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 embellishment 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.
Field of Research
150312 Organisational Planning and Management
Socio Economic Objective
970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services