The following two sessions may be of interest to Humanistic Scholars attending the Western Academy of Management Conference - April 21-24 2021. 

A Contemplative Art Salon: How Art Can Humanize Management Thursday, April 22

 9:00 am - 10:30 am


  • Jyoti Bachani Associate Professor of Strategy and Innovation, Saint Mary's College of California
  • Steven Taylor Professor of Leadership and Creativity, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Ramya Venkateshwaran Indian Institute of Management Calcutta
  • Janani Murali Associate Artistic Director, Padmalaya Dance Foundation
  • Raza Mir Professor of Management, William Paterson University

Scholars who have used different art forms in their teaching, research and practice, as a way to experience, understand, explore and re-imagine management ideas, will share their journey and offer an experiential and contemplative immersion experience to go beyond the currently dominant dry analytical theories that tend to be divorced from practice. Using immersive experiences possible in the virtual multi-media format of the conference, we will offer direct experience with the art forms, improv, sculpture, dance, poetry, film and theater, to demonstrate the soft power of arts. Through this we hope to co-create thought-provoking and moving moments where 'business as usual' might be questioned and re-imagined. Art used as an instrument of self-expression and social commentary, engages people, captures the zeitgeist, entrains or challenges assumptions. Artistic creation and experience influence what we see, notice, think, and decide to do subsequently. Art can humanize management.


Humanizing Management Through The Arts: Improv for Inclusiveness A Workshop Proposal. Friday, April 23

 3:15 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Jyoti Bachani Associate Professor of Strategy and Innovation, Saint Mary's College of California

Inclusiveness begins with accepting our whole self, and thus making it all right for others to also show up as their authentic self. Using experiential exercises that engage the body, mind and spirit, we co-create group dynamics and with collective observations and reflections, to learn about inclusive organizing. Theater improv games are a highly structured way to engage the whole human being and connect everyone with verbal, physical, emotional and social actions and interactions. Humor from improv is a gentle way to bring down barriers and tackle sensitive and subtle forms of exclusion enacted in social settings. Shared observations and reflections bring out how inclusion and exclusion happen. How do uphold our own and other?s dignity (Hicks, 2011), or negotiate inevitable conflicts? Embodied experience takes us beyond the dry language of theories, so everyone leaves with an embodied experience of our own biases and prejudices, humanizing management.