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Flying Blind? Teaching Aesthetic Agency in an Executive MBA Course

The Physicality of Leadership: Gesture, Entanglement, Taboo, Possibilities

ISBN: 978-1-78441-290-6, eISBN: 978-1-78441-289-0

ISSN: 1479-3571

Publication date: 24 November 2014

Abstract

It is no surprise that artists rely closely on their senses to create, develop, and perform their art. Musicians rely on what they hear, dancers rely on their proprioceptive sense and sense of movement, and painters rely on their vision. They rely on these senses to make decisions during creation and performance. At the same time their art can be seen as an exploration of what humans can experience through the senses. Developing the capacity to sense is an integral part of art education that is valued as highly as learning technical skills, such as the musician’s mastery of the instrument, the dancer’s mastery of the body, and the painter’s mastery of color and brush techniques.

In management education, things are different. Relevant techniques are taught, but no special attention is given to developing the ability to sense. There is an implied assumption that managers already know how to do this. However, on a two-day MBA course, it became clear that not only is this assumption wrong, but moreover the traditional pedagogical formats used seem to actively limit the participants ability to sense. The result is leaders who know techniques for enacting leadership, but due to their underdeveloped ability to sense, are unable to apply these techniques appropriately in practical settings.

Keywords

Citation

Springborg, C. and Sutherland, I. (2014), "Flying Blind? Teaching Aesthetic Agency in an Executive MBA Course", The Physicality of Leadership: Gesture, Entanglement, Taboo, Possibilities (Monographs in Leadership and Management, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 37-58. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-357120140000006003

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited