Organization, decoration

Julie Wolfram Cox, Stella Minahan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


While organizational decoration has been of interest to those who study organizational artefacts, we suggest four ways in which decoration is worthy of fuller attention in organizational studies. First, decoration, ornament and embeiiishment are not only what we see, but also what we do as managers, consultants, writers and designers of both physical and project spaces. Second, and drawing on the art/craft debate, we note that decoration occupies contested and even liminal aesthetic position and that ‘decorative art’ lies betwixt and between fine art and craft. Neither fully accepted nor fully marginalized, decoration is ‘only applied’ and embodies shifting tensions between form and function. Third, we review the particular negotiations of these tensions at the Bauhaus, a controversial and highly influential aesthetic organization in early 20th century Germany. Fourth, we suggest that decoration, like disorganization, provides a source of complication for organizational studies that are neither pure nor parsimonious.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Aesthetic Turn in Management
EditorsStella Minahan, Julie Wolfram Cox
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherAshgate Publishing Limited
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781351147958
ISBN (Print)9780815397403
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Aesthetics
  • Art/craft debate
  • Bauhaus
  • Disorganization
  • Mimesis

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