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January 2022

The institutionalization of the aesthetic: Systemic contradiction in the organization of creativity

Author(s): Leach, E.

Journal/Book: Syst Res. 1996; 13: 605 Third Ave, New York, NY 10158-0012. John Wiley & Sons Inc. 25-33.

Abstract: The paper treats the organization of arts and cultural institutions - those activities and structures that encompass the aesthetic dimension of Life. When aesthetic or creative activities are institutionalized, they evolve toward a bureaucratic organizational form that is antithetical to their systemic function. The rules and regulations that control the system form the basis for its internal structure. Adherence to the rules becomes the criterion for assessing the systems performance. Therefore, the goal of any bureaucracy is to constrain creativity and Limit options. When the mission of the bureaucratic organization is to enhance creativity and develop new options, the structure and function of the system are in conflict. The paper contrasts the implications of this emphasis on organizational structure over function in cultural institutions. It then discusses alternate forms that attempt to balance the aesthetic function within a formalized organizational structure.

Note: Article RM Snow, W Chester Univ, Dept Management, W Chester, PA 19383 USA

Keyword(s): art; culture; aesthetic; creativity; social system; structure; function; organization; bureaucracy; institutionalization; ECOLOGY

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