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Finding beauty in the banal: An exploration of service work in the artful classroom
Journal of Management and Organization (2008)
  • Janet G Sayers
  • Ralph Bathurst, Massey University
  • Nanette Monin, Massey University
Artists derive inspiration from daily life. According to John Dewey (1934), common experiences are transformed into works of art through a process of compression and expression. Our paper adopts Dewey’s frame to demonstrate that experience in the artful classroom plays a valuable role in management education. We asked students to reflect on their work experience and then to provide an artful expression of their reflections. For this exercise we defined artfulness as a process which relies on the discursive practices of satire, and in particular irony and parody. Offering a service management class as an exemplar we demonstrate the use of these rhetorical techniques as reflective learning tools. A class of students were first prompted to consider their common experiences as both customers and service providers, and were then asked to create an ironic artefact. Our paper, which analyses a cartoon sequence produced by students in response to this assignment and in which they parody the fast-food service experience, illustrates how a business studies classroom can be transformed into an artful space.
  • service work; customer service; teaching; learning; art; management education; cartoon; comic; humour; parody
Publication Date
Citation Information
Janet G Sayers, Ralph Bathurst and Nanette Monin. "Finding beauty in the banal: An exploration of service work in the artful classroom" Journal of Management and Organization Vol. 14 (2008)
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