do is help me create a
       system that looks enough like that thing that was submitted to
       the board of management so I won’t be caught for being deviant,
       but that can really work for me’.”158

The more desperate the competition among managers became, the
more vital it was that management consultants served the interests of
the managers who hired them. Consultants assured one BBC
manager that reliance on the Burke-Litwin model159 would make him
“confidante of the CEO or business leader”160 Those with their own
management consultants flaunted their superiority and invulnerability
by making their consultants and the methods they advocated as
prominent as possible.
       “The first time we saw [the new head of marketing] was six weeks after he arrived and he produced a
       flipchart explaining the whole organisation, the whole new shebang …. Quite honestly, I did not know
       what [his consultants] were talking about …. I asked why we needed consultants and remember three or
       four people staring at me as if I had two heads.”
                                                                         BBC manager 1992

Because consultants must always have less experience of an organisation than its
employees and must move on to jobs in other organisations, they cannot, any more than
the modern mobile manager, perceive change as specific to any one organisation. They
must purvey change as process capable of being mastered by system. They then provide
the system.
       “In an era where there is too little professional attention to the
       processes of managing change, one should give credit to those
       like [a specific BBC manager] who bring a rational set of tools to
       the table, and apply those tools in diagnosis, planning and in
       taking appropriate action …. Managers of change should be
       educated in thoroughly scientific processes. That is, people
       being trained for such rules would learn to gather and analyse
       data for trends and patterns. They would learn to interpret
157
    ‘Petal power’, Economist, 8 April 2000; A. Sturdy, ‘The consultancy
process – An insecure business?, Journal of Management Studies, 34, 3,
1997, pp.389-413.
158
    Litwin, Bray and Brooke, op.cit., p.142.
159
    Litwin, Bray and Brooke, op.cit., p.264.
160
    Litwin, Bray and Brooke, op.cit., pp.199, 264.

                                                 293
         current theories and postulates regarding the management of
         change, and be capable of putting these theories and postulates
         to work in any given situation.”161

It is the supremacy of system that will allow John Birt to apply his
years of management experience at the BBC to the writing of a
management manual to guide other managers in other
organisations.162


The most memorable accounts of consultants in the BBC are those
that portray them as idiots and charlatans. But an idiot makes an
unimpressive charlatan, and BBC staff could hardly have been in a
better position to expose fraudsters. They certainly tried, but the
rewards of management consultancy attract the talented as much as
the challenges deter the feeble-minded. Many management
consultants are very clever people, certainly intelligent enough to
realise that much, though not all, of what they do and say is just plain
silly.
         “We do have a model. I tend to steer away from it. Other
         consultants use their models as hatstands. A lot of them are
         just bollocks.”
(1)      Management consultant 1998
         “I wonder if [other consultants] believe it – what is said about
         organisational change.”
(1)      Management consultant 1998
         “It’s all emperor’s new clothes. It’s a con trick.”
(1)      Management consultant 1999
It is not just that management consultants can get away with supplying nonsense; there is
actually a positive demand for nonsense from managers caught up in the cycle of
dependency and desperation that describes the relationship between the management
consultant and the hiring manager. Take something as basic as the mission statement: the
BBC’s mission statement was criticised for being vacuous.
         “The front of the document The BBC Beyond 2000 contains a
         mission statement which is an example to everybody of what a



161
   Litwin, Bray and Brooke, op.cit., p.265.
162
   Jojo Moyes, ‘Sergeant to ‘spill the beans’ in memoir of BBC years’,
Independent, 25 March 2000, p.8; ‘Last of the Birtists’, Guardian, 28 January
2000.

                                          294
       mission statement should not be. It is a lot of guff, motherhood
       and apple pie.”163

This is altogether to miss the point: a vacuous mission statement fulfils the requirements
of the hiring manager perfectly. The value to a manager of a mission statement (or a
management consultant, for that matter) lies in having it rather than in what it says. This
the able consultant understands full well.
       “They’re all interchangeable. I’ve done it many times – I put up
       the competitor’s mission statement on an overhead and get
       everyone to agree that it’s theirs. I can always get them to adopt
       pretty much whatever I put up there. They’re all so anodyne. I
       think the same consultant writes all of them.”164

BBC staff, and many outside the Corporation, were often outraged
that the BBC’s consultants simply regurgitated what they had been
told, that they recommended what managers wanted them to
recommend.165 This is also to miss the point: the value of the
management consultant to the hiring manager lies less in what the
consultant recommends than in that he recommends. The consultant
lends authority, and with it – as Burns noted in 1973 in relation to
McKinsey – the nerve to be ruthless.166



The BBC now sails in calmer waters under a new director-general, one
who, on his very first day in office, slashed the consultancy budget by
£10 million a year167 (in fact, this decision had been taken politically
while Birt was still director-general168), and issued an edict against his
own set of managerial ‘C’s – cars, consultants and croissants.169
Cutting out cabs and croissants apparently saved £4-£5 million,


163
    Lord Lucas, House of Lords Hansard, 3 March 1999, col.1703.
164
    Gary Hamel as quoted in Anne French, ‘Creating heretical companies: An
interview with Gary Hamel’, New Zealand Strategic Management Society Inc.
Journal, 1, 3, 1995.
165
    E.g., ‘Media news’, Private Eye, 16 June 1995, p.11.
166
    Burns, op.cit., p.255.
167
    Tim Dams, ‘BBC producers to get output quotas’, Broadcast, 4 February
2000, p.5.
168
    Interview with senior BBC manager, September 1999.
169
    Blackhurst, op.cit.

                                             295
consultants some £16-£17 million.170 But how interesting that the self
indulgence that had for so long typified the inefficiency of the BBC,
that had been so vilified in the quest for value for money, seems to
have survived and prospered in the upper echelons of the efficient,
managed BBC.171 Senior managers must be rewarded for their
performance or (so the argument goes) they will take their talents
elsewhere. The more they are seen to be rewarded, the more it can be
assumed they are doing a job worthy of the reward.
      “That’s incredibly sad about the BBC now: the fact that everything has become completely ‘expense
      account’ …. We could never take people out to lunch unless we’d cleared it for more than five pounds.
      So you could buy a writer a sandwich and a beer in the Bush and that was it. And suddenly, in the last
      three years, the spend has rocketed on non-programme stuff. It’s absolutely shameful, the level of
      expense accounts, taxis … I had a day trip to Cannes.”
                                                                 BBC manager 1996                 172


This does not mean that the BBC has seen the last of management
consultants. Even Greg Dyke has his personal guru, plucked from
Henley Management College to become the BBC’s director of human
resources and legal affairs.173 And Dyke himself attended a Harvard
course on leadership at a cost of £3,500 before taking on the director-
general job.174 It does mean that the previous management of the BBC
was so despised that, at least for the moment, any alternative at all is
welcome. Most popular of all, though, is the promise to rid the BBC of
many of its management consultants and their management methods.
      “We have too many systems and processes that drive us all
      nuts. We’ve made this a more complicated business than it
      is.”175




170
    Adam Sherwin, ‘Dyke to axe 750 more jobs at BBC’, Times, 5 February
2001.
171
    See the description of John Birt’s leaving party in House of Commons
Hansard, 29 October 1999, col.1238.
172
    Quoted in Born, op.cit.,p.17.
173
    Jane Robins, ‘Dyke attacks culture of ‘overmanaged, underled’ BBC’,
Independent, 1 April 2000, p.7.
174
    Jane Robins, ‘How to get educated at the BBC’s expense’, Independent,
22 February 2000, Review p.8.
175
    Greg Dyke as quoted in Jane Robins, ‘Dyke attacks Birt culture of

                                                  296
Control and Creativity

Control is fundamental to the manager. There is no point making decisions if there is no
assurance that the decisions will be carried out. But the control of the dictator is clearly
inimical to the freedom of expression fundamental to creativity, a point that Greg Dyke
seems eager to make.176 There is, then, another trade-off, analogous and complementary
to that between efficiency and flexibility, this one between control and freedom. The
further the manager veers towards freedom, the more the manager must trust employees
to act as he would want them to act. But why should the manager want employees to be
creative if the manager reaps no reward for their creativity? And why should employees
be creative if they are not to be rewarded for their creativity? In both cases, creativity
requires ‘intrinsic motivation’.177 This is professionalism, by which is meant the
proclivity to act towards a greater good, a proclivity that should be inherent in public
service broadcasting.178 A degree of professionalism in the BBC survived the changes
Burns noted between 1963 and the mid-‘seventies.179 It may not have survived the more
recent onslaught of management consultants. Management consultants have an uneasy
relationship with professionalism.
       “The MBA candidates at the top business schools, particularly the Harvard Business School,
       found Marvin Bower’s conception of a ‘professional’ career very attractive. In carefully crafted
       recruiting materials aimed at MBA candidates, Bower and his partners stressed McKinsey &
       Company’s unique ‘personality’ and the similarity between the graduate training at the Harvard
       Business School in the case method and the real-world skills necessary to solve corporate
       problems. If students did not initially find the intellectual and professional challenge enough,
       Bower was quite explicit about the potential financial rewards…”180



While management consultants are desperately anxious to be
regarded as professionals,181 they do not want the regulation and the



‘overmanaged, underled’ BBC’, Independent, 1 April 2000, p.7.
176
    Louise Jury, ‘Dyke vision’, Independent, 8 February 2002, Review p.1.
177
    Teresa Amabile, ‘How to kill creativity’, Harvard Business Review,
September-October 1998, pp.77-87.
178
    See T.J. Nossiter, ‘British television: A mixed economy’ in Home Office,
Research on the Range and Quality of Broadcasting Services, HMSO,
January 1986, pp.1-71.
179
    Tom Burns, Description, Explanation and Understanding, Edinburgh
University Press, Edinburgh, 1995, pp.232-3.
180
    Christopher McKenna, The World’s Newest Profession: Management
Consulting in the Twentieth Century, OUP, Oxford, forthcoming.
181
    R. Trapp, ‘Consultants must adjust their sets’, Independent, 29 August
1999, Business section p.5.

                                               297
liability that accompanies professionalism.182 Professionalism also
conflicts with the control systems of all but the smallest
consultancies. These must be extraordinarily tight so that new
consultants can develop and apply no intellectual property of their
own that might dilute the purity of the brand, or that they might take
to rival firms. The management consultant has suffered the
‘proletarianisation’ of other professionals who have become employees
and have bent to the dictates of managerial control.183 So,
professionalism for the management consultant consists of little more
than doing what the consultant considers a decent job in a decent sort
of way.



Modern managers also have their own understanding of
professionalism. Managers relate the control they seek to what they
have come to regard as their professional status. The consequence is
that the very professionalism that might have tolerated some freedom
of action in employees, granted parole to their entrepreneurial spirit,
is seen as a threat to the manager’s own professionalism, and hence
to his control. In 1977, Burns noted that “Keeping a watchful eye for
extravagance and waste is not a significant item in the code of
professionalism; it is for management.”184 The imperative for a public
service broadcaster to save money is as strong as ever, but managers
now see themselves as professionals too. They occupy a schizophrenic
position in which they use the need to prevent extravagance to help


182
    See Jacqueline Kam, Selling Professionalism. The Management
Consultancy Industry, MBA dissertation, Management School, University of
Sheffield, 2001; Mats Alvesson and Anders Johansson, ‘Professionalism and
politics in management consultancy work’, in Timothy Clark and Robin
Fincham (eds.), Critical Consulting. New Perspectives on the Management
Advice Industry, Blackwell, Oxford, 2002, pp.228-46.
183
    Raymond Murphy, ‘Proletarianization or bureaucratization: The fall of the
professional?’ in Rolf Torstendahl and Michael Burrage (eds), The Formation
of Professions. Knowledge, State and Strategy, Sage, London, 1990, pp.71-
96.
184
    Burns, op.cit., p.271.

                                     298
justify the need to control, and indulge in extravagance themselves to
demonstrate their entitlement to control.



Birt had castigated the BBC as a Byzantine court in which no one
knew or cared about costs.185 The over-riding aim was to increase
efficiency by reducing costs. Yet, a decade of intensive management
consultancy resulted in more bureaucracy than ever.186 It may well be
that organisations have to sacrifice some efficiency in order to be
creative. Bureaucracy may be linked to professionalism and thence to
creativity through inefficiency.
      “Successful bureaucracies …. Provide skills training and
      socialization into craft or professional standards. Professionals
      within a bureaucratic setting will combine a primary duty to
      their professional body with a career path, which serves to
      increase the sense of affiliation with the organisation and to
      further limit opportunistic behaviour.”187

Indeed, the principle of allowing staff space, time and even budget to
do what they think is important is well established in the management
of innovation. For instance, some 15% or so of the research budget of
Europe’s largest pharmaceutical firms is given over to such
uncontrolled activity.188


Tom Burns declared that one of the greatest changes to have occurred
in the BBC between 1963 and 1977 was the decline in the personal
involvement of BBC staff, of trust and shared ethic, and tacit
understanding. In 1963, staff had spoken of working in the BBC: in
1977, people spoke of working for the BBC.189 By the 1990s, the


185
    Wegg-Prosser, op.cit.
186
    John Naughton, ‘The Beeb isn’t dead yet – and it has a trick up its sleeve’,
Independent, 16 June 2000, Supplement p.13.
187
    Chris Burke and Andrew Goddard, ‘Internal markets – The road to
inefficiency?’ Public Administration, 68, 1990, pp.389-96 (p.394).
188
    Peter Augsdorfer, Forbidden Fruit. An Analysis of Bootlegging, Uncertainty
and Learning in Corporate R&D, Avebury, Aldershot, 1996.
189
    Tom Burns, Description, Explanation and Understanding, Edinburgh
University Press, Edinburgh, 1995, p.15.

                                      299
breakdown in trust had necessitated an audit explosion with all its
associated expenses in terms of staff time and effort.190 In the
opportunity the BBC gave Burns for reflection, he concluded that one
of the most valuable of his interviews from the 1960s had been that of
a senior official in the personnel side of administration.
       “’My job is to encourage attitudes which will pull out of the staff more than you could
       justify by any criteria which exist, say, in the business world …. What you have in mind
       …. Is to get the best out of people. This is an increment you don’t pay for’ (later on he
       went so far as to say that it was ‘something management isn’t entitled to’) ‘and
       because of that, it is invaluable.’”

                                                          BBC manager c.1963              191


And perhaps this explains rather nicely the impact of management consultants on
creativity in the BBC. Their influence has been felt in the BBC for many years; the
excesses of the Birt years simply made it more apparent. They have exploited
management method, and have been exploited by the BBC’s senior managers, to ensure
that the BBC gets everything from its staff to which it is entitled – and absolutely
nothing more.




190
   See Michael Power, The Audit Explosion, Demos, London, 1994.
191
   Quoted in Tom Burns, Description, Explanation and Understanding,
Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 1995, p.19.

                                              300
A Case Study: Images and Influences of Situation Drama

Stefan Meisiek



Stockholm School of Economics
Management & Organization (A)
P.O. Box 6501
11393 Stockholm
+46-8-736 94 93
stefan.meisiek@hhs.se



The term “Situation Drama” describes a change management practice, involving the use
of theatrical techniques to promote and support organizational change in various forms.
It is used to create an awareness of problems and to stimulate a readiness for change.


Over the past decade a practice has been developing in change

management particularly in Europe and Canada that makes use of

theatrical performances for its own purposes. Companies like “Théâtre

à la Carte” in Canada and France, “Transisco” in Germany, "Dakapo"

in Denmark or “Improvia” in Sweden are increasing in demand among

public organizations and corporations. Each one of the companies is

using different theatre techniques and theories.



Plays are staged before organizational audiences, and are designed to

address problems of organizations. Quality management, customer

orientation, and post-merger problems are some examples for

situation drama themes. Often the plays are written especially for the

organization concerned and address its specific problems at the time.

In such cases, an observer visits the organization for a certain period


                                             - 297 -
to study various elements of its organizational culture such as

artifacts or language. These elements are then woven into the play

with a view to making it more credible to the audience. Another

practice is to involve members of the audience in the play, either by

making them become part of it at a preceding theatre workshop, or by

asking them to intervene in the play spontaneously whenever they feel

they would like to change the plot in favour of their own ideas. The

thought behind this is that the active participation facilitates the

learning of roles and taking action in “real life”.



Unlike the earlier use of theatrical techniques in organizations the

goal is not entertainment for special occasions such as Christmas

parties. Management buys the situation drama as a means of exerting

influence. Management determines the topics and the dramatic form.

It is not uncommon that a dress rehearsal is held in front of members

of management before the piece is played to its predefined audience.

Thus attendance at the play or taking part in it are not voluntary. The

audience is there in working hours.



Until now researcher working in this field have developed a few

typologies of situation drama. The possible effects of situation drama

in organizations have been addressed in several works. Also, a few

case studies of employed situation drama have been presented in the

literature. However, research has so far neglected that each provider

of situation drama is offering a range of theatrical techniques and


                                    302
plays. Also, even though some might use apparently the same

theatrical techniques, they might vary in the ideological and

theoretical underpinning, which would have influences on how the

plays are presented. In short, not only the type of theatrical

presentation and the possible reception by the organizational

audience matter, but also the providing theatre company cannot be

left out of the picture to understand situation drama.



To fill this research gap, this paper moves the focus of attention form

the target organizations and the individual plays towards the

organizations that provide situation dramas. In a case study of a

Swedish situation drama provider the theoretical and theatrical

background of the company is illuminated. Empirical material are

interviews with employees, scripts of the basic plays that are provided

to clients, company brochures and two books written by the company

CEO.



The theoretical basis for the analysis is the up to now sparse literature

on situation drama, theories on organizational change, and the

literature on everyday sociology. The paper demonstrates how the

company constructs itself, its goals and its mission, and how it relates

to and views the client organizations and the problems it hopes to

solve for the client organizations. This in turn allows seeing the

providing companies as embedded in the change management process




                                   303
and gives ideas on how situation drama and its techniques can be

viewed conceptually as an approach in change management.




                                304
Evocative and heuristic insights from a drumming circle: a
powerful learning activity for management students

Sarah Moore and Ann Marie Ryan

                                    Sarah Moore
   Centre for Teaching and Learning and Dept of Personnel and Employment Relations,
                                 University of Limerick

                                   Ann Marie Ryan
                Dept of Management and Marketing, University of Limerick




ABSTRACT



This paper describes a classroom experience in which students learned to participate in a
‘drumming circle’ as a way of exploring important emotional and behavioural concepts
associated with management and organisational education. A classroom-based ‘drumming
circle experience’ is described and the initial rationale for this learning intervention is
explained. 26 students participated in this interaction which was led by a skilled drumming
teacher. 17 detailed qualitative learning accounts were returned. These written student
reactions have been categorised and analysed from a general learning perspective as well as
focusing more explicitly on the value of this activity from the point of view of management
and organisational education. The analysis explores how unconventional classroom
experiences can have powerful learning effects both at a cognitive and an emotional level.




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EVOCATIVE AND HEURISTIC INSIGHTS FROM A DRUMMING CIRCLE: A
POWERFUL LEARNING ACTIVITY FOR MANAGEMENT STUDENTS

                                  INTRODUCTION
This paper describes how an unconventional experiential classroom intervention gave rise to
a variety of learning insights and experiences at a level that might otherwise have been
difficult to achieve. The discussion includes a brief background to some important changes
in management and educational thinking, a review of the use of non-literal devices as
management educational tools and an outline of the cultural context from which the concept
of the drumming circle emanates. A detailed description of introducing the drumming circle
to a third level student group is provided. Data gathered from participants provides
qualitative reactions to the learning experience and are presented and analysed. Finally, the
results are discussed and explored, demonstrating how the unique power of physical rhythm
and the development of drumming competencies in a group setting can give rise to an
effective learning in a third level management education setting.


       DEVELOPMENTS IN EDUCATION AND MANAGEMENT STUDIES
New themes and ideas have begun to gain a stronger voice in both education and
management studies. For some time, dialogue in management theory has tended to shift
from a rationalistic machine metaphor based on Newtonian ideas to a more dynamic
interconnected view that corresponds to insights gleaned from quantum physics, complexity
theory, behavioural science and living systems (Allee 1999). With this dynamic systems
view of the world, comes the concept of open learning environments that are based on
communications and collaboration. In line with these developments, many new themes and
ideas are starting to gain a foothold in managerial rhetoric, professional development and
practice. The popularisation of the concept of ‘emotional intelligence’ (e.g. Goleman 1996)
has for example, legitimised a more concentrated focus on understanding process-related
issues associated with group dynamics, interpersonal communication and group
cohesiveness in organisational settings. Over the last two decades, the role of higher
education in facilitating learning has been bestowed with some important reminders. For
example, Bigelow (1983) highlights a direct link between university classroom settings and
problems faced by business graduates on entering the workplace. Passivity, individualism


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and an emphasis on intellectual competence have been traditional features of third level
learning environments, which do not equip students with managerial aptitudes including the
ability to engage and collaborate actively with others. We exist in a world of ‘radical
unknowability’ (Barnett 1997), and in this context our third level learning environments
need to incorporate a range of values including ‘bravery, strength, commitment, freedom
and openness’ (Curzon-Hobson, 2002, p183). This implies an active learning context in
which the concept of dialogue and potentiality are central themes. It also invites teachers to
create unconventional ways to help their students to learn and to aim for learning outcomes
through active engagement with a wide range of possible knowledge frameworks.
The emphasis of the learning intervention described in this paper is on achieving shared
organisational insights through a collective learning experience. This type of engagement
can be achieved in many ways, but we argue that the specific intervention described here
demonstrates a resonant and complex way of exploring some of the central themes
associated with organisational and managerial dynamics. Furthermore, we believe that the
nature of the experience itself can generate emotional depth within a learning group as well
as acting as a symbolic trigger for comparing and contrasting with other group experiences.

      THE USE OF METAPHOR AND OTHER NON-LITERAL DEVICES IN
                             MANAGEMENT EDUCATION
The use of metaphor and other non-literal devices have always been an implicit part of
teaching. Inspiring and effective teachers innately tend to use that which is familiar to
students, to help them to understand new ideas or to make connections with less familiar
territory. Indeed the use of the familiar to explore the unfamiliar, has often been cited as the
very essence of metaphor (e.g. Ortony, 1975).
In addition, since Gareth Morgan’s (1986) arguments about the power of using different
‘images of organisation’, it has not been unusual for management educators to refer
explicitly to the use of metaphors in teaching. It has been argued that the use of metaphors in
learning and business facilitates various dimensions of learning by accelerating the learning
process, by elaborating or magnifying certain aspects of a concept or (most commonly) by
simplifying or clarifying something complex using ‘reachable’ ideas to gain insights into
those which might otherwise be inaccessible.
The problems associated with applying metaphors have been identified as those relating to


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over simplification, distortion, or inappropriate application (e.g. Trice and Beyer, 1993).
Moreover, many of the documented management learning metaphors risk being inaccessible
themselves, thus running the risk of exposing learners to two unfamiliar arenas whose links
and connections they are expected to explore. This is a criticism of Morgan’s ‘Images of
organisation’ where concepts such as ‘instruments of domination’ or ‘organisms’ are used to
‘explain’ different aspects of organisations without an explicit recognition that such
metaphorical concepts depend heavily on the student sharing the same understanding of
these concepts as the teacher (Beyer, 1992).
While the use of metaphors may indeed facilitate reflecting on organisations in different
ways, (for example giving insights into group dynamics, diversity and leadership), a lack of
first-hand experience on the part of most learners may give rise to a somewhat brittle
understanding of the very concepts such metaphors were designed to elucidate. This can
have an alienating effect in learning environments, and is arguably more likely to do this to
those already on the margins of conventional learning contexts. An example of how
metaphors can block rather than facilitate learning is outlined by Tannen (1994) who argues
that in organisational environments, gendered metaphors can have an alienating effect. ‘The
very language spoken [in organisations] is often based on metaphors from sports or from
the military, terms that are just idioms to many women, not references to worlds they have
either inhabited or observed’ (1994, p121).
In a more recent commentary, Oswick, Keenoy and Grant (2002) have questioned the
current status that metaphor has developed in the context of organisational science and
education. While recognising the usefulness of metaphor in the fortification and
enhancement of knowledge, they argue that there are other tropes such as anomaly, paradox
and irony, which might complement the use of metaphors by placing learners outside their
‘cognitive comfort zones’ in order to help them gain deeper, more complex insights about
the phenomena they are attempting to understand.
This paper explores how metaphor can help to gain learning insights by bringing an
unfamiliar experience to bear on our understanding of already familiar ideas thereby helping
to create a deeper understanding of something that is already known. We show that instead
of being ‘compact ways to convey complicated ideas’ (Beyer 1992, p. 468) metaphors in the
classroom can help to disentangle compact concepts and uncover new layers of meaning to



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apparently simple ideas like teamwork, listening and group dynamics. In addition, we show
how features of the experience help to avoid alienation and be both inclusive and
participatory. Instead of a linguistic or explanatory device the drumming circle described
here can represent an active encounter through which a wealth of emotional and cognitive
insights may be gained.

  THE USE OF DRUMMING, RHYTHM AND PERCUSSION IN EDUCATION
                  AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Drumming and percussion workshops are becoming very popular in the provision of
business skills education, training and development. Drumming circles have been used as
experiential interventions among many differing groups such as management teams, special
needs groups, gender specific groups and in teaching (e.g. Hull ( 1998 ) and Friedman
(2000) ). Within a drumming circle, participants encounter a group activity which can help
them to gain insights about group dynamics in general as well as to experience in an
immediate and intimate way, how a group gains collective rhythmic skills in a relatively
short period of time. As with many group-based experiential activities in classroom settings,
the drumming circle experience affords the opportunity to develop a shared set of
experiences which facilitate insights into a variety of management and organisational
concepts such as leadership skills, communication, group dynamics, stress management,
team performance and collective learning.
The drumming circle experience described in this analysis is part of a specific drumming
facilitation style devised and developed by John Bowker of Tribal Spirit Drumming ©. It is
similar in content to Village Music workshops facilitated by Arthur Hull in the USA.
An important element within this is the understanding of the context from which the
drumming stems. All rhythms explored come from the community/tribal teachings of
Africa, and North and South America. Teachings are based on a deep respect for these
cultures, where efforts are made to adapt important lessons into a western context. The
philosophical approach is one of access, where it is believed that everyone has innate
rhythm that can be accessed. The activity of drumming is not then about perfection or the
performance of music but more about accessing tools to gain deeper insights into ourselves
and the communities within which we work. Later in this paper we will discuss how some
of the metaphorical insights associated with drumming developed in African communities


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are also reflected in the classroom experience described here. Reference to the work of
Chernoff (1979) offer a useful vocabulary in order to help articulate the context of African
music in African society and how insights gained can be integrated into our understanding
of Western society, culture and organisation. The following section outlines how the
rhythmic skills and insights were used as part of the classroom based drumming circle that is
the focus of this paper.


                                    METHODOLOGY
This section provides a detailed description of the classroom intervention, and a brief outline
of the methods used to gather data generated by the participants’ experience.

The classroom intervention
Students involved were those enrolled on a module entitled ‘the psychology of strategic
decision making and change’ as part of a Masters Programme in Human Resource
Management offered by the Department of Personnel and Employment Relations at the
University of Limerick. A total of 26 students participated in the learning intervention. The
week before all participating students had been informed that their next session would be an
active experiential exercise on which they would later be invited to respond with written
reflections.
A teacher/facilitator skilled in drumming techniques and teaching led the session with help
from a co-facilitator. On entering the room the participants were faced with a collection of
drums and chairs placed in a circle. Participants were asked to take a seat and choose the
drum that they would like to use in the workshop. The facilitator then introduced the
workshop and produced the “talking stick”, a Native American tradition that allows the
stick bearer the opportunity to speak while the other members listen. The facilitator then
posed a number of questions to the group, stressing the point that one did not have to answer
the particular questions posed, or indeed to answer at all. The facilitator asked the students
to introduce themselves, to tell the class where they were from, how they were feeling at that
moment, and what they hoped to get from the exercise. Before the participants began to use
the drum , the facilitator asked the group to clap their hands, where within moments the
group began to clap in unison. The facilitator then asked the group firstly to tense their
hands, and then to loosen them, highlighting the difference between the two sounds created.


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This exercise brought forward two lessons, firstly that the group had the ability to work in
harmony and that they therefore have a ‘sense of rhythm’, and that a more relaxed approach
creates a richer sound.
The second element presented was to get to know the drum, where the facilitator brought the
participants through the basic notes or sounds that were to be used for the rest of the
workshop, this included a rim sound (high) and a base sound (low), the students then
practiced these sounds in a follow-the-leader exercise, where the facilitator moved from rim
to base, and participants followed the facilitators movements. This initial exercise had the
primary purpose of technique introduction, but also allowed for the ice to be broken.
The group was then introduced to a number of basic Yoruba rhythms that are usually taught
to drumming students from an early age in Nigeria, thus allowing the creation of sound
together on the drum. Up to six of these basic rhythms were introduced, where the facilitator
moved from one to the other without pausing. This introduction was designed to help
students to feel more comfortable with a basic rhythm, and to develop or engage with their
own sense of timing and rhythm.
The main objective of the workshop was to bring the group to a point where there are able to
attempt a complex polyrhythm. A polyrhythm is a term widely used in the tribal music of
Africa, and South America, where the rhythm becomes a collection of layers that are
interwoven between the base, lead rhythm, counter rhythm and light percussion (bells etc).
The power of the drum circle lies in the fact that, through the skill of the drum leader, the
group can quickly access the skills required to play a complex rhythm together.
In order to reach this point the group was introduced to three parts or aspects of the
polyrhythm; the base (seen in many African cultures as symbolic of the earth or female
aspect), the lead (again symbolic of the element air, or male aspect), and the counter-rhythm
(symbolic of the element fire, or child aspect). Each part was in turn broken down into
stages, to allow ease of learning, then each part was brought together and the group played
this together until each member was comfortable with the piece. The group was then
brought back to the beginning to allow time for every member to feel comfortable, allowing
those participants that were not yet happy with their ability a safe time to participate fully.
The important pedagogical point was that participants were not forced to play the part
perfectly. The need to start again was treated as a positive feature of the activity. It was



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emphasised that even if certain members were grasping the technique more quickly,
bringing everyone back to the basics strengthened everyone’s ability to play their part more
effectively. If certain members of the group were having difficulty, the facilitator stressed
that there are other parts to play and that they should not worry about their overall ability to
play the rhythm.
By the end of the workshop, following a rehearsal of all the different drum patterns,
participants were then invited to choose one of three different groupings (‘the bass posse’ ;
‘the lead rhythm posse’ and ‘the counter-rhythm posse’). By then, all aspects to the rhythm
had been introduced. During this stage, the facilitator, with assistance from the co-facilitator
improvised by adding other dimensions to a then competently functioning set of rhythms
created by the group.
Capturing student responses
Participants were asked to respond in writing to a ‘learning reflection form’ that included a
small number of open-ended questions. Students were asked to take time to reflect on the
drumming experience and to describe the experience in their own words. In order to try to
capture some of their insights about the workshop, they were also invited to elaborate on any
specific organisational insights, lessons, feelings, thoughts, ideas or issues that this
experience invoked. Questions were posed in a deliberately open-ended way. In particular,
students were asked to reflect on how the experience may have helped them to understand
more about working together in groups.
The classroom intervention was videotaped and the visual archive was used as an aide
memoire along with analysis of the written responses of participants. 17 responses were
received from a participating class of 26 representing a response rate of 65%.

                                        RESULTS
Student reactions have been categorised according to the following themes identified among
participant responses: emerging emotional states, behavioural dynamics, teacher behaviour
and orientation and organisational insights.
Emerging emotional states
When asked to describe the drumming circle experience, almost all respondents referred
explicitly to how they felt at different stages during the workshop. On encountering the
circle at the beginning of the session, the negative emotions invoked included apprehension,


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nervousness, fear, scepticism, confusion and uncertainty:
       ‘people were unsure of their own ability as [drumming] was new to most of us’
       (respondent 3)
       ‘I was nervous when I saw the room first and was thinking “Oh God, what will I
       have to do here?”’ (respondent 9)
       ‘Initially I thought, oh no, not another group exercise’ (respondent 11)
       ‘most people felt nervous at first, myself included’ (respondent 15)
       ‘the mood was one of shyness, as it is when we are put in a strange environment’
       (respondent 16)
Positive initial feelings included intrigue, excitement, anticipation and surprise. Many of the
initial feelings were linked specifically to the novelty associated with the room configuration
and with the unconventional nature of the activities that learners were being asked to engage
in:
       ‘The experience was very different from anything else I had participated in through
       my college life’ (respondent 10)
       ‘I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived for class to discover the plan for the next
       2 hours’ (respondent 13)
Emotional states changed significantly as the workshop got underway. Participants typically
reported that their initial feelings disappeared, giving way to a range of positive and (in
many cases) intense feelings. Most commonly cited emerging emotions included
involvement,     confidence,    relaxation,     enjoyment,    pride,   interest,   immersion,
unselfconsciousness, stimulation and warmth.
       ‘At the end you wouldn’t have thought that two hours had passed’ (respondent 2)
       ‘we had all begun to relax and enjoy the music that the class produced’ (respondent
       3)
       ‘a thoroughly enjoyable experience’ (respondent 5)
       ‘found it stimulating’ (respondent 6)
       ‘I particularly enjoyed the experience of playing the drum and being part of a sound
       that appealed and moved me emotionally’ (respondent 9)
       ‘It helped me get to know the people in the group and made me feel at ease with
       myself in their presence, i.e. I was no longer afraid of what they thought of me’



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       (respondent 11)
       ‘within the first few minutes, all feelings of nervousness were abated and the class
       immersed themselves fully in what turned out to be 2 hours of great fun’ (respondent
       12)
       ‘To some extent it’s been quite a cathartic exercise because we could think of some
       of the issues arising in class… in a dynamic and relaxing way’ (respondent 14)
Behavioural dynamics: moving from ‘inability’ to competence
In addition to emotional references the retrospective descriptions of the experience also
referred to the behaviours and activities the group had engaged in along with the
development of specific skills. Behaviours mentioned included co-operation, working
together, watching each other carefully, listening, transforming beats into intelligible music,
putting together a beat, learning and integrating complicated interlocking rhythms. A strong
theme associated with the majority of behaviour-related comments was that of competence
development. The participants clearly and frequently referred to moving from inability to
competence in a whole range of ways:


       ‘at the end of the class I was pleased that I had been able to play my drum’
       (respondent 11)
       ‘I think we all felt proud at what we had achieved at the end of the session’
       (respondent 15)
       ‘…we had come from a group with little or no drum experience to being able to put
       together an amazing beat pattern’ (respondent 16)
Timeframe was also mentioned by several respondents. In particular, the relatively short
time within which participants developed a sense of competence received explicit reference:
       ‘after a while the beats became more varied which required a relaxed hand’
       (respondent 3)
       ‘almost before we knew it [we were] playing integrated rhythms’ (respondent 4)
       ‘it was a revelation to see how a diverse group could…work as a co-ordinated
       whole so quickly’
       (respondent 1)
       ‘In just an hour and a half…[we were able to] put together a… beat pattern’



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       (respondent 16)


Teacher behaviour and orientation
10 of the 17 respondents referred specifically to the behaviours and orientations of the
drumming teacher who led and facilitated the group learning throughout the workshop.
Some attributed the success of the intervention to his personality while others explicated the
more specific aspects of his teaching style. The importance of the role of the teacher was
highlighted in observations and insights quoted below:
       ‘…the leader of the session quickly put everyone at ease. He explained basic
       concepts of drumming, how everyone had an innate sense of rhythm and that
       mistakes were OK’ (respondent 4)
       ‘The facilitator assisted…through a very empathetic approach with clear and
       concise instructions’ (respondent 6)
       ‘The leader of the session used humour, informality and tools (talking stick) to break
       the ice and set us at ease’ (respondent 9)
       ‘John was really excellent. He put me at ease straight away, he was aware that
       people would be nervous and did everything to relax us’. [I was pleased] that I
       could laugh when I made mistakes rather than feeling uncomfortable or
       embarrassed and I feel this was down to how John handled the group’ (respondent
       10)
       ‘The leader has a very relaxing mode about him, he made me feel at ease’
       (respondent 11)
       ‘John, the team leader was fantastic. He constantly reassured and praised the
       group’ (respondent 12)
       ‘John the group facilitator helped to relax everyone by letting everyone introduce
       themselves, his mild manner was also a big help and he emphasised how everyone
       has rhythm, something I never thought I had, so from then I was willing to give it a
       go.’ (respondent 16)


Organisational insights: evocative and heuristic
In addition to references to emotions, competence development and teaching styles,



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respondents also linked many of their immediate reactions to the classroom experience with
some of the management concepts they had already heard about in more conventional
didactic settings. Some of these links represented ‘evocative insights’, where the immediate
experience called to mind similarities and useful comparisons to organisational experiences.
Insights that could be labelled evocative were those that appeared to bring to light existing
knowledge, clarify some dimension of an organisational experience or remind respondents
of previous group encounters, perhaps further explaining the nature of those experiences.
The following quotes provide examples of statements indicating that evocative insights had
taken place (emphases added):
       ‘I noted that students tended to play their drums as loud as possible. Personally I
       found this necessary in order to hear my own drum and distinguish it from others.
       This reminded me that people like to be heard once their confidence is high’
       (respondent 1)
       ‘I think this experience brings to light the fact that people work well in groups when
       they come with no agenda’ (respondent 2)
       ‘In real life you ‘drum’ in separate rooms and locations but still need to beat out a
       pleasing rhythm’ (respondent 4)
       ‘Personally I would relate [the drumming experience] to ‘first day in a new job’ and
       would be delighted if anyone who started in the company was made feel even half as
       relaxed as I was’ (respondent 10)
       ‘This experience reminded me of the times I began a new job. The initial fear,
       intimidation, feeling of being lost and on your own. Breaking into a group is very
       difficult, it takes time, effort and emotionally drains you….when people help you
       realise your role’ (respondent 11)
       ‘Tonight I experienced musically, our strong tendency to lose our own rhythm
       because of the intrusion of someone else’s pace’ (respondent 14)
All of the above statements were defined as evocative insights to the extent that they
reminded, evoked or re-displayed knowledge in a new way. Respondent 14’s statement
implied that she was already aware of a specific human tendency but that the drumming
circle allowed her to experience this awareness in a new way. Other statements (e.g. those of
respondents 10 and 11) were more explicit examples of how the experience brought to mind



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workplace encounters as well as showing the way to new possibilities associated with group
learning that had not been experienced in quite the same way before.
Other statements about the learning that had taken place represented ‘heuristic insights’
where the group experience generated recommendations or criteria that students felt could
or should be applied to organisational contexts. Some of these heuristic insights could also
be termed ‘actionable insights’ where they incorporated the consideration of a specific
workplace intervention as a direct result of having participated in the drumming circle
experience. Insights that could be labelled ‘heuristic’ were those that appeared to give rise to
new ideas regarding the general conditions in which positive group dynamics were likely to
emerge, to imply recommendations or imperatives for changes in workplace situations or to
stimulate the consideration of specific action on the part of the respondents. The following
quotes provide examples of statements indicating that heuristic insights had taken place
(emphases added):
‘organisations that allow direct involvement are likely to generate greater commitment to
company goals. Watching the drumming is not the same as participating in the action’
(respondent 4)
‘organisations should ensure that every employee realises their contribution is necessary
not just for the organisation but also for fellow employees’ (respondent 4)
‘when people lose their way being given a set path to follow can help keep them going’
(respondent 5)
‘organisations should be open to new ideas, cultures, methods, insights even if they seem
miles away from their relevance’ (respondent 9)
‘an organisation must be emotionally intelligent, i.e. empathise with the beginners and put
in place a support system that will reduce those negativities.’ (respondent 11)
‘I believe a session such as this could have benefits on the forming stage of groups within
organisations (e.g. startup) which is a time when many individuals feel uncertain about
relationships in their new company’ (respondent 4)
‘It’s made me think of introducing a ‘buddy’ system or something similar where all new
people would be looked after by an existing member of staff’ (respondent 10)
Other themes that respondents referred to included the importance of participation and
encouragement in collective learning environments, the need for people to find their own



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‘voices’ while also listening to others, the development of a sense of responsibility and
competence and the importance of the nonverbal aspects of group engagement.


                                        DISCUSSION
Several analytical themes can be derived from the written accounts of participants’
experience with the drumming circle. They include a sense of emotional transformation
from the beginning to the end of the workshop; the power and uniqueness associated with
the use of rhythm in drumming and the generation of deep as opposed to shallow insights.


Emotional transformation and engagement
Almost all of the 17 respondents indicated that the group had been initially tense but that
through participation and engagement, it had quickly bonded members, made them feel
more part of this learning group and allowed them to gain insights about the nature of group
dynamics that might otherwise have been difficult to achieve. Many of the responses
indicated the development of a normative or heuristic orientation based on an experience
that most agreed was intense, positive, satisfying and atypical. At the end of the session,
many had identified differences between organisational group experiences and those
encountered in the drumming circle. The experience had been facilitated by someone who
assumed that everyone in the group was capable of reaching a level of competence required
for group performance. Everyone worked well with each other in an atmosphere of fun and
trust. Each participant tried their best and helped others who encountered difficulties. Many
members talked about feeling good and being proud of the group’s achievement. This is in
direct contrast to some of the dynamics for which third level learning environments have
often been criticised (e.g. Bigelow, 1983).


The unique power of music and rhythm
It could be argued that the reactions and insights to which the drumming circle gave rise,
might have been produced through a whole range of more well-known experiential
exercises. It has long been recognised that sensitive, learner-orientated facilitation can create
positive collective learning through the use of a range of simple group exercises. However,
we believe that there is something about the physical, collective expression of complex



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rhythm that creates a unique and significant learning environment. Gardner (1983) and
Lazear (1999) argue that musical or rhythmic intelligence is a unique way of gaining
insights about our world and ourselves. Indeed it is precisely the impact of music and
rhythm on the state of the brain that makes it a powerful learning instrument, allowing us to
experience ideas and feelings in a learning setting that might otherwise be inaccessible.
There is a strong connection between music and rhythm and emotions (e.g. Friedman, 2000;
Gardner, 1981). Participating in the creation of rhythm can be deeply satisfying in itself as
well as setting the scene for positive emotional engagement that might make subsequent
learning a more engaging and interactive process (Campbell, Campbell & Dickinson, 1996).
Such an activity may provide us with useful analogical and contrasting tropes that invite us
to ‘see the world anew’ in the ways that Lakoff and Johnson (1981) have so famously
suggested. The extreme changes in emotional states reported by the respondents seem to
suggest that the activity was a particularly powerful experience. This was a group that had
engaged in a wide variety of experiential and interactive exercises as part of the module they
were engaged in, but the powerful and intense language they used to describe the drumming
activity suggests that there was a kind of magic about it that differentiated it from other
group encounters.


Facilitating ‘deep’ learning and complex engagement with simple ‘truths’
Nevertheless, there remains a danger that the learning insights reported by participants may
be seen as nothing more than organisational platitudes or bland observations. Learning
insights gained may restate commonsense approaches without adding any value to the
learners’ perspective on operating in organisations. This possibility can be countered in two
ways. Firstly, many organisational ‘platitudes’ contain important truths that can only be
internalised if they have been experienced in a ‘deep’ as opposed to a ‘shallow’ sense. A
didactic lecture in which teamwork is emphasised may give rise to a certain acceptance of
an important set of ideas. However, through active engagement in a complex, novel group
task, a more lasting and complex understanding may be generated, especially if
accompanied by the emotional engagement facilitated by musical activity. When any
learning happens through this type of experience, it may be more likely that paralinguistic
insights will also be gained, those that are beside or beyond language, and those that



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incorporate the paradoxes and complexities associated with apparently simple truths. Such
truths include for example, the importance of listening skills and teamwork in the context of
collective endeavour. The insights that learners demonstrated in their reflections on the
experience were indeed related to day-to-day interactions. These insights echo many of the
same themes that Chernoff (1979) has suggested emerge in African communities where the
drum plays a central socialising function:
‘The development of musical awareness in Africa constitutes a process of education:
music’s explicit purpose, in the ways it might be defined by Africans, is, essentially,
socialisation. An individual learns the potential and limitations of participation in a
communal context…these values form part of an elaborate set of generative themes which
pattern the experience of everyday life’ (Chernoff 1979, p. 154).
According to Chernoff, African music does not stand-alone but is seen more as a metaphor
for life itself, a learning process to aid mediation between the individual and their
involvement within a community. This learning process can be said to be organic in nature,
where lessons are interpreted at an intuitive level from the music itself. Indeed if certain
‘stories’ are told, they too are presented in metaphorical terms. ‘The values of African
traditional wisdom are integrated into a style of communication, which is both musical and
social. In such a context, they do not have to be made explicit; they are there to be
understood in action, and their validity is measured by their social effectives’ (Chernoff
1979, p.154). A powerful example of these lessons, and one that is highly relevant in
management education is the dynamic tension of the multiple rhythms within a complex
African polyrhythm and the cohesive power of their relationship. In an African polyrhythm,
there may be up to six differing parts, all indeed separate in themselves, but their power is
seen more in their overall contribution to the rhythm. The strength of the community,
therefore, is seen within the strength of its constituent parts, all working towards a common
vision or purpose where full participation is kernel where the community facilitate every
individual within that community to be all they can be, therefore, feeding the strength of the
community as a whole. The entire rhythm played is highly structured in nature, however, it
is within this complex structure that individual creativity can be truly nourished, ‘the diverse
rhythms help people distinguish themselves from each other while they remain profoundly
involved – once you have brought a structure to bear on your involvements, and made your



                                             320
peace with it, the distinctive gestures and deviant idiosyncrasies of personality can stand out
with clarity’ (Chernoff 1979, p.159).



                                    CONCLUSIONS
It is impossible to give a comprehensive insight into any collective learning experience that
has not been encountered first hand. This may be particularly true of the drumming circle
intervention we have attempted to describe in this paper. In attempting to engage students
emotionally, we believe that the drumming circle holds much power and has a collective
impact that would be difficult to achieve using other experiential interventions. Diverse
insights arising from the experience were discussed and explored by participants. Skills that
can be developed or enhanced through drumming circles included those central to effective
group work. Participants witnessed first hand how a rhythm can ‘fall’ if members do not
listen carefully to one another. Each voice in the group adds its own flavour and successful
performance is related to making room for each voice in the group. Playing your part of the
rhythm while still listening to what is going on in the group is redolent with important
lessons for other contexts. One of the real morals of the experience is to be strong and keep
to your part, but also to allow what you are playing to evolve to the needs of the group. This
is important when working in any group. Playing in drum circles epitomises the value and
impact of active collaboration as opposed to competition. It characterises the importance of
active listening and emulates the interdependence often associated with any healthy
community, in which each member of that community carries responsibility and plays an
important role.


The risks that individuals take to develop competence in the circle by working together,
should not be underestimated, but the willingness to uncover and articulate early feelings as
part of the group remain an important dimension of the experience. We believe that the
value of this experience goes far beyond that of a feelgood group exercise (though the
emotional dimension of the experience does constitute an important and energising aspect).
The evidence provided by participants has shown that not only can a drumming circle have
powerful transformative emotional effects, but that also a range of evocative and heuristic
learning insights can be generated through a collective reflection on the lessons that it brings


                                             321
alive. The legitimisation of the use of drumming circles and other rhythmic or musical
interventions carry a still untapped potential that could contribute significantly to a
transforming pedagogy of higher education.



                                     REFERENCES


Allee, V. (1999). ‘The art and practice of being a revolutionary’ Journal of Knowledge
Management Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 121-131.


Barnett, R. (1997) ‘Higher education: a critical business’ Open University Press:
Buckingham


Beyer, J.M. (1992) ‘Metaphors, misunderstandings and mischief: a commentary’
Organisational Science, vol 3, no 4, pp. 467-474


Campbell, L., Campbell, B. & Dickinson, D. (1996) ‘Teaching and Learning through
Multiple Intelligences’ Allyn and Bacon: Massachusetts


Chernoff John, M (1979) ‘African Rhythm and African Sensibility’ The University of
Chicago Press: Chicago


Curzon-Hobson, A. (2002) ‘Higher Education in a World of Radical Unknowability: an
extension of the challenge of Ronald Barnett’ Teaching in Higher Education, vol 7. No. 2,
pp. 179-191


Gardner, H. (1983) ‘Frames of Mind: The theory of multiple intelligences’ Basic Books:
New York


Friedman, R. L. (2000). ‘The Healing Power of the Drum’, White Cliffs Media: California



Goleman, D. (1996) ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more then IQ’ Bloomsbury:


                                             322
London


Hull, A.C. (1998) ‘Drum circle spirit: facilitating human spirit through rhythm’ Whitecliffs
media: California


Lazear, D. (1999) ‘Eight ways of teaching: The artistry of teaching with multiple
intelligences’ 3rd Edition, Sky Light: Illinois


Morgan, G. (1986) ‘Images of organisation’ Sage: Beverley Hills


Ortony, A. (1975) ‘Why metaphors are necessary and not just nice’ Educational theory, 25,
pp.45-53


Oswick, C., Keenoy, T. & Grant, D. (2002) ‘Metaphor and analogical reasoning: Beyond
Orthodoxy’ Academy of Management Review, vol 27, No.2 pp 294-303


Tannen,D. (1994) ‘Talking from 9-5’ Virago: New York


Trice, H.M & Beyer, J.M. (1993) ‘The cultures of work organisation’ Prentice-Hall: New
Jersey

                             ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We wish to thank all members of the MBS in HRM class 2001-2002 for their willing
participation in the unconventional classroom experience described in this paper. We are
deeply grateful to John Bowker for his generosity and intuitive abilities in introducing the
Tribal Spirit Drumming Circle to us and to our students. Finally we thank Michael Chapman
of the University of Limerick’s Information Technology department for his skilful and
unobtrusive videotaping.




                                                  323
Art, Management and Organisation


Ed Moreton




'Can artistic thinking' become 'organisational thinking'?
The use of artistic creativity in the business world is being explored by Northumbria University lecturer Ed Moreton. Ed
works as a Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management at the Newcastle Business School and recently visited the Coca
Cola headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. He was surprised how much time/space at Coca Cola (Headquarters) was given over
to artistic creativity within the corporate culture and throughout its internal and external environment. Atlanta is also home to
many outstanding of America's 'so called' 'Outsider Artists'. Art is usually considered to be placed outside normal work
activity and space i.e. in the realm of 'otherness'! Ed is currently working on a PhD looking at how the provision and use of
“creative space’’ within organisational physical space/values/culture/environment can help managers and organisations to
think differently about business ideas, philosophies, values, solutions, goals and strategies.


“There has been a sea change recently in terms of organisations looking to the arts for creative solutions to
business issues.’’ he said.


The research will look at creative opportunity and how 'artistic thinking' can become 'organisational thinking'.


“As children we have time and space to be creative but at school that creativity is channelled into the
curriculum and, gradually, we start to think more and more conventionally. Today’s organisations need
people to think 'outside of the box’, to understand what creative processes of thinking actually are, and how
we can be more creative.’’
Rather than presenting a formal paper Ed Moreton will be presenting ideas and slides of his own work at the
conference.




                                                             324
325
Representing Representation
Sally Riad and Sherif Millad




a)     Submitted to the
                     Photography and Visual Arts Stream,
             Art of Management and Organisation Conference,
                King’s College, London, 3-7 September 2002




                                *Sherif Millad
                       Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC)
                           Wellington, New Zealand
                             Tel +64 4 474 1702
                            Fax +64 4 473 0890
                            s.millad@alac.org.nz


                                  **Sally Riad
                       Victoria University of Wellington
                                  P O Box 600
                           Wellington, New Zealand
                              Tel +64 4 463 5079
                             Fax +64 4 463 5253
                             sally.riad@vuw.ac.nz




                                     326
REPRESENTING REPRESENTATION



                             1.     ABSTRACT


These images represent the notion of containment in organizational
representation. As we inquire, as we build, and finally as we represent,
we are contained. We are contained within corporate purposes and
academic traditions. We are contained within social boundaries and
category systems. We are contained within paradoxes of textuality – in
Jeffcutt’s terms – and within tensions around commodification.

The upper left hand image is a realist representation of this argument.
The other three commence an exploration of different ways in which the
same argument might be represented. We do not offer exhaustive
representations, only a few beginnings. For example:

In these representations, the door is open. This is not to imply an
emancipatory resolution, but to represent the inherent belief in many
accounts of the possibility of alternatives or alternative constructions.
Some representations might choose to have the door shut.

In these representations, the ladder ends beneath a ceiling. Other
representations might take out the ceiling entirely, have the ladder
suspended in mid-air or do away with the ladder, the room or both.




                                    327
328
1.    References


Denzin, N. (1994) “The art and politics of interpretation.” In N. Denzin &
Y. Lincoln (eds.) The Handbook of Qualitative Research (pp. 500-515),
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Jeffcutt, P. (1994) “From interpretation to representation in
organisational analysis: Postmodernism, ethnography and organisational
symbolism.” Organization Studies. 15 (2): 241-274.

Marcus, G. (1994) “What comes (just) after ‘post’? The case of
ethnography.” In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (eds.) The Handbook of
Qualitative Research (p. 563-574), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Publications.

Rose, D. (1990) “Living the ethnographic life.” Qualitative Research
Methods, Vol. 23. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Strati, A. (2000) “Putting people in the picture: Art and aesthetics in
photography and in understanding organizational life.” Organization
Studies, 21(0): 53-69.

Van Maanen, J. (1988) Tales of the field. Chicago, IL: The University of
TIMELESS CLASSICS:

Musings on Freewill, Time and Management

Sally Riad and Sherif Millad


a)    Submitted to the
                    Photography and Visual Arts Stream,
            Art of Management and Organisation Conference,
               King’s College, London, 3-7 September 2002




                                *Sally Riad
                     Victoria University of Wellington
                               P O Box 600


                                    329
   Wellington, New Zealand
     Tel +64 4 463 5079
    Fax +64 4 463 5253
    sally.riad@vuw.ac.nz


         **Sherif Millad
Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC)
    Wellington, New Zealand
      Tel +64 4 474 1702
     Fax +64 4 473 0890
     s.millad@alac.org.nz




             330
TIMELESS CLASSICS:
MUSINGS ON FREEWILL, TIME AND MANAGEMENT



1.      ABSTRACT


Our photography features once esteemed pocket watches which time has
now rendered timeless and purposeless. These are superimposed against
a mountain path, purposefully cut to reach the summit. In management
inquiry, the debate between determinism and freewill is a timeless
classic. We invite the viewer to muse over that debate in light of a further
dimension: time.

Do linear perspectives on time imply determinism? Time continues to
elude us, and the change that lends it definition appears both imminent
and unidirectional. Shakespeare suggests that “from moment to moment
we ripe and ripe, and from moment to moment we rot and rot”, a life-
cycle concept not very different from that often used in management.

Or is Time itself as vulnerable as we are? Byron states that, “Time, as
made for man, dies with man, and is swallowed in that deep which has
no fountain...” Does such romanticism only reinforce time as one of our
constructs?

Can we appropriate metaphors of time that allow for simultaneous rather
than linear change? For example, management concepts have intuitively
dealt with the past and the future as part of the present. They have
placed a positive value on experience and prior information in decision-
making. Further, the past is manifest through the emphasis on
organizational culture, which is dependant on a shared history. On the
other hand, management concepts direct present action towards future
processes and goals – often guided by the concept of vision. Conceptions
of both the past and the future operate in the present affecting actions in
the present.

Or is Time just an ancient god: the more deified it is, the more controlling of the
worshipper?

We do not offer a closing perspective on these musings. Rather, we leave
the final word to the viewer.


                                             331
332
References


Gergen, M. (1994). Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? An
appreciative appraisal. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical
Psychology, 14 (1): 87-95.

Hopkins, H. (1986). Temporality and reflexivity: Toward the creative
engagement of consciousness. Human Relations, 39: 635-645.

Kimberly, J., & Miles, R. (1980). The organizational life cycle. San
Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Slife, B. D. (1994). Free will and time: That “stuck” feeling. Journal of
Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 14 (1): 1-12.

Van de Ven, A. H., & Poole, M. S. (1995). Explaining development and
change in organizations. Academy of Management Review, 20: 510-540.

Von Glaserfeld, (1991). Knowing without metaphysics: Aspects of radical
constructivist position. In F. Steier (Ed.), Research and Reflexivity, (pp.
12-29). London, UK: Sage Publications.




                                    333
Under the Desk
Sally Riad and Sherif Millad



a)    Submitted to the
                    Photography and Visual Arts Stream,
            Art of Management and Organisation Conference,
                       London, 3-7 September, 2002




                                *Sally Riad
                    Victoria University of Wellington
                               P O Box 600
                        Wellington, New Zealand
                           Tel +64 4 463 5079
                          Fax +64 4 463 5253
                          sally.riad@vuw.ac.nz


                             **Sherif Millad
                    Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC)
                        Wellington, New Zealand
                          Tel +64 4 474 1702
                         Fax +64 4 473 0890
                         s.millad@alac.org.nz




                                  334
A.      Abstract


We pair photography and autoethnography to explore relational
representation in the workplace. Specifically, we inquire into
representations of parenting. Sally wrote the personal account which she
theorized through social constructionism. Sherif developed the
photographic representation.

A.


a)      Under the Desk: Photography


In this set of four images I represent, in declining gradation, the extent to
which Marcus, our baby, visually appears in mum’s life. The sequence is
from bottom to top.

    Marcus fills the picture. We can see his eyes as he reaches out for
     mum. We do not see mum because Marcus’ presence is most
     prominent.
    Marcus is exploring a coffee spoon, still occupying a large portion of
     the picture. Mum watches smilingly.
    Marcus tries to explore mum’s work, occupying much less of the
     picture. Mum holds him back as she tries to get some work out of the
     way.
    Marcus is no longer in the picture. Mum appears alone at work.




                                      335
336
a)     Under the Desk: Autoethnography


“So what are you going to do now that you have Marcus? Put him under
your desk?” asked my colleague.

“Yes,” I replied, literally.

       At seven weeks old, although not directly under my desk, Marcus
was physically in my office. He had entered my life overnight. Even
though I had nine months of pregnancy to plan for his appearance, he
had very effectively defied all logic by simply arriving. The minute we’d
first met, we’d both attached ourselves to each other. I was trying to
recollect the breastfeeding tips I’d been taught at antenatal classes, but
Marcus became impatient with my fidgeting. So he showed me exactly
what to do. Over the following few days, we developed a warmth that I
had not expected. It was like falling in love. Somewhere in my mind, I
knew that there was a huge hormonal element to all of this, but that did
not matter.


                                


At ten weeks, I moved Marcus out of my office and into the university
crèche across the street. I visited him many times every day. I had my
office all to myself again – at least on the surface. But my sense of self-
at-work had changed. I was now a self-with-baby-at-work – regardless of
the physical presence or absence of Marcus there. He was out of sight
but not out of mind.

       Now that the physical deterrent of the pregnancy bump had gone, I
was attempting to regain or resurrect the representation of the same-old-
self to others; I quickly got back enough of my previous shape to get back
into my pre-pregnancy clothes. But I was also trying to define my new
self-as-mother. I found this very frustrating. Marcus’ refusal to take the
bottle did not make it any easier. As I continued to breastfeed him, I
joked about being the quenching ‘milky bar’ or a ‘yummy mummy’. And
as I continued to joke, I was stunned by how little such meaningful
relationships were represented in the workplace.

      There was nothing about me that said I was a mother. When I was
pregnant, my body was shouting out that pending relationship in all
parts of my world. Now that the relationship was actually here, there was
nothing to represent it to my work world. My bump had disappeared and


                                    337
the new relationship had appeared elsewhere. I say elsewhere because
conceptions of parenthood seemed confined to my personal life –
something that had been pushed out of the workplace.


                                  


Mine is a relatively flexible workplace, partly due to the norms of
academic work and partly because of the specific group of people with
whom I work. When I took Marcus in as a newborn, my colleagues were
very supportive: some turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to accommodate
his presence and others embraced it with lots of cuddles. I was grateful
to both. The organisation provided me with nine weeks paid parental
leave and access to an on-site crèche. I knew that compared to most
other places, my academic context rendered me a relatively privileged
employed mother.

       Still, my workplace inspired me to write this account reflecting on
representations of parenting relationships in the workplace more
broadly. While I experienced an acceptance of the presence of a newborn,
I also faced the assumption that this was an event that I would learn to
phase out gradually. There was rushed discussion or hushed
conversations of how difficult it was to go through the newborn baby
process, especially the first. People who had been through it before
reassured me that I would take some time but I would develop new
routines that would enable me to fulfil the two separate tasks of
parenting and employment.


                                  


Bridget managed executive development programmes for another
organization. This was her first visit and we were meeting to discuss my
involvement over the following year. I was still pregnant and two months
away from my expected delivery date. Our planning meeting had gone
well and it was time for informal conversation.

     “Is this going to be your first baby?” she asked with a smile of
genuine anticipation.

      “Yes,” I answered.

       I found out that Bridget was a mother of three teenagers and was
explicitly positive and enthusiastic about being a parent. At that stage, I


                                    338
was keen to hear and learn anything about what appeared a black box
called parenting. So I actively sustained a quick chat. As I walked her to
the lifts, Bridget remarked,

       “When your first baby arrives, there’s a huge learning curve. And
there’s also the culture shock.”

       I accepted the ‘learning curve’ bit quite readily (not quite realizing
how steep it would be) but I brushed over the ‘culture shock’ thing. I
thought that Bridget was using the term as many people often do now: to
describe the reaction to any situation of change. It was many months
later that I understood the nature of the culture shock that Bridget had
mentioned. Marcus made me discover that there was a culture to which I
had not been exposed and which I would now traverse: the parenting
culture.

         After Marcus arrived, I realized that all the formal antenatal
measures I had undergone to prepare me for parenting had done very
little. I had thoroughly lacked all the informal learning that a new mother
could have had. The largest portion of my adult life had been willingly
and happily spent in organizations. And a considerable portion of my
socialization had been in an around workplaces. I now realize that many
single people or self-elected dinks (as Sherif and I were for quite some
time) hardly have a clue about parenting because quite often their social
spheres offer very little. And organizations, arguably the place where they
spend most of their time, seem to be one of the best places to have wiped
out any possible traces of parenting. Since Marcus’ arrival, I have often
looked at people in my workplace who have children and asked myself,
“Where and how do they hide them? Why have they become so effective
at it?” And I don’t think my experience is unique. One of McKenna’s
(1997) interviewees, a female executive, describes how when she first got
pregnant, she started looking around her workplace for a parenting role
model but could not see any.

      The field of organization studies has embraced the metaphor of
organizations as cultures to the point of delirium, borrowing from
societal culture in the process. Why has there been no consideration of
the reasons these particular cultures appear childless? Or should one
just describe that as part of the cultural norm?


                                  


I have chosen to write my account in a style that would represent its
poignancy and personalization. In their discussion of autoethnography,


                                    339
Ellis and Bochner (1996, 2000) cover how such accounts express the
complexities of coping and feeling resolved. An autoethnography
expresses how we struggle to make sense of our experience
predominantly to encourage compassion and promote dialogue (Ellis and
Bochner, 1996, 2000). Validity is defined by the possibilities that it opens
up for living one’s life.

My concern is predominantly with the representation of parenting – or
the repression of that representation - in the workplace. I was initially
struck by the constant lack of physical representation, but then I began
to consider representation in broader terms. My account is only
exploratory. My purpose is to initiate a discussion on the topic of
relational representation in the workplace. I realize that my consideration
of parenting could be extended to consider representations of
relationships more broadly. But I focus on parenting because of its
particular salience to my current life. The sudden, although heralded,
arrival of Marcus, my firstborn, and welter of impressions that went with
it played a significant role in initiating and developing my inquiry. It
instigated the researcher in me to review the literature and have a series
of informal conversations with people on the topic. My discussions were
mainly with people who worked in the academic and management
development areas - both academics and administrators.



                                   


I was starting to anticipate Marcus’ first Christmas. I was surfing the net
hoping to find a few bargains and possibly find out more about what
babies could enjoy during that season. Then I got to read the news. The
heading in The Boston Globe read: The kid gap nothing – Not even the
generation gap compares to the yawning divide between parents and non-
parents.

      And somewhere in the middle, the article stated,

      “Those who have done diaper duty and those who haven’t simply
inhabit different worlds. When it comes to the experience of daily life,
they may as well be from different species altogether.”

      I read that with genuine relief. It wasn’t just me.


                                   



                                     340
       The issue of explicit representation of parenting in the workplace
has not been considered in the management and organization literature.
There is, however, considerable literature that considers employment and
parenting. This literature approaches the topic from two distinct angles,
the benefit to the organization and the ability of parents to fulfil two
roles.

       In terms of the former, the ultimate rationale behind the
consideration of employment and parenting is organisational well-being,
usually defined by productivity. Parenting is subordinated to
organisational productivity in two ways. Unless distinctly separated from
work, parenting can lead to distractions that interfere with work and
productivity. Or vice versa. Employed parents should be supported
because the stresses and strains of parenting and employment can lead
to lowered satisfaction with work, lowered commitment and decreased
productivity. Some of the work on human resources and industrial
relations has also considered parenting and employment based on equity
concerns. Arguments are concerned with both possible disadvantage to
employees who are parenting or disadvantage to their co-workers.

       Then there is literature that considers people’s ability to fulfil two
roles: parent and work for pay. Most considerations approach the topic
from the doing aspect. Writers have considered the logistics of fulfilling
both roles by predominantly considering (and sometimes questioning) the
need for work/life ‘balance’ and means of achieving that.


                                    


      “Would you also like a fluffy?” asked the spiky haired guy behind
the bar handing me my latte and glancing at Marcus perched over my
shoulder.

      “What’s a fluffy?” I asked.

      I found out that a fluffy was hot milk froth served to toddlers and
children with a sprinkle of chocolate or cinnamon on top. In most cafes
around Wellington, it now comes free. You would, however, pay for a
kidiccino, the kid-sized hot chocolate version of a cappuccino that comes
with marshmallows on the side.

      I was at Astoria, an inner city café close to my workplace. I had
agreed to meet Claire, an administrative colleague, there. Being a sunny
day and Marcus due for a feed soon, I had taken him along. Claire works


                                     341
in Maori studies, where increasingly there is a reemphasis on whanau, or
family. When the fluffy arrived, Marcus didn’t know quite what to do with
it. As I smilingly tried to demonstrate, I described to Claire how I had
been taking Marcus into work with me. To my surprise, Claire had done
exactly the same the year before,

       “Tapuni was there all that time. I demanded it. I worked and I fed
him and I played with him. Sure he was a distraction at times, but I
don’t think my work every suffered because of it.”

      “I’ve found Marcus – at home and at work – to be the sweetest and
most energizing distraction. I think very few people see that this can
actually be a positive thing,” I replied.

      “Of course there are practical concerns that you take into account.
Things like noise and timelines and so on. But you can manage these,”
Claire added.

      “I know what you mean about the noise,” I said. “A mother can feel
very self-conscious when her baby even whimpers at work. I know I did. I
also can’t recount the number of times other mothers looked at Marcus
sleeping and said something like, ‘You’re very lucky. My babies would
never settle at work.’”

       “And I know it’s not just the two of us that have taken our babies
in,” Claire said.

      “No, we’re not,” I replied. “I searched the literature and found a
paper – one paper mind you – written by Secret, Sprang and Bradford.
They examined an informal programme of parenting in an academic
workplace – what they described as a ‘visible day-long presence’ of
babies. The significant thing for me is that they looked at the perception
of co-workers. Almost half of the employees said that the presence of
babies in the workplace increased their job satisfaction. Overall, the
babies did not interfere with people’s work. And a number of employees
experienced the programme as enhancing their lives. It actually improved
morale.”

      “Oh wow! That’s great to hear,” said Claire.

       “Yes,” I replied emphatically. “That’s just the thing you would want
to hear but don’t get to hear. And you know what? That paper also said
that just over half the working mothers in the US are parenting infants
and toddlers. Now you can argue the stats. But still, would you ever have
imagined they were that many? I bet one would never guess that from
seeing the organizations they work for.”


                                   342
       Two things were concerning me. Increasingly people were trying to
defy workplace norms around babies and children, but there seemed to
be very little within organizations that recognised these attempts as
laudable. The formal study I had described had examined an informal
programme. The other factor that I was musing over was that the study
was published in the Journal of Family Issues – to an audience that is
likely to agree with the content. The audiences that really needed to read
such accounts were management and organization. Both these bodies of
literature were offering me very little in the search around my topic.


                                 


       The following week I was back at Astoria with Mary, my academic
mentor. This time Marcus was at home basking in Grandma’s warmth
out of the pelting rain. Mary had been very generous in sharing her
parenting and working experiences fifteen to twenty years back,

      “Seen but not heard, was the saying then. But at least you would
see them. Now we no longer have that children’s Christmas party or all
those other events that brought your family to the workplace.”

      “I wonder if this has been part of an even more recent trend
towards keeping family relationships separate from work relationships,” I
replied. “I know that authors have attributed the division of work and
family responsibilities into separate dimensions of one’s life to an
industrialised society that needed a physical separation between
workplace and home. I wonder though if this might have actually worked
both ways over more recent decades. Just this morning, a colleague gave
me her take on this saying that the workplace was more than happy for
people to leave relationships at home where they belong and people were
happy for the workplace not to use their family on top of everything else.”

      The next minute, my eye caught Rob’s as he was heading out of
Astoria. Rob used to be my husband’s colleague and it had been a while
since we’d met. As I introduced him to Mary, I noticed that his usually
tense jaw had smoothened out. He took a photo out of his wallet to show
me the new little character in his life. I congratulated him,

     “Actually Mary and I were just talking about this. I mean children,
and how they are part of any parent even in the workplace,” I said.

       “Your life does change. He’s changed everything,” Rob said pointing
to the baby in the picture. “I was just talking to a friend the other day


                                   343
who said, ‘If you have a child and don’t expect them to change you, then
you’re commodifying that child.’”

       I wasn’t sure how to react to that statement. One side of me
believed in it wholeheartedly. The other side thought it reeked of the
critical lingo of commodification now so popular among the literati. Sure
if you manage to totally disconnect yourself from your child then they’re
just another enhancing accessory to your perfectly professional image.
But why does the explanation need to be so critically pitched – especially
at the parent? To what extent is the workplace happy for people to
change because of their children? And in what ways?


                                  


What also struck me is that images of mothers at work carrying babies
on their bodies appear reserved for the category of the under-developed
world. The developed workplace has constructed a different image for
itself. For the most part of that image, employed parents worked in
isolation. Representations of sons and daughters were confined into
frames on desks or with pins onto boards.

       I was out with Bridget again. Our relationship had flourished since
Marcus had arrived. On three occasions, I had travelled to Rotorua,
Marcus in tow. I had gone to teach on the programmes Bridget had
organized and Marcus had come for his feeds. Bridget had volunteered to
care for Marcus while I taught and had done a wonderful job at it.

      In marketing executive programmes, Bridget was always visiting
organizations. I shared my thoughts about representations of parenting
with her. When we got to the photos bit, Bridget smiled and nodded,

       “I walk into men’s offices and they’ve got pictures of their children
all over the place. I’ve always wondered how they do that. I’d find it very
very hard… to have them so visibly in front of me and not be with them
as much,” she said.

     While Bridget had found it hard to have many pictures, another
mother had found it fulfilling,

       “I’ve got to be able to see Karen’s smile, her missing teeth, or
Elsie’s pout. I surround myself with their pictures. I have old favourites
and constant new updates. They easily put a smile on my face.”




                                     344
      Yet, Bridget was the second woman to have offered me a
distinction of children’s photos based on gender. An academic colleague
had made the first comment,

       “These pictures are not for others. They’re for me. I sometimes
walk into offices, mostly guys’, and family pictures there seem to have an
invisible caption: ‘Exhibit A – Family’.”

      There was a concern of parenting as an exhibit but there were also
concerns that parenting photo displays could be exhibitionist. I have had
comments on the normative limitations on content and quantity of family
photos at work. Anything outside the norms was unprofessional.


                                  


This time I was sitting with Diane who was both a colleague and a friend.
Diane had taken a vow to boycott coffee for health reasons so we were
having lunch at a juice and sushi bar up the street. (It’s closed since.
Maybe there hasn’t been enough demand.) We had gone out to talk about
my paper and I brought up several issues with her. Based on recency,
our discussion started with commodification.

       “Of course you could always consider the spouse relationship as
well. Traditionally, it’s been the wife of the aspiring male employee that’s
been used to enhance his appearance at social events,” Diane said.

      “Yes,” I replied. “I noted that partners and spouses are recognized
every now and again – even more so than children – predominantly
because of the support they provide to the person in the workplace. But
the thing is, on the one hand a personal relationship can be an
enhancing accessory and on the other hand, a vulnerability. In my
discussions with people, it seemed that if kids were in the wrong place -
the workplace that is - at the wrong time, they could make one look
unprofessional. There were norms and expectations of a professional
were founded on the norms. Part of it related to acting like a professional
and so considering productivity and any factors that might hinder that.
But the other part had to do with looking the professional – or
representing oneself as a professional. A couple of people mentioned that
babies or toddlers could make one look unprofessional. You appear
slack. You look like you haven’t got your priorities sorted out. And in the
case of women, you look like a house mommy. So some people didn’t feel
comfortable representing their professional side with children.”




                                    345
      “And children aren’t even stigmatising,” said Diane as she skilfully
handled her chopsticks. “There are lots of other issues confined to the
personal sphere that are. Like certain chronic illnesses for example.”

      “I agree. But it seems that by eliminating kids from the picture and
representing oneself as an individual, one could look stronger. With
babies or kids, one looks softer. So explicit representation of parenting
can be regarded as a vulnerability and so a potential liability to the
professional image.”

      “But representation isn’t just visibility of sorts,” commented Diane.

       “Yes,” I agreed. “It’s not even about tangible aspects. I know that’s
too simplistic. It’s not as if you don’t see kids or can’t hear them they
don’t exist. But that’s the point. Their day-to-day existence for their
parents is hidden from the rest of the organization somewhere under the
desk. But exploring visibility was just a start for me. I think that may
turn into a long-term search for means of relational representation.”
Then I added, “I continue to be struck by how little the organisational
literature has offered me in my search.”

      “Yes, that’s probably a reflection of the heritage of that literature,”
replied Diane. “It’s all part of that artificial separation between in and out
when studying organization. You’ll probably find stuff in other domains.”

       “One thing I want to highlight as I write, though, is that I am not
critical of the parents who have adopted these norms. People talked
about needing to keep home and workplace worries separate – among
other things. Others talked about wanting to keep their families their
business and I totally see their point. Still I don’t think that people
should feel that they need to cover up their parenting to look
professional. I can think of one mum who said that her success with her
children empowers her towards success in the workplace. But that same
mum also said that when she brings her kids into work on occasion, she
feels that people look down on that. So I am not happy with the norms
that lead to a lack of relational representation in the workplace, but I
also feel one can’t force such representation either. There’s a balance to
be struck.”

      “Oh, no,” said Dianne. “There that word again: ‘balance’.”


                                   




                                     346
Marcus has been part of Wellington’s café culture. The fluffy was one of
his first experiences feeding himself off a spoon. When I went to pick
Marcus up from crèche yesterday, I recounted my fluffy incidence to
people there mainly in relation to his use of the spoon.

       “Funny that you should mention fluffies,” one replied. “We were
just talking about them earlier. Carla has just started caring for this girl
and the mum gave her a list of all the places where she could go that
serve free fluffies. We’d never heard of fluffies before”

        But Julia had. Julia is a friend of mine also employed and
mothering. I’d met her for coffee a couple of weeks ago in a café that was
all brushed chrome and mahogany. Their chrome gadgetry had included
a tiny espresso cup that for some reason reminded me of Marcus and his
fluffy. When I’d finished telling Julia about my introduction to the fluffy,
she said,

       “Yes, but take the café we’re in now. You walk in here at 8am
during the working week with a baby or toddler and (a) yours is the only
baby there and (b) people either see through you or talk to you like you’re
a fulltime mum.”

       Julia’s remark inspired me to start observing the presence or
absence of children in inner city cafés. I had been so used to the norms
of café culture that Julia’s simple observation had totally evaded me until
then. During weekends, the cafés hosted people with their children.
Everywhere. There were babies and toddlers all experimenting with food,
drinks and fluffies. These inner city cafés, however, shifted their identity
during the working week. For the most part, they were childless. It was
mostly adults there and the children were elsewhere. The workplace and
its environs seemed to share their parenting norms.


                                  


      As I read what I’ve written, I am starting to wonder whether fluffies
and cafes are good for Marcus. I am concerned that I’d indoctrinate him
into café life and hence coffee drinking from a very tender age. But if it’s
such a concern, why have I resigned myself to the fact that I am an
addicted coffee drinker? Oh no. Now I’m also wondering if like cafés, the
workplace may not be good for Marcus either. But then he’ll never spend
that much time there as a kid – not really.


                                  


                                    347
       “I have concerns about my opening paragraph for this paper,” I
told Sherif. “I don’t want to romanticize or push breastfeeding any
further. Even though I’ve really enjoyed it, I haven’t had the easiest time
with it.”

      “So talk about that,” Sherif answered. “If you think you need to
highlight the difficulties as well as the pleasure, do that.”

      “But how would it relate to my focus on the workplace?” I asked.

       “You did it while you were there. Your dilemma and concerns were
aggravated because you were there. But no one saw those concerns and
very few were interested in hearing about them,” he replied.

        “But my concerns came about mainly because, having not taken
the bottle for the first few weeks, Marcus adamantly refused it
afterwards. So I was concerned for his health and well-being. What if I
were too tired to produce milk or if I couldn’t be there in time for his
feed? There was no back-up for his nutrition and there could be no back
for it till he started solids at four months,” I said. I sighed then added,
“You’re right to say that very few would be interested to hear about this.
To be honest, I don’t think the health profession would be interested
either. They’re too busy promoting breastfeeding. They would find it hard
to understand that I wanted Marcus to take the bottle because I cared for
him not because I wanted to run off to work. I never planned to stop
breastfeeding, only to supplement it. ”

       “Yes, but you felt tricked. We told all health professionals we came
across that you were going back to work at nine weeks and that Marcus
would need to take the bottle then. We explicitly asked what we needed
to do. No on told us about this bottle rejection thing even though it’s
commonly known among maternity and childcare nurses and
practitioners,” Sherif said.

      “And none of my workplace friends and colleagues told me either.
Having gone through that experience and then actively described it, I
found out that at least two of my colleagues had experienced the same
problems with offering bottle weeks after breast. But it just wasn’t the
kind of thing people talk about around the workplace.”


                                  




                                    348
“I think it’s good if students see us with our kids once in a while. It
humanizes us,” my colleague had said.

       We were discussing a staff and student function that was likely to
run into after-hours and I had mentioned that I would bring Marcus
along. The comment my colleague made then was one of those that
lingered with me the longest. It resonated with the implications of the
construction of academic authority, in Gergen’s (1995) terms. In
constructing a knowledgeable representation, it seemed that ‘the
academic’ had also constructed a distant representation. This was an
image of authority that, according to my colleague, needed humanizing.
And it took our kids, possibly among other aspects of our ‘personal’ lives,
to do that.

       I do not want to replicate the norms I teach others to critique. As
teacher of organization, I am part of an organization myself. I consider
my school to be a live everyday representation of our group’s
understanding of organization. I see myself as a professional yet I would
hate to reproduce the representation of the academic as a self-contained
individual – especially where that representation masks or inhibits
relevant aspects of my life. I won’t be descriptive about organizations as
childless cultures.

       My initial purpose in writing this account was to explore relational
representation in the workplace. I’d confronted a certain resignation that
there was employment and there was parenting. And the assumption
was that you make choices and identifying the separating lines. I did not
start out not exploring how one could fulfil both those roles in their
entirety, but how one could find them both entirely fulfilling. But to be
able to find fulfilment in the workplace, I have found it important not to
repress my relationships, particularly my relationship with Marcus. In
the process of writing, I realized that I was also writing to argue against
the highly individualized representation that now appears to pervade the
workplace. I still have a long way to go towards challenging the norms.
So far, I have been mostly following the conventions of my workplace
culture.


                                  


I come back to Marcus and me. The suggestion is that gradual physical
separation of our bodies should be accompanied by a psychological
separation as well. This is the natural progression of that relationship:
from attachment to separation. I joke about separation anxiety not only
affecting babies but mothers as well. And I recall a discussion with a


                                     349
colleague, where we both agreed that the separation emphasis was
predominantly a western thing – an emphasis that was culturally
situated. I continue to reflect on why considerable talk equates the
positive qualities of independence with separateness rather than with
relatedness.

        I have kept our umbilical cord clamp. People assure me that as
babies learn to separate so do mothers. I find that hard to believe.
Marcus and I will each value our sense of independence but I will not
accept the language of separateness. Marcus is now an inseparable part
of who I am and who I become. I do not see a need to hide that at work.
It is the opposite that I fear: that people would regard me as a separate
individual.




                                   350
1.    References

Brewis, J. & Sinclair, J. (2000) “Exploring embodiment: Women, biology
and work.” In J. Hassard, R. Holliday and H. Willmott (eds.) Body and
Organization (pp. 192-214), London, UK: Sage Publications Ltd.

Caproni, P. (1997) “Work/life balance: You can’t get there from here.”
Journal of Applied Behavioural Science, 33(1): 46-56.

Ellis, C. & Bochner, A. (1996) Composing ethnography: Alternative forms
of qualitative writing. Walnut Creek, CA: Sage Publications Ltd.

Ellis, C. & Bochner, A. (2000) “Autoethnography, personal narrative,
reflexivity.” In N. Denzin and Y. Lincoln (eds.), Handbook of Qualitative
Research (second edition) (pp. 733-768), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Publications Ltd.

Gergen, K. (1995) “Social construction and the educational process.” In
L. Steffe, J. Gale et al (eds.) Constructivism in Education (pp. 17-39),
Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Gergen, K., & Walter, R. (1998) “Real/izing the relational.” Journal of
Social and Personal Relationships, 15, 1: 110-126.

McKenna, E. (1997) When work doesn’t work any more: Women, work
and identity. Adelaide, Australia: Griffin Press.

Secret, M., Sprang, G. & Bradford, J. (1998) “Parenting in the
workplace.” Journal of Family Issues, 19, 6: 795-815




                                    351
Evocative and heuristic insights from a drumming circle: a
powerful learning activity for management students


Sarah Moore and Ann Marie Ryan




                                      Sarah Moore
Centre for Teaching and Learning and Dept of Personnel and Employment Relations, University
                                       of Limerick

                                  Ann Marie Ryan
                Dept of Management and Marketing, University of Limerick




© Sarah Moore and Ann Marie Ryan: Not to be reproduced in whole or in part without
the authors’ permission
    EVOCATIVE AND HEURISTIC INSIGHTS FROM A DRUMMING CIRCLE: A
      POWERFUL LEARNING ACTIVITY FOR MANAGEMENT STUDENTS




                                           ABSTRACT




This paper describes a classroom experience in which students learned to participate in a
‘drumming circle’ as a way of exploring important emotional and behavioural concepts
associated with management and organisational education. A classroom-based ‘drumming circle
experience’ is described and the initial rationale for this learning intervention is explained. 26
students participated in this interaction which was led by a skilled drumming teacher. 17 detailed
qualitative learning accounts were returned. These written student reactions have been
categorised and analysed from a general learning perspective as well as focusing more explicitly
on the value of this activity from the point of view of management and organisational education.
The analysis explores how unconventional classroom experiences can have powerful learning
effects both at a cognitive and an emotional level.
EVOCATIVE AND HEURISTIC INSIGHTS FROM A DRUMMING CIRCLE: A
POWERFUL LEARNING ACTIVITY FOR MANAGEMENT STUDENTS

                                  INTRODUCTION
This paper describes how an unconventional experiential classroom intervention gave rise to a
variety of learning insights and experiences at a level that might otherwise have been difficult to
achieve. The discussion includes a brief background to some important changes in management
and educational thinking, a review of the use of non-literal devices as management educational
tools and an outline of the cultural context from which the concept of the drumming circle
emanates. A detailed description of introducing the drumming circle to a third level student
group is provided. Data gathered from participants provides qualitative reactions to the learning
experience and are presented and analysed. Finally, the results are discussed and explored,
demonstrating how the unique power of physical rhythm and the development of drumming
competencies in a group setting can give rise to an effective learning in a third level
management education setting.


         DEVELOPMENTS IN EDUCATION AND MANAGEMENT STUDIES
New themes and ideas have begun to gain a stronger voice in both education and management
studies. For some time, dialogue in management theory has tended to shift from a rationalistic
machine metaphor based on Newtonian ideas to a more dynamic interconnected view that
corresponds to insights gleaned from quantum physics, complexity theory, behavioural science
and living systems (Allee 1999). With this dynamic systems view of the world, comes the
concept of open learning environments that are based on communications and collaboration. In
line with these developments, many new themes and ideas are starting to gain a foothold in
managerial rhetoric, professional development and practice. The popularisation of the concept
of ‘emotional intelligence’ (e.g. Goleman 1996) has for example, legitimised a more
concentrated focus on understanding process-related issues associated with group dynamics,
interpersonal communication and group cohesiveness in organisational settings. Over the last
two decades, the role of higher education in facilitating learning has been bestowed with some
important reminders. For example, Bigelow (1983) highlights a direct link between university
classroom settings and problems faced by business graduates on entering the workplace.
Passivity, individualism and an emphasis on intellectual competence have been traditional
features of third level learning environments, which do not equip students with managerial
aptitudes including the ability to engage and collaborate actively with others. We exist in a
world of ‘radical unknowability’ (Barnett 1997), and in this context our third level learning
environments need to incorporate a range of values including ‘bravery, strength, commitment,
freedom and openness’ (Curzon-Hobson, 2002, p183). This implies an active learning context in
which the concept of dialogue and potentiality are central themes. It also invites teachers to
create unconventional ways to help their students to learn and to aim for learning outcomes
through active engagement with a wide range of possible knowledge frameworks.
The emphasis of the learning intervention described in this paper is on achieving shared
organisational insights through a collective learning experience. This type of engagement can be
achieved in many ways, but we argue that the specific intervention described here demonstrates
a resonant and complex way of exploring some of the central themes associated with
organisational and managerial dynamics. Furthermore, we believe that the nature of the
experience itself can generate emotional depth within a learning group as well as acting as a
symbolic trigger for comparing and contrasting with other group experiences.
A.
        THE USE OF METAPHOR AND OTHER NON-LITERAL DEVICES IN
                               MANAGEMENT EDUCATION
The use of metaphor and other non-literal devices have always been an implicit part of teaching.
Inspiring and effective teachers innately tend to use that which is familiar to students, to help
them to understand new ideas or to make connections with less familiar territory. Indeed the use
of the familiar to explore the unfamiliar, has often been cited as the very essence of metaphor
(e.g. Ortony, 1975).
In addition, since Gareth Morgan’s (1986) arguments about the power of using different ‘images
of organisation’, it has not been unusual for management educators to refer explicitly to the use
of metaphors in teaching. It has been argued that the use of metaphors in learning and business
facilitates various dimensions of learning by accelerating the learning process, by elaborating or
magnifying certain aspects of a concept or (most commonly) by simplifying or clarifying
something complex using ‘reachable’ ideas to gain insights into those which might otherwise be
inaccessible.
The problems associated with applying metaphors have been identified as those relating to over
simplification, distortion, or inappropriate application (e.g. Trice and Beyer, 1993). Moreover,
many of the documented management learning metaphors risk being inaccessible themselves,
thus running the risk of exposing learners to two unfamiliar arenas whose links and connections
they are expected to explore. This is a criticism of Morgan’s ‘Images of organisation’ where
concepts such as ‘instruments of domination’ or ‘organisms’ are used to ‘explain’ different
aspects of organisations without an explicit recognition that such metaphorical concepts depend
heavily on the student sharing the same understanding of these concepts as the teacher (Beyer,
1992).
While the use of metaphors may indeed facilitate reflecting on organisations in different ways,
(for example giving insights into group dynamics, diversity and leadership), a lack of first-hand
experience on the part of most learners may give rise to a somewhat brittle understanding of the
very concepts such metaphors were designed to elucidate. This can have an alienating effect in
learning environments, and is arguably more likely to do this to those already on the margins of
conventional learning contexts. An example of how metaphors can block rather than facilitate
learning is outlined by Tannen (1994) who argues that in organisational environments, gendered
metaphors can have an alienating effect. ‘The very language spoken [in organisations] is often
based on metaphors from sports or from the military, terms that are just idioms to many women,
not references to worlds they have either inhabited or observed’ (1994, p121).
In a more recent commentary, Oswick, Keenoy and Grant (2002) have questioned the current
status that metaphor has developed in the context of organisational science and education. While
recognising the usefulness of metaphor in the fortification and enhancement of knowledge, they
argue that there are other tropes such as anomaly, paradox and irony, which might complement
the use of metaphors by placing learners outside their ‘cognitive comfort zones’ in order to help
them gain deeper, more complex insights about the phenomena they are attempting to
understand.
This paper explores how metaphor can help to gain learning insights by bringing an unfamiliar
experience to bear on our understanding of already familiar ideas thereby helping to create a
deeper understanding of something that is already known. We show that instead of being
‘compact ways to convey complicated ideas’ (Beyer 1992, p. 468) metaphors in the classroom
can help to disentangle compact concepts and uncover new layers of meaning to apparently
simple ideas like teamwork, listening and group dynamics. In addition, we show how features of
the experience help to avoid alienation and be both inclusive and participatory. Instead of a
linguistic or explanatory device the drumming circle described here can represent an active
encounter through which a wealth of emotional and cognitive insights may be gained.

 THE USE OF DRUMMING, RHYTHM AND PERCUSSION IN EDUCATION AND
                        PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Drumming and percussion workshops are becoming very popular in the provision of business
skills education, training and development. Drumming circles have been used as experiential
interventions among many differing groups such as management teams, special needs groups,
gender specific groups and in teaching (e.g. Hull ( 1998 ) and Friedman (2000) ). Within a
drumming circle, participants encounter a group activity which can help them to gain insights
about group dynamics in general as well as to experience in an immediate and intimate way,
how a group gains collective rhythmic skills in a relatively short period of time. As with many
group-based experiential activities in classroom settings, the drumming circle experience affords
the opportunity to develop a shared set of experiences which facilitate insights into a variety of
management and organisational concepts such as leadership skills, communication, group
dynamics, stress management, team performance and collective learning.
The drumming circle experience described in this analysis is part of a specific drumming
facilitation style devised and developed by John Bowker of Tribal Spirit Drumming ©. It is
similar in content to Village Music workshops facilitated by Arthur Hull in the USA.
An important element within this is the understanding of the context from which the drumming
stems. All rhythms explored come from the community/tribal teachings of Africa, and North and
South America. Teachings are based on a deep respect for these cultures, where efforts are made
to adapt important lessons into a western context. The philosophical approach is one of access,
where it is believed that everyone has innate rhythm that can be accessed. The activity of
drumming is not then about perfection or the performance of music but more about accessing
tools to gain deeper insights into ourselves and the communities within which we work. Later in
this paper we will discuss how some of the metaphorical insights associated with drumming
developed in African communities are also reflected in the classroom experience described here.
Reference to the work of Chernoff (1979) offer a useful vocabulary in order to help articulate the
context of African music in African society and how insights gained can be integrated into our
understanding of Western society, culture and organisation. The following section outlines how
the rhythmic skills and insights were used as part of the classroom based drumming circle that is
the focus of this paper.


                                       METHODOLOGY
This section provides a detailed description of the classroom intervention, and a brief outline of
the methods used to gather data generated by the participants’ experience.

The classroom intervention
Students involved were those enrolled on a module entitled ‘the psychology of strategic decision
making and change’ as part of a Masters Programme in Human Resource Management offered
by the Department of Personnel and Employment Relations at the University of Limerick. A
total of 26 students participated in the learning intervention. The week before all participating
students had been informed that their next session would be an active experiential exercise on
which they would later be invited to respond with written reflections.
A teacher/facilitator skilled in drumming techniques and teaching led the session with help from
a co-facilitator. On entering the room the participants were faced with a collection of drums and
chairs placed in a circle. Participants were asked to take a seat and choose the drum that they
would like to use in the workshop. The facilitator then introduced the workshop and produced
the “talking stick”, a Native American tradition that allows the stick bearer the opportunity to
speak while the other members listen. The facilitator then posed a number of questions to the
group, stressing the point that one did not have to answer the particular questions posed, or
indeed to answer at all. The facilitator asked the students to introduce themselves, to tell the
class where they were from, how they were feeling at that moment, and what they hoped to get
from the exercise. Before the participants began to use the drum , the facilitator asked the group
to clap their hands, where within moments the group began to clap in unison. The facilitator then
asked the group firstly to tense their hands, and then to loosen them, highlighting the difference
between the two sounds created. This exercise brought forward two lessons, firstly that the
group had the ability to work in harmony and that they therefore have a ‘sense of rhythm’, and
that a more relaxed approach creates a richer sound.
The second element presented was to get to know the drum, where the facilitator brought the
participants through the basic notes or sounds that were to be used for the rest of the workshop,
this included a rim sound (high) and a base sound (low), the students then practiced these sounds
in a follow-the-leader exercise, where the facilitator moved from rim to base, and participants
followed the facilitators movements. This initial exercise had the primary purpose of technique
introduction, but also allowed for the ice to be broken.
The group was then introduced to a number of basic Yoruba rhythms that are usually taught to
drumming students from an early age in Nigeria, thus allowing the creation of sound together on
the drum. Up to six of these basic rhythms were introduced, where the facilitator moved from
one to the other without pausing. This introduction was designed to help students to feel more
comfortable with a basic rhythm, and to develop or engage with their own sense of timing and
rhythm.
The main objective of the workshop was to bring the group to a point where there are able to
attempt a complex polyrhythm. A polyrhythm is a term widely used in the tribal music of
Africa, and South America, where the rhythm becomes a collection of layers that are interwoven
between the base, lead rhythm, counter rhythm and light percussion (bells etc). The power of the
drum circle lies in the fact that, through the skill of the drum leader, the group can quickly access
the skills required to play a complex rhythm together.
In order to reach this point the group was introduced to three parts or aspects of the polyrhythm;
the base (seen in many African cultures as symbolic of the earth or female aspect), the lead
(again symbolic of the element air, or male aspect), and the counter-rhythm (symbolic of the
element fire, or child aspect). Each part was in turn broken down into stages, to allow ease of
learning, then each part was brought together and the group played this together until each
member was comfortable with the piece. The group was then brought back to the beginning to
allow time for every member to feel comfortable, allowing those participants that were not yet
happy with their ability a safe time to participate fully. The important pedagogical point was that
participants were not forced to play the part perfectly. The need to start again was treated as a
positive feature of the activity. It was emphasised that even if certain members were grasping the
technique more quickly, bringing everyone back to the basics strengthened everyone’s ability to
play their part more effectively. If certain members of the group were having difficulty, the
facilitator stressed that there are other parts to play and that they should not worry about their
overall ability to play the rhythm.
By the end of the workshop, following a rehearsal of all the different drum patterns, participants
were then invited to choose one of three different groupings (‘the bass posse’ ; ‘the lead rhythm
posse’ and ‘the counter-rhythm posse’). By then, all aspects to the rhythm had been introduced.
During this stage, the facilitator, with assistance from the co-facilitator improvised by adding
other dimensions to a then competently functioning set of rhythms created by the group.
Capturing student responses
Participants were asked to respond in writing to a ‘learning reflection form’ that included a small
number of open-ended questions. Students were asked to take time to reflect on the drumming
experience and to describe the experience in their own words. In order to try to capture some of
their insights about the workshop, they were also invited to elaborate on any specific
organisational insights, lessons, feelings, thoughts, ideas or issues that this experience invoked.
Questions were posed in a deliberately open-ended way. In particular, students were asked to
reflect on how the experience may have helped them to understand more about working together
in groups.
The classroom intervention was videotaped and the visual archive was used as an aide memoire
along with analysis of the written responses of participants. 17 responses were received from a
participating class of 26 representing a response rate of 65%.
                                        RESULTS
Student reactions have been categorised according to the following themes identified among
participant responses: emerging emotional states, behavioural dynamics, teacher behaviour and
orientation and organisational insights.
Emerging emotional states
When asked to describe the drumming circle experience, almost all respondents referred
explicitly to how they felt at different stages during the workshop. On encountering the circle at
the beginning of the session, the negative emotions invoked included apprehension,
nervousness, fear, scepticism, confusion and uncertainty:
       ‘people were unsure of their own ability as [drumming] was new to most of us’
       (respondent 3)
       ‘I was nervous when I saw the room first and was thinking “Oh God, what will I have to
       do here?”’ (respondent 9)
       ‘Initially I thought, oh no, not another group exercise’ (respondent 11)
       ‘most people felt nervous at first, myself included’ (respondent 15)
       ‘the mood was one of shyness, as it is when we are put in a strange environment’
       (respondent 16)
Positive initial feelings included intrigue, excitement, anticipation and surprise. Many of the
initial feelings were linked specifically to the novelty associated with the room configuration and
with the unconventional nature of the activities that learners were being asked to engage in:
       ‘The experience was very different from anything else I had participated in through my
       college life’ (respondent 10)
       ‘I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived for class to discover the plan for the next 2
       hours’ (respondent 13)
Emotional states changed significantly as the workshop got underway. Participants typically
reported that their initial feelings disappeared, giving way to a range of positive and (in many
cases) intense feelings. Most commonly cited emerging emotions included involvement,
confidence, relaxation, enjoyment, pride, interest, immersion, unselfconsciousness, stimulation
and warmth.
       ‘At the end you wouldn’t have thought that two hours had passed’ (respondent 2)
       ‘we had all begun to relax and enjoy the music that the class produced’ (respondent 3)
       ‘a thoroughly enjoyable experience’ (respondent 5)
       ‘found it stimulating’ (respondent 6)
       ‘I particularly enjoyed the experience of playing the drum and being part of a sound that
       appealed and moved me emotionally’ (respondent 9)
       ‘It helped me get to know the people in the group and made me feel at ease with myself
       in their presence, i.e. I was no longer afraid of what they thought of me’ (respondent 11)
       ‘within the first few minutes, all feelings of nervousness were abated and the class
       immersed themselves fully in what turned out to be 2 hours of great fun’ (respondent 12)
       ‘To some extent it’s been quite a cathartic exercise because we could think of some of
       the issues arising in class… in a dynamic and relaxing way’ (respondent 14)
Behavioural dynamics: moving from ‘inability’ to competence
In addition to emotional references the retrospective descriptions of the experience also referred
to the behaviours and activities the group had engaged in along with the development of specific
skills. Behaviours mentioned included co-operation, working together, watching each other
carefully, listening, transforming beats into intelligible music, putting together a beat, learning
and integrating complicated interlocking rhythms. A strong theme associated with the majority
of behaviour-related comments was that of competence development. The participants clearly
and frequently referred to moving from inability to competence in a whole range of ways:


       ‘at the end of the class I was pleased that I had been able to play my drum’ (respondent
       11)
       ‘I think we all felt proud at what we had achieved at the end of the session’ (respondent
       15)
       ‘…we had come from a group with little or no drum experience to being able to put
       together an amazing beat pattern’ (respondent 16)
Timeframe was also mentioned by several respondents. In particular, the relatively short time
within which participants developed a sense of competence received explicit reference:
       ‘after a while the beats became more varied which required a relaxed hand’ (respondent
       3)
       ‘almost before we knew it [we were] playing integrated rhythms’ (respondent 4)
       ‘it was a revelation to see how a diverse group could…work as a co-ordinated whole so
       quickly’
       (respondent 1)
       ‘In just an hour and a half…[we were able to] put together a… beat pattern’
       (respondent 16)


Teacher behaviour and orientation
10 of the 17 respondents referred specifically to the behaviours and orientations of the
drumming teacher who led and facilitated the group learning throughout the workshop. Some
attributed the success of the intervention to his personality while others explicated the more
specific aspects of his teaching style. The importance of the role of the teacher was highlighted
in observations and insights quoted below:
       ‘…the leader of the session quickly put everyone at ease. He explained basic concepts of
       drumming, how everyone had an innate sense of rhythm and that mistakes were OK’
       (respondent 4)
       ‘The facilitator assisted…through a very empathetic approach with clear and concise
       instructions’ (respondent 6)
       ‘The leader of the session used humour, informality and tools (talking stick) to break the
       ice and set us at ease’ (respondent 9)
       ‘John was really excellent. He put me at ease straight away, he was aware that people
       would be nervous and did everything to relax us’. [I was pleased] that I could laugh
       when I made mistakes rather than feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed and I feel this
       was down to how John handled the group’ (respondent 10)
       ‘The leader has a very relaxing mode about him, he made me feel at ease’ (respondent
       11)
       ‘John, the team leader was fantastic. He constantly reassured and praised the group’
       (respondent 12)
       ‘John the group facilitator helped to relax everyone by letting everyone introduce
       themselves, his mild manner was also a big help and he emphasised how everyone has
       rhythm, something I never thought I had, so from then I was willing to give it a go.’
       (respondent 16)


Organisational insights: evocative and heuristic
In addition to references to emotions, competence development and teaching styles, respondents
also linked many of their immediate reactions to the classroom experience with some of the
management concepts they had already heard about in more conventional didactic settings.
Some of these links represented ‘evocative insights’, where the immediate experience called to
mind similarities and useful comparisons to organisational experiences. Insights that could be
labelled evocative were those that appeared to bring to light existing knowledge, clarify some
dimension of an organisational experience or remind respondents of previous group encounters,
perhaps further explaining the nature of those experiences. The following quotes provide
examples of statements indicating that evocative insights had taken place (emphases added):
       ‘I noted that students tended to play their drums as loud as possible. Personally I found
       this necessary in order to hear my own drum and distinguish it from others. This
       reminded me that people like to be heard once their confidence is high’ (respondent 1)
       ‘I think this experience brings to light the fact that people work well in groups when they
       come with no agenda’ (respondent 2)
       ‘In real life you ‘drum’ in separate rooms and locations but still need to beat out a
       pleasing rhythm’ (respondent 4)
       ‘Personally I would relate [the drumming experience] to ‘first day in a new job’ and
       would be delighted if anyone who started in the company was made feel even half as
       relaxed as I was’ (respondent 10)
       ‘This experience reminded me of the times I began a new job. The initial fear,
       intimidation, feeling of being lost and on your own. Breaking into a group is very
       difficult, it takes time, effort and emotionally drains you….when people help you realise
       your role’ (respondent 11)
       ‘Tonight I experienced musically, our strong tendency to lose our own rhythm because
       of the intrusion of someone else’s pace’ (respondent 14)
All of the above statements were defined as evocative insights to the extent that they reminded,
evoked or re-displayed knowledge in a new way. Respondent 14’s statement implied that she
was already aware of a specific human tendency but that the drumming circle allowed her to
experience this awareness in a new way. Other statements (e.g. those of respondents 10 and 11)
were more explicit examples of how the experience brought to mind workplace encounters as
well as showing the way to new possibilities associated with group learning that had not been
experienced in quite the same way before.
Other statements about the learning that had taken place represented ‘heuristic insights’ where
the group experience generated recommendations or criteria that students felt could or should be
applied to organisational contexts. Some of these heuristic insights could also be termed
‘actionable insights’ where they incorporated the consideration of a specific workplace
intervention as a direct result of having participated in the drumming circle experience. Insights
that could be labelled ‘heuristic’ were those that appeared to give rise to new ideas regarding the
general conditions in which positive group dynamics were likely to emerge, to imply
recommendations or imperatives for changes in workplace situations or to stimulate the
consideration of specific action on the part of the respondents. The following quotes provide
examples of statements indicating that heuristic insights had taken place (emphases added):
‘organisations that allow direct involvement are likely to generate greater commitment to
company goals. Watching the drumming is not the same as participating in the action’
(respondent 4)
‘organisations should ensure that every employee realises their contribution is necessary not
just for the organisation but also for fellow employees’ (respondent 4)
‘when people lose their way being given a set path to follow can help keep them going’
(respondent 5)
‘organisations should be open to new ideas, cultures, methods, insights even if they seem miles
away from their relevance’ (respondent 9)
‘an organisation must be emotionally intelligent, i.e. empathise with the beginners and put in
place a support system that will reduce those negativities.’ (respondent 11)
‘I believe a session such as this could have benefits on the forming stage of groups within
organisations (e.g. startup) which is a time when many individuals feel uncertain about
relationships in their new company’ (respondent 4)
‘It’s made me think of introducing a ‘buddy’ system or something similar where all new people
would be looked after by an existing member of staff’ (respondent 10)
Other themes that respondents referred to included the importance of participation and
encouragement in collective learning environments, the need for people to find their own
‘voices’ while also listening to others, the development of a sense of responsibility and
competence and the importance of the nonverbal aspects of group engagement.


                                         DISCUSSION
Several analytical themes can be derived from the written accounts of participants’ experience
with the drumming circle. They include a sense of emotional transformation from the beginning
to the end of the workshop; the power and uniqueness associated with the use of rhythm in
drumming and the generation of deep as opposed to shallow insights.


Emotional transformation and engagement
Almost all of the 17 respondents indicated that the group had been initially tense but that
through participation and engagement, it had quickly bonded members, made them feel more
part of this learning group and allowed them to gain insights about the nature of group dynamics
that might otherwise have been difficult to achieve. Many of the responses indicated the
development of a normative or heuristic orientation based on an experience that most agreed
was intense, positive, satisfying and atypical. At the end of the session, many had identified
differences between organisational group experiences and those encountered in the drumming
circle. The experience had been facilitated by someone who assumed that everyone in the group
was capable of reaching a level of competence required for group performance. Everyone
worked well with each other in an atmosphere of fun and trust. Each participant tried their best
and helped others who encountered difficulties. Many members talked about feeling good and
being proud of the group’s achievement. This is in direct contrast to some of the dynamics for
which third level learning environments have often been criticised (e.g. Bigelow, 1983).


The unique power of music and rhythm
It could be argued that the reactions and insights to which the drumming circle gave rise, might
have been produced through a whole range of more well-known experiential exercises. It has
long been recognised that sensitive, learner-orientated facilitation can create positive collective
learning through the use of a range of simple group exercises. However, we believe that there is
something about the physical, collective expression of complex rhythm that creates a unique and
significant learning environment. Gardner (1983) and Lazear (1999) argue that musical or
rhythmic intelligence is a unique way of gaining insights about our world and ourselves. Indeed
it is precisely the impact of music and rhythm on the state of the brain that makes it a powerful
learning instrument, allowing us to experience ideas and feelings in a learning setting that might
otherwise be inaccessible. There is a strong connection between music and rhythm and emotions
(e.g. Friedman, 2000; Gardner, 1981). Participating in the creation of rhythm can be deeply
satisfying in itself as well as setting the scene for positive emotional engagement that might
make subsequent learning a more engaging and interactive process (Campbell, Campbell &
Dickinson, 1996). Such an activity may provide us with useful analogical and contrasting tropes
that invite us to ‘see the world anew’ in the ways that Lakoff and Johnson (1981) have so
famously suggested. The extreme changes in emotional states reported by the respondents seem
to suggest that the activity was a particularly powerful experience. This was a group that had
engaged in a wide variety of experiential and interactive exercises as part of the module they
were engaged in, but the powerful and intense language they used to describe the drumming
activity suggests that there was a kind of magic about it that differentiated it from other group
encounters.


Facilitating ‘deep’ learning and complex engagement with simple ‘truths’
Nevertheless, there remains a danger that the learning insights reported by participants may be
seen as nothing more than organisational platitudes or bland observations. Learning insights
gained may restate commonsense approaches without adding any value to the learners’
perspective on operating in organisations. This possibility can be countered in two ways. Firstly,
many organisational ‘platitudes’ contain important truths that can only be internalised if they
have been experienced in a ‘deep’ as opposed to a ‘shallow’ sense. A didactic lecture in which
teamwork is emphasised may give rise to a certain acceptance of an important set of ideas.
However, through active engagement in a complex, novel group task, a more lasting and
complex understanding may be generated, especially if accompanied by the emotional
engagement facilitated by musical activity. When any learning happens through this type of
experience, it may be more likely that paralinguistic insights will also be gained, those that are
beside or beyond language, and those that incorporate the paradoxes and complexities associated
with apparently simple truths. Such truths include for example, the importance of listening skills
and teamwork in the context of collective endeavour. The insights that learners demonstrated in
their reflections on the experience were indeed related to day-to-day interactions. These insights
echo many of the same themes that Chernoff (1979) has suggested emerge in African
communities where the drum plays a central socialising function:
‘The development of musical awareness in Africa constitutes a process of education: music’s
explicit purpose, in the ways it might be defined by Africans, is, essentially, socialisation. An
individual learns the potential and limitations of participation in a communal context…these
values form part of an elaborate set of generative themes which pattern the experience of
everyday life’ (Chernoff 1979, p. 154).
According to Chernoff, African music does not stand-alone but is seen more as a metaphor for
life itself, a learning process to aid mediation between the individual and their involvement
within a community. This learning process can be said to be organic in nature, where lessons are
interpreted at an intuitive level from the music itself. Indeed if certain ‘stories’ are told, they too
are presented in metaphorical terms. ‘The values of African traditional wisdom are integrated
into a style of communication, which is both musical and social. In such a context, they do not
have to be made explicit; they are there to be understood in action, and their validity is
measured by their social effectives’ (Chernoff 1979, p.154). A powerful example of these
lessons, and one that is highly relevant in management education is the dynamic tension of the
multiple rhythms within a complex African polyrhythm and the cohesive power of their
relationship. In an African polyrhythm, there may be up to six differing parts, all indeed separate
in themselves, but their power is seen more in their overall contribution to the rhythm. The
strength of the community, therefore, is seen within the strength of its constituent parts, all
working towards a common vision or purpose where full participation is kernel where the
community facilitate every individual within that community to be all they can be, therefore,
feeding the strength of the community as a whole. The entire rhythm played is highly structured
in nature, however, it is within this complex structure that individual creativity can be truly
nourished, ‘the diverse rhythms help people distinguish themselves from each other while they
remain profoundly involved – once you have brought a structure to bear on your involvements,
and made your peace with it, the distinctive gestures and deviant idiosyncrasies of personality
can stand out with clarity’ (Chernoff 1979, p.159).



                                      CONCLUSIONS
It is impossible to give a comprehensive insight into any collective learning experience that has
not been encountered first hand. This may be particularly true of the drumming circle
intervention we have attempted to describe in this paper. In attempting to engage students
emotionally, we believe that the drumming circle holds much power and has a collective impact
that would be difficult to achieve using other experiential interventions. Diverse insights arising
from the experience were discussed and explored by participants. Skills that can be developed or
enhanced through drumming circles included those central to effective group work. Participants
witnessed first hand how a rhythm can ‘fall’ if members do not listen carefully to one another.
Each voice in the group adds its own flavour and successful performance is related to making
room for each voice in the group. Playing your part of the rhythm while still listening to what is
going on in the group is redolent with important lessons for other contexts. One of the real
morals of the experience is to be strong and keep to your part, but also to allow what you are
playing to evolve to the needs of the group. This is important when working in any group.
Playing in drum circles epitomises the value and impact of active collaboration as opposed to
competition. It characterises the importance of active listening and emulates the interdependence
often associated with any healthy community, in which each member of that community carries
responsibility and plays an important role.


The risks that individuals take to develop competence in the circle by working together, should
not be underestimated, but the willingness to uncover and articulate early feelings as part of the
group remain an important dimension of the experience. We believe that the value of this
experience goes far beyond that of a feelgood group exercise (though the emotional dimension
of the experience does constitute an important and energising aspect). The evidence provided by
participants has shown that not only can a drumming circle have powerful transformative
emotional effects, but that also a range of evocative and heuristic learning insights can be
generated through a collective reflection on the lessons that it brings alive. The legitimisation of
the use of drumming circles and other rhythmic or musical interventions carry a still untapped
potential that could contribute significantly to a transforming pedagogy of higher education.
REFERENCES


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Management Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 121-131.


Barnett, R. (1997) ‘Higher education: a critical business’ Open University Press: Buckingham


Beyer, J.M. (1992) ‘Metaphors, misunderstandings and mischief: a commentary’ Organisational
Science, vol 3, no 4, pp. 467-474


Campbell, L., Campbell, B. & Dickinson, D. (1996) ‘Teaching and Learning through Multiple
Intelligences’ Allyn and Bacon: Massachusetts


Chernoff John, M (1979) ‘African Rhythm and African Sensibility’ The University of Chicago
Press: Chicago


Curzon-Hobson, A. (2002) ‘Higher Education in a World of Radical Unknowability: an
extension of the challenge of Ronald Barnett’ Teaching in Higher Education, vol 7. No. 2, pp.
179-191


Gardner, H. (1983) ‘Frames of Mind: The theory of multiple intelligences’ Basic Books: New
York


Friedman, R. L. (2000). ‘The Healing Power of the Drum’, White Cliffs Media: California



Goleman, D. (1996) ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more then IQ’ Bloomsbury:
London


Hull, A.C. (1998) ‘Drum circle spirit: facilitating human spirit through rhythm’ Whitecliffs
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Lazear, D. (1999) ‘Eight ways of teaching: The artistry of teaching with multiple intelligences’
3rd Edition, Sky Light: Illinois
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Ortony, A. (1975) ‘Why metaphors are necessary and not just nice’ Educational theory, 25,
pp.45-53


Oswick, C., Keenoy, T. & Grant, D. (2002) ‘Metaphor and analogical reasoning: Beyond
Orthodoxy’ Academy of Management Review, vol 27, No.2 pp 294-303


Tannen,D. (1994) ‘Talking from 9-5’ Virago: New York


Trice, H.M & Beyer, J.M. (1993) ‘The cultures of work organisation’ Prentice-Hall: New Jersey

                               ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We wish to thank all members of the MBS in HRM class 2001-2002 for their willing
participation in the unconventional classroom experience described in this paper. We are deeply
grateful to John Bowker for his generosity and intuitive abilities in introducing the Tribal Spirit
Drumming Circle to us and to our students. Finally we thank Michael Chapman of the
University of Limerick’s Information Technology department for his skilful and unobtrusive
videotaping.
“Leadership: In Their Own Image and Likeness”
Bruce T. Murphy

Professor and Dean of the School of Business
Point Park College, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA


In Leading With Soul. An Uncommon Journey of Spirit, Bolman and Deal argue that
“we need a revolution in how we think about leadership and how we develop leaders.
Most management and leadership development programs ignore or demean spirit.
They desperately need an infusion of poetry, literature, music, art, theater, history,
philosophy, dance and other forms that are full of spirit. Even that would still leave
us far short of the cadre of leaders of spirit that we require." (Bolman and Deal 1994,
167-168)

This highly interactive workshop is based on an exercise from the opening session of
“Leadership Theory and Practice,” and “Leadership in Organizations,” taught at
several colleges and universities in the United States. Guided by the facilitator,
workshop participants will tackle the sense of organizational leadership head on in
an attempt to find common ground for those who study, teach, or practice leadership.
At the individual, group, and large group levels participants will experience
leadership through the lens of community art as they forge common meaning out of
disparate perspectives. They will have the opportunity to challenge assumptions
about organizational leadership and will be encouraged to assess their own
leadership prejudices and practices.

Participants will experience a creative rush not normally associated with the world of
the classroom and speech. As they move beyond verbal communication to express
their conceptions of leadership the participants’ visual definitions take on lives of
their own.
The artwork created during the workshop, can be displayed as art and conversations
starters for the remainder of the conference.


Contact Person (Presenter):
      Dr. Bruce Murphy
      email: bmurphy@ppc.edu
      4719 Sunnydale Blvd.
      Erie, PA 16509 USA
      (814) 868-5120
Anne Noble
College of Design, Fine Arts and Music,
Massey University,
Wellington,
Aotearoa / New Zealand.
A.Noble@massey.ac.nz

Deborah Jones
School of Business and Public Management
Victoria University,
P O Box 600
Wellington,
Aotearoa / New Zealand.
Deborah.Jones@vuw.ac.nz




The ‘engine of visualisation’: a dialogue on how photography can count as
research
Ann Noble and Deborah Jones


PRESENTATION TO: PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE VISUAL ARTS STREAM; The Art of
Management and Organisation, London, September, 2002.

ART, RESEARCH, PHOTOGRAPHY, TEXTS, AND OTHER BINARIES

We begin with the premise that that photography - the ‘engine of visualization’ (Maynard,
1997)– can make a powerful contribution to organisational research. We want to extend
the debates on photography in the research process to argue that, beyond its use as
merely 'illustrating' or 'documenting' research processes, it can also create new
knowledges which are ‘synthetic and integrative, rather than analytic and reductive’
(Park, 2001).

Our presentation consists of a specific photographic action research project paper and
our reflections on it. These reflections are based on dialogues between us – as an
organisational researcher and a photographer – inquiring into how photography can count
as research.

Our dialogues are located within our very specific disciplinary and institutional situations
as academics. The paper represents a series of dialogues between us over a period of
time in which we have engaged with points of difference between us, as well as with
possibilities of collaboration between artists, scholars and other practitioners, including
research ‘subjects’ themselves.

Our dialogue is structured around a series of binaries that we engage with together, and
with which we invite our ‘audience’ also to engage.

FOR THE LOVE OF THE PEOPLE: THE PHOTOGRAPHIC PROJECT

         To see something like this come alive in words and pictures is just beautiful. And
         for your family to see it too. "Hey look at this", my kids said, as we all began to
         look at the pictures. They thought it was great and they kept coming up with ideas
         too.
         - Bill Herbert, Cleaner192

For the love of the people: Photographs and stories from the work and lives of seven
contract cleaners (For the love of the people, 1999) was an exhibition that resulted from
a participatory photographic project. The project involved a photography teacher - Anne
- and her students, a community arts organisation and a local cleaners' union. Unlike many
organisational research projects, this was an explicitly political and emancipatory one.
The concepts of creativity and the aesthetic were employed in the service of specially
advocacy-based objectives. The objectives of the project were to honour the
contribution of cleaners to society, to challenge the lack of awareness and the negative
public perceptions about the work of cleaning, and to make visible the problems facing
contract workers, in particular their concerns as members of a large group
disenfranchised by the Employment Contracts Act (ECA).193: to create 'a rare insight into
an invisible job' as a TV reporter later described it.

Here we describe this project so as to highlight the ways that photography - the
‘engine of visualization’ (Maynard, 1997) provides a technology that literally enables
researchers and their audiences to see the world in new ways, to make the invisible,
visible - to say "Hey look at this" (Bill Herbert, Cleaner)xxxii.In reflecting on this case, we
also inquire into the relationships of photography to participatory research, and explore

192
    We use the actual names of the research ‘subjects’/collaborators. This use of actual names emphasises their participatory
status and the intention of the researchers to honour and make visible the lives and works of cleaners. Their identities were
clearly ‘exhibited’ in the exhibition that presented the photographic research, and their names were also attached to their
words on exhibition text panels. The participants all gave consent for the use of their names in the exhibition and also in this
published work.
193
     The ECA was scrapped in 2000 when a new government took power.
how photography opens up new possibilities for inquiry. The ‘action turn’ in research itself
pushes the boundary of our thinking about what constitutes knowledge and its
legitimation as ‘research’.

Anne was the initiator and leader of the project, and her research design was originally
driven by ideas about photography. Her readings and reflection during the process
gradually wove in the perspectives of participatory action research (PAR) (Friere, 1979;
Hall, 1982; Reason, 1994). Deborah's involvement is as a collaborator in reflecting on the
research process, and as a co-writer. This collaborative reflection and writing project has
presented an opportunity to develop her passion for creative forms of research
methodology , and for using modes of knowledge from the humanities to inquire into
organisational life.

The inquiry process

For the love of the people began as a social documentary project for a final year
photography paper at Massey University. The Projecta Foundation - a philanthropic
foundation that supports projects for social change with an interest in photography -
brought together the School of Design with a community arts group, Hutt Valley
Community Arts (HVCA). HVCA had been approached by a group of cleaners and a trade
union (the Service and Food Workers Union), who wanted to create a photographic
exhibition about the life and work of seven contract cleaners. Four students worked with
seven contract cleaners for four months. Together the group made images of home and
of work, of participation in community life and of dedication to improving conditions for
fellow workers.

This was seen as a project in visual communication. While the communication objectives
were stated clearly from the start, the actual outcomes were not. The design and
outcomes were emergent through the collaboration between participants. The project
succeeded because the agendas of each group of participants were congruent, and
because the relationships between groups were handled well. Unplanned-for outcomes
included a very satisfying exhibition, a publication, and television and press coverage of
the union’s political message.
In hindsight, the objectives can be
re-stated as research questions:

  What are the contributions that
cleaners make to society?
  What are the key aspects and
positive features of their work?
  What are the problems they face in
their work, especially in their
situation as contract workers?


There were   two main phases to the project:
    1. Creating the photography: project design and photographic projects. This
       was the original pedagogical project, and mostly involved the photographers
       and the cleaners. This was the project as originally designed xxxiii.
    2. Creating an exhibition and publications from the photography. This
       developed after the first phase was completed, and all the participants
       wanted to go on to make the images more widely available to the public.
       This involved the whole research team.

After these phases were completed, the project was evaluated by the union and by Anne.

Using photography to design research

The project's design was created initially from the perspective of photography, rather
than of research. The decision to use a participatory design model had its origins in post-
modern analysis of documentary photography . A major contribution of the post-modern
critique of photography has been to draw attention to the unequal relationships that are
hidden or ignored in the practice of photography. The meaning of the photographs is
constructed by the makers and the viewers and the subjects are rendered powerless and
silent. Post-modern analysis of photography also exposes the lack of objectivity in the
genre of documentary photography; how the meaning and context of supposedly ‘truthful’
photographs was constructed by those who made them and the people who viewed them.
Park (2001) points out that much participatory inquiry also supposes a kind of objective
knowledge, which, if anything, is given even greater assumed absolute truth value by its
participatory status. By contrast, this project is based on the idea that knowledge -
collaborative or otherwise - is inevitably partial. Consciously interpretive ways of creating
knowledge are ‘synthetic and integrative, rather than analytic and reductive’ (Park, 2001,
p. 83). Interpretive knowers re-describe or re-present the object of knowing, allowing
the ‘new and unexpected to arise from the interpretive process' (ibid).

The challenge presented for contemporary documentary photography is to devise
methods and strategies that give primacy and power to the voices of the subjects. For
the Love of the People is a project of documentary photography that has its practice
rooted in a commitment to empowering the subjects of the photographs through
facilitating their participation in the telling of their stories, the editing of the
photographs and the design of the context in which the images are seen. The creation of
meaning is a collaborative endeavour.

It is clear from what we have already told you that the project involved a wide range of
research participants, with complex multiple relationships to one another. Of these, the
cleaners were the ‘critical reference group’ (Wadsworth, 1997, p. 10). As Wadsworth
points out, the ‘critical reference group’ may not be a ‘group’ as such, and ‘within it there
may be different interests represented, different viewpoints, different ideas, attitudes
and values’. She goes on to argue that : ‘the thing to sort out is what are the shared
interests, views, ideas, etc., driving her research, and which is it intended to serve?’
(ibid.)

The contract cleaners themselves were a marginalised group of workers: mainly Samoan,
with two Maori workers194; they worked in an invisible and stigmatised occupation with low
pay, poor conditions and little security; they were contract workers. Their jobs depended
on a contract between their employer and a client company for the provision of a service.
The Employment Contracts Act provided no protection for contract workers if their



194
     Taking the population as a whole Maori are 14.5%; Pacific Island people 4.8%; and those of Asian origin 5.5% in
relations to the Pakeha majority of European descent (Ministry of Women's Affairs, 1998).
employer loses the contract to provide a service. To change this was one of the key
objectives of the contract workers' campaign.

The cleaners as critical reference group

In the process of the project, the cleaners were involved at every phase. Their concerns
informed an initial brief prepared for the students by the participants. In designing the
exhibition and publications, a community worker came into the process, and her input was
vital supporting cleaners’ participation by talking with them, raising cultural issues (i.e.,
the relationship between Maori and Samoan), and negotiating the place of images on walls
in relationship to each other. The project was able to provide financial support for
cleaners, to cover the cost of attending meetings. Copies of the collaborative
photographic essays produced by students in book form were presented to each cleaner
as a record of their lives.

The photography completed, the participant groups met regularly to design a
photographic exhibition. Text to contextualise readings of the photographs was designed
collaboratively, based on interviews with cleaners. Much negotiation took place. The
cleaners kept the focus on the stories that were key to their participation in the project.
Funding was found to publish a brochure containing the cleaners' stories and images from
the exhibition, as well as a poster publicising the union's campaign to raise the profile of
the rights of contract workers.

Traditional social documentary photography might have portrayed these workers as poor
victims, oppressed by the capitalist system. Instead, in response to the brief, the
photographic essays produced by the students showed people who were proud of their
contribution to the community, enjoyed and valued their work, were committed to their
families, their wider community and fellow union members. The exhibition worked as a
community development project by re-presenting strong positive images of Maori and
Pacific island people to themselves their families and communities, as well as to the
uninformed public who had been the intended audience.

The cleaners’ and union’s original intent to use the exhibition for political protest became
more dominant once the photography was completed. They decided to open the exhibition
on Labour Day, coinciding with the launch of the union campaign to improve conditions for
contract workers. A decision was made to publish a brochure in association with the
exhibition, as well as a poster publicising the SFWU campaign. Four further meetings of
all the groups were held, and the project was joined by a community worker. At various
times during the year meetings of all the participant groups looked at photographs and
talked, imagined and planned the exhibition.

The exhibition also include the use of text to contextualise readings of the photographs,
and this too was designed collaboratively. A union worker interviewed the cleaners and
the transcripts were edited during readings at the meetings. Much negotiation took place.
The union argued for more polemic. The student photographers stressed the need to
discern those images that by their strength and relationship to other images made a
point that did not need re-stating in words. In this process the position of the cleaners
as the critical reference group was reinforced. The cleaners drove what they wanted the
exhibition to show/say, keeping the focus on the stories that were key to their
participation in the project. It emerged at this meeting, for instance, that stories that
demonstrated the success of standing together as a group against the companies were of
paramount importance for the cleaners as making a stand for their fellow workers or
their fellow Samoans. It was a through a development of this conversation at a later date
that the title for the exhibition emerged - ‘… for the love of the people’. Other themes
were noted: the value of their work; pride in doing a good job; cleaning as a contribution;
the importance of their work as cleaners in the whole scheme of their lives and for their
families. At later editing stages the cleaners insisted that certain stories, which had
been edited out by Anne and the photographers, should be reinstated, and this was done.

The group workshopped ideas for the exhibition layout with the images laid out on the
floor on a large roll of newsprint, collecting and clarifying ideas. At an important meeting
to discuss the exhibition, structure was worked out and complex cultural issues
negotiated as decisions were made about the kind of opening for the exhibition, the use
of cultural decorations, and the final order of images. The group arranged a day to hang
the exhibition collectively.

There were moments when the interests of all groups represented came into conflict. While
Massey University the outcomes were mostly positive, in being associated with an exhibition that
received much positive publicity on television and in the newspapers, and positive feedback from
within the community. However, the University also got caught up in some of the unforeseen
difficulties associated with such a complex participatory project. In a case of the right arm not
knowing what the left arm was doing, the same week that the exhibition opened, the University's
cleaning contract with a particular firm expired and many of the contract cleaners lost their jobs.
The irony of this was spotted by a local community newspaper which ran the headline UNIVERSITY
SPONSORS PHOTOS THEN DUMPS CLEANERS. Not only did this result in some negative publicity
for the University, but it incurred the wrath of the very union with which we were trying to
collaborate.

Further conflict occurred over the issue of co-ownership of the images. Until the images were
lodged with the Archive of Contemporary Culture they were still technically the property of
Massey University and not available for public use. The union, however, saw a more immediate use
for the images in the lead-up to the 1999 General Election in New Zealand and without consultation
published them on the front page of the pre-election issue of the union’s newspaper alongside a
message urging union members to vote the then government out of office. This placed the
university in a potentially awkward position as owner of the images.

Issues of ownership and copyright were complex to resolve and might have been helped
by clearer contractual agreements at the start of the project. However, given the
experimental nature of the process, at the outset no-one was prepared to predict the
exact nature of the outcomes. It might be seen as an aspect of participatory design
practice that where no one individual or organisation drives the process, some of the
outcomes will be unpredictable, while others will be not entirely to the satisfaction of all
concerned. Another aspect is that objectives will be formed and modified in the process
of developing the work. It would be potentially limiting to set all the boundaries at the
beginning.

Perhaps most importantly, because of the attention paid to participatory process, the
project remained in development . The exhibition was continually being reconceptualised
and was always emergent.

Evaluation

A final evaluation phase was built into the project from the start. Interviews were conducted by
students, Anne and the union during and after the project to establish the degree and quality of
ownership of the project. Observations based on these interviews included these key issues
related to PAR:
(i) The participatory design model enabled participants to speak for themselves. The cleaners felt
that their ability to define their own lives and issues of concern, to empower their families, and to
speak on behalf of their wider community through the images and their stories, were of greatest
significance.
(ii) The traditional power relationships in the practice of documentary photography were
overturned. The opening of the exhibition created sufficient interest to attract national television
and the local newspapers. Whereas the subjects of photographs are often silent in a gallery
context, the voices of this previously invisible group were broadcast loudly and clearly. The
cleaners’ initial objective of wanting their concerns to be heard was met.
(iii) Authorship was shared and quality was not compromised. With the sharing of creative
decisions no one person could lay sole claim to be photographer, author, editor or curator. Contrary
to expectations, when authorship was no longer privileged, the collaborative work produced was of
a consistently high quality.
(iv) Process and experience assumed primary importance for all concerned. The participants valued
the process even more than the outcomes. The physical outcomes of the project - the exhibition,
brochure, posters, photographic essays, image resource and oral histories - were the visible but
not the only significant outcomes. For the photography students the first hand experience of the
contribution photography could make to community development was of greatest significance.



      A visual form of research:
       Photography is a technology through which it is possible to
       think and to imagine, to create new kinds of interpretive
       knowledge (Park, 2001).
      A participatory form of research:
       The ‘action turn’ in research itself pushes the boundary of our thinking about
       what constitutes knowledge and its legitimation as ‘research’.

PHOTOGRAPHY AND PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH

This project began as an adventure in developing community based collaborative
photographic practice. There are implications therefore in (at least) two different
domains:
1. The possibilities that PAR can create for explorations in subjects such as photography
   as well as in more conventionally defined ‘research’; and
2. The question of what art and design thinking can bring to discussions of action
   research? What new kinds of research might evolve? What overlaps are there?

It is not unusual for photographs to be used as part of the data in research projects,
whether the photographs are taken by the research ‘subjects’ or by ‘researchers’. There
has been a range of previous work in the social sciences which has incorporated
photography (or video). In some of this work the photographs are taken by the ‘outside’
researchers, in other cases by the research ‘subjects’ as part of a kind of vials diary: in
both case, photographs are treated as a form of data. More recently photography has
been incorporated along with other forms of creative expression into collaborative
research projects (Brinton Lykes and The Association of Maya Ixil Women, 2001). But
photographic images are not generally acceptable presented as the outputs of research.
What has not been acceptable in research domains is the proposition that a selection of
photographic images is not just data, but interpretive work in itself.

The ‘action turn’ in research is based on the idea that the involvement of communities in
the production of research is critical to what research institutions should now be
engaged in. This movement out to communities opens up for questioning and
exploration our traditional ideas of what ‘research’ looks like and how we
communicate our ‘findings’ more widely. In relation to PAR, Friere argues:

      For me the concrete reality consists not only of concrete facts and physical things,
      but also includes the ways in which the people involved with these facts perceive
      them. Thus in the last analysis, for me, the concrete reality is the connection
      between subjectivity and objectivity, never objectivity isolated from subjectivity
      (Friere, 1982, p.30).

Photography involves the construction of reality. Images and the contexts in which they
are shown are generated not through one person’s mind but through the joint action /
reflection of individuals, groups and communities, and thus involves the creation of new
knowledge, which is ‘synthetic and integrative, rather than analytic and reductive’ (Park,
2001, p. 83).

This is obviously a more general point about the aesthetic dimensions of research, and it
has broad implications for the ways that we create research knowledges. These extend
not just through the visual and performing arts, but loop back to engage with debates
about creative ways of presenting written research texts. There has some recent
discussion in organisational research, for instance, of the importance of the aesthetic
dimension (Strati, 1992, 1999, 2000). In this work the aesthetic is argued to be a
valid way of knowing organisational realities, along with other, more conventional,
rational and analytic modes of academic knowledge. However even here the ‘artistic
object’ is taken to be organisational life, and the researcher becomes a kind of art
critic, comparable to someone who comments on films or paintings. In distinction from
this approach, we argue that it is also valid to see the researcher as an artist. In the
case of photography this kind of researcher is able to think and imagine research
through a ‘visual engine’. Such research is itself visual, and does not require the
accompaniment of words to make it ‘real research’.
ANNE’S STATEMENT:

OUTRAGED.


    I was horrified to come into the university and find my
    scholarly creative work defined as community service, i.e not
    research.      The university in 1996 was defining research within
    a very narrow and exclusive framework     I acquired the terminal
    qualification in my discipline in 1982, a Master of Fine Arts –
    with first class honours - and have been engaged in scholarly
    practice since that time.     I got my job in an academic
    environment on the basis of my track record as a creative
    artist.     I came into this environment to teach, engage in
    inquiry at a high level, to make an impact in my discipline and
    leadership in my field.     It was disappointing, to find that my
    not insignificant track record counted for nothing.    The
    university privileged text based reporting on largely empirical
    research.      Art as inquiry was not understood, and requirements
    were placed on academic staff who were practising artists to
    research using methods and frameworks foreign, and
    inappropriate.      Creative works are now recognised as research
    outputs. – but the debate is still current.     Artists are visual
    thinkers and the outputs of creative research may address
    challenging questions by largely visual means – challenging the
    modes and methods within the paradigms appropriate -    The
    methods are appropriate to the inquiry / and the discipline –
    and do not need elaborate text based explication.

    I was outraged to bring in research funding – to engage with
    communities – to make an impact with my discipline – to forge
    new ways of knowing and understanding the world and be defined
      as some kind of lower order creature in the university commended
      for doing good works.

      Yes I unashamedly make a strong stand for the service role of
      the university and my choice of methods reflects this –The
      university’s mission is three fold – Research – teaching and
      community service.         It actually doesn’t         privilege one over the
      other –     In how the university ranks and rewards                its academics
      it certainly makes a distinction.                 The overlap and
      interrelationship of these three primary roles is important to
      consider – For the love of the people as a research project
      interweaves them beautifully -             I think – thus my outrage – so
      much work for me and no acknowledgement or reward –                    etc

      How typical for women – to seek relevance – community value –
      dialogues with communities appropriate to the methods and the
      discipline – and scholarly journals – as the only place to
      publish in an acceptable fashion – i.e receive the rewards of
      recognition in one’s job – is outrageous.




      This ends this outrageous missive.




It is so ironic - that, for me [Deborah], this paper in which we are now engaged derives
all its glamour, all its attraction and prestige from the visual images that dominate it. Yet
for Anne this work was legitimised as 'research' only by writing it up within an academic
framework.



Deborah ‘s statement

Seduction & frustration
The power of these images of working life is deeply seductive to me
as a researcher into organisational life. They offer a kind of
pleasure and intensity that is rarely present in my own academic
work. The nearest it approaches is in the occasional   intensely
engaging conversation with a research subject, or in the pleasure I
take in identifying a beautiful quotation in an interview text. This
pleasure is clearly an aesthetic one, and it is more the pleasure of
the audience or perhaps of the critic than of the artist. However if
I focus on it I find that it evokes in me the desire not just to be a
critic but to be an artist. As an academic researcher and writer I
have less freedom than my research subjects to use the intense and
gripping language of my lifeworld. My pleasure is related to
occasional moments in which I am permitted to glean the most powerful
among the texts offered to me by my research subjects, and to arrange
them for my readers. Encountering this sense of frustration I also
want to argue for the possibilities of artistic research. I struggle
against the idea that only the visual can be artistic, that only the
visual can challenge the logocentric of academic work. I struggle
against the split between the professional artist and the rights of
all of us - of me - to work across media and across boundaries, to be
creative.
a) The least that... poststructuralism can do
… is explain the assumptions underlying the
questions asked and answered by other forms of...
theory, making their political assumptions explicit.
Poststructuralism can also indicate the types of
discourse from which particular... questions come
and locate them socially and institutionally. Most
important of all, it can explain the implications...
of these other discourses

(Weedon, 1987, p. 22).



   RUNNING AROUND THE BINARIES


      The ‘artistic’ and the ‘documentary’
       approaches to photography
      The individual researcher / artist and her
       communities
      The researcher as artist, the researcher as
       art critic
      Photography as ‘data’, photography as
       ‘findings’
      The ‘subjects’ and the ‘objects’ of
       photography and research
      Texts and images
      The scientific and the artistic
      The academic and the artistic
      The amateur and the professional
      Poetry and prose
      Rigour and pleasure.
How can we interrupt these binaries in our discipline?
Can we resignify our discipline?
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Thanks to the following individuals and organisations for their contributions of skill, time
and funding which have contributed to this paper: Pauline Harper (HCVA); Annie
Newman, John Ryall and Lee Tan, of the Service and Food Workers' Union; Claire
Robinson, Muriel Tunoho (Hutt Valley Union Health Service) and the photographers -
Lynette Shum, David Read, Victoria Birkinshaw and John McCormack. Special thanks to
the cleaners: Hinetemoa Kahu, Mafoe Eric, Bill Herbert, Paula Atatagi, Lalopua Sanele,
Olive Harding and Hagavave Kato Amosa for sharing their lives and for their dedication
to making a difference.
REFERENCES

Brinton Lykes and The Association of Maya Ixil Women. (2001). Creative arts and photography in
        participatory action research in Guatemala. In P. Reason and H. Bradbury, Eds., Handbook
        of action research: Participative inquiry and practice (pp. 363-371). London: Sage.
For the Love of the People. (1999). For The Love of The People: Photographs and stories from the
        work and lives of seven contract cleaners. Exhibition Brochure. Wellington: Far Site
        Gallery.
Friere P. (1982). Creating Alternative Research Methods: Learning to Do It by Doing It. In Hall,
        B, Gillette, and Tandon, R. (Eds). Creating Knowledge: A Monopoly?, (pp. 29-37).
        International Council for Adult Education, Toronto.
Hall, B (1979) Breaking the Monopoly of Knowledge: Research Methods, Participation and
      Development. In: Hall, B. Gillette, A, and Tandon, R, (Eds). Creating Knowledge : A Monopoly?
      (pp. 57-67). International Council for Adult Education, Toronto.
Heron, J., & Reason, P. (2001). The practice of co-operative inquiry: Research ‘with’ rather than
        ‘on’ people. In P. Reason and H. Bradbury, Eds., Handbook of action research: Participative
        inquiry and practice (pp. 179-187). London: Sage.
Maynard, P. (1997). The engine of visualisation : Thinking through photography. Ithaca, N.Y.
        Cornell University Press.
Ministry of Women's Affairs (1999) Women. (New Zealand now series 1998) Wellington:
        Statistics New Zealand: Ministry of Women’s Affairs.
Noble, A and Robinson, C (2000). For the Love of the People:
       Participatory Design in a Community Context. In Scrivener, Ball and Woodcock, (Eds).
       Collaborative Design (pp 81-93) Springer-Verlag, London.
Park, P. (2001). Knowledge and participatory research. In P. Reason and H. Bradbury, Eds.,
       Handbook of action research: Participative inquiry and practice (pp. 81-90). London: Sage.
Reason, P (1994). Three Approaches to Participative Inquiry. In: Denzin N K and Lincoln Y S (Eds.)
       Handbook of Qualitative Research (pp. 324-339). London: Sage.
Rosler, M (1989). In, around, and afterthoughts (on documentary photography). In: The Context
       of Meaning; Critical Histories of Photography. (pp. 302-340). Cambridge Massachusetts:
       MIT Press.
Strati, A. (1992). Aesthetic understanding or organizational life. Academy of Management Review,
       17 (3), 568-581.
Strati, A. (1999). Organisation and aesthetics. London: Sage.
Strati, A. (2000). Putting people in the picture: Art and Aesthetics in Photography and in
       understanding organizational life. Organization Studies, 21 (10), 53-69.
Wadsworth, Yoland. (1997). Do it yourself social research. 2nd ed. Sydney : Allen & Unwin.
Weedon, C. (1987). Feminist practice & poststructuralist theory. London: Basil Blackwell.
The Art of Leadership: Balancing and Blending Wisdom, Courage and
Compassion
Hugh O'Doherty and Jack Richford




                                   Training Seminar
                                    Working Draft

                                    Presented at
               The Art of Management and Organisation Conference
                            Essex Management Centre
                          King's College, London, England
                               September 3 - 6, 2002




                                  Dr. Hugh O'Doherty
                              Center for Public Leadership
                                79 John F. Kennedy St.
                                 Cambridge, MA 02138
                                     617-496-3286
                        email: hugh_o'doherty@ksg.harvard.edu
              website: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/leadership/faculty.html




                                     Jack Richford
                             Chesterfield Education Forum
                                 Chesterfield, VA 23832
                                     804-651-0116
                             email: jrichfor@pen.k12.va.us
                 website: http://www.cefva.org/jrichford/JRICH1.html
Aikido and Leadership Seminar Outline

"We must be the change we wish to see." - Gandhi

"To lead is to live dangerously" - Heifetz

"Learning is a complex cognitive and social process that necessarily interacts with the world around it.
Activity theory provides an alternative lens for analyzing learning processes and outcomes that captures more of the
complexity and integratedness with the context and community that surround and supports it. Rather than focusing
on knowledge states, it focuses on the activities in which people are engaged, the nature of the tools they use in
those activities, the social and contextual relationships among the collaborator in those activities, the goals and
intentions of those activities, and the objects or outcomes of those activities. Rather than analyzing knowledge
states as detached from these entities, activity theory sees consciousness as the mental activities that suffuse all
these entities. Concepts, rules and theories that are not associated with activity have no meaning. Articulating each
of these entities and their dynamic interrelationships is important when designing instruction, because the richer the
context and the more embedded the conscious thought processes are in that context, the more meaning the learners
will construct both for the activities and the thought processes."

David Jonassen, Learning: As Activity

"There is an important link between deep change at the personal level and deep change at the organizational level.
To make deep personal change is to develop a new paradigm, a new self, one that is more effectively aligned with
today's realities. This can occur only if we are willing to journey into unknown territory and confront the wicked
problem we encounter.... this tortuous journey requires that we leave our comfort zone and step outside our normal
roles. In doing so, we learn the paradoxical lesson that we can change the world only by changing ourselves. This
is not just a cute abstraction; it is an elusive key to effective performance in all aspects of life."

Robert Quinn, Deep Change

“Aikido begins with you ... Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner
... Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.”

Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido
Day One
9:00-10:30              A Typology of Problem Situations

     A. Distinguishing Routine from Adaptive Problems

     B.      The Process of Adaptive Change

10:30-11:00             Coffee Break

11:00-12:30             Experiential Exercise and Debriefing

Exercise #1: "Getting to know you." (group Formation)                                       Forming
              interactional dyads and groups. Exploring bodymind dynamics.

Exercise #2: " Drawing on the Leader Within" (Cultural/Personal Constructs of Leadership) Individual and
              small group drawings of concept of Leadership Exploring concepts Leader, Follower
              dynamics/roles/steriotypes


Exercise #3: "The Natural" ( Exploring Open Space/Decision-making/Movement)
                Fishbowl : Participate/Observe dynamic Decision-making styles

Exercise #4:      "Aikido Demo" (Exploring a Dynamic/Adaptive Model of Leadership)
                   Introduce generic concepts; movement, center, connection, adaptability

12:30-2:00              Lunch

2:00-3:30               Authority

          C.       The Social Functions of Authority

          D.       The Dynamics of Authority

                  1.    In times of distress

                  2.    Authority and work avoidance patterns

             E.    Formal and Informal Authority

3:30-4:00                 Coffee Break

4:00-5:30                 Experiential Exercise and Debriefing

Exercise #5: "Follow their Lead" (Exploring aikido's central principles)
               Introduce core movements of aikido - Irimi-tenkan
                         Exploring physical notions of relational Authority/Positioning
                            "Entering" - moving off the line, openings and atemi
                              "Turning" - reframing , positive receptivity
                              "Extension" - guiding/influencing the other
                          Irimi-Tenkan Ki no nigari

Exercise #6: "Centering" experiences (Exploring physical balance/center)
               Testing for being centered "unbendable arm"

Exercise #7:   "Ma-ai" (Proper distance and timing)
                 Feeling attacked and reactions or responding (Fight-flight syndrome)
                         Irimi-nage (massage their back)


6:00-7:30                Dinner


DayTwo
9:00-10:30           Stress Responses of Social Systems

         F.     System Dynamics

        G.      The Dynamics of Restoring Equilibrium

               1.    Work Avoidance Mechanisms

                    a.      Denial

                    b.      Diversions

                    c.      Laying Blame (Displacement)

                          (1)     Scapegoating

                          (2)     Externalizing the enemy

                          (3)     Attacking Authority

                          (4)     Neutralizing the Intervenor

                    d.      Holding On to the Past

                    e.      Phony Solutions

                          (1)     Structural Adjustments

                          (2)     Forming a Committee, a task force
                           (3)   Defining the problem narrowly to tackle what you already know
                             how to do.

                      f.     Sterile Conflict

                           (1)    No listening, curiosity, creative engagement

                           (2)    Feels sincere

         H.       People embody Issues

10:30-11:00            Coffee Break

11:00-12:30            Experiential Exercise and Debriefing

Exercise #8: "On the Line" Feelings about conflict and stress
                         Experiential Likert Scale

Exercise #9 "Stress Response" experiences (Exploring reactivity/responsibility)
                         "Pushing Hands"
                         "All Boxed In"
                         "Up Against the Wall"

Exercise #10 "The Human Knot" - Experiential In-basket
                       Small group activities participate/observations

12:30-2:00             Lunch

2:00-3:30              The Tools of Authority for Leadership

     I. The Holding Environment

         J.       Directing Attention

         K.       Regulating Disequilibrium

         L.       Controlling Information

        M.        Framing the Issues

             N.   Determining the Decision Rule

3:30-4:00              Coffee Break

4:00-5:30              Experiential Exercise and Debriefing

Exercise #11 "Dirty Socks" (Holding to your center)
                        Small group communication activity to explore holding focus
Exercise #12 "Leading their Ki" (irimi-tenkan randori)
                        Movement exercise emphasis holding focus/connection in chaotic environment

Exercise #13: "Leading in groups" Broken Squares/Busted Sentences - Experiential in-basket Small group
                         cooperation activity


6:00-7:30                 Dinner

8:00-9:30              Evening Activity:       Yoga/Orgami

             Group members explore the notion of "flexibility/rigidity" by participating in activities from one of
these artforms. Both have as one fundamental premise, the ability to work in a focused, flexible medium of Body
and/or paper. Reflective discussion will focus on the importance of this mindset in the development of personal
capacities for success.

Day Three

9:00-10:30                The Constraints of Authority for Leadership

     O. Loss of Latitude

                  1.      Fulfilling Expectations for Answers, Decisiveness

                  2.      Maintaining Equilibrium

                  3.      Being the Authority for Many Competing Issues

             P.    Actions are Tainted by Being in the Authority Role

10:30-11:00               Coffee Break

11:00-12:30               Experiential Exercise and Debriefing

Exercise #14: Leading Change: "Seeing is Believing"
               Small group experiential exercise for exploring perceptions/assumptions.

Exercise #15: Moral/Ethical Choices: "Do the Right Thing"
               Small group moral dilemma Discussion exercise

Exercise #16: Critical Incidents/Case in Point: "Walking your Talk"
               Small group personal analysis/Feedback activity



12:30-2:00                Lunch
2:00-3:30               Strategic Principles of Leadership

         Q.       Identifying the Adaptive Challenge

                 1.     Distinguish Adaptive from Technical Problems

                 2.     Unbundle the Issues

                 3.     Identify Ripe Issues

                 4.     The uses and misuses of vision

         R.       Disciplined Attention

                 1.     Counteracting Avoidance Mechanisms

         S.       Giving the Work Back to People

                 1.     Developing Responsibility

         T.       Regulating Disequilibrium

                      a.     Orchestrating Conflict

                      b.     Holding Steady

                      c.     Pacing the Work

                      d.     Sustaining the Pain

         U.       Protecting Leaders from Below

           V.     Infusing the Work with Meaning

3:30-4:00         Coffee Break

4:00-5:30               Experiential Exercise and Debriefing

            In Eastern and Western militaristic cultures the sword is a symbol for power and
authority. Many of the basic forms (kata) of the art of Aikido come from the practice with the Japanese sword.
Participants will be introduce to individual sword movements called Suburi and a number of the various partner
practices Waza to reinforce the activities and principles of the aikido metaphor as adaptive leadership. Each
participant will be provided with a Bokken, wooden sword

              Exercise #17: Suburi 1- 7 "Taking and Holding the Center" "Ma-ai"

              Exercise #18: Happo giri "Focus and attention in multiple perspectives"
6:00-7:30            Dinner


Day Four
9:00-10:30           Leadership Without Authority

        W.      The Resources

               1.    Latitude

                    a.     Deviance from the Plan -- Creativity

                    b.     Illustrating the Issue

                    c.     Embodying the Issue

               2.    Issue Focus

               3.    Frontline Information

         X.     The Constraints

               1.    Becoming a Target

               2.    Generating Distress Within the System's Resiliency

         Y.     Strategic Principles

               1.    Reading Authority as a Barometer

               2.    Targeting Interventions in the System and Not at Authority

               3.    Being a Lightening Rod of Attention

          Z.    Operating Across Boundaries

10:30-11:00          Coffee Break

11:00-12:30          Experiential Exercise and Debriefing

Exercise #19: Kumi Tachi exercises Partner practices with Bokken

Exercise #20: Tachi Dori and Tanto Dori exercises. Taking the sword and the knife
12:30-2:00            Lunch

2:00-3:30             Staying Alive

       AA.       Timing

       BB.       Pacing the Work

       CC.       The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion

       DD.       Can a Leader Succeed?

             EE. The Temptation of Martyrdom

3:30-4:00             Coffee Break

4:00-5:30             Experiential Exercise and Debriefing

Exercise #21: "The Art of Falling" (Ukemi)
                          Ukemi means "receiving the others energy". In martial practice individuals practice
           falling safely in order to participate in paired practices. Keeping balance/center in dynamic
           changing circumstances means developing a sensitivity to reading and receiving the energy or
           intention of another.

Exercise #22: "Randori" - Multiple Attacks, (staying centered under stress) Mushin
                         Irimi-tenkan practice with multiple attackers. Teaching individuals the important
           principles for maintaining focus (zanshin) and effective movement in handling multiple perspectives
           and situations.


6:00-7:30             Dinner

8:00-10:00            Music Exercise


Day Five
9:00-10:30            Sustaining the Stresses of Leadership

        FF.      Getting on the Balcony

       GG.       Partners: Allies and Confidants

       HH.       Distinguishing Role from Self

         II.     Externalizing the Conflict
        JJ.        Listening

10:30-11:00            Coffee Break

11:00-12:30            Experiential Exercise and Debriefing

Exercise #23: "Your Life is your Dojo"
               Dojo is a safe space for practice of a martial art. The practice involves a apprentice model. A
           teacher/mentor creates relationship for the cultivation of personal development. Listen to Tape:
           Terry Dobson "Another Way."
               Discussion:" Identify scenarios and applications of these principles"


Exercise #24: "Finding and Building your Practice"
                Fishbowl discussion about transfer of principle to personal practice
                 Force Field Analysis
               Discussion: "What forces will help/hinder continued work on
                                         Adaptive Leadership Principles?"
                            "What adaptations can/will you make to achieve your goals?"


12:30-2:00             Lunch

2:00 -3:30             Using Yourself as Data

       KK.         Managing One's Hungers

        LL.        Sanctuary

             MM.       Purpose

3:30-4:00              Coffee Break

4:00-5:30              Evaluation
References:

Austin, J. H. (1998). Zen and the Brain. MA: MIT Press.

Barker, R. (2001). The nature of leadership, Human Relations, 54(4), 469-494.

Burns, J. (1978). Leadership. NY: Harper & Row.

Carson, T.; Sumara, D. (1997). Action Research as a Living Practice. NY: Peter Lang.

Coutu, D. (2002). The Anxiety of Learning, Harvard Business Review, March.

Darling, D. (1993). Equations for Eternity. NY: MJF Books.


Donaldson, M. (1992). Human Minds: An Exploration. NY: Penguin Press.

Dooley, J. (1999). SelectedPapers/ http://www.well.com/~dooley/Aikido.html

Drath, W. (2001). The Deep Blue Sea. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Fast, J. (1970). Body Language. NY: Evans and Co.

Fenwick, T. (2001). Existenial Learning: A Theoretical Critique from Five Perspectives. URL:
http://ericacve.org/docs/fenwick/fenwick1.pdf

Gemmill, G.; Oakley, J. (1992). Leadership: An alienating social myth? Human Relations, 45(2), 113-
129.

Greenleaf, R. (1977). Servant Leadership. NY: Paulist Press.

Heifetz, R.; Linsky, M. (2002). Leadership on the Line. MA: HBS Press.

Heifetz, R. (1994). Leadership Without Easy Answers. MA: Belnap.

Herrigel, E. (1953). Zen and the Art of Archery. NY: Vintage Books.

Jonassen D. (1999). Learning: As Activity http://www.learndev.org

Mindell, A. (1992). The Leaders as Martial Artist. San Francisco: Harper.

O’Neill, J. (1997). Leadership Aikido. NY: Harmony Books.

Piaget, G. (1991). Control Freaks. NY: Doubleday.

Quinn, R. (1996). Deep Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Reason, P.; Tolbert, W. (2001). The Action Turn: Towards a Transformational Social Science.
http://www.bath.ac.uk/~mnspwr/Papers/TransformationalSocialScience.htm

Ricard, M.;Thuan, T. (2001). The Quantum and the Lotus. NY: Crown.

Shlain, L. (1991). Art and Physics. NY: William Morrow and Co.

“Ten Bulls” URL: http://pages.prodigy.net/jle3/10bulls.htm

Ueshiba, K. (1987). The Spirit of Aikido. NY: Kodansha International.

Varela, F. et al. (1991). The Embodied Mind. MA: MIT Press.

Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in Society: The development of higher psychological processes. MA: MIT
Press.

Vygotsky, L.S. (1971). The Psychology of Art. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
The Art of Leadership: Balancing and Blending Wisdom, Courage and Compassion

Dr. Hugh O'Doherty AND Jack Richford


                        Program Proposal submitted for
             The Art of Management and Organisation Conference
                          Essex Management Centre
                        King's College, London, England
                             September 3 - 7, 2002


                                   Presenters:

                                Dr. Hugh O'Doherty
                            Center for Public Leadership
                              79 John F. Kennedy St.
                               Cambridge, MA 02138
                                   617-496-3286
                      email: hugh_o'doherty@ksg.harvard.edu
            website: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/leadership/faculty.html


                                   Jack Richford
                           Chesterfield Education Forum
                               Chesterfield, VA 23832
                                   804-651-0116
                           email: jrichfor@pen.k12.va.us
               website: http://www.cefva.org/jrichford/JRICH1.html



                                 March 21, 2002
Program Proposal

The Art of Leadership: Balancing and Blending Wisdom, Courage and Compassion.

Overview:

In 1978 Burns exclaimed, “one of the most universal cravings of our time is a hunger
for compelling and creative leadership”(Burns, 1978). In 1994, Bolman and Deal
called for a "revolution in how we think about leadership and how we develop leaders"
(Bolman and Deal, 1994). However, in spite of these calls, leadership instructional
practices still tend to reinforce traits, position and title.

Contemporary fields of inquiry call for a more integrative, cross-cultural approach to
leadership in academic research and experiential training. For a growing strain of
radical authors, the mastery of grounded, focused and authentic presence in the
midst of continuous chaos and stress must be at the heart of leadership training and
efficacy. For example, texts like, An Unused Intelligence, Leadership Aikido, Level
Three Leadership, and Corporate Aikido suggest that metaphors and activities crafted
from Eastern traditions of mindfulness and the martial arts have a place in
leadership development.

The Art of Leadership Workshop integrates a particular set of concepts, based on the
leadership theories of James MacGregor Burns and Ronald Heifetz, with exercises
from Aikido that provide workshop participants with a physical metaphor for
reflecting on personal definitions about leadership. The Workshop presents a
wholistic approach that integrates Inner focus and calm and Outer connectivity and
action.

Aikido, originated about 1925, is unique among the martial arts in that its purpose is
to teach conflict resolution rather than effective fighting tactics. It is a means of self-
cultivation and improvement. All techniques are learned cooperatively at a pace
equal to the abilities of each trainee. According to the founder, Morihei Ueshiba, "the
goal of aikido is not the defeat of others, but the defeat of the negative characteristics
which inhabit one's own mind and inhibits its functioning."

Once introduced to a demonstration of the art of Aikido, workshop participants
engage in a series of movement activities modeled on the practice of Aikido. Moving
like the artist helps participants begin to understand the embodied knowledge and
skillful capacities required of a complex behavior like leadership. This encourages
participants to explore their own body learning styles and practice.

For this London Conference, the authors will present a highly interactive BASIC three
hour learning lab designed to introduce leadership researchers and educators to a
model of facilitated dialogue and safe, paired physical exercises based on the
Japanese art of Aikido and the leadership theories of James MacGregor Burns and
Ronald Heifetz. Participants will begin to develop not only a new language and a
reflective perspective on leadership dynamics, but also a set of leadership skills based
on the concepts of center, balance, engagement, connectivity, harmony, timing,
listening and resolution.

These CORE leadership concepts and “movement” activities are designed to address
fundamental conflict situations in new and productive ways that transform leader-
follower relationships. They have been introduced successfully in k-12 leadership
programs and in postgraduate level leadership institutes and seminars.

Contact: Dr. Hugh O'Doherty, hugh_o'doherty@ksg.harvard.edu

Technical Supports
Time: 3 hours
Space Requirements: Large Open space with small cluster of tumbling mats (20' x 20')
Equipment: Overhead projector
Art for management's sake? A doubt


Peter Pelzer




                           Paper to be presented at the
               The Art of Management and Organisation Conference
                                        at
                             King's College, London
                             September 3 – 7, 2002



Detail from Pablo Picasso, Las Meninas, 1957 Picasso Museum, Barcelona
George     Grosz:     Vorbild,  ca.    1930,    in:   Das    neue    Gesicht   der
herrschenden Klasse, 60 neue Zeichnungen, Berlin: Malik-Verlag

For any comment etc. please contact:

Dr. Peter Pelzer
ppelzer@t-online.de
Art for Management's sake? A doubt

Introduction
If I plan to attend a conference and I am intrigued by the call for papers to write a
new paper for this occasion one of the usual developments after writing the abstract
is that the announced content often only has a vague similarity with the final paper.
After second and third thoughts and perhaps brainstorms with friends the abstract
looks banal or too demanding and the paper goes into a direction which may have
perhaps somehow been contained in the abstract but the result looks somewhat
different. This is no excuse for the following. On the contrary, it is an introduction to
my surprise that this usual procedure did not take place this time. Even several
months after writing the abstract I am still bewildered about the title "the art of
management". For me art and management are under the present circumstances not
equal partners mutually influencing each other for the best of both but bad bed
fellows. The two directions that immediately came to my mind are: How can a
management of globalised companies think of arts differently than in terms of using
it for their ubiquitous branding? Where is the critical potential of arts left when it
prostitutes itself? Of course this is not the whole picture and this is where hope for a
more educated understanding rests. But the danger clearly is, that the emancipating
potential art has, might get lost on the way into top management's shining offices. I
will discuss several aspects of this special relationship. On the corporate's side
branding is interpreted as the attempt of a hostile take-over of any unbranded space.
Corporate sponsorship is a topic where the one-sidedness of the development can
already be questioned. The second part of the paper looks at the relationship of
individuals. Diego Velásquez is the example for the awakening self-confidence of the
artist as creator, a development which finds its clearest expression in Picasso's
reinterpretation of Velásquez' Las Meninas. The manager as collector of art and his
use of art to demonstrate his power is another aspect of the uneasy relationship. The
third part will deal with an attempt to add transcendence to a production process.
The example is surprisingly not a designer product but a car. The motivation to write
this piece is not the complaint about globalisation, corporatism or evil managers. As
usual the reality is far more complex than conducive for a simple thesis. This shall be
an argument in favour of keeping boundaries to mutually influence each other from a
self-confident, valid basis instead of vaporising all boundaries with the result of an
implosion into meaninglessness.
The increasing interest of scholars of organisation and management theory in
aesthetics and an aesthetic view on their object of study has led to a opening up of
the focus of research. From initial questions on the functioning of companies which
produce aesthetic goods the research quickly broadened and gained depth. There can
be no doubt that an aesthetic approach is necessary for criticising and
deconstructing the images the corporate world is bombarding us with. But a
decidedly aesthetic look at organisation and management digs deeper and challenges
the rational bias of traditional research. The latter was criticised as a one-sided,
emptied view (Pelzer 1995). Antonio Strati puts it: "'Aesthetic' understanding of
organisational life, therefore, is an 'epistemological metaphor' which problematizes
the rational and analytic analysis of organisations" (Strati 1999: 7). Organisational
aesthetics now serves as a body of theory and a method of inquiry and not just as an
inquiry into the beauty of structure, product or process (Linstead/Höpfl 2000). The
increasing interest on theory's side is somehow mirrored on the corporate side
though with a different emphasis. Therefore the overcoming of the rational bias is
needed to develop a critical potential to analyse what is happening in the corporate
world when it includes aesthetic artefacts into their production, when it – rationally –
makes use of art and especially when managers talk of management as art.
Working on the topic art, management and organisation in the corporate world at
least four different realities come into focus. I call them realities because their
objectives, motivation and perception of art in the company show big differences:
      Top management: It is often overlooked that art in the company is a top
       management activity. Art is 'Chefsache', a matter for the boss. It is the CEO or
       the board of managing directors who often directly decide about the acquisition
       policy. Their special relationship to art and artists is analysed in the chapter
       "With the back to the art".
      We very often find a small department which is responsible for the actual
       buying of works of art, relationship management to the artists, museums, the
       administration of the stock and the decision where to place individual pieces of
       art. When organised as a foundation with an independent budget the activities
       can be similar to patronage.
      The connection of marketing and design to art is very close. Art can become a
       means for branding. As this is a crucial relationship for the present topic it is
       analysed in the following under the suspicion of a hostile take-over.
      The day-to-day business at which some of the activities aim is in most cases,
       according to my experience, only influenced marginally. The pressure to fulfil
       the task has become so intense that a free discussion of a painting in the
       hallway has only a little chance.
More often art serves as one more soft factor. Collecting and exhibiting art on the
premises opens the possibility to emphasize the values the firm is committed to: "In
an especially intensive way, art reflects an era's feelings, perceptions, and currents of
thought. It opens our eyes for new ideas and contributes to the expansion of our
horizons. Art thus encourages modes of behaviour which are very important,
especially for an innovative, worldwide-active enterprise like Bayer" (Hentschel 2002:
118). Like this statement of Bayer many other companies would formulate their
motivation for collecting. It is symbolical, it is a matter of image and perhaps even an
expression of corporate citizenship. The only systematically analysed example of a
conscious change management with the help of an art collection is to my knowledge
First Bank System's attempt to change their corporate culture. Choice and placement
of paintings as well as discussion with the employees should have helped to
transform the bank according to the top management's plans. While the success of
the programme was at least questionable it was finally ended out of the expected
reasons: The CEO who initiated the programme left the bank after facing heavy losses
in the bank's business and his successor ended it (Nissley 1999). Art understood
purely instrumental is just another soft factor, not really taken seriously as
instrument of leadership, and the first to be skipped when the economic situation
becomes difficult.



The "suspicion": a hostile take-over
The complaint about the increasing economisation of the world is accompanying us
for so long that when mentioned again we only nod our heads wearily. Since
categorisation of the true, the good and the beautiful into three independent fields of
science, ethics and aesthetics economy resides as special field in science and is filing
at its own system of description. By being placed in a field with the aim of exploring
the laws of nature, rationally calculated thinking is participating in the prestige of the
– even seeming so – definite certainties of its results. For management rational
thinking seems to have the same quality as laws of nature. Although economic theory
by that described its very own field, the running of a company and the national
economy, the extension into further fields was already contained in it. Already the
early romantics in the 19th century felt the increasing appreciation of things,
relations in society and human beings solely in their monetary value                    as
impoverishment of life. This critique is still valid today. Habermas for example coined
the conception of 'colonisation of the life world' (19xx). Culture could not escape this
development. Horkheimer and Adorno described this in their well-known book
'Dialektik der Aufklärung' (1985) especially for culture industry. Art always was part
of the market as artists made their living from their pieces of art. Galleries and
exhibitions, art criticism and also the scandal always have been means to make
artists and their works known, quasi instruments of marketing.
What seems to be new is the fact that the economisation of those parts of our life
which used to function according to other than economic rules and thinking is widely
accepted or is unnoticed as it looks so natural. This is perhaps one of the reasons
why Naomi Klein's book "no logo" (2001) found such a reception. Her description of
the mechanisms of branding and the influence it takes on many areas of our lives
opened the eyes for facts that went unnoticed for quite a while. It is not that anything
will change immediately or change at all with the publishing of this book – every
critique so far turned out to be strangely futile – but the sheer existence of a detailed
description is a sign that the take-over by economic thought is not complete yet.
Though she does not draw on the relationship between art and management a brief
outline of parts of Klein's argument, supported by Grasskamp (1998), illustrates the
scenario in which the relationship of art and the corporate world takes place.
Branding is a strategy aiming beyond the product. It aims at corporate
transcendence: "In the new model the product always takes a back seat to the real
product, the brand, and the selling of the brand acquired an extra component that
can only be described as spiritual" (Klein 1998: 21). This strategy is at the same time
a farewell to the real product and its superelevation. Companies like Nike and other
sports shoe or fashion companies increasingly try to get rid of their own production
sites. They shift them into low-wages countries and have the products manufactured
by local contractors. The company itself consists only of a few functions which
formerly were connected to head office. The most important activity is marketing and
especially the creation of the brand. Branding is a more comprehensive approach
than simple advertising. From hawking a product to creating a lifestyle which is only
imaginable with the brand is a long albeit rewarding way. Like the commercials in
private TV always interrupt the main program and are often felt useless and
disturbing by the consumer advertising is seen as something most of us could easily
do without. There is a negative feedback loop when advertising gets too much.
Marketing's aim therefore goes from commercial interruption to seamless integration.
This is one motivation for corporate sponsorship of cultural events. This politics of
marketing achieved a remarkable change in attitude. We become collectively
convinced not that corporates are hitching a ride on our cultural and communal
activities, but that creativity and congregation would be impossible without their
generosity (Klein 1998: 35). This works quite well in many areas. I can't remember a
single cultural event in the past years where I haven't noticed a company's logo on
the announcement or, when visiting the event, more or less in the foreground at the
event itself. Exhibitions in museums, no matter if classic or modern or avantgarde,
operas, festivals, classical or rock concerts, even the formerly so called independent
music market tends to resign to the possibilities of financing. The effect is the dream
and aim of brand managers: the brand becomes quietly integrated into the heart of
culture. With the chapters "no space", "no choice" and "no jobs" Klein describes the
effect this marketing strategy has. There is no space left unbranded; because of
mergers, take-overs and driving out competition the concentration leaves no choice
than to buy the branded products; production is in contrast to the brand 'uncool' and
has to be got rid of: no jobs left in the branded world.
Culture and art are important tools to achieve the aim of branding. Therefore the
question must be why they surrendered so willingly or what has happened to
enhance this development. Obviously there are differences in different countries. For
Germany Grasskamp analysed several aspects of "art and money" (1998) which he
characterised as a mixed marriage indicating quite contradictory aspects. Art was
granted independence by the constitution and following this declaration, large parts
of the arts were publicly financed. Large and high quality museums were built with
enough budget to buy new works and organise exhibitions. The same was true for
opera houses, theatres of various kinds etc. But during the nineties it became
increasingly clear that the maintenance and expansion of all these cultural
institutions was too much for public spending. Budget cuts were made each year up
to a point where just the existence was granted, i.e. maintenance of the building and
cost for personnel paid for, but no budget was left for acquisitions, exhibitions, guest
concerts, in short for almost everything what a lively cultural scene stands for. In this
situation corporate sponsors were welcome. The backside of their engagement is that
they are able to influence almost the complete program of an institution with only
investing about 10% of the necessary budget. Maintenance and personnel take about
90% of the average budget. In other words it is a very profitable investment.
This kind of corporate sponsorship gains public attention as it takes place in public
space where it is no commercial interruption but places itself as a precondition for
the event itself. But Grasskamp (1998) is also worried about another development.
Within a few years, he states, a new cultural politic jargon corrupted the debate.
Instead about culture the talk was about services, target groups, widespread impact
and acceptance, user commitment and customers. These are verbal signs of an
erosion of our understanding of culture, even an invasion by the wrong language
(Grasskamp 1998: 89). "If the rules of high culture have to be sacrificed for their
survival and those people who understand the connections become fewer the
balancing of interest must fail" (ibid: 75). This development is only part of an
increasing economisation of our whole life. Former German chancellor Helmut
Schmidt was famous for his understanding as head of government as head of
Deutschland AG indicating his rational leadership. From there to Peter's
announcement of a Brand Called YOU is a logical step. He wants to see everyone
empowered by abandoning the idea of being an employee. Everyone should become a
service provider with a special profile and sell him/herself to targeted projects (Peters
1995). Besides the almost overwhelming cynicism that lies in such a proposal for the
vast majority of employees this marks the crossing of a border: the pure existence of
humans is defined exclusively rationally and economically. Beyond selling oneself as
a brand nothing is left.
To describe this process of infiltration and take-over as a one-sided effort by the
corporate world and to define those affected exclusively as victims is misleading.
Especially artists have often understood to make use of their special status,
respectively the artist is able to play the game. It is a valid strategy to brand
him/herself. To own a Baselitz (see the anecdote below) is a value in itself and Georg
Baselitz is able to make a very good living out of it. A struggle for becoming a brand
on the art market can also mean to limit ones potential to become recognisable and
therefore saleable. The fine interplay between artistic mastery and gaining recognition
and influence can nicely be shown by the career of the painter and courtier Diego
Velásquez.



Art, management & politics
One reason why Diego Velasquez' Las Meninas is still attracting attention beyond the
admiration as a masterpiece of art is the fact that the interpretations work at least on
two different levels. It is possible to explain the painting from the motivation of the
painter and his social and political status within the Spanish court as well as in
terms of representation. Both of them are of the same value. Despite the well known
uses by Searle (1980) and Foucault (1983) which have gained wider attention I will
here draw on the other interpretation that concentrates on power, struggle over social
status and politics at court.
            To do this we have to have a close look on the situation which is represented on the
            canvas. It is the traditional view. That what is represented is the reality, in this case
                                        the reality of the court during the time of Philipp IV of Spain.
figure 1: Diego Velásquez: Las Meninas, What we can see is a scene where a painter is at his work in
Prado, Madrid, 1656                     front of a huge canvas that we as viewers can look at only
            from behind. The painter hesitates, probably checking the object that he is painting.
            As he is looking directly at us we can assume that this object must have been in the
            place where we are now. The expression of his face is self-confident, concentrated.
            Next to him is a group of three people who build the centre of the composition. It is a
            young girl surrounded by two other, older girls. The light inside the painting which
            originates from a window on the right is concentrating on the young girl in her white
            dress and her fair hair. She is the daughter of the monarch. The others gave the
            painting its name. They are Las Meninas, the maids of honour. On the right side
            there is a second group with two dwarves and a dog. A third group of two people is
            standing behind them. At the far end of the room we can see a man leaving the room
            and looking back from outside. Following the looks of most of these people we notice
            that they are looking at a point outside the painting - at us. Somebody must have
            entered the room opposite of the open door, somebody who directs everybody's
            attention immediately. And we are not left alone with our speculation. As it was
            necessarily impossible that the attention was directed at us, living three hundred
            years later, it must have been somebody else. This information is given by a mirror
            next to the open door. In it the king and his wife are reflected.
        The realistic appearance is supported by the fact that the people in the painting
        really lived at that time at the court in those functions. The ground-plan of the
        Alcazar, the king's house, proves that the room was the one that Velásquez used as
        his atelier. Even the paintings on the wall could be identified by an inventory as
        hanging on the walls of the atelier.
        Taking into consideration what is known about Velásquez' biography and career in
        combination with the knowledge of the date the painting came into existence there is
        an obvious contradiction. On the painter's shirt the red cross of the order of Santiago
        can clearly be seen. This order was one of the three highest orders of Spain granting
        knighthood. But although Velásquez finished Las Meninas in 1656, he became
        member of the order not before 1659. It has been handed down that the king himself
        added the sign to the painting after Velásquez died or in an another version when the
        painting was hung into his working room, e. g. before his admission to the order (cf.
        Knackfuss 1940). This detail gives the hint that there is more to the painting than
        just a representation of a scene at court.
        Compared to other painters of his time and of his quality Velásquez' oeuvre is
        remarkably small. The reason for that lay in his decision to prefer a career as courtier
        at the court of king Philipp IV. He started as painter to the king in 1623 as one
        amongst others but soon attracted the king's attention. The king's esteem showed
        itself in a steady move upwards in the court's hierarchy. In the following years the
        importance of the titles grew and granted a direct approach to the king which meant
        an unusual position of trust. From 1652 on Velásquez hold four offices
simultaneously which made him a wealthy man on the one hand. On the other hand
this meant that he had relatively little time to paint. But there remained one more
ambition to achieve - a knighthood. But there were several problems which are the
background to the painting we are talking about. Spain of the mid-seventeenth
century was very conservative and the attitude of the nobility against outsiders was
very rigid. One possibility of gaining nobility was the membership in a military order.
The order of Santiago was one of the most elite aristocratic military orders of Spain.
The qualifications for membership were very stringent but it was exactly this one
where Philipp nominated Velásquez for. The candidate had to prove that he was noble
at least two generations back, that his blood was exclusively Christian and that no
one of his family for the past four generations had been condemned by the
Inquisition as a heretic. These were not the only conditions. The one that proved to
be the most critical for Velásquez was that the habit should not be given to anyone
who himself or his parents or grandparents had practised any manual or base
occupations which were silversmith, embroiderer, stonecutter, mason, innkeeper, or
painter, if he paints for a living. This meant that nobody who had ever got money for
his paintings was ever able to become noble. All of these conditions were subject to
proof by an investigation conducted by the Council of Military Orders. And they
investigated extremely carefully although the king himself nominated Velásquez. They
examined 148 witnesses and finally excluded him from the order because of a lack of
proof of the nobility of his grandparents. When Velásquez was able to produce the
evidence the commission still rejected the claim and informed the king that only a
papal dispensation could excuse this fact. Philipp provided it only to get the news
that the commission found another fault in a fact that they previously had accepted.
No better proof could be given that those reasons were only pretended to exclude a
painter from the order. The reputation of painters within the Spanish aristocracy was
that of craftsmen not of artists. The aversion against painters was so extreme that
Rubens who went to Spain in an official diplomatic mission was not accepted as
someone to negotiate with. Ergänzung durch Hinweis auf antikes Athen
In this political, social and personal situation Velásquez painted Las Meninas. It is
easy to see that the painting supports his claim to nobility in at least two directions.
In this painting Velásquez put all his skills to create an outstanding masterpiece of
art and it can clearly be seen that there is much more to painting than pure
craftmanship. There is a remarkable agreement about the quality of the painting and
that Velásquez' intention of its demonstration by means of size, technique and
complex composition is accomplished. At the same time it is a political statement of
rare subtlety. The topic of the composition is to show the presence of the monarch.
As decorum did not allow Velásquez to paint himself with them he used it to
demonstrate their presence without representing them directly and to emphasize this
fact with showing a group of people who are interrupted by something outside the
picture frame. Artistic capabilities and political statement are intertwined. To enclose
the king into the painting indirectly as he did in the mirror must have had the
consent of Philipp. So the message of it is that painting is worth of being visited by
the noblest, i.e. that the painter is visited and watched not in spite but because of his
art. Philipp's consent is itself reported indirectly by the story of the completion of the
cross. In this interpretation it is not only a tribute to a long-standing friendship but a
confirmation of its statement.
Spain was a bit late, as the example of the Dutch diplomat Rubens showed but with
Velásquez as an example we can very clearly watch the birth of the modern artist in a
symbolic act. The role of the artist and his art as we know it today is a product of a
fight for respect at a certain point in history and not naturally given. Philipp's
supplement marks the state authority's acceptance of art as being noble. What we
witness here is also one step on the long way of the transformation of Aristotelian
polis with its unity of oikos and the obligation for all citizens to actively take part in
the development of the community, the polis. The precondition for this political
engagement was economic independence. Only those could participate who did not
have to work for their living: mirror of the time consuming political life in Athens. But
the demand lived on. No one working with his hands could become noble with noble
indicating that there was no chance of upward mobility.
In 1957 Pablo Picasso spent several months in his summer house in Antibes with
exclusively exploring one painting and trying to find his own interpretation of it. He
painted 58 versions of details or the whole of Las Meninas and finally came up with
                                                    the version shown here. Though
                                                    clearly recognisable as a version
                                                    Picasso      introduced     major
                                                    changes. We notice the change of
                                                    format, broadside instead of
                                                    upright size; the style which
                                                    makes it immediately a Picasso
                                                    painting; the differences in the
                                                    figures; etc. But the most
                                                    striking    difference   is    the
                                                    representation of the artist. He
                                                    occupies almost a third of the
                                                    whole painting and nearly the
                                                    complete      height.   He       is
                                                    dominating the painting. There is
                                                    only one will present – the one of
 figure 2: Pablo Picasso: Las Meninas, Picasso Museum Barcelona,
 1957                                               Picasso (Warncke 1991: 605).
                                                    The artist is the master of his
world, free to do what he wants to do. The competing, overwhelming power of the
sovereign is gone. The self-confidence Velásquez demonstrated with his open look out
of the painting to the viewer/sovereign is emphasized by Picasso. His version is the
demonstration of an undisputed claim to the sovereignty of the independent artist.
This artist's claim is the precondition to be accepted by management. S/he poses as
the intermediary to the sublime, to that which cannot be explained, which remains a
secret. S/he perfectly knows that a status is granted without his/her active
contribution. Art transcends everyday life. From this distance it is able to create the
difference to it. In this gap there is critique. This has always been accepted by
bourgeois parts of society (Grasskamp 1998: 24) The artist has for a long time
explicitly or implicitly profited from this role of a moral authority. It was the perfect
legitimacy. Exactly in this role art is so attractive for management. Artists create the
image of independence, of creating value from visions. And in demonstrating their
market value they even more deserve recognition by the managers.



Manager & artist
This image is carefully kept, as the following example shows: "Some distinguished
gentlemen – all of them members of the board of great German firms – were chatting
at a party about their private art collections. The loftiest in rank among these VIPs,
the head of a group, proudly related an experience he had a few weeks before. He had
been introduced to Georg Baselitz, by the artist's dealer in person, and the first thing
Baselitz asked him was whether he owned one of his works. The boss had to admit
that he didn't and Baselitz shot back at him: 'Then I won't talk to you.' Thus
snubbed, the man nonetheless didn't find the princely painter's remark offensive or
even rude. He was in fact so impressed that he bought a Baselitz painting this very
evening. Mind you, the Big Man told this story about himself with every evidence of
pride and his peers nodded approvingly, admiring him for now having a Baselitz in
his collection" (Ulrich 2002: 244). One could call this a sales strategy. Only refusal to
speak to everybody guarantees the exclusivity which sells. Baselitz relies on the same
source as Picasso. He plays the role of the brilliant artist who can give added value to
the lives of his customers, a role which is willingly subscribed to artists by those who
can afford their works of art.
This mutual fulfilling of role expectations is supported by management theorists who
see something beyond rational explanation in the decision making of entrepreneurs.
It was Erich Gutenberg, the founder and doyen of the German form of micro
economics called 'Betriebswirtschaftslehre'195, who wrote in his introduction to this
science about the necessary capabilities of CEOs ('Unternehmensleite'r) that they had
an original and independent kind of thinking and acting which is not transferable
into any method, "because big decisions have their roots in that irrationality which
remains the secret of the individual way of thinking and acting" (Gutenberg 1983, p.
147). This is what we are still used to. The intuition of the brilliant individual as
manager is carefully kept and included in self-portrayals of successful managers as
the detail of entrepreneurial success (Hansen 1992)196. Management theorist,
manager and artist are working on the same myth (Pelzer 1995).


With the back to art

195
    He did this in his habilitation of 1929: "Die Unternehmung als Gegenstand
betriebswirtschaftlicher Theorie"
196
    Lee Iacocca e.g. always insisted that the basis of his decisions was gut feeling and kept
mocking on his analysts as bean counters (Hansen 1992: 182)
Famous entrepreneurs have often been collectors of art or sponsors of cultural
events. They followed the tradition shaped by aristocracy in preceding centuries.
Corporate art collections as a systematic venture are at least in their multitude a
relative recent development. It is surprising to what extent the arts market is
nowadays dependent on companies' collections. The "International Directory of
Corporate Art Collections" of 1991 lists the collecting companies on 500 pages. In
preparation of this year's exhibition "Art & Economy" the organisers sent a
questionnaire to 800 German companies to enquire about the use of art in the
companies. About 60 companies replied which all have significant activities (Felix et
al 2002). Deutsche Bank e.g. recently announced that it owns the largest company
collection worldwide with nearly 50.000 pieces. At first sight this can be interpreted
as a cool investment of companies which rationally choose the best way to increase
the worth of their investment. And in times where the prices for singular pieces of art
exploded this would have been an argument for buying the classics. And indeed this
happened and still happens. But with collecting 50.000 pieces there must be another
motivation behind it.
Managers also try to participate in the image the free artist has and use the art
collection for this purpose. Some of this is analysed by Wolfgang Ullrich (2000). It is a
                            matter of fact that art has entered the centres of power. His
                            book "Mit dem Rücken zur Kunst" (with the back to art) asks
                            under the subtitle "the new status symbols of power" why
                            there are so many photos taken from CEOs with a painting
                            behind them. Why do they surround themselves with art? One
                            point of course is that they want to participate in the positive
                            image the art provides. It is a symbol for a modern, open-
                            minded, self confident attitude. Avantgarde is for managers
                            who see themselves on the edge of the development into the
                            future, nothing to be afraid of. But it is not only a mutual
                            reinforcement of their roles – art supports the image of
                            managers and companies, and companies demonstrate the
                            value of art by treating them as equal – managers also try to
                            answer the request for a meaning of business with buying and
                            presenting art. The top manager expects help in a difficult
                            situation: the painting shall relieve him from the burden he
                            perceives from his responsible position by providing a spiritual
 figure 3: Rolf Breuer, CEO
 Deutsche Bank              home beyond the company's objectives (op. cit., p. 78). The
                            artist then is the master who transforms the capital that asks
for meaning into art and with that creates a visible value. The art collections of banks
can be interpreted as an attempt to fill money with meaning. The meaning embodied
in art is as accepted as money itself. The obvious request for legitimacy the banking
business has, shall be solved by participating in the transcendental creation of
meaning art provides.
The art of management is the demonstration of power with the help of art. Looking at
photos like that taken of Rolf Breuer, until May this year CEO of Deutsche Bank,
there can be no doubt that pieces of art are                                   used
as an intimidating demonstration of power.
Expression of face, gesture and posture                                        carry
the message: "I'm on top, you're at the
bottom" and "I rule the future". According to                                Hutter
(2002: 54) these are the basic messages for                                   which
artistic artefacts were used since the 16th
century in Europe.
We all know that the manager is ugly. It                                             was
not only the artist who enriched our
imagination with unforgettable images.                                              Even
considering that George Grosz illustrated                                             his
marxist attitude, this attitude followed a
tradition that had been founded by the
aristocratic contempt for bourgeois profit                                           and
loss thinking. New money was worth less                                             than
old money and the attempt of cultivation was seen as compensation for the business
mindedness. Grasskamp (1998) notes that                                              this
kind of contempt was adopted by artists figure 4: George Grosz: Die                  and
intellectuals in the 19th century and found Besitzkröten, 1921                        its
supplement in the radical critique of society                                     in the
20th century, also with a continuing effect in conservative critique of culture. There is
also a continuation of older, religious traditions. On the surface religion ostracised
the longing for profit as immoral. Not that this general attitude prevented the
churches from taking money. Moral money laundering was widespread. During the
process of secularisation art took over this attitude and the illusion arose that art is
far from the market. The artist is a creator who without having a profit in mind, out
of a higher creative urge produces his/her art (Grasskamp 1998: 20). This is history.
The market now has openly reached and swallowed art. Hitlists as in the magazine
"Capital": the 100 Greatest which tries to evaluate significance and praise but also
value for money or the art-sales-index clearly show art as part of the markets.
The marketing of art has reached a cynicism which destroys the credibility of artists
(Grasskamp 1998: 36) and even turns Picasso into a sales representative for cars.
Consequently more and more artists refuse to act as moral authority (Felix et al
2002). Managers on the other hand are more and more dependent on legitimating
sources from outside the company. Exxon manager Robert Kingsley is quoted with
the words: "EXXON'S support of the arts serves the arts as a social lubricant. And if
business is to continue in big cities, it needs a more lubricant environment" (Ullrich
2000: 73). The artist Volker Haacke took this and five similar answers of American
managers to the question why they collected art, printed it on a series of plates and
named it "On social grease". Haacke's work dates from 1975 (Haacke defines himself
definitely by his distance to the corporate world) but demonstrates in a nutshell why
the relationship of artist and manager is an uneasy one. If there is a moral demand
on the artist's side they cannot proudly present their work with CEOs without
damaging their moral authority. If the CEOs use art simply to cover the unpleasant
aspects of their activities the emperor may suddenly be perceived as s/he is: naked,
without cover over the nasty aspects like manipulation of balance sheets, child
labour in third world countries, lobbying for energy wasting etc. etc.197
The critical distance shrinks below perception. Both are just maintaining a myth
which is enhancing the business by providing a legitimising façade.

The aesthetisation of a production process
A car manufacturer decides to enter a new market segment. For this purpose it was
also decided to built a new production site way off from the existing plants.
Negotiations followed with several municipalities and local governments for the best
conditions, i.e. subsidies and location. During the building of the site agencies were
employed to find a catchy name for the new car, a huge marketing campaign was
launched and public discussion, at least within the interested public, is
controversial. Business as usual. But Volkswagen knew that the entry into the
luxury car segment as competitor to Mercedes S-class and BMW 7 series needed
explanation, convincing arguments and overcoming of the mockery about the
parvenu.
What, then, is so noteworthy about Volkswagen's new plant and the new model
Phaeton? One point is the very obvious attempt to create a brand. The sheer need of
explanation against the established competition requires a differentiation. This is
done with reference to Greek mythology and a sophisticated marketing campaign.
What is actually new is the consequent aesthetisation not only of the product but of
the whole production process. Volkswagen's claim is the elevation of the car to
something unassailable.
Volkswagen inaugurated the new factory in November 2001, the first cars were on
the road in May 2002. Preceding this the search for a suitable location took place. It
was the declared intention to leave the well known paths of production. Production
sites are usually built outside towns, only accessible for the employees or during
restricted guided tours. They are built functionally at lowest cost possible and an
aesthetic value often is only recognised by the engineer designing the plant. VW built
the factory at a prestigious place in the city centre of Dresden, only a few minutes by
foot away from the Zwinger, the Opera house, and situated at the baroque Botanical
Garden. The concept includes visual presence as well as the reference to regional
tradition. It's name 'Gläserne Manufaktur' only incompletely translates as
'transparent factory'. What is missed in the translation is the reference to manual
work and craftsmanship which is contained in 'Manufaktur'. Saxony is the homeland
of the prestigious Meissener Porzellanmanufaktur and VW very consciously draws on
this image. To achieve this end, the final assembly is transparent. Each step can be

197
   Though Rolf Breuer was not undisputed in several business decisions I do not intend to
indicate that he is involved in any of the mentioned activities. His photo is exclusively taken as
an example for the demonstration of power.
watched through glass. Not only the windows but even the walls are made of glass, so
that one can watch the only three robots but 800 workers. One of the most obvious
differences to any image of car production is the floor made of maple parquet. The
workers wear white overalls and grey shirts. Ferdinand Piëch, then the CEO of
Volkswagen, declared: "History is being made here today with the opening of the
transparent factory. Our customers and guests will be able to see and experience
detailed craftsmanship and state-of-the-art technology here. The Volkswagen brand
will thus add a new dimension to the emotional connection to a completely new
product market segment in the luxury class" (Vondruska 2001). Or, as Folker
Weißgerber, member of the board of managers, explained: " By making processes
visible we wanted to present the fascination of technology as a "staging" of production
and, of course, as an attraction for customers and visitors" (ibid).
Commentators on the building refer to the history of glass buildings from the Crystal
Palace of 1851 onwards. The Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius designed the Fagus
Werke in Alsfeld (1914) and Walter Traut a glass pavilion for the Deutsche Werkbund
                                               exhibition in 1914. Mies van der Rohe
                                               drew plans of glass office towers for Berlin
                                               which were not built due to the state of
                                               the building technology which wasn't
                                               ready for this kind of building.
                                               Nevertheless the ideas around glass
                                               remained part of the architectural
                                               imagination. Günter Henn now revived
                                               this tradition, first in the Autostadt
                                               (Motor Town) in Wolfsburg, the head
                                               office and home of Volkswagen. Partly
                                               museum, partly public relation where
 figure 5: Volkswagen's transparent factory in
 Dresden                                       buyers can collect their new Golfs or
                                               Passats, it is also an overall presentation
of the brand Volkswagen. The transparent factory goes one step further. Here the
production, at least the final assembly, is transparent. The second intention, the
reference to industry as art, of turning something that has to be hidden because of
ugliness and dirt into something presentable and representable for the idea of car
manufacturing, seems to be achieved as well. Glancey's concluding remarks in his
report stand for various other commentators in the media: "What Henn has done in
Dresden is to marry these various crystal dreams, and to turn heavy industry into
civic art" (Glancey 2002). Placed on an estate which before World War II
accommodated a museum and today is located opposite the German Hygiene-
Museum it almost comes to mind to compare the factory with a museum: with Frank
Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (Michel 2002) or Tate Modern (Glancey
2002). Usually museums are places where goods which have become rare and
precious are displayed. In the post-industrial society of East Germany, where
factories have disappeared (and work with them), it is appropriate to present work
where humans work with machines and tools in a museum-like atmosphere (Michel
2002). But there is more to it than the commentator's irony. The building with its
atypical architecture for industry carries a message. The glass forces to look inside,
to watch what is happening: Look, this is art to be seen here. As the CEO said, the
production is staged. It is the final assembly and therefore the noisy and dirty parts
of the process are manufactured outside the town and are delivered to Dresden. The
last part of the journey takes place with a specially designed tram. Only the bodies
are delivered by truck. The assembly can really be staged with transparent lifts
delivering parts and workers putting them together in open space. In the basement
the most obvious claim for producing art is displayed. Parts of the Phaeton
equipment like catalysts of break lights are placed in display cases, polished, shining
and beautiful like sculptures. The generous spaces for visitors and the VIP area for
the exclusive customers or the high quality restaurant are almost self-evident
features of public relation.
In those articles I quoted from the
information given is so similar that my
suspicion is, that they all do not draw                                                                      on
personal inquiry but on the press                                                                       material
VW or Henn architects delivered. The                                                                     details
of the history of architecture are too                                                                  similar,
the reference to Guggenheim too
surprising to be pure chance. They                                                                      seem to
be the result of a careful composed                                                                      concept
of staging the whole public image of the                                                                 factory,
the new car and Volkswagen itself. The                                                                   staging
goes even further. There was a very
successful show on German public
television where the most prominent                                                literary
                                            figure 6: final assembly of VW Phaeton
critic, Marcel Reich-Ranicki and three
colleagues discussed new books. They                                                 called
themselves "literary quartet" and gained a tremendous influence and achieved that
books were discussed publicly. And of course they influenced sales. With Reich-
Ranicki retiring in 2001, the show was cancelled and left room for a similar concept.
It is a "Philosophical Quartet", hosted by German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk who try
to succeed it. The place where the general questions around the meaning of life are
discussed and broadcasted is – the transparent factory.
The conclusion is obvious. Volkswagen does not only produce a luxury car in the transparent factory; more
than that it intends to produce an image. Volkswagen does not sponsor art, Volkswagen is art, that is the
message. And here is the point where the whole venture becomes dubious. The art of management is the
realisation of art's promise: the product, its production, the company, the brand become unassailable. The
question is, if art that had long sold itself to the corporate world as willing assistant or carries its body to the
market, is able to perform this role. It is not the role of architecture which is at question here. Both
architecture in this quality and the company draw on the myth art has developed so convincingly in past
times. The artist as the independent creator, i.e. the image that Picasso had so convincingly taken from
Velásquez is still ruling. This, as we have already seen, has always been an inscription, gratefully used by
artists.
Experiencing the colonisation of the life world as de-boundaring i.e. neglecting and
tearing down all boundaries, identity, significance and freedom get lost. Pierre Guillet
de Monthoux (2000) writes about the totalising effects of an implosion into a centre
where the art work lies. The transparent factory? If we conceive it as an art work the
implosion, the de-boundaring of art into business would indeed mean a totalising
effect. Branding is acknowledged the right to occupy the central place of creating
meaning. Economy which once claimed to be a value free production and distribution
of goods now needs to create values to keep itself running.
"Du sublime au ridicule il n'y a qu'un pas"
'The sublime and the ridiculousness are not far apart' said Napoleon during his flight
from Russia (Reese-Schäfer 1988: 57). With so much talk and demonstration of new
dimensions, promise, history which is being made, art, museum etc. one is waiting
for a confirmation of Napoleon's apercu. It may rest in the name. Who was
Phaëthon198?
                                                          Helios, the God of the sun, had a son
                                                          with a human mother: Phaëthon.
                                                          When mocked at school, where his
                                                          playmates doubted his heavenly
                                                          status, he asked his mother for proof.
                                                          She sent him to Helios who, as a sign
                                                          of his fatherly love, promised him to
                                                          fulfil every wish. But when Phaëthon
                                                          asked for riding the chariot of sun,
                                                          Helios tried to convince him not to
                                                          insist on this demand. For very good
                                                          reasons: Phaëthon, not only young
                                                          and therefore not with the full
                                                          strength of an adult, but most of all
                                                          mortal and therefore not capable of
                                                 riding the chariot. But all the
 figure 7: Peter Paul Rubens: The Fall of Phaeton, 1605
                                                 warnings about the dangerous way
                                                 and the need for careful driving were
rejected by the youth. It came as Helios had feared: Phaëthon lost control over the
horses. The chariot left the travelled road, uncontrolled the horses took it here and
there through the skies, colliding with stars, the clouds beginning to smoke, the
mountains being set on fire, big cities perishing, in short Phaëthon caused the
biggest catastrophe imaginable. Finally Zeus, alarmed by Earth, destroyed Phaëthon
with a thunderbolt. His body fell into the river Eridanus where he was found by the
river nymphs who buried him. Their tears turned into amber (Bullfinch 2002,
pantheon.org 2002).
This was not left unnoticed. Asked, why they chose the name of the first car crash
victim in history, Volkswagen speaker Bobsien said, that the car had got through the
wild journey without damage. The driver's death was destined by Zeus (Buchholz
2001). Besides the clear message that the car is more important than the driver
(which also contradicts the safety features for the passengers the car industry is so
proud of) the ridiculous exaggeration goes into two directions. The celebration of a
minor driver and his reckless driving may mirror the lack of responsibility which can
198
   Volkswagen changed the name used in Greek mythology ' Phaëthon' into the easier form
'Phaeton'.
be seen in constructing such a big resources wasting car. The chariot turned out to
be destructive when the human took the reigns. By adopting the driver's name the
VW Phaeton can be seen as a symbol of mankind's replacing the ancient gods but
failing to handle the newly gained power responsibly. That there are worse cars with
less suspicious names is no excuse. The driver's name, Phaeton, and the vehicle, the
chariot of sun, are put into one. To compare a car with the mythological chariot
transporting the sun is somehow excessive but nevertheless typical for strategies of
branding.
Glancey's word of the "Über-wagen" (2002) adds another dimension when he
contrasted size, power and price with the income of the 'volk' in Dresden. He alludes
to the very bad economical situation in East Germany but also plays with the name
of the company. Volkswagen was founded to provide the people (Volk) with a cheap,
reliable car (Wagen). The way from the Beetle to the Phaeton is the way from practical
need of transportation to driving as an end in itself. It transcends the idea of a car
and intends to include the sublime. And of course the Über-wagen is an allusion to
Nietzsche's Übermensch. The long way, which humans have to go to develop into the
class of people Nietzsche is dreaming of as having developed their full potential with
transcending the earthly bound existence, is mirrored here in the car suitable for
these super humans. Even if this is not the complete and correct interpretation of
Nietzsche, the play on words is invoked by reacting to the transcendent talk and
presentation of the car and its factory.



Between the sublime and seduction: a mutual simulation of a glorious past
The analysis of the relationship between art and artist, manager and company is
quite sobering. If Volkswagen is a typical example the corporate world is trying to
conquer the sublime. Given the significance of cars for many people in our societies,
a transcendent image would prevent questioning the justification of individual traffic,
size and speed of cars, and Volkswagen as a producer. But there is no coherent
conclusion possible. Neither is it the case that the corporate world has completely
taken over or sucked out the cultural sphere nor can the possibility be denied. As
long as the corporates' longing for the sublime exposes itself to the ridiculous
dimension their attempt of controlling the complete life world will be in vain. The
example of Volkswagen cannot yet be judged. It is a worrying fact that the irritation
around the name was discussed in several papers (e.g. Michel 2001, Buchholz 2001)
but showed no consequences. It obviously doesn't matter now. Another dimension
seems to decide about the sublime and the ridiculous. If the Phaeton turns out to be
a success, no one will complain about the contradictory use of Greek mythology. The
car and its factory will be praised as a successful marketing campaign and a support
for the brand Volkswagen. If the Phaeton does not meet the expectations of
Volkswagen and its shareholders, all the efforts for the improvement of the reputation
will be futile and malice will be poured out on the parvenu.
The relationship between art and management is even more contradictory. Both stick
to their myths and mutual projections of importance and are supported in their view
by the media. The concentration on the individual, let it be the sports star, the
entrepreneur, the manager (in both roles as hero and as villain), the politician, the
Hollywood celebrity, the member of the Royal Family, the charismatic artist, or
Warhol's 15 minutes of fame for everybody, supports the belief of the own importance
and the correctness of the ignorance of the effects the own behaviour has for –
society, culture?
These should be the keywords. Both, management and art, make only sense as part
of and in their relationship to a culture. Only then can they answer the crucial
question for themselves: What do we exist for? What are we producing goods and
images for? It is the question of relevance and for legitimacy. Where the manager
needs art to provide legitimacy he wants to cover that he is not able to justify his
behaviour anymore. When the artist sells his/her art solely looking on sales figures
s/he took over economy's logic for the recognition of his/her work. In this case both
are on the losing side. They have to keep their originality in order to have the
potential to influence the other and in this open up possibilities of doing things
differently. While remaining influential is at the moment no problem for economy art
is in danger of giving up its original perspective. Can the artist, or art play a
meaningful role when it is incorporated? Or is it just left to the role of the court
jester? This is no vote for the poor artist denying good living to keep the
transcendence of his/her work. It is a vote for the self-confident definition of an
independent point of view acknowledging the context, the market economy. "Economy
has to be a tool for us, in order to prevent us from becoming a tool for economics"
(Luckow 2002: 40), Accés Local, a group of artists working in business environments,
declare. Business on the other hand needs artistic skills in image perception to
recognise its own image, to be business (Adamopoulos et al: 104). The other, says
Baudrillard, is there to prevent myself from repeating me endlessly. But if the other is
my copy, eternal repetition will be the result.




But the last word and image shall be                                                       given to
the     artist    who     reminds the
manager/merchant of what is really
significant199 – the End:




The Death


199
   Burkard Sievers made me aware of "Der Totentanz von Basel" during an inspiring
discussion on the ambiguity of the topic "art of management".



                                             figure 8: HAP Grieshaber: Der Totentanz von
                                             Basel, Der Kaufmann
Come, Merchant, let your business lie:
Your time is up, you now must die:
Death can't be bribed with goods or gold.
So, dance along, as you are told.

The Merchant
To gather gain I've been well skilled,
Chests and strong boxes all are filled;
But death despises all my wealth,
And robs me both of life and health




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Leadership for What? A Humanistic Approach to Leadership
Development*
Gama Perruci and Stephen W. Schwartz

McDonough Center for Leadership and Business
Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio 45750 USA



               Since the 1980s, leadership as a subject of inquiry has become a prominent feature in

higher education both in the United States and Europe.xxxiv The old “boss-subordinate” model of

leadership has given way to an interactive paradigm that requires a new set of skills. Leaders and

followers are now asked to be flexible, accept constant change, work in teams, and decentralize the

decision-making process. In the political arena, we ask our citizens to become active participants in

the political process at a young age. Leaders and followers play an integral part in the success of

modern democratic polities, and college-age citizens should not feel alienated from the political

system. These emerging emphases suggest a search for meaning and purpose in leadership

development.

               In their rush to acquire the necessary “credentials” to face a highly competitive

marketplace, students often overlook the real meaning and purpose of leadership development. This

paper argues that the “for what” question is critical at the outset of any leadership development

program at the undergraduate level. Leadership is not a value-free process.xxxv Students should

ground their skill development in a context that allows them to find meaning and purpose in

leadership. This context-building process constitutes the “humanistic” approach to leadership


*
  Paper presented at the “Art of Management and Organisation” Conference, King’s
College, London, United Kingdom, September 3-6, 2002. The conference was
organized by the Essex Management Centre, University of Essex. The authors would
like to thank Kyla Pepper for research assistance.
development that we often overlook in our rush to build new leadership programs.

              The first section of this paper reviews two different types of undergraduate leadership

programs – one focused on the economic aspect of leadership training and another that places

emphasis on an individual’s participation in the political process (the development of the citizen-

leader). The second section suggests a common ground between these two approaches. The

economic and political arenas, particularly with the increasingly interdependent global marketplace,

have become in recent decades part of a single process that emphasizes words such as creativity,

flexibility, and comfort with ambiguity and constant change. These words indeed suggest that

leadership encompasses the humanistic realm that behavioralists often ignore in their studies of a

leaders’ behavior.

       The third section explores a humanistic approach to leadership development that moves us

beyond the short-term requirements of this dizzying globalized political-economic environment that

demands efficiency and stability. The final section demonstrates how the humanistic approach can

be implemented by reviewing the programmatic schema used by Marietta College’s McDonough

Center for Leadership and Business in Ohio, USA.




                            Approaches to Leadership Development

       While there are now hundreds of leadership programs across the United States and Europe,

we can discern two dominant approaches to leadership development. We call the first one

“utilitarian,” and it addresses a student’s interests in economic security beyond graduation. This

approach recognizes that students are particularly interested in acquiring leadership skills before

they enter the job market. The second approach focuses on the democratic requirement for active
citizenship. This approach addresses the political sphere. In this section, we address both

approaches’ contribution to our notions of leadership development at the undergraduate level.



        The Utilitarian Approach. Students in leadership programs often approach their

undergraduate educational experience as a simple exercise in skill building. Graduate programs,

such as the ones in business schools, have long worked with executives to increase their leadership

skills. The leadership literature is crowded with “how-to’s” and “three-step” formulas.xxxvi Some

undergraduate programs, therefore, replicate these expectations as a way to give eighteen-year-olds

an “early start.” If leadership students can acquire critical skills, they will be ready to face a

demanding workplace.

              The list of recognized leadership skills is certainly too long to address in a single

paper, but there is general agreement on several of them. Mark Bagshaw, for example, conceives of

leadership skills as a continuous improvement model that not only delineates skills, but also

conveys a sense of the ongoing nature of leadership for change (see Figure 1). Common to the

process are the skills of facilitation, communication, reflective listening, clarifying values, resolving

conflict, and achieving consensus. These
                                                                FIGURE 1

     Enacting Leadership
      Mark Bagshaw 2002 (printed with permission)

                                                                   I.
   DETERMINING                                      A.          Scanning
  THE NEED FOR                                            Environments and
                                                        Interpreting Contexts
  (1) CHA
  NGE
                         IX.                                                                              II.
                     Assessing:                                                                      Matching:
                     Celebrating/                                                                Identifying Issues
                    Recommitting/                                                           As Problems or Opportunities
                     Revisioning                                                              With Action Implications
                                                                                                   For the Group




            VIII.                                                                                                 III.
        Executing:                                                                                        Defining Reality:
    Directing/Creating                                                                                   Conceptualizing and
                                                   A.          Facilitation Skills:
         Change
                                                         Communicating                                   Communicating a
                                                         Listening Reflectively                         Recognition or View
                                                         Clarifying Values                              of Reality to Others
                                                         Resolving Conflict
                                                         Crystallizing
            VII.                                          Consensus
  Mobilizing Resources:
 Allocating Resources to                                                                                      IV.
   Task and Motivating                                                                            Developing Group Decisions:
     Self & Others to                                                                               Gathering Intelligence
  Realize Shared Goals                                                                               Reaching Consensus on
                                                                                                      Positions, Desired
                                                                                                      Outcomes, Shared Goals


                                    VI.
                         Acquiring and Developing
                                Resources:                                       V.
a)     MOBIL              Physical                                         Envisioning:                          1.    INFLUEN
IZING                     Financial                                       Articulating a                         CING
RESOURCES                 Human (includes                               Vision of Change/                         AND WORKING
TO EFFECT                  building group identity,                        Developing a                           a)    IN
CHANGE                     competencies, and trust)                        Plan of Action                         GROUPS




 Notes:
    Issues are perceived connections between a group and its context that have action implications for the group’s future status; issues
     with negative action implications are problems; issues with positive future implications are opportunities.
    Facilitation is conceived as a secondary or support activity which seeks to improve outcomes by improving group processes within
     and between the stages of the cycle by which leadership is enacted.
    Conflict is conceived as arising when participants in a process hold dissimilar and apparently incompatible views on (a) the
     importance or desirability of some future state or outcome, or (b) the mechanisms for achieving some mutually desired future state
     or outcome.
skills are central to specific tasks that range from scanning and interpreting the organization in

which change is to be created to marshalling the resources needed to accomplish change.

Assessment, the final stage, ultimately leads one back to the initial stage of scanning the

organization.

                While leaders need to be adept in a variety of skills, leadership requires, among other

things, the sound judgment that comes with education, understanding, experience, and practice.

Without these, and perhaps-other factors not easily defined, leadership is merely a bag of tricks, and

the leader who has gained these tricks may be regarded as merely adept. More about this later.

Moreover, in its linearity, the Bagshaw model unintentionally suggests that the tasks are carried out

in chronologically arranged steps. This is, most often, not the case, nor was it his intention.



                The Communitarian Approach. Self-governance constitutes the foundation of a

modern democracy. Because power resides in “the people,” citizens are expected to take on

leadership roles in the polity. In recent decades, both social science scholars and community

activists have engaged in a lively debate over the state of citizen involvement.xxxvii Robert Bellah,

for instance, identifies “communitarianism” as an important strand in American political culture,

which balances an individualist tendency.xxxviii He, along with other critics, argues that since the

1980s the balance has tilted dangerously in the direction of individualism. Thus, Bellah calls for a

renewed communitarian effort in American society.

        Other social critics have argued that the American political system is breeding a nation of

individualists who care little about the “common good.” These individualists have become cynical,

demobilized citizens who watch a few make decisions for the many.xxxix Many leadership programs

in the United States, therefore, have been created as a way to counter this trend in citizen

demobilization.
       In fact, the first attempt in the United States to help students develop their leadership

abilities was found not in academic departments, but in the offices of student affairs, where students

were challenged to take on their own governance in student activities, including in residence halls.

Further, student affairs administrators saw leadership development as a way to involve the students

in the process of structuring their own lives outside the classroom. Early Student Affairs models of

leadership development focused on the clubs and organizations to which students belonged, and

well-staffed Student Affairs divisions taught students how to run meetings, develop and manage

budgets, and advertise their events. More advanced efforts led Student Affairs professionals to

focus on specific interpersonal skills, particularly how to resolve conflict through effective

confrontations, as well as on values exploration and reflection. In all, leadership development, as

undertaken within Student Affairs divisions, was intended to use the extra- and co-curricular

activities of students as laboratories in which students practiced the art and skills of citizen-

leadership.

       The basic premise in these communitarian leadership programs is that students are the

future leaders in their communities, so they are asked to develop the necessary skills to make a

difference even before they graduate. The communitarian approach, not surprisingly, places a

strong emphasis on “community service” as a venue for leadership development. In general,

students are required to perform a certain number of service hours in the city where the

college/university is located. While this community engagement is often labeled “volunteerism,”

the pedagogy is derived from service learning – a method that places the students in direct contact

with the issues and problems that they learn in the classroom.



                                    Seeking Common Ground

              Students join leadership programs for a variety of reasons. As the previous section
suggested, two approaches emphasize at least two dominant reasons for being a part of a leadership

program. Many students are pragmatic when approaching a college education. They want to get a

good-paying job after they graduate. If the leadership program can enhance their marketability, we

know that they will want to acquire that “credential.”

       There are also those students who are moved by the ideals of community service and their

potential contribution to the health of the democratic polity. Those students join leadership

programs in order to expand their involvement in service learning and enjoy the community spirit

that the program promotes.

       Oftentimes, these two approaches (utilitarian and communitarian) are presented as opposites

in a leadership development continuum, as Figure 2 suggests. While the utilitarian approach is

supposedly designed to address individual needs, the communitarian one seeks to promote

collective interests. One may even chide the other for perceived shortcomings. For example, the

communitarian approach at times sees the utilitarian as promoting a “selfish” myopia – taking care

of one’s own needs before societal needs can be addressed. The utilitarian approach, however, may

criticize the communitarians for allowing idealism to cloud a more realistic view of the world under

which human beings are primarily motivated by individual interests.




                                            FIGURE 2

                      The Utilitarian and Communitarian Approaches
                   UTILITARIAN                 COMMUNITARIAN




Leadership Focus:                Leadership Focus:
Individual skill development     Addressing community needs




Preferred Methodology:           Preferred Methodology:
Skill-building exercises         Community service (service-learning)



Desired Outcome:                 Desired Outcome:
“Better leaders”                 “Better communities”
        Recent global processes are rendering this form of dichotomization increasingly irrelevant.xl

In other words, this type of reasoning – creating polar opposites to define approaches to leadership

development – no longer holds. The two approaches are not mutually exclusive. Globalization,

which is defined here as an integrative process of interdependent connectivity, is shaking loose our

notions of community.xli An eighteen-year-old in Ohio may have more in common with an

eighteen-year-old in Germany than with another in West Virginia, although they are essentially

neighbors.

        Furthermore, global economic processes are challenging our conceptions of individual gain

as promoting the common good. There is a growing concern that globalization, while celebrating

the strength of market capitalism, is actually creating more divisions between the “haves” and the

“have-nots.”xlii In the process, the “winners” feel little responsibility to address growing economic

inequality.



              A Challenge to the Utilitarian Approach. Globalization has brought about a host of

changes in the workplace that transcend the simple notion of individual effort/rewards. The web of

interdependence and the complexity of the marketplace ensure that no single individual can hold all

the answers. As a result, individuals are increasingly asked to work in teams and develop group

goals. Decision-making also has been decentralized, and everyone potentially can participate in the

development of an organization’s vision for its future. In other words, individuals are asked to see

themselves as part of a collective whole.

              From a leadership standpoint, a student cannot simply focus on individual skill

building as a way to become a “better leader.” More than ever, he/she must understand the delicate

relationship between leaders and followers in the leadership dynamic. At the least, leaders must be

prepared to invite followers into the process by which mission and vision are clarified and
converted into effective action. At the other extreme, they must be prepared to become followers at

times when others have “the answer,” and, in a pluralistic system, the leaders’ ability to capitalize

on the richness of the groups’ diversity depends on mutual respect. In short, leadership in a global

context demands a host of new skills that modify traditional notions of individual skill

development.



               A Challenge to the Communitarian Approach. Critics of globalization are quick to

point out that economic interdependence leaves local communities vulnerable to the vagaries of the

global marketplace. The numerous protests that spring up whenever international economic leaders

are meeting suggest the deep divisions that exist in many parts of the world over the negative

impact that economic dislocation may have on individual countries. Protesters point out that critical

decision-making that affects million of lives is left to business leaders who are not accountable to

any democratic political process.

               The real challenge to the communitarian approach resides in the ability to connect

local needs to global processes. How do we prepare students to be effective global community

leaders? The very notion of community is changing before our very eyes.xliii As the pace of

technological change picks up, so do our connections across frontiers. In the process, our old

notions of identity tied to blood and geographical location are challenged. Globalization also fosters

a backlash – movements that attempt to reassert traditional notions of identity. How do we respond

to leaders who emerge in the name of preserving national identity at the expense of the local

population’s economic development? How do we cope with nationalistic leaders who foment ethnic

hatred?



                      A Humanistic Approach to Leadership Development
               The approaches discussed in earlier sections address real needs that students and

societies have, but they do not represent a complete picture of leadership development. In this

section, we offer a third alternative – one that combines utilitarian and communitarian elements –

while exploring a deeper understanding of leadership development.

          The search for alternatives or methodological clarification is not new in the leadership

literature. In the 1980s, as the proliferation of leadership programs took place, Dennis Roberts

provided a pioneering framework for program design.xliv Roberts acknowledged the importance of

skill building (leadership training), but also highlighted the need for providing students with an

understanding of leadership concepts (leadership education). The combination of the two provided

for “leadership development,” which ultimately provided the environment for a student’s

emergence as a leader.

          Roberts’ formulation became a path-breaking approach in the 1980s and 1990s for

leadership development. Training and education are certainly critical components of a student’s

college experience. To be fair, Roberts’ main interest was to provide a connection between the

leadership training (utilitarian approach) and the academic side of higher education. Faculty

members, mostly in small liberal arts colleges, were critical of student affairs’ skill-building

activities, which they considered to be devoid of credible academic content. “Leadership

education,” therefore, was developed as a way to provide leadership development with an academic

luster.

          We do not quarrel with this formulation per se. Rather, after two decades of program

building, the proposed humanistic approach moves us beyond this old debate between faculty

members and student affairs administrators. We call for a third component that is missing in

Roberts’ conception – the process by which a student develops a calling and translates knowledge

into meaningful and purposeful action. This third component constitutes the heart of a humanistic
approach to leadership development.

       At the outset of this discussion of a third alternative, we need to attend to some definitional

requirements. By calling an approach “humanistic,” we obviously raise the question as to the

meaning and use of this word. Colleges and universities today integrate certain disciplines into a

single division that is called the “humanities” – including areas such as languages, literature,

history, and philosophy.xlv What we consider the humanities in reality is the remnant of a much

wider educational experience dating back to the 5th-century B.C. Greek city-states, under which

young men were prepared for active participation in the polis.xlvi The Romans in the first century

A.D. promoted this “classical” education, which in Latin was translated as humanitas, meaning

human nature.xlvii

                Two other subsequent historical periods expanded this notion of a “classical”

education designed to prepare the youth for adult life. The Catholic Church in the Middle Ages

combined both Greek (paedia) and Roman (humanitas) educational ideals under a program of

Christian education that included not only what we consider today part of the humanities

(languages, literature, history and philosophy) but also mathematics and the sciences in general.

Later, the European Renaissance revived this classical notion of education.xlviii The humanities,

therefore, as conceived in the classical sense, became the foundation for the “liberal arts” in

American colleges and universities today, combining the study of languages, philosophy, arts and

the sciences.

                These four movements (Greek, Roman, Middle Ages, and Renaissance) formed the

basis for a classical Western educational model which in recent years has come under attack as

being outdated and ideologically myopic.xlix The purpose of this paper is not to resolve this debate

between classicists and postmodern humanists. Each side has done well in recent decades adding to

the list of scholarly titles.l By advancing a “humanistic” approach to leadership development, we
are not necessarily advocating a “classicist revival” in higher education, although at times that is

missed, given the cacophony of doctrines and approaches offered in the new humanities “canon.”li

However, that is the topic for another scholarly endeavor.

              Rather than suggesting a classicist revival, we are arguing here that we need to

recover the historical foundations that gave rise to the classical canon. These elements remain just

as pertinent today as they were 2,500 years ago. There are three elements that we would like to

highlight that can be used to build a humanistic approach to leadership development: (1) search for

meaning and purpose in human experience; (2) focus on knowledge as the basis for action; and (3)

action grounded in a moral ethos. Figure 3 summarizes how these three elements work together in

leadership development.




A.     FIGURE 3

1.     A Humanistic Approach to Leadership Development




                                        CONTEXT-
      KNOWLEDGE                                                       a)   AC
                                         BUILDING                     TION



       Self-knowledge:                Understanding                 Moving
       Who am I?                      :                             beyond
       What are my                    Why                           understanding
       gifts?
                                      Insights                      What is my
       Factual                        derived                       calling?
       knowledge:                     from
       What, When,                    “knowing”
       How
              The Human Experience. While we credit the study of human behavior to the social

sciences (and not to the humanities), humanists in the classical sense have always been the ultimate

behavioralists – or, the students of human behavior. While the social scientist attempts to devise

models that can explain (and predict) human behavior, the humanist through a more qualitative

method explores the meaning and purpose of human action. The experience associated with being

human is essentially an artistic inquiry, as opposed to scientific.lii However, both humanists and

social scientists are in the same general business: interpreting the significance of being human.

              When we apply the above insight into leadership education, it becomes clear that this

notion that the study of leadership resides in the social sciences realm is only partially accurate. The

humanities have much to contribute to our understanding of human motivations, which are central

to our own interpretation of leadership as a social phenomenon. The leader-followers relationship is

fraught with the qualities associated with being human – compassion, betrayal, seduction, love,
hate. A humanistic approach, therefore, can help us develop an understanding of the leadership

dynamic through these artistic lenses.liii



                Knowledge Before Action. The classical humanist did not promote the development

of knowledge for its own sake. Oftentimes, the “humanities” and the “liberal arts” have been

criticized as promoting a divorce between knowledge and “the real world.”liv In reality, the classical

humanists promoted the expansion of knowledge because of social needs. The Greek approach

(paedia) was directly linked to the concept of self-governance. The youth were educated for the

explicit purpose of becoming active citizens in their communities (city-states). Action, however,

could not be divorced from insights gained by studying the human experience.

                Clearly, this humanistic approach – linking knowledge to action – has a direct

implication to leadership development. In the Renaissance, Machiavelli’s The Prince, uncovered

the complexities of human nature, for the direct purpose of developing “better rulers.”lv However

objectionable Machiavelli’s recommendations may be, he made a direct connection between human

nature (insights based on the human experience) and the expected behavior of leaders and

followers.lvi

                Another important element of the humanistic approach is that knowledge does not

simply lead to a contemplative outcome. Rather, it leads to action. This knowledge, therefore, has to

have direct bearing in the actions that are to follow. The utilitarian approach discussed earlier in the

paper put much emphasis on skill development for its own sake, devoid of a social context. In

reality, this focus does not contradict classical humanism. The Romans’ studia humanitatis

included rhetoric as the basis for effective communication. Today, we see this skill as central in

leadership development. A leader’s eloquence can sway followers toward a particular vision.

However, the vision must exist first, and that can only come from awareness of context.
             Moral Ethos. Classical humanists saw human action as value-laden; that is, it is

embedded in a moral ethos that must reflect certain assumptions about human virtue. Even

Machiavelli, who is often interpreted as a defender of an “amoral” view of human behavior

(reflecting more the birth of modern political philosophy), made certain assumptions about the

expected relationship between outcomes and resource usage – “the ends justifying the means.” In

the Middle Ages, humanists such as Augustine, grounded the moral ethos in Christianity, which

came to be associated with Western ethical principles. While this paper does not seek to resolve the

current debate over the universality of ethics and its relationship to individual cultures (i.e.,

Western), the humanists’ central point remains relevant: what motivates our actions?

             This central point is critical in leadership development. The communitarian approach

has stressed the need to direct leadership toward the “common good.” This notion of the good is

grounded in certain assumptions – collaboration, participation, sharing, inclusion – as desirable

elements in a leader-follower relationship. A humanistic approach to leadership development does

not disagree with the basic assumption that before one becomes an effective leader, one has to come

to grips with the basic values that will guide action. The search for knowledge, therefore, is not

simply a skill-building desire. It also includes the process by which one comes to know oneself.

From that basic knowledge, a leader can develop a deeper understanding of the meaning and

purpose of action. Leadership for what?



                                       The Marietta Model

             In the previous section, we uncovered some of the basic elements of a humanistic

approach to leadership development. These elements have become guiding points for building a

leadership program at Marietta College’s McDonough Center for Leadership and Business (Ohio,
USA). As a small liberal arts institution that traces its roots to the late 18th century revolutionary

days in the United States, Marietta College was chartered to educate its students in the various

“branches of useful knowledge.” In 1987, through a grant from the McDonough Foundation, the

College established a leadership program that has sought to build on this tradition while infusing a

humanistic approach to leadership education.

              For the purposes of the McDonough Leadership Program, leadership is defined as

encompassing a broad range of activities and responsibilities attributed to the successful citizen-

leader. This definition does not categorize leadership as an elitist activity, the exclusive province of

the traditional “Great Man,” but rather as an empowering and accessible activity invaluable to

contributing citizens in a pluralistic democracy. In this model, leadership is in part reconceptualized

as a form of empowerment that emphasizes collective action and shared power for the purpose,

among other things, of enhancing social justice. Leadership education based on this model focuses,

therefore, on clarification of values for the purpose of developing self-awareness, on gaining trust,

and on developing the capacity for listening and for serving others through collaborations designed

to bring about change for the common good. Rather than focusing entirely on the skills required for

“being in charge,” leadership education at Marietta College also supports the acquisition of other

skills and values important to the welfare of the various communities in which citizens live and

work.

        Articulated by David Mathew of the Kettering Foundation, these community skills include

participating actively in solving community problems; framing questions from the perspective of

the community; making difficult decisions by mastering skills of public deliberation and public

judgment, with the concomitant creation within the community of new voices; articulating a sense

of the common good; reordering relationships in order to work toward the common good.

        Within the framework of the Program, leadership as a focal point provides us with
educational opportunities appropriate to the humanistic, liberal arts context of Marietta College’s

educational schema. These reach to the very core of the humanities. The Marietta Model is built on

the following assumptions that reflect the Program’s and the College’s humanistic focus:

          The study of leadership repeatedly poses questions of ethics and values in all areas of

           human endeavor;

          The study of leadership is a persistent reminder that we think, live, and act at all times in

           a variety of communities, each of which demands an understanding of human thought

           and interaction;

          The study of leadership involves the analysis of many of the most significant myths and

           symbols of a given culture;

          The study of leadership provides a fruitful vantage point for exploring a variety of issues

           in social and political philosophy. These issues—the nature and avenues of influence,

           the repositories and uses of power, the role and transference of authority, the role of

           dissent—all gain richness when viewed through the lenses of anthropology, history,

           literature, philosophy, political science, and comparative religion;

          The study of leadership provides a perspective useful for historical analysis.

       Through leadership study, then, the Program exemplifies and illuminates the role that

humanistic study can play in linking historical consciousness to an understanding of the present –

which then leads to a vision for the future. The ability to envision possibilities, both good and bad,

is a skill vitally necessary to the education of citizen-leaders in a democratic society and a globally

interdependent world.

       While sensitive to the contributions of the other two approaches (utilitarian and

communitarian), we believe that the increasingly interdependent world requires a humanistic

approach. We are calling for the “social renewal” of the liberal arts by challenging students to
develop a deeper sense of their role in society. Leadership, therefore, is not just an exercise in skill

building. It also encompasses self-discovery and the unfolding of a calling. In other words,

leadership development seeks to answer the “for what” question.

        The Marietta Model combines elements from both approaches (utilitarian and

communitarian) within a humanistic perspective, as defined in the previous section. In the first

semester of their leadership studies, students are introduced to some of the basic concepts and skills

that leaders are asked to master. We ask our students to reflect on the variety of definitions of

leadership in the scholarly literature. Further, they are exposed to the relationship between power

and leadership. This introductory discussion provides the foundation for an in-depth look at ethics.

Students are exposed not only to Western ethical principles, but also to other non-Western

perspectives, including Taoism.

        The first semester also includes a discussion of the leadership context for traditional

college-age students. As members of the “millennial generation,” much is expected from these

graduates in terms of social activism. We emphasize at this point, using a humanistic approach, that

knowledge cannot be divorced from action; and, action is grounded in a moral ethos. The students

finish the semester looking at one example of this emphasis, found in the communitarian approach

– the concept of a citizen-leader – the notion that today’s citizens should actively participate in the

political life of their modern democratic societies. This look at citizen-leadership culminates in a

two-day simulation (“Neighborhood”) that calls on the students to practice many of the leadership

skills developed throughout the semester.

        After this first experience in the leadership program, the second semester is devoted to a

broader look at an individual’s participation in an organization. This emphasis on organizational

leadership highlights the fact that we are by nature social beings, and as such we actively participate

in human organizations. At this point, students are also required to participate in a structured
community service project. Community service is grounded in the service-learning methodology

and links the students to a community organization in the city of Marietta.

          By the end of the freshman year, a leadership student will have a basic foundation that

combines both the utilitarian and communitarian perspectives under a single approach – which we

call here “humanistic.” During the third semester in the program, the students continue to

participate in community service, but they receive instruction on the history of leadership studies,

which includes the variety of models and theories of leadership. This theoretical section of the

program gives students new insights about the ways leadership can be practiced out in the “real

world.”

          In the fourth semester of the program, we widen the students’ lenses by introducing the

concept of “global leadership.” In this section, we help students realize that the behavior of leaders

and followers cannot be divorced from the culture where leadership takes place. We expose them to

the ways leadership occurs in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. While most of our students

are from the United States and have a Western perspective when approaching leadership issues, this

section serves as an important awakening to the fact that other cultures have different perspectives

on ethics, power and the good.

          This global section also serves as a way for the students to critically evaluate the recent

international trends. In particular, they are asked to reflect on the meaning of “globalization.” While

much of the traditional American media tend to paint a favorable view of globalization, other parts

of the world actually view globalization negatively. The students are then asked to evaluate the pros

and cons of globalization from a “humanistic” perspective – search for meaning and purpose in the

human experience; focus on knowledge as the basis for action; and action grounded in a moral

ethos.

          These four semesters of coursework (foundations, organization, theories, and global issues),
coupled with the community service and simulations, prepare the students for the next critical step

in a humanistic approach to leadership development: a summer internship in an organization that is

translating knowledge into action. Normally, we ask our students to combine their professional

aspirations with an internship assignment. A pre-med student, for instance, might spend the summer

at a rural hospital dealing with resource constraints and socioeconomic dislocation. Or a student

interested in a legal profession, might intern in an office that is dedicated to helping low-income

families get legal advice. What these examples have in common is the fact that they challenge the

students to think of leadership beyond the utilitarian perspective, while exploring deeper

socioeconomic and political insights that they may not gain from their traditional major

coursework.

       After completing their internship, the leadership students take a capstone course that is

designed to be both integrative and reflective. This senior seminar integrates the knowledge

acquired through years of coursework and the practical experiences in the internship. However, it

also asks the students to reflect on the leadership lessons gained in the process. These insights and

lessons provide the final step in answering the main question: leadership for what? At this point,

this question becomes not only an academic exercise, but also the beginning of a personal journey.

What do they plan to do with all the knowledge they received in college? What action do they plan

to take beyond graduation? And, why? What is their calling in life?



                                      Concluding Remarks

              Students choose a variety of answers to the question that has guided this paper. Some

see leadership as a way to become more effective in the workplace. Others, using the

communitarian perspective, see leadership as a way to strengthen communities in an age of

increasing political apathy and cynicism. Regardless of their preferences, the main mission of the
McDonough Center is to awaken in its students the true spirit of the humanities – the connection

among knowledge, meaning/purpose, and action. Ultimately, a liberal arts education should not

simply lead to a high-paying job. Rather, it should lead to a meaningful life under which leadership

means the use of the acquired knowledge to the effective implementation of an individual or

collective moral vision.

       Perhaps the best way to end this discussion is with the citation of what our critics call

anecdotal evidence (in the humanistic tradition, we call it qualitative), namely the stories that

some of our students tell about their experiences off campus.

       Consider a young man from a small town in Maine who chose to spend his Senior

Internship in San Francisco, in a section of the city that is a kind of multicultural Skid Row.

Working for a group of community organizers gathering information for the construction of a

new Single Room Occupancy hotel, this student found himself one day on the third floor of a

hotel questioning a resident who was wheelchair-bound. The man had not been off the floor for

two years because the elevator shaft had been destroyed in the earthquake of 1989. While this

young man certainly arrived in San Francisco with a sense of the “haves” and the “have-nots,”

not until he worked there did he really understand what W.H. Auden captured in “Musee de

Beaux Arts,” “About suffering, they were never wrong, the Old Masters.”

       Or a young man from Marietta, an art major who had never been outside this small city

of 15,000. Working in an inner city art school in San Francisco, he met a muralist who assigned

him the task of interviewing area residents for the purpose of creating a true piece of public art—

a community mural. For weeks, he interviewed residents, many of whom barely spoke English,

and at the end of the process, he had rallied women and men to contribute towards the

articulation of a set of significant community values. Once completed, the mural stood as a
community landmark until the wall on which it was painted was razed many years later. Until

the day it was destroyed, not one mark of graffiti ever marred its surface.

        Through the process of searching for an appropriate internship, an elementary education

major from one of Ohio’s small cities was offered the chance of a lifetime—an internship at a

school for retarded students in Capetown, South Africa.          Traveling farther than she ever

imagined she would, she found herself working with retarded students who knew more English

than she knew Afrikaans, and, after several weeks, she found her students urging her to

accompany them on the school bus after school. They wanted to show them where they lived,

and they spoke with such obvious pride of the Squatter Towns in which they lived after

apartheid that she agreed. The teachers at the school told her to take her video camera because

she would see things she would never see in the United States. So off she went one day,

stopping at various Squatter Towns, where the students and their parents invited them to see

their homes. After she returned to the States and told us about the day, we asked her if we could

see the videotape. But she had not shot any footage, and, when we asked her why, she replied,

“I just couldn’t turn their joy into a spectacle.”




While our students learn a variety of things during the Senior Internship, when
the planets are aligned in just the right way, they experience something special,
a quickening of the moral imagination perhaps, that remains with them for the
rest of their lives. It is this that we hope will serve as an antidote to the
quotidian “getting and spending" that often serves as an obstacle to being an
involved citizen. The McDonough Leadership Program instills in its students a
positive spirit of accomplishment, a belief that the desirable is attainable, that
we can take “such stuff as dreams are made on”
'Art and the Organisation of Life Itself': A Bakhtinian exploration of
strategy and struggle

Helen Rodgers & Jeff Gold
Leeds Metropolitan University



   The paper will be complemented by the artistic photography of Hugo
                             Glendinning

Abstract:
This paper is based on a collaborative, participatory action research project framed by the work of Mikhail
Mikhailovitch Bakhtin. It examines the process of ‘strategizing’ in two companies in the north of England in
which we attempt to shift the focus from formal strategic planning and its concomitant features to
strategizing which embraces an understanding of the ongoing and open-ended nature of the world. We use
the notion of struggle to both construct and reconstruct events and interpret the strategizing experiences of
the participants. We assert that, among those who attempt to engage in an activity of making strategy,
struggle is present in every step of the way. Within this process, strategic learning can be regarded as a
process of ongoing collective meaning-making that reflects the intentions, values and motives of those
involved. Through our collaboration with others, we aspire to produce new understanding about the process
of strategy-making (Reason and Bradbury 2001).



Bahktin, Dialogue and Strategy

Mikhail Mikhailovich Bakhtin (1895-19175) was a Russian philosopher whose main work was produced
during the Soviet era under the cover of linguistics and literary criticism. As a non-Marxist, Bakhtin like
many others (and many who did not) had to adopt a range of skills in his writing in order to survive. Included
in his repertoire was ‘Aesopian language’, the use of allegory as form of code within written texts that sought
to get the better of the Soviet authorities (Emerson 1997). Thus while much of Bakhtin’s work was
concerned with literary theory and an exploration of particular authors, the key focus of such work was the
presentation of his philosophy based on ‘the existential demands of daily living’ (Gardiner 2000, p.43) and
how the everyday provides the ground for values, meanings, judgement and actions. While Bakhtin wrote for
much of his life, it was only during the 1970’s that his work became available to the West and was eventually
translated into English. Initially Bakhtin provided a source of ideas for the field of literary critique but is now
increasingly found in other fields including the social sciences (Bell and Gardiner 1998) although there has
been less impact on the field of management and organisation studieslvii.


Bakhtin’s concern with daily living centres around life as continuous series of acts or events and our
unending need to make sense of the world. Bakhtin asserts that life itself is organised by acts of human
behaviour and cognition and therefore is already charged with a system of values at the moment it enters an
artistic structure; art imitates the 'concreteness' of life. We experience our world ‘concretely’ as we occupy a
position in what Bakhtin (1993, p.2) refers to as a ‘once-occurrent Being-as-event’. However, while such
experience is always unique to us, it is shared and indeed depends on others or ‘otherness’ and this is referred
to as Bakhtin’s dialogism (Holquist 1990, p.18). How such ‘otherness’ features in our lives can be seen in the
way language, in all its forms, is used in ‘all the diverse areas of human activity’ (Bakhtin 1986, p.60),
including, and especially the constitution of, who we are – our self-ness. According to Bakhtin (1984b,
p.287), ‘To be means to communicate’, where communication consists of an utterance, i.e. what we say or
do, and a response, from others or ‘otherness’. Thus, the making of meaning, both of ourselves and the world
requires contact between at least two voices, although there can never be certainty about the outcome.


Considering the construction of a strategic plan, for example, the common aspects of normative conceptions
of such a process include; a time frame, a context and references to resources. They assume rationality, order
and consensus. According to Mintzberg (1990), the key features of the Design School model of strategic
work consists of a prescription to assess external and internal situations, uncovering threats and opportunities,
strengths and weaknesses; declare an intent incorporating values and visions of the strategy makers before
attempting the formulation of strategies that simply and clearly gives expression to their attempts to reconcile
the gap between perceptions of current reality and desires for the future. In this process, the artefacts such as
the completed SWOT, intent, written words and plans provide the cognitive comfort, the familiar grounds,
the justifications for inference and reference in difficult times. These are attempts by ‘actors and enactors’ to
reduce uncertainty and ambiguity in the ‘environment’ (Weick 2001). All that is needed to take control is a
good strategic plan (Whittington 1993). We can see in such a process the combination of a 'heteroglossia' of
voices in an ongoing and eventually, ‘complexly organised chain’ (Bakhtin 1986) of utterances and
responses. At each stage, there can be no absolute certainty that one utterance will be more or less acceptable
than another and it is through argumentation that acceptability must be negotiated (Shotter 1993, p.52).
Further, as we have reported elsewhere (Gold et al 2001), the heteroglossia of voices will ensure struggles
over content, roles, purpose and so on. There is both collaboration and competition among the collective.
However, as the process moves on, the participants generate the rules, norms and artefacts that
simultaneously enable and constrain them in their activities and actions in the present and in the anticipated
future. As the process continues, there is a preference to reduce the sense of complexity faced. At work are
the ‘centripetal forces’ which tidy up and mask the messiness of the perceived collective reality (Bakhtin
1981, p. 272) as voices become unified around the strategic plan. And so the heteroglossia, blurred by the
‘canonisation’ (p.417) of the plan, becomes distorted, removed and purified (Gardner 2000).


Stratetic talk, assuming its acquisition by the participants, and the production of various strategic artefacts are
sourced by a discourse which has its roots in Enlightenment thought and beliefs. It places the participants,
usually drawn from distinctive positions within an organisation’s hierarchy, at the centre of organisation life
with the ability to understand current and future events and rationally design responses that exert a control
over events, to the competitive advantage of the organisation. With such prospects, it is not difficult to see
why strategic work is so normatively attractive; it is an invitation to join the ‘High Modernist’ project (Scott
1998) where strategic discourse or discourses (Rouleau and Séguin 1995) provide the discursive and
rhetorical resources for participation in the construction of a version of an organisation utopia. Strategy
therefore, while it may be formed at a distance in time and place from their actualisation, is a ‘theoretically
valid judgement’ (Bakhtin 1993), sensible and unifying in appearance and seeking to pass itself off as a
totality which is ‘determined, predetermined, bygone, and finished..’ (p.9). A strategy which is seen as an end
of a process, which claims to provide an explanation of the past and present and which is set out to the future,
becomes ‘dead on the page’ as soon as it is written (Shotter 2000) and as if we should need reminding, the
world in which we ‘concretely’ live proceeds apace and a plan soon becomes disengaged from the arena of
its realisation. As Bakhtin (1984a) put it, ‘the word directed towards its object enters a dialogically agitated
and tension filled environment of alien words’.

Method

As many strategists acknowledge, there is a difficulty in researching the topic partly due to the problems of
gaining access to decision-making processes by those inside organisations who make such decisions or
experience the mishaps. Further, for the participants themselves, while they may have little difficulty in
understanding and using recommended strategic tools, e.g. PEST, SWOT, gap analysis, and so forth, they
seldom have an opportunity to examine and reflect upon some of the values, tensions and taken for granted
features which emerge from the use of such tools (Johnson 2000). In alignment with the concepts of
participatory action research, a partnership was formed with two organisations with the joint aims of
providing a process for strategic learning leading to the formation of a strategic plan and allowing access to
data from key events within the process. Both companies, located in the north of England, previously had a
fragmented experience of strategic work. As one manager stated, 'Over the years the plan rarely delivered
and we would be admonished by HO and described in withering terms as disappointing'. Both organisations
however, sought help in the form of a strategy that delivered. Through building a learning interaction
between individuals and researchers the resulting data provided a rich account of events, dialogue and
interrelations that led up to the early stages of formation of a strategic plan. In this sense the study built both
researcher and practitioner insight into the ongoing process of meaning-making in strategic learning.


Conclusions
The conclusions to the study re-iterate the necessity to view tensions and struggle
within meaning making as valuable and necessary parts of the strategic learning
process. Within this exists a dual premise that for those who engage in strategy
making, struggle is present every step of the way and that it is this struggle that
affords the potential for joint meaning-making or ‘strategic learning’.

Initial struggles uncovered and acknowledged the struggle of commencing the strategy
journey in moving outside of ‘the normal ways of seeing, talking and understanding’.
In Firm B particularly, acknowledging past pathologies in meaning-making
subsequently presented new possibilities for strategic learning. Furthermore, strategic
learning and strategic dialogue are continually beset by the struggles embedded
within processes of enculturation and cultural capital. These processes can
predispose management teams to a form of strategic learning which is based upon
'corporate monologia' and ruled by dominant voice/s. Thus, whilst enculturation
facilitated shared meaning, the participating companies, especially Firm A, had to be
reminded of the tensions and pitfalls present within this process. Enculturation and
over-reliance upon influential cultural capital may limit the very processes of
‘heteroglossia’ (Bakhtin 1981) that are needed to take that meaning further into the
future, to appreciate alternatives or differences in the strategic dialogue.

Whilst it is vital for strategic learning to take on ‘organic woveness’ in a shared world
(Bakhtin, 1990), Bakhtinian notions also suggest that this is most validly performed
in the embodied presence of others, i.e. those not previously or usually engaged in the
strategy process. For strategizing to be shared, a ‘closeness’ to others is key.

Finally, the study recognises that quandaries, uncertainty and turbulence in future
meaning-making are integral to strategizing and strategic learning. Such a process
needs to be balanced within a reflective infrastructure and coupled with orthodox
processes in order to engage in the interpretation and development of action-taking for
strategy (Gold, Hamblett and Rix, 2000). For Firm B, at the end of each workshop,
feedback was sought from participants and among the comments made were
expressions of ‘interest and enjoyment’, despite conceptual difficulty for some. There
were also concerns that the ‘process would not continue’ and that their work would
‘get locked away.’ Therefore as a cultural act, the extension of involvement or
participation has still yet to achieve the desired outcomes; the struggle continues.
References:


Bakhtin, M.M. (1981), The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by M.M.Bakhtin, M.Holquist (ed), University
of Texas Press, Austin


Bakhtin, M.M. (1984a), Rabelais and His World, H. Isowolksy (trans.), MIT Press, Cambridge MA


Bakhtin, M.M. (1984b), Problems of Dostoevksy’s Poetics, C.Emerson (Ed.), Manchester University Press,
Manchester


Bakhtin, M.M. (1986), Speech Genres and Other Late Essays, C.Emerson and M.Holquist (eds), University
of Texas Press, Austin


Bakhtin, M.M. (1990). Art and Answerability, V. Liapunov and M.Holquist (Eds),
Houston: University of Texas.

Bakhtin, M.M. (1993), Towards a Philosophy of the Act, Translated by V. Liaunov, University of Texas
Press, Austin


Bell, M.M. and Gardiner, M. (Eds)(1998) Bakhtin and the Human Sciences, Sage, London


Emerson, C. (1997) The First Hundred Years of Mikhail Bakhtin, Princeton University Press, New Jersey


Gardiner, M. (1993) Bakhtin’s Carnival: Utopia as Critique. In D. Shepherd (ed) Bakhtin Carnival and Other
Subject, Rodopi: Atlanta


Gardiner, M. (2000) Critiques of Everyday Life, Routledge, London


Gold, J., Hamblett, J. and Rix, M. (2000). 'Telling Stories for Managing Change: A
Business/Academic Partnership', Education Through Partnership, vol.4, no.1, pp.36-
46.

Gold, J., Smith, V. and Rodgers, H. (2001) Strategy and Struggle: Exploring Strategic Learning with
Participatory Action Research. Paper presented to 2nd Researching Work and Learning Conference, Calgary,
July
Holquist, M. (1990), Dialogism, Routledge, London


Johnson, G. (2000). ‘Strategy Through A Cultural Lens’, Management Learning, vol.31,
no.4, pp.403-426.

Mintzberg, H. (1990) The Design School: Reconsidering the Basic Premises of Strategic Management,
Strategic Management Journal, Vol.11, pp.171-195


Reason, P. and Bradbury, H. (Eds) (2001), Handbook for Action Research, London:
Sage.

Rouleau, L. and Séguin, F. (1995) Strategy and Organization Theories: Common Forms of Discourse,
Journal of Management Studies, Vol.32, No.1, pp.101-117


Scott, J.C. (1998) Seeing Like a State, Yale University Press, New Haven


Shotter, J. (1993), Conversational Realities, Sage, London


Shotter, J. (2000), Constructing ‘Resourceful or Mutually Enabling’ Communities: Putting a New
(Dialogical) Practice into Our Practices. Paper delivered at the Meaning of Learning Project Conference,
Denver October 25-28


Vice, S. (1997) Introducing Bakhtin, Manchester University Press, Manchester


Weick K.E. (2001) Making Sense of the Organization, Blackwell, Oxford.


Whittington, R. (1993) What is Strategy and Does it Matter?, Routledge, London



Details:
Paper to be presented by: Dr Helen Rodgers
Purpose: Through our collaboration with others, we aspire to produce new
understanding about the process of strategy-making by confronting the issue of
struggle and understanding interactions and language/s involved in building the
process. There will a paper presentation, possibly with musical interlude. The
paper will be complemented by a visual display featuring the unique
photographic work of one of Britain's leading dance photographers, Hugo
Glendinning. Exclusive photographs from Hugo's forthcoming book will capture
behind the scenes incidents at the Kirov and Bolshoi ballet these are used to
visualise the muddle and struggle of art and the organisation of life itself.
Tools required: Exhibition stand and space (areas tbc), slide projector,
powerpoint, audio equipment (tbc).
Time: 45 minutes for presentation and questions and time/space to peruse
photographic exhibition.



      and transform it into reality. It is for this that the program was designed.
Knowledge Art: Visual Sensemaking Using Combined Compendium
and Visual Explorer Methodologies
Albert M. Selvin, Simon J. Buckingham, David Magellan Horth, Charles J. Palus, Maarten
Sierhuis


           Presented to: The Art of Management and Organisation Conference,
           The Essex Management Centre, University of Essex, at
           King's College, London, 3-6 September, 2002.

           Albert M. SelvinVerizon
           albert.m.selvin@verizon.com


       Simon J. Buckingham Shum
       Knowledge Media Institute
       The Open University
       s.buckingham.shum@open.ac.uk


       David Magellan Horth
       Center for Creative Leadership
       horthd@leaders.ccl.org


       Charles J. Palus
       Center for Creative Leadership
       palusc@leaders.ccl.org


       Maarten Sierhuis

       NASA Ames Research Center
       msierhuis@mail.arc.nasa.gov
ABSTRACT
In this paper, we describe the integrated use of two methodologies for collaborative sense making,
one based on facilitated hypertext for collaborative modeling, and one based on images as
mediators of group dialogue. We term both the process and product of this knowledge art, the
integration of rational analysis using modeling with network visualizations and art using images
(paintings and photographs). We present a case study of this process as conducted in a program at
Verizon.

Keywords: Hypertext, sense making, leadership development, collaborative argumentation,
knowledge management, art, aesthetic.




INTRODUCTION
We have begun integrating two methodologies for collaborative sense making,
Compendium200 and Visual Explorer201. In this paper we describe one
application driving this integration, a leadership development program for
middle managers at Verizon. The purpose of the program, called Facing and
Solving Complex Challenges (FSCC), is to make shared sense of a leadership
challenge in sufficient depth and breadth so that it can then be adequately
addressed. Knowledge art addresses the need for support in the process of
conducting the FSCC program, as well as the future use of the outcome of the
program. We term both the process and product of this knowledge art, the
integration of rational analysis using modeling with network visualizations and
art using images (evocative paintings and photographs). The notion of knowledge
art helps to articulate shared meaning and to make sense out of complex and
ambiguous aspects of leadership in organizations.



The technology and approach we describe helps with the pragmatics of “on the
fly” capturing, recording, and reuse of knowledge for decision-making.




200
      Developed at Verizon; see www.compendiuminstitute.org
201
      Developed at the Center for Creative Leadership; see www.ccl.org
COMPENDIUM
Developed by Verizon beginning in 1993 to aid business process redesign
projects, Compendium has been applied to more than 75 projects by
organizations including the former NYNEX and Bell Atlantic, Verizon, NASA and
the Corporation for Public Broadcasting [8]. The Compendium approach
facilitates the collaborative creation of the content of a knowledge repository, by
combining hypermedia, group facilitation techniques, and an analytical
methodology rooted in knowledge modeling and structured analysis [9].
Compendium combines three aspects. The first is modeling facilitation, which
guides team members in collaborative construction, elaboration, and validation
of knowledge models using a software tool (Figure. 1). Facilitators also pay
special attention to the capturing and display of informal, or conversational,
insights and discussions, and assist team members in linking and managing
these ideas. The second aspect is IBIS facilitation, which assists the team in
surfacing assumptions and representing design rationale as argumentation [10].
Finally, facilitators pay attention to group process and the emotional climate of
sessions, using the modeling approach as part of their toolkit to help surface
and bridge communication problems and gaps. Compendium addresses key
criteria for the successful introduction of knowledge management into the work
practice of organizations.




Figure 1: Compendium Map of Issue Discussion

In 1999, Verizon began collaborating with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) to explore how Compendium might a
leadership development programs and processes, as well as how leadership development theories and practices might in
Compendium’s ongoing development and application.
VISUAL EXPLORER
Visual Explorer (VE) is a tool for enhancing group dialogue and sense-making [4]. It consists of 203 images of great varie
content and style, printed on 8.5” x 11” paper, selected for their power to facilitate metaphorical and emotional connecti
In typical usage, participants are asked to select an image (while browsing the entire set) that evokes for them some
important aspect of the previously defined challenge (or issue, idea, etc.) of which the group tries to make sense. Dialogu
proceeds in small groups, using the images as a kind of metaphorical scaffold: first, to describe their challenge, and the
invite the perceptions and impressions of others. Developed by CCL, VE is based in research and practice showing that
images are building blocks and carriers of ideas, emotions, intuitions, knowledge, and action patterns.

The particular images now used in VE were selected from a much larger archive, using the criteria shown in Table 1. Th
criteria (applied such that they are met by the set of images as a whole) were developed from our experience at CCL in
supporting dialogue using images sampled from collections of postcards and photographs.




Table 1: Visual Explorer Image-Set Selection Criteria
 Ripe with metaphoric connections to issues in organizations, work, life

    Unusual, pithy, or funny situations with which people can identify
    Capturing something essentially human
    Shows psychological or emotional tension; psychological truth implied or provoked
    Scenes of people doing together; drama; working or playing together
    Evokes "hmm, I wonder about that ... ." Or “That reminds me of ... ."
    Clashes of dissimilar things or ideas; disturbing; dream-like
    Aesthetically beautiful, interesting, and/or diverse genres
    Diverse in humanity (race, gender, ethnic, national, cultural, religion)
    Portrays myths, fantasy, fairy tales;archetypal
Figure 2: Example of Visual Explorer Images



THE FSCC PROGRAM
A typical FSCC workshop consists of two days in which middle managers from a variety of functions explore shared
leadership challenges. Coming in, they usually experience their work relationships with each other as being less than
optimal, by their separation into functional silos. The program attempts to facilitate cross-functional understanding of
complex issues (e.g. post-merger strategy, customer care, market erosion), followed by post-program action teams addre
these issues.

It is within this context that we have integrated Compendium and VE; into the method we call knowledge art. Participan
have an initial round of dialogue using images each selects to represent his or her view of a self-identified leadership
challenge. The dialogue covers the facts of each challenge, as well as the harder-to-express intuitions, emotions, percept
personal connections, metaphors, and stories conveyed by the images. Then another round of dialogue begins using
Compendium. Participants identify and discuss what they regard as their most important shared complex challenges. (B
“complex” we mean urgent and important, and not simply amenable to known techniques or formulas, thereby requiring
reflection and adaptation.) Participants’ ideas are mapped using Compendium’s hypertext software projected on a share
display. The facilitator from time to time draws attention to the display, seeking verification, reviewing the flow of thinki
and inviting reinterpretation and repatterning of the map itself (Figure 1).

During this Compendium session, one of the facilitators asks: “Can any of the VE images previously selected contribute
something important to the present conversation?” Inevitably a number of images do in fact have such resonance for the
group, and the digital thumbnails of the images are mapped into the display (Figure 3). Further dialogue leads to furthe




integration of the images into the hypertext (now more properly “hypermedia”) display. A map, using previously recorded
elements, is created for the purpose of reframing the current thinking into a number of succinct “How-To Statements.”
Participants then cluster these into affinity groups of focal problems that the group wants to tackle, coupled to evocative
images for each cluster (Figure 3).
Figure 3: Compendium with Visual Explorer Images Showing the Map of Challenge Reframing and Clustering


On the second day one of the senior executives of the division joins the group, listens, contributes, and offers guidance.
cleaned-up version of the map is used to seed this conversation, and a new
version includes the executive’s input (Figure 4).



Figure 4: Map for Dialogue with Executive


By capturing the discussion, sense making and analysis in Compendium, the thinking of the group is made explicit. Th
artful product of the group is available for subsequent reuse, both by the same group at later times and by other groups
Indeed, one of the Verizon groups examined the knowledge art generated by an earlier group in order to understand wha
work had been done already and avoid ‘re-inventing the wheel.’ Compendium re-use mechanisms and examples are pro
in greater detail in [7].

KNOWLEDGE ART
In trying to define knowledge art we are motivated by observations made during the FSCC program. The artistic aspect
transforms what is otherwise formulaic, reductive, or hyper-rational into a creative, synthetic process resembling art ma
Following are several facets of this artistry, similar in many ways to previously identified competencies supportive of
leadership in the face of complex challenges [5].

The VE images, whether on paper or in the Compendium display, encourage the use of metaphors for exploring the chal
Sense-making takes on the character of serious play, in which participants playfully entertain possible meanings,
connections, and combinations. The images and metaphors often lend themselves to humor; or, to a kind of back-and-fo
game; or, to stories and other forms of narrative. Representations of meaning are subject to what Gombrich calls making
matching and crafting [3]; contrasted with simple repetition of stock symbols, clichés and formulas. Ideas are morphed i
other ideas, with an intention of “getting it right”—a notion which includes good-form (even beauty) as well as truth. The
availability of multiple media—words and images in paper and digital form—and robust tools to work with those media,
supports artistic representation and shared sense making. Facilitation using a shared display can beneficially modulate
rhythm or timbre of the dialogue, by periodically slowing down for example [2]. Finally there is what might be called the
aesthetics of engagement. Participants often find pleasure in working and playing with these media and tools. This
engagement is often physical, visceral, and emotional. Handling the paper images seems important, as does standing ne
the projection screen, shoulder-to-shoulder, jostling and pointing, and directing the rearrangement of elements.

Hypermedia appears to add not only dimensions of persistence, reusability, and connections to other electronic docume
and media, but also extends and enhances the face-to-face participation in new and promising ways.
Knowledge art suggests ways for the further development of inviting and effective hypermedia, including its use in
collaborative settings.

DISCUSSION
Our work is about developing methods and tools for the creation of useful shared knowledge within and among commun
of practice, especially as useful for the enactment of effective leadership. In this context, we suggest that knowledge art
four key aspects:
Tools: Mifflin (the software component of Compendium) provides a shared display for mapping text and images, as well a
storing, recalling, reusing, and remapping. In terms of knowledge art, Mifflin is a software tool that provides a shared
“canvas” as well as the means for “painting” and editing on the canvas. Visual Explorer images afford handling, selection
examination, and appreciation, while the digital forms easily assimilate into digital knowledge maps for further shared
construction (and storage, reuse, etc.) of knowledge.
Media: The media in this case are twofold: the digital media of the Mifflin software and thumbnail digital images, as well
the images printed on paper.
Representation: The purpose of the method is to represent knowledge in useful, flexible, creative, reusable and durable w
In this case we are especially interested in representing complex, multi-faceted aspects of meaning as required for effect
leadership. “Framing” and “reframing” is an important part of the process of representation. We observe that the standa
forms of representation used within organizations are often restrictively narrow and inflexible. With knowledge art we
combine collaboratively constructed, morphable representations such as the visual maps in Mifflin, and collages of imag
afforded by Visual Explorer.
Participatory artistry: We aspire to make knowledge art highly participatory. Although a prevalent conception of art (and
leadership) centers on solo virtuoso performance, an alternative conception of art focuses on wide participation in servic
everyday meaning-making. The avenue for this involves putting knowledge and art