The impact of aesthetics on employee satisfaction and motivation

Rune Bjerke (Oslo School of Management, OMH, Oslo, Norway)
Nicholas Ind (Equilibrium Consulting, Oslo, Norway)
Donatella De Paoli (BI Norwegian School of Management, Department of Language, Communication and Culture, Oslo, Norway)

EuroMed Journal of Business

ISSN: 1450-2194

Publication date: 1 September 2007



This paper sets out to explore the impact of aesthetics on employee satisfaction and motivation.


The paper is based on organisational aesthetics and organisational culture theory and interviews with employees at Norwegian telecommunications company Telenor – a significant investor in art, design and architecture.


There are potential connections between artifacts (as an expression of organisational culture) and employee satisfaction, identity, mood, creativity and motivation. Aesthetics seems to be particularly important to employees working with the business segment because of the face‐to‐face interaction between employees and customers. It appears that the “visual Telenor” influences employees' identification with the organisation.

Practical implications

When organisations invest in art, design and architecture, they need to be active in engaging employees with its meaning and relevance. If employees are not engaged, the aesthetic environment will not stimulate creativity or influence job satisfaction and motivation.


The findings of this paper have enabled the creation of a matrix with four different categories defined by the degree of financial investments in art, design and architecture and the extent of investments in activities engaging employees. A conceptual model is proposed that identifies possible connections between aesthetics and employee performance.



Bjerke, R., Ind, N. and De Paoli, D. (2007), "The impact of aesthetics on employee satisfaction and motivation", EuroMed Journal of Business, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 57-73.

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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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