Art in corporate governance: A Deweyan perspective on board experience
Authors: Nordberg, D.
Start date: 2 September 2020
Corporate governance sits at the intersection of many aspects of disciplines from business, management, finance and accounting. The point of departure for the overwhelming portion of studies concerns the ugliness of greed, ambition, misdemeanors and malfeasance of corporations, their directors, and those actors hold own shares in them. This essay takes a rather different starting point. Drawing upon insights from a radically different field, it uses the discussion of aesthetics in Dewey’s treatise on art (1934/1958) to ask what motivates directors to act in ways that constitute the attention and engagement that we associate with the effectiveness of boards. Using Dewey’s thinking about aesthetic experience, this paper compares it with accounts of the experience of corporate boards, both in the literature and in the personal experience of the author. These observations point to need to reflect on motivation when considering both the practice of corporate governance and the policy frameworks in which it operates.