Beautiful Action in Organizations

Brett Jordan (CC BY 2.0)

They’re not always readily apparent, but they make an impact: those small moments in organizations when everything works perfectly and something beautiful is created.

A new study in the Journal of Management Inquiry (JMI) argues that researchers need to understand these moments of beauty– and the unique skills in which they are rooted–in order to advance management practice and address complex problems in the field. Steven S. Taylor of Worcester Polytechnic Institute published “Little Beauties: Aesthetics, Craft Skill, and the Experience of Beautiful Action” on May 17, 2012 in JMI. To see other OnlineFirst articles, click here.

The abstract:

Beautiful action in organizations comes from exceptional craft skill and focuses us on exceptional management skill. Beautiful management action tends to be particular and local—It may only be experienced by a single person within the organization. I call such small moments “little beauties” and offers three examples from a small organization. I conclude that little beauties provide a way to find and inquire into instances of exceptional craft skill and thus offer a Positive Organizational Scholarship approach to practice.

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