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Kapitulationens estetik: organisering och ledarskap i filmprojekt
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business.
2003 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

To make a film is indeed a risky business. It concerns artistic expression, organizing processes and not least economics. It is part of the film director’s role to manage the uncertainty with all what it implies in a film project. However, is it possible to regulate an art creating process? In the normative project management literature one proceeds from the dream that a project is realised from an explicitly planned goal, achieved with means allocated in advance and within the afforded time. Concerning the leader role, it is "the superman" that is desired. My starting point in the study concerned the doubts about the narratives of leaders as charismatic heroes, in which the leader is assumed to be in full control of the course of events. Drawing on the social constructionist tradition, this thesis focuses on the relational aesthetic perspective in organizational theorizing. Organizing and leadership can be viewed as mutually constructing each other in human interactions in an ongoing process. In this process the role of aesthetic understanding is emphasized. Organizations can be viewed not only as cognitive creations but also as having their origins in the knowledge creating faculties of all senses of organizational actors and scholars. A theory of temporary organizations has been used as a structuring frame in an effort to understand the organizational dynamics during the art creating process in a film project.

The object of the study is to contribute to our understanding how organizing and leadership are constructed in the everyday professional activity of filmmaking. An ethnographic study with participant observation was carried out during a part of the shooting phase of a film project. In addition, several persons working in film production with varying tasks were interviewed. The empirical material is presented as three cases. In all of these cases there are several persons involved in the storytelling on everyday filmmaking practises.

The contribution of the study is threefold: first, like writings in ethnography when going to the field, a reading of a "foreign culture" in a film project, from the point of view of business administration and organization theory. Second, the relational aesthetic perspective to viewing organizing and leadership has been applied. Third, the distinctive features of the artistic work for its management are recognized. In Swedish film production it is the director who has the legitimate power to decide the final film text. In everyday filmmaking practises leadership is largely constructed as a hierarchical process. The director makes hundreds of decisions in his or her daily work. Yet, filmmaking is also the product of the work of several people. Although often well planned, the art creating process in a film project can be quite disorderly. Considerable improvisation (in the meaning an openness for the emerging opportunities) is needed, both in front of the camera and "behind the camera." In this process communication is based on aesthetic knowledge, which is needed from the whole team. Such communication functions best in a trustful atmosphere. When the director takes the decisions that he or she has been listening to, taking in with several senses what’s going on in the team in order to be able to make a judgement. When improvising, the judgements are based on both rational decisions and on tacit knowledge, emotions and aesthetic knowledge that are acquired through bodily senses. As a leadership strategy, except hierarchy and networking, it is also vital for the director to be able to refrain from intervening, i.e. he or she has to be open to aesthetics of capitulation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Arvinius , 2003. , 351 p.
Research reports / School of Business, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 1400-3279 ; 4 2003 4
Keyword [en]
film project, director, team, leadership, organizing, art creating, relational aesthetic perspective, negotiating, improvisation, aesthetics of capitulation, arts management
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8632ISBN: 91-7265-680-8OAI: diva2:174314
Public defence
2003-06-03, Philipssalen, Kräftriket, hus 3, entréplan, Sal 224, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-02-24 Created: 2009-02-20 Last updated: 2009-12-15Bibliographically approved

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