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Three cases of identity (re)construction through art interventions: the dialogical and the 'sensible'


  • Philippe Mairesse

    (ACTE - Arts, Créations, Théories, Esthétiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Rachel Beaujolin

    (GREGOR - Groupe de Recherche en Gestion des Organisations - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) - Paris)

  • Emmanuelle Begon

    (ANACT - Agence Nationale d'Amélioration des Conditions de Travail - Anact, Lyon)

  • Véronique Perret

    () (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - Université Paris-Dauphine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Géraldine Schmidt

    (GREGOR - Groupe de Recherche en Gestion des Organisations - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) - Paris)


Identity construction (IC) cannot be reduced to discourses, nor to individual responsibility. Alvesson & Wilmott (2002) suggest two main processes of identity construction : identity regulation (IR, the discursive practices of identity definition) and identity work (IW, the interpretive activities involved in reproduction of self-identity). Based on this dialogic conception of IC, we wonder whether artistic interventions could play a significant role in the IC process, especially through its ability to address the relational, sensible, emotional, and affective dimensions. In other words, our paper intends to better understand the role of experience and the embodiment of sensemaking in the dialogic process of identity construction. In this perspective, we will focus on cases where art interventions take place in working situations at some crucial moments of IC. Exploring the dimension of the sensible encapsulated in artworks and art interventions allows in particular to better grasp how collective understanding of organizations and their transformations hinge on subjectivity (Abrir 2012). This knowledge is generally recognized as disruptive, because of the heterogeneity of the two words of art and organization, the ability of art for ―not-knowing or more generally the ability of art and aesthetics for promoting contradictory emotions. The dimension of the sensible brought by art is characterized by its subjectification power and by its value sharing (the role of emotions and affects, the construction of subjectivity) and value-adding. Our argument is that art, by organizing the co-creation of work-related sensible forms, triggers and performs - in ways we strive at investigating - a collective and dialogic process between IR and IW.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Mairesse & Rachel Beaujolin & Emmanuelle Begon & Véronique Perret & Géraldine Schmidt, 2013. "Three cases of identity (re)construction through art interventions: the dialogical and the 'sensible'," Post-Print halshs-00844185, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00844185
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Agency Problems and Residual Claims," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 327-349, June.
    2. Denis, Diane K. & McConnell, John J., 2003. "International Corporate Governance," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(01), pages 1-36, March.
    3. Anna Grandori, 1997. "Governance Structures, Coordination Mechanisms and Cognitive Models," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 1(1), pages 29-47, March.
    4. Aoyama, Yuko & Izushi, Hiro, 2003. "Hardware gimmick or cultural innovation? Technological, cultural, and social foundations of the Japanese video game industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 423-444, March.
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    Art-based research; Identity regulation; Identity Work; Identity Construction;

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