Designing a beautiful organization. Empirical evidence of the aesthetic dimensions of organizations

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Organizational aesthetics stands as a specific research stream within organizational studies.

Organizational aesthetics emphasizes, on the one hand, the cultural dimension by considering cultural, symbolic elements as well as the pathos of the organization. This perspective focuses on the pursuit of organizational beauty, which is considered to influence performance. On the other hand, organizational aesthetics goes beyond the symbols to look at how organizations “feel and perceive” beauty, hence, how they pursue it. This perspective affects organizational performance, as well.  This stream of research is useful because it sheds light on aspects that deal with, in a less conventional way, the issue of organizational performance. The positive relationship between aesthetics and performance is illustrated through the case of MacNil’s, an IT and TLC company. Through the analysis of this case study, this study leverages on theories of organizational aesthetics aiming to understand how the pursuit of beauty by organizations triggers material and immaterial impacts for organizations and their environments. The paper thus contributes to filling a gap in the organizational aesthetics literature, as well as raising the awareness of practitioners about the practical value of aesthetics.