Envisioning the Aesthetic Firm

Abstract

This paper draws on the work of Alain Badiou and Martin Heidegger to construct a postructural theory of the firm. The ideal firm is conceived as a technology that facilitates a technology-free void/site of potential. For actors within this firm to be ethical requires their achievement of human subjecthood through aesthetic fidelity to the site-induced events. Heidegger’s concerns regarding the enframing effects of technology and his recognition of the truth-revealing qualities of art, are incorporated here into a theory of the firm as an idealized, technology facilitated, aesthetic void-of-potential revealing. Authentic human being thus implies that firms-as-technology ‘get out of the way’. This theory of the firm is further revealed through Badiou’s concept of event-driven human flourishing. We embrace Badiou’s ‘ethics-of-truths’ in which fidelity to the trace of an event creates human subjecthood. We consider implications of our theory-of-the-firm for social media firms such as Alphabet and Facebook.

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Correspondence to John Dobson.

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Dobson, J. Envisioning the Aesthetic Firm. Philosophy of Management (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40926-020-00159-5

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Keywords

  • Postructural
  • Badiou
  • Heidegger
  • Aesthetics
  • Technology
  • Theory of the firm