Taming the 'Alpha-Male' In the Space Between Art and Business
Organizational Aesthetics Cover Issue Vol. 9(2)

Supplementary Files

Taxonomy of aesthetics-based leadership development -pdf
Affordances of art-based leadership development -pdf
The staircase between two spaces -pdf
Participant profiles -pdf


choral singing
community of practice

How to Cite

JanssonD. (2020). Taming the ’Alpha-Male’ In the Space Between Art and Business. Organizational Aesthetics, 9(2), 4-19. Retrieved from https://oa.journals.publicknowledgeproject.org/index.php/oa/article/view/115


Arts-based interventions may expand how team members and leaders understand their roles and impact. For an intervention to be useful, there needs to be a way for the aesthetic experience to translate back into the regular organisation. Nine managers of a professional services firm, including the chief executive, engaged in weekly group singing sessions for more than a year. The paper discusses their learnings in light of the two communities of practice they took part in -- the choir practice and the managerial practice. In terms of learning content, the notion of  "alpha-male" serves a label for the range of identities and behaviours that were rattled. The aesthetic experience of multi-part choral singing enabled the participants to hear the futility of being constantly pushy. Eventually a more varied team dynamics emerged. The paper focuses on one particular aspect of the set-up-the location of the practices and the transfer space between them. The stair-case connecting the two practices became an in-between space-a conduit -- where the aesthetic experience lingered, was interpreted, and applied, in silence or through dialogue.