Creating engaged executive learning spaces: the role of aesthetic agency
Organizational Aesthetics Cover Issue Vol. 2(1)


Executive education
Socially constructed learning
Teaching design

How to Cite

SutherlandI., & LadkinD. (2013). Creating engaged executive learning spaces: the role of aesthetic agency. Organizational Aesthetics, 2(1), 105-124. Retrieved from


This paper explores the role of aesthetic agency in contributing to "engaged" learning within executive education. By analyzing digital audio recordings of teaching interventions by both authors, we draw upon musical terminology to develop a language for discussing and reflecting upon the aesthetics of the interactions and social spaces of teaching in action. Couched within the space of experiential learning and the concept of heterotopic learning environments, this study focuses on how educator-facilitators act in the moment to socially co-create learning spaces. In focusing on the moments of action, we attend to embodied aesthetic agency and reflect on how aesthetics can be brought into relief as a significant and researchable aspect of organizational and relational activity. In doing so, we are conceptualizing the body, and its inherent aesthetic sense-making capacities, as a teaching, relational and ultimately organizational technology.

This work is based on the assumption that engagement is a primary enabler of socially constructed learning and an indicator that learning is happening. We are suggesting the ability to do so is based on felt-sensory and emotional readings and actions - embodied aesthetic agency - of what is going on in the classroom.